time to stir the oxygen tanks

30 presence

It was the action which led to the Apollo 13 crisis.  The spacecraft’s cryotanks needed stirring to prevent pockets in the contents where density and temperature varied, and to aid measurement.*

In the fire triad I’ve been writing about – fuel, oxygen, and heat – oxygen represents meaning and purpose, and it’s time to stir up the oxygen tanks.

This morning I heard physicist Brian Cox mention how questions are being asked about whether the universe existed before the Big Bang – perhaps for ever – which set me off on a train of thought.

When it comes to the universe and meaning, many argue there is no purpose and meaning is something Humans give to their existence.  I found myself wondering whether, as accidental Humans,** we’re enabling the universe to answer the question it silently asks: What is my purpose?  After all, we are an expression or output of this same universe. 

We have a mighty long way to go.  We’ve come so far and have hardly started.  This is the business, the story, the conversation we’re in together:

‘Perhaps such certainty about the meaninglessness of it all is premature.^

Seth Godin shares a little feedback from someone who didn’t like his book Linchpin, this person writing how they’d “thrown in the towel on this book 80 pages into it.”  I was curious as to what they missed after putting the book down.  I pulled my copy of Linchpin off the bookshelf and checked out my margin notes after page 80.^^

Page 83: ‘An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo.  And an artist takes it personally.’

An artist is someone who stirs up the oxygen tanks.

(*The mission controller who gave the command, Sy Liebergot, later reflected it was lucky the ensuing explosion happened when it did – earlier or later in the mission and the astronauts may not have made it home.)
(**In the same radio interview, Brian Cox also mentioned Homo Sapiens have Neanderthal DNA in our makeup, meaning we bred with other hominids, turning out to be the people we are today.  Accidental stuff, but here we are, asking questions about meaning and purpose.)
(^From Alex McManus’s Makers of Fire.)
(^^From Seth Godin’s It’s Your Turn.  Godin’s reason for sharing this story is to illustrate how one bad or negative remark can play on us far more heavily than all the positive ones we receive.)

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