The birth of a cell is the death of a star
The birth of a cell is the death of a star universe stories
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absinthefae I'm Scavengersdaughter2 on Ao3!
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Are we a star's way of reproducing?
You are the universe, expressing itself as human for a little while.
A project from my anthropology class.
Jnana Yoga: The Way of Reflection. Exploring the Hindu idea of the Universal Self and our relationship to infinite space and time.

The birth of a cell is the death of a star

Are we a star's way of reproducing?

In the same way an egg creates a hen to make more eggs, are we a way through which new stars are born?

Imagine, for a moment, that a planet is a star's way of becoming a different star.

When stars explode, they send elemental matter and dust into space. It compresses, causing the gas and debris balls to spin and form an orbit.

The odds are, say, a million to one that even a single compressed ball will become a planet like earth.

And slowly, like the ocean rising as the glaciers melt, the bacteria of life grows into human beings.

We evolve. We explore and discover and live and love and always crave more. We’re insatiable. We spread to every corner of the world and conquer and invent.

The Greek word 'atom' derives from 'atomos', meaning 'uncuttable'; you can't split any further.

And as human beings grew, we learned we could split the atom: the electrons and neutrons and protons. That divide could generate immense energy- at an unthinkable price.

Our memento mori flew on the back of the wind, howling like a banshee on the moors. It said, “what can be done, will be done”.

Nature was a grim, yet inevitable, funerary procession. We followed the hearse as we made the atomic discovery. The pallbearers carried humanity’s casket as we learned how to blow each other to pieces.

The father of the atomic bomb was a ghost of a man named Oppenheimer. He quoted the Bhagavad Gita a month before the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds".

And we learned something else too. We learned how to blow the earth to pieces; explode it into dust and turn it into a star.

And in the same way eggs burst into chickens, planets burst into stars. Human freewill drives the destruction. The recreation spews massive balls of dust through the cosmos.

Those mountainous collections of dust have about a one in a million chance of becoming planets; the same chance a spermatozoa has at racing to the egg and creating life.

One in a million; that spermatozoa is in the same position as the stardust creating planets.

After all, the birth of a cell looks like the death of a star.

And when I turned my gaze to the cosmos, I learned something. I am nothing more than a blade of grass. But I am.

We, as humans, built an ivory tower called ‘intelligent life’. Everything else is just a fly buzzing around our cold throne, high up where we sit in the tower.

But the walls of that tower have since crumbled around me as I came to the realization my throne of ‘higher thought’ was built on lies.

We fooled ourselves into believing humanity was the beginning and the end: to be human was to be a god. To be above all other things.

But have you seen the way grass 'falls asleep', dormant in the winter, only to flourish in the coming spring, green and wholly alive once more, year after year?

Do you like the smell after you finish a ride on the lawn mower? Did you know that 'freshly cut grass smell' is a distress signal?

A warning given off from the chemosignals of all those 'bleeding' blades of grass?

No energy can be created or destroyed. We are made of the same atoms; humans and grass.

I am nothing more than recycled energy from the bones of planets and the dust of stars that have been dead for millennia.

We look into the night sky and the blanket of stars we see are already dead; there's a delay from the way light travels in space, so we just don't know it yet.

After all, sunlight is already minutes old before it touches our skin.

The brightest lights in the sky are dead gas giants but to us, they are shimmering and shining and alive.

We are witnessing dead clouds of gas and dust, waiting to implode and explode, to be reborn into a new star. Echoes forever ringing across space.

The tragedy is, they just don't know they’re dead yet. And neither do we.

Humans on earth are mirrors to the long-since dead stars in the sky.

Our lives, every life, are just echoes of an already departed planet; the knowledge just hasn't caught up to us yet because there is a delay in our perception of light and sound.

Our perception is what allows the world to exist. The universe only exists in our eyes, in our senses.

What we perceive to be as true becomes our truth. Our life. Our world. Reality. Universe.

And I believe that our moments aren't a linear line of dominoes, one tipping into the next in a long line that makes up our life, with a beginning and an end.

Our days, the stories that create us and the experiences that shape our lives, fall around us like rain. Or snow.

They fall around us like snow, blending with other people's snow until every single snowflake, from one person to the next, is in a pile; indistinguishable from the individual.

There is no 'self', no 'other', no 'me', when you're just a single snowflake in an infinite pile.

I am just a single drop in an endless ocean.

But what is an ocean, but a multitude of drops?

The collective and the self are made of the same thing. They are the same thing.

A drop in an ocean, a snowflake in a pile.

Energy in a universe.

The thing about energy is it can't be destroyed; it just transforms. Energy isn't created; it simply changes shape.

New snowflakes form and fall from the frozen water of the old; new stories, new memories, new people. That water, which had once flowed from a melting glacier over one million years old, passed through three animals before once again freezing.

And in each new life the water lived, it remembered. It took something, from the glacier and the horses and the humans and the snowflakes, and kept it close. Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound by others. Past and present.

By each crime and every kindness, we birth our future. And the snow just keeps falling.

I wonder, if we were one of those dead stars in the sky, would we know?

What if we are one of those dead lights, watching our past death echo across the universe as we wait for it to finally catch up to us?

I wonder if, when we collectively realize the snow around us is melting, would the lights in the sky all go out at once?

At long last, the speed of light carrying a dead planet's postmortem explosion and subsequent burst from a now-dead star, finally, mercifully...

.... our human eyes would watch as the night sky went dark just before we explode into the birth and death of another star. Then it would all repeat.

Because time is like snow and snow will never stop falling.

I am nothing more than recycled stardust and borrowed energy, born from a star that was once a planet, spinning in an infinitely expanding universe.

I am made of falling snow; snow that used to be other people's memories and first heartbreaks and favorite paintings and eulogies and once, a long time ago, dust from the bones of a star.

I am a part of all I have ever met and those I will never meet. 'I' am also a 'we'.

And we will become something else, when the lights in the sky finally go out and an atom is split for the last time, signaling our time to go. But we won't be going alone.

Because I learned life and death are so intertwined in their infinite dance, you can't find where one ends and the other begins. Like the boundaries between light and sound. Our perception creates the boundaries separating our world.

We are our own jailers; trapped in a prison of our own making. We built that prison from the ruins of our throne high up in a tower, you know.

The key to humanity’s cell exists in the night sky; if only we looked up. If you turn your gaze outwards and discover the secrets of all those dead stars that used to be planets, you’d know boundaries are just conventions, our perceptions, waiting to be transcended.

There are some moments, you can feel the heartbeat of a loved one who has already passed as clearly as you feel your own. Separation is an illusion. A boundary. Our perception is trapping us.

My life extends far beyond the limitations of me and I believe we don't stay dead long.

So, as some say, it all ends in fire. A blaze of nuclear light. But nothing ends. Nothing ever ends. Death is only a door, you know.

If the world exploded... Wouldn't you want to see the light before you went?

Let yourself dissolve in it before the process begins anew?

Rebirth. An infinite cycle of cycles. The explosion, the stars- then here is the planet, and here is life and now you're a baby once again.

The flowers are bright and the autumn leaves are a work of art, just like the rolling clouds painted in the sky with gentle brushstrokes.

The warmth of the sun, the smell of rain, the feeling of the earth under your toes once again.

You emerged from this like a wave from the ocean.

You are a soul in a body that dies and is reborn again. But most importantly, you are a soul; you just happen to have a body.

And once again, the man, the woman-

The one you love. You meet again, in this new life, with bright, open eyes-

As if your souls weren't made of the same thing.

As if your souls hadn’t met thousands of times before this.

As if in another life on another earth, the both of you walking hand in hand, had never lived and cried and laughed and loved and died. Together.

And so waves must return to the sea.

So as it's beginning to start all over again, on this new planet in this new body, the problems increase because that’s what it means to be human; with all of the constant struggles and the fighting, the endless fighting-

You wrestle against something you can't control and everything is so out of hand- Tragedy. Conquest. Devastation. War.

The radio says words like fission and atoms and warheads. Until every frequency is just static.

The shining stars in the night sky are going out.

We feel as if we're going to our doom.

And that's because, once again, we're going towards the birth of a star.

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