Spiritual Roar

In 1995, the majestic spiral galaxy NGC 4414 was imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope as part of the HST Key Project on the Extragalactic Distance Scale. An international team of astronomers, led by Dr. Wendy Freedman of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, observed this galaxy on 13 different occasions over the course of two months. Images were obtained with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) through three different color filters. Based on their discovery and careful brightness measurements of variable stars in NGC 4414, the Key Project astronomers were able to make an accurate determination of the distance to the galaxy. The resulting distance to NGC 4414, 19.1 megaparsecs or about 60 million light-years, along with similarly determined distances to other nearby galaxies, contributes to astronomers' overall knowledge of the rate of expansion of the universe. In 1999, the Hubble Heritage Team revisited NGC 4414 and completed its portrait by observing the other half with the same filters as were used in 1995. The end result is a stunning full-color look at the entire dusty spiral galaxy. The new Hubble picture shows that the central regions of this galaxy, as is typical of most spirals, contain primarily older, yellow and red stars. The outer spiral arms are considerably bluer due to ongoing formation of young, blue stars, the brightest of which can be seen individually at the high resolution provided by the Hubble camera. The arms are also very rich in clouds of interstellar dust, seen as dark patches and streaks silhouetted against the starlight.

Quantum physics suggests that at the very minuscule level all that there is, all that we are, is energy.

It might sound quite new-age-y, but it actually is a dry and simple scientific view.

Now, I consider myself to be a rationalist.

I know. So who is the Spirit Mommy then? you are thinking.

Well. Me. Again.

I come from a classical background. I studied Latin and ancient Greek both as languages and literatures, and philosophy was a passion of mine in college. I then moved on to History of Art at uni, before journalism.

Brief, “rational” is a word engraved in my formation.

Same goes with “beauty“, though.

The classical ancient world and philosophy have beauty (physical, moral or spiritual) at their centre, and arts are beauty.

When you start searching for beauty, sooner or later you bump into spirit.


When I was in the hospital pool giving birth to my son I had this roar coming from my throat that was a sound I never heard before. It was new and loud and extraordinary but not scary. It was, I believe, beautiful. Ancient, too.

That roar was raw beauty.

It was mine, but deep down a mother giving birth knows that, more than anything else, hers is a roar of energy coming from far away.

And perhaps far away is the same as far inside. Channeling through her a heart-quake of life.

Because beauty, at the sublime level, becomes spirituality. And I am not talking about magic stones here. I am talking about a whole connected universe of immensely big planets and stars moving together in complex mechanism and infinitesimally small atoms forming everything in it. Even me and you. And our newborn babies.

Energy, then. All connected beauty.




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