A Wee Bit of Science
Dark energy, a substance of the Universe not currently completely understood, is currently believed to constitute 73% of said Universe. Dark matter, 23%. Luminous matter, made up of photons, the stuff we understand best and from which all matter is constructed – is a mere 4%. Only Four percent of the Universe!
Luminous matter is what WE are made of – what humans, animals, and our fluid, gooey earth is constructed of. I concur, then, with a Brian Swimme statement:
“Matter is rare and precious.”
How does this relate to Beauty? In this way: Isn’t it interesting that in our current culture(s) we are learning — and have been “learning” — to despise matter. At best, to disrespect it; to take it for granted. Matter is crude. Matter is stuff. Matter is material to be used, servant to us, something to exploit. Matter is profane.
This is evident in some religious attitudes and cultural values all over the planet in one way or another. Think of attitudes towards flesh itself – thinness: be thin! The less body the better — skinny is glamorous (notice I did not say ‘beautiful’). Further, sex as dirty, a sin; the female body and its reproductive organs as something to be owned, covered, and legislated. Beyond merely human flesh, there is the abuse of other natural resources – whether animal flesh or plant beings – they are mere objects to be used in service to our species-centric considerations. Not considered precious and rare by too many. And in these times, I don’t think I need do more than mention the issue of the earth’s mineral and oil deposits and the embattled relationships that have evolved around that form of matter.
All matter is sacred. But luminous matter? It is a beautiful phenomenon, rare and precious — just a mere 4 percent of our universe. It is luminous us — and trees, rivers, oceans, insects, stars and chocolate. Think about it.