I love finding out about the universe we live in, because I know that the concept “as above, so below” is true. The laws and the patterns we see operating in the outer world or macrocosm can be applied just as accurately to our inner world or microcosm, so our environment provides us with endless learning opportunities.
To that end, I was watching a documentary about black holes the other day. When they were first discovered, these phenomenon were described as dark and frightening cosmic monsters, swallowing everything in their path. They were, basically, places you really wouldn’t want to be as they signalled only destruction, disappearance and death.
In more recent years science has discovered that, in fact, there is a supermassive black hole at the centre of every galaxy, created at its birth. These black holes emit tremendous amounts of radiation and energy (and even light, oh yes light!) which bathes the whole galaxy, influencing everything contained within it. Not only that, but the size of the supermassive black hole is relative to the size and mass of its galaxy which proves just how intertwined they are. So rather than rampaging around the universe in a maverick fashion devouring everything they can get their event horizon on, supermassive black holes are contributing in a vital way to the life of their galaxies, helping to hold everything in the right place and functioning correctly.
So how can we see this story paralleled in our own lives, and more importantly how can we learn from it? A good question, and there are many ways, I promise!
When some new and unfamiliar event or situation comes along we tend to brand it immediately as unpleasant, frightening, and bound to bring nothing good. We’re usually suspicious of any change, and we like to stick with what we know, so anything different is automatically negative. Oooooh, nasty black holes, never seen anything like that before, they must be the big bad wolves of the cosmos!
Then there’s the fact that when we choose to shine the light of our attention on something that frightens us, as the Hubble telescope is beaming its focus into space, it immediately begins to look a little brighter and a little less scary. If we continue to explore and study the unknown, then we eventually discover that there’s valuable information held within this dark space about ourselves and how we operate on a deep level. We see that this thing we don’t like or fear is just another part of the greater galaxy of us, as essential to our healthy functioning as all the more starry-bright bits. Even more, once we recognise and fully embrace what was obscure, we can only be stronger and more stable as a result. Knowledge is power.
Finally, whenever a hole opens up and sucks something out of our lives like a job, a home, or a relationship, we can think it’s the end of the world at first. We can feel as if there’s just one big, empty, all-devouring void eating away at our very existence. But then, with some time and space, something miraculous happens. We decide not to return to the 9 to 5 slog and set up a business we’re passionate about, we realise that actually we’ve always fancied trying an alternative lifestyle and we get a live-in van, or we spend more time with our friends and have to admit we’re having an awful lot of fun. Our life rearranges itself into a more perfect configuration, perfectly balanced and re-energised in a way it couldn’t possibly have been if we hadn’t had a close encounter with Sagittarius A (the black hole at the centre of our particular Milky Way galaxy).
So don’t be too quick to judge the black holes in your life, or be too afraid to boldly go where they are. At first glance they may look terrifyingly monstrous, but without them we would have no life at all, and we’d miss out on some creative big bangs!