what is real?
A few considerations about the universe and the beings that observe it: In day to day live we mostly take the world around us as generally definable and defined phenomena, which we seem to perceive objectively with our senses. However, modern scientists and mystics alike claim that there is no objective reality. What we experience as real, depends very much on our means of perceiving and even more on how we define ourselves.
One m² of the beach contains about 400 of our close up pictures, which is about one million grains of sand. The whole beach is about 80 000 m², so we have about 80 billion grains of sand on Makena Beach. Now extend your vision and imagine somebody collecting all the sand from all the beaches of the world on one big pile. What a huge collection of grains that would be! According to http://www.cosmotography.com/ researchers at the University of Hawaii have calculated this number by dividing the volume of an average sand grain by the volume of sand covering the Earth's shorelines. The volume of sand was obtained by multiplying the length of the world's beaches by their average width and depth. The number they calculated was seven quintillion five quadrillion (that's 7 500 000 000 000 000 000 or 7.5 billion billion) sand grains!
With the image of this huge pile of sand in mind, let's take a look into the sky. The picture shows just a small portion of the night sky with the constellation Orion, a part of Taurus and a lot more celestial bodies from our galaxy:
There are a lot of little white dots, the stars, visible with the naked eye. But many, many more, when looking through a telescope. 100 to 400 billion stars in our galaxy are the present estimate. Scientists have calculated that the number of stars in the known universe, which consists of approximately 2 trillion galaxies, is even bigger than the number of grains in our huge pile of sand. Even though the total amount of stars can be only a rough estimate, certainly a few more zeros must be added to our above number of sand grains.
Our earth is very, very tiny in comparison with the vastness of the universe and humans are even tinier.
But before you are overcome by depression and emotions of complete smallness, take a look at our pile of sand again and single out one grain only. Imagine taking a tiny chisel and hammer and splitting it up into it's atoms, you will be getting an even larger number of atoms within one tiny grain than the number of stars in the universe. (Picture retrieved from enigmatics)
. Our bodies are more than a million times bigger than a grain of sand. So we are incredibly big in relation to atoms and particles.
The picture shows a model of silicon dioxide molecules (SiO2), which are the main components of a grain of sand. We have no means of taking pictures of these structures, they are way beyond the range of electronic microscopes. But from experiments we know, that the infinitesimal structure should look somehow like this. The light green balls represent the silicon atoms, each one being connected with two of the smaller dark green oxygen atoms.
You may see now, how easy it is to feel superior or inferior just by comparing the size of your body-mind-system to atoms or to stars.
But in our day to day life we don't see galaxies or atoms, instead we only have to deal with a range of medium sized phenomena ranging in most cases from a grain of sand to our sun, which affect our practical lives. If it wouldn't be so, life would be impossible. We can't be simultaneously aware of the macrocosm, where a black hole might be gobbling up a whole galaxy millions of light years away, or of the microcosm, where countless physical processes are going on almost unnoticed in our body, while we sleep or work. . The limitation of perception is necessary for the functioning of our body-mind-system. We are living in a small corridor between the very small and the very big and only in this range sentient beings are ocurring. The limits, which are defining for our range of perception, are changing constantly and are different for each being. There is no objective reality. Every phenomenon is relative. Yet mind tends to draw conclusions from experiences within its limited horizon and takes them as permanently valid for the whole universe.