“We are made of star stuff” is a phrase we’ve all heard many times. In a recent interview with cosmologist Brian Thomas Swimme, Ph.D., author of Cosmogenesis: The Unveiling of the Expanding Universe, I was most impressed and became vividly aware of this wonderment. Indeed I am made of star stuff!!! He writes, “[E]ach carbon atom in our bodies, without exception, come from a star… Humans flower forth from the supernova explosion like roses from a rose bush.”
He goes on to convey how stars are the original “bestower’s of grace.”
“Traditional language refers to unmerited love and grace, as love freely given. Stars, then, are bestowers of grace, are bestowers of life. This is true in a general sense, but we need to bring to mind as well the specific stars that fashioned the particular atoms of our body. Soon the scientists will trace our personal biographies back to the exact stars that gave us our bodies. Following that, the poets will give these ancestors names. We are their offspring. We’re those particular stars in a later form.
Reading this fills me with awe. It got me to wonder which ancient star makes up the carbon atoms of my body. I’d like to think my carbon comes from Beta Librae of the Libra Constellation.
Just imagine at some future date when we go on-line to look up our family tree, ancestry will catalog our grandparents, our great-grandparents, our great, great grandparents, on and on back to our original parent, the actual star that gave us life.
This cosmological fact puts a much larger context on the gift that my life is. It makes me wonder what I am doing with this great endowment from a star and how I am paying it forward.