This I wrote tonight, not only because my great nieces are interested in astronomy, but also because the because the temperature and humidity are becoming just right for getting out my old Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrainian telescope:
There is so much to see and wonder about out there! And superficially and deeply inside the here-and-now and there-and-then! The theologian, Rudolph Otto was blown away with the immense mystery of the "out there." He sophisticated the tremendous mystery by calling it the Mysterium Tremendum! I don't know of more graphic ways to experience this, but by probing the universe at the most extreme limits of dimension: macroscopic, microscopic, telescopic, and so on: from the smallest to the largest, most immediate to the most remote, and everything in between.
With an ecological perspective I am ever on the alert for what is connected to what, in what ways, and in what most significant and practical ways. Telescope, microscope, electron microscope, animations such as we may experience at xvivo.com and worldwidetelescope.com, can take us right there if we are not averse to awe. What a wonderful ride to have available to take, even more so lately, with the network of connections we have available, and may tote in our pockets and purses.
We are being continually invited to experience wave after wave of discovery, of exhilaration, of uplifting of spirit, of "mojo." So much is staring us in the face that we can't see. How long did it take Pythagoras to discover that a-squared plus b-squared equals c-squared? How many centuries until the mentally ill Sir Isaac Newton took that and ran with it: discovered stuff that a normal person would not be capable of seeing? I was six weeks into my calculus course, with zeros on every weekly exam, before I began to see the light.
Emerson starts his essay, History, "There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent."
I like the idea, "inlet." I also notice that Emerson was to not a small extent "culture-bound," since feminism had yet not been discovered. I might just let him get by with that this time, since there is much to redeem him in this essay.
My main point, my take home message, is that I am exhilarated by the idea that I can think what great men think. They are great because they make sense to people who will carry them on and will not let them die. In a sense one might say that this heritage of hope is their heaven!