Blushing Omnicentricity

As current cosmological theories put it, the universe began with an explosion of energy called the Big Bang or the Great Flaring Forth. We postulate the universe began in a Big Bang, for two reasons. First of all, everything outside of our galaxy accelerates away from us. I know, ouch. That is the price one pays for being the center of the universe. Not that we are the only center of the universe. Turns out, in the Big Bang model, the center of the universe exists everywhere.

If every point in the universe, not gravitationally bound together, expands away from every other point in the universe, like polka dots on the surface of an expanding balloon, then one concludes it must have all started out in the same place. The center continues to expand into every point in the universe. According to the Big Bang model, all points began in the center and all points continue as the center, as they expand away from each other. The universe is omnicentric, meaning its center resides everywhere. The scientific explanation just showed up, but the idea predates the science. Here Black Elk of the Oglala Lakota expresses the same idea,

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.[1]

Instead of being perfectly cold as one might expect a universe rushing away from all its centers might feel, the vastness of empty space has a blush to it, belying past affections. This blush of heat also suggests universe’s original flaring forth. Everything spreading out, suggests it all came from the same place initially. The Universal Blush, remembers that timeless moment when you were me, and I was you, and all the matter of the universe smooshed into a womb-like cuddle puddle of unified timeless light just waiting to disentangle itself to see who is who. Whether in the bedroom or the womb, such intimacy feels blissful for only so long however.

After savoring the delicious coziness for a while, one begins to feel twinges of discomfort–too warm, kind of cramped, irritable–and begins wiggling, trying to get comfortable, and making everyone else uncomfortable. If we ignore these twinges rather than acting upon them, not wanting to disturb the others, then they can escalate to feelings of being smothered, suffocated, paralyzed, and irate. [2] Pushing away happens, either gently or with explosive force.

The Blush remembers that intimate moment and its disruption, now standing back, the morning after, embarrassed, shy, and trying to get its bearings as separate entities, not sure of how to proceed in the light of day, in finite space-time where everyone goes about their own business again.

On every scale of creation, this fundamental pattern plays out: coming together and pushing away, contraction and expansion, attraction and repulsion. From our relationship with our parents, to our lovers, to our children, to the earth with the sun, to the sun’s nucleosynthesis fueled brightness, and supernova’s element nurseries, all acts of creation exist at the boundary between attraction and repulsion.

Most people call The Blush “Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.” If we were not all in love once, in a giant cuddle puddle, then the space between the stars and planets would measure as perfectly cold, zero degrees Kelvin[3], zero molecular motion[4], no blush. But there it is, 2.7 degrees Kelvin in every direction. A lover only needs the tiniest shred of a handkerchief to confirm the reality of their love and hope to glimpse it’s magic again.

Smiley blush CMBR

Overlay of blushing emoji onto NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) image of the whole sky infant universe compiled form nine years of data collection. The color fluctuations indicate temperature variations, on the order of ± 200 microKelvin, that grew into present day galaxies Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team WMAP # 121238 Image Caption 9 year WMAP image of background cosmic radiation (2012)


[1] Black Elk. 1953. The sacred pipe: Black Elk’s account of the seven rites of the Oglala Sioux. Edited by Joseph Epes Brown. Vol. 36. University of Oklahoma Press.

[2] Now the reader might notice I have described a sequential process where I have also claimed the nonexistence of time. This seems paradoxical, and it is. It is a result of the edge effect of looking at and trying to describe a state of timelessness from within the process of time. One can only approximate the “other” from an experience of what it is not. We can describe timelessness to the best of our ability from within a temporal perspective, but must keep in mind the limitations of this description.

[3] Zero degrees Kelvin is -273 degrees Celcius.

[4] Temperature is a measure of the average energy of an object’s molecular motion, also known as average internal kinetic energy

This post is an excerpt from my book in progress, “The Texture of Time” by Kerri Welch.


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