The Wonders of the Universe by Brian Cox

This is a 4 part series on BBC 4 where he uses information gained from previous series of his like The Planets, The Wonders of Life or Forces of Nature, to explore in ever increasing detail how and when our world came to be formed.

The first part Destiny talks about how entropy was discovered by accident using the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This is a given for those that like trains, maths or physics which is usually the same people but it explains how time travels in one direction only and therefore we can see the difference between the past and the future. Cause and effect means you can define your place in time by looking at the state of decay of your surroundings. The Arrow of Time indicates the passage of time which we are all subject to even the stars although their timescale is much, much greater than our own.

Part 2 is about Stardust. Here he analyses the fact that everything in the universe is made of the same 92 elements. We can discover that we are in fact the same as stars by looking at the reactions of those chemical compounds. It turns out that to create all of the elements necessary for life stars have to die. The bigger the star, the more elements are created due to the energy given off from the heat that is created from its destruction.

The 3rd part deals with gravity and is entitled Falling (No Alicia Keys here;)) Falling as it turns out is an essential way to explain how gravity works using Einstein’s theory of relativity as our guide. Newton’s laws of physics can only take us so far and in fact they are not sufficient to explain things like the odd elliptical orbit of Mercury. When talking about gravity you have to mention black holes from which nothing not even light can escape.

Part 4 is on Messengers. This is about the different forms light can take from straight forward white sunlight to a rainbow to infra red and even radio waves. Heat itself is just another form of light only on a different wavelength. Here he talks about the age of the universe and how while it was relatively easy to break the sound barrier it was much more difficult to break the speed of light. For much of history even didn’t even know that light had a speed until it was discovered that the speed of the orbit of Io one of Jupiter’s moon seemed to differ depending on what time of year it was. The orbit in fact never changed just our position in relation to it. As we got further away light took longer to reach us therefore we thought it was changing rather than ourselves. The speed of light is now what is termed a light year and this is used to measure how far away distant stellar objects are.

To compare methods I also watched a program on the Discovery Science channel done by Stephen Hawking about whether “God did create the universe or not.”

It is his belief that a divine creator could not possibly have had time to create anything because of the quantum laws of physics. This is how the universe could be created out of nothing utilising Einstein’s theory of relativity – E = MC2. As time didn’t exist before matter/energy and space was created by the Big Bang; nobody else did either.

Best wishes


The philosophy of WestWorld

This tv show is the philosophical successor to the Matrix. This show is so amazing in how it captures your attention and makes you think so deeply about what is real and what is worthy of your attention. It strips away all artifice and lays bare who you really are at your core. I dare you to watch this show and not be transformed after viewing it. It’s a good way to analyse your own psyche without having to under go hypnosis, meditation or even go as as far as visiting a retreat or taking transcendental drugs.

To examine what is real and what is not is a very Buddhist way of thinking. Becoming one with yourself and seeking the true path to enlightenment is quite some task. This is what religion has tried to inspire in us over the millennia to varying degrees of success. Since it is so difficult to achieve and none is ever sure how to do it or what happens when it has been achieved. Numerous books have been written on the subject with their own version of attaining self actualisation. I believe we all try to attain this state at some point in our lives. We just differ in our methods of attempting this process.

I believe my way of entering this trance state is every time I watch a programme that commands my entire attention. This is rare that I enter this flow state but it is beautiful. I feel reborn and that I am connected to everything in the universe. I know that everything is going to be fine because I am at peace with the world. The state of catharsis is the most blissful feeling you can have. It is the absence of feeling but also a complete and utter fulfilment. So you are full of the most magnificent cleanliness. It is difficult to describe the fullness and emptiness at the same time.

This is however when we are at our most free and at our most creative. When we connect to ourselves and our very being it is a marvellous thing to behold. We need to hold on to this higher state of being for as long as possible as we all want to reach nirvana one day and to remain for as long as possible if not for eternity.

Since we are currently in both catholic and orthodox Lent, it is fortuitous that I am currently feeling that way and it’s only just begun. The whole purpose of this time is to get to get closer to the most pure version of ourselves. When we purify through lack of stimulants both external and internal; we open our minds and bodies to the possibility of greatness. When we stop all the different versions of ourselves that we need for our daily lives and become the one that is the crux of our being; then we can rise above everything and be the very best version of ourselves. In doing so we can help all those around in their personal quests too. For a healthy community nourishes the land, life and everything.

Have you ever thought you would be able to achieve such a state of peace?

Wishing you all well,