The Spiritual Black Hole.
You just witnessed the first space image of a giant black hole revealed today and has taken the world by a comet storm. It was thought for a long time that space scientists would never be able to photograph this phenomenon as black holes are an efficient vacuum of all light but today's unveiling proved their doubts wrong.
Uncovering the image for me was quite a surreal experience. There was an ominous glow that overshadowed me as I gazed at this mysterious infernal image. On a canvass of pitch-black soot laid a fire-golden ring molded into what looked like an all-seeing eye staring back at me. At its centre was a hollow, fairly symmetrical hole that looked so gentle, almost inviting me to enchantment. I rather unusually found myself with the sublime and peculiar desire for it to blink gingerly back at me, to acknowledge the awe glimmering in my eyes for those initial moments. Its fiery gaze seemed to intensify and that formative awe melted down into reverential, lava textured fear.
As my imagination continued to anthropomorphize the image of this gargantuan, inescapably dense phenomenon, I started to feel embarrassingly dissatisfied at the thought it would never acknowledge me in the way I felt I deserved. After all, this was the ruin of a dead and collapsed star that sucked surrounding light into its devastating darkness. I rationalized that this was not the kind of phenomenon one should expect to give or acknowledge my advances despite my prematurely ejaculated sense of entitlement.
We often look for divine fingerprints in nature, a sign that we are beheld by a cosmic guide that searches us out, lets us know it cares and shows us the purpose-led way. This explains why we feel favored when it's sunny on our wedding day even if the marriage doesn't last or when the waves are the right height and speed for our surfing trip to the beach even if they drown another child in the undercurrent. The confidence and comfort that comes from believing that the universe actively conspires to make life an auspicious adventure for us seems almost universal. As it pertains to the pictured black hole, maybe some are inclined to only seeing the eye when others see a ring of fire surrounding a perishingly dark abyss. I honestly want to believe more than the evidence seems willing to grant.
Upon consideration, my rational, skeptical mind seems akin to a spiritual black hole that does rob me of the hopeful imaginings of agency beyond the origin of time and matter itself. Is it possible to find wonder in nature without presumed divine agency? Is it fine to revel in the initial impression that the black hole is an window into the supernatural while recognizing this arises from a latent longing for a divine wink? It would be remiss of me to avoid mentioning the gaping emotional void that exists at the centre of this spiritual blackhole where a vibrant faith supernova once occupied. I had so much more divine wonder but the brightness of that now imploded star is now a flaccid vortex several billion times the size of the sun. There is not much consolation in the harsh reality that I am a composite of the dust of ancient stars and my atoms will perhaps one day disappear into a vortex of a neighboring blackhole where I will be utterly forgotten.
And perhaps another civilization might gaze at that black hole with the same existential yearnings and unanswered questions.