I was up early. I wanted to see the sunrise, and I had to go to the opposite side of the island to see it. There was something about the sunset the night before that made me want to see the same cycle in reverse. I watched it mesmerized!
Afterwards, I went for a swim in the surf feeling somehow different. As if I had witnessed and understood some cycle that seemed so simple, but was actually astonishingly complex.
Sunset and sunrise are so much more than they seem. So very much more! I had been doing a lot of research into what our scientists are discovering about our universe. This is what we have learned at the dawn of this new millennium.
It seems that the Universe or more likely the creator of the Universe created a movement that lead to life based on pre-existing laws.
The laws by which the universe operates were created before the Universe began. When just the right circumstances occur, there is life. So far our little planet is the only one we know to have life. As we discover other solar systems we find that ours is unique. A famous physicist recently stated that the odds for life are about the same as winning a million dollar lottery a million times in a row.
As we understand more and more of physics and cosmology it tells us that life is precious. Life it now seems is one of the rarest oddities in the known Universe. So much engineering is involved. Just a few years ago, they were all telling us how common it must be, with billions of civilizations out there. Based on some new discoveries, they aren’t saying that anymore!
First there was the singularity. In an instant the singularity created out of nothing an infinite amount of mass and stretched out the fabric of space and time before it. This primordial mass exploded into existence in a flash of infinite light. As it cooled and expanded it began to gather in various places along the space time substrate. From this the first stellar fires began to burn.
These vast solar furnaces churn out heavier elements by fusing lighter ones together. Then these stars must die a spectacular death exploding and releasing their precious elements to space. This cycle must be repeated many times. Over eons all this material accumulates and organizes itself into very complex structures. Super Clusters, Local groups, Galaxies, suns, planets, and one with a biosphere – Earth.
The Earth is amazingly fertile. It took a whole universe of stars to manufacture it, and some amazing intelligence to set up the design and get the process going. You can see the Creator in the laws left behind. Laws that must be obeyed. These Laws formed the stars and made the planets. These same laws in a billion billion different ways ultimately made humanity. It would seem that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.
I looked out over the water, but I could not see my dolphin friend.
I had a very strong sense that he was there helping my thoughts, but I could not see him.
Like a flash of lightning it occurred to me. His body had nothing to do with it. I was sensing his mind.
I was closer to understanding what he meant by having a dolphin mind.
I was standing on the beach watching the sun set. Crimson streaks fused into indigo and violet splashed across a tangerine sky. The Sun put on its final show for the day.
I was thinking how that majestic curtain call would travel all the way around the world until it became my sunrise. I looked over. My old pal was bobbing up and done in the swells next to a craggy rock covered in emerald moss and wet tangerine highlights.
"It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?" he asked me.
Words could not describe what I was thinking. My friend told me, "I know how you feel".
Of course, my friend deals with feelings more than just about anything else. "I wish I could be a dolphin just like you", I laughed.
"Then, watch the sunset and really understand what is happening. Look at the source behind the scenery. There is an amazing intelligence behind that sunset. Everything is so precisely engineered. When you come to understand what is behind the sunset, then you will be like me. Not a dolphin in the physical sense, but with a dolphin mind."
"I see a beautiful orange ball just starting to touch the flat horizon of the sea. What more is there to see about it"? I asked naively.
"You should see the story behind the sunset." He quickly remarked. "All the material needed to make that star you see and yourself was provided by the singularity of creation. Your scientists call it the ‘Big Bang’, I believe. Other suns that would dwarf the one you are looking at right now made the more exotic materials.
These stellar giants exploded with unbelievable power and violence. Before their glorious demise these forges of the Creator were so hot that they made all the heavy elements, even gold. These were blasted into space and eventually jointed other pockets of gas and dust to create huge clouds or nebulae.
One day there was enough material collected and a huge shock wave from a nearby exploding sun caused it to begin to spin and contract. Much like a typhoon. As it pulls itself in tighter, its mass increases as well as its gravity. It pulls more and more of the space dust and gas into itself. For us this happened 4.6 billions years ago.
100,000 years later it had contracted into a swirling disk with a core that grew hotter and hotter under the pressure of more and more material spiraling into its center. Amazingly, natural physical forces began to sort out the different materials that would make up the inner and outer planets.
In the center the hydrogen gases squeezed to a density 160 times that of water and heated to 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. That was the moment the solar furnace ignited. Hydrogen was being fused into helium and our star the sun was born. It then organized itself in an amazing way that allowed us to be here in the first place.
The sun would keep collapsing upon itself, if not for one thing. The nuclear furnace pushes back against gravity. An intelligent thermostat was built into this amazing sun to allow life on the third planet forming in orbit. If the center begins to cool, it contracts because of gravity. This causes tidal energy to turn the heat back up and the fusion reaction returns to its perfect balance. If the center heats up and expands, it will cool off and gravity will push it back to its rightful place. Now it will burn not too hot and not too cold - just enough energy to sustain the life that would come on that little planet, still forming from the rocky aggregate circling the sun.
The core of the sun is subjected to 200 billion times the pressure on Earth’s surface. It is heated to 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. In this nuclear furnace, 700 million tons of hydrogen atoms are fused together to form 695 millions tons of helium, converting the remaining 5 million tons of matter into energy. This happens every second. This is the energy that makes an incredible trip to reach you here now.
The energy that is released must be carried from one atom to another like a fire brigade. It passes through the five concentric structures of the living sun. This process takes ten million years. During this voyage it is cooled and eventually creates all the temperatures of light - especially the ones most useful to us in the visible range of the spectrum.
Then it’s a quick 9- minute trip through the vacuum of space for a quick and final filtering. Here the fatal frequencies of light are filtered out by our atmosphere. What you are seeing now is that energy tumbling through our atmosphere until it reaches your eyes. The fact that you can see that light and register it is entirely another story.
"So simply put, don’t just see the sunset, but see the Creator behind it." With a flick of his tail and a splash on my face, he was gone. I watched the last golden crescent of the sun slip behind the sea. I will never look at another sunset the same way again.