Monday, August 10, 2009


This may appear to be a beautiful inanimate piece of jade embedded with chips of gold, but it is the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly. Within it, a universe of events is generating a most amazing metamorphosis, a metamorphosis that will change the way this organism disperses matter and energy.

The metamorphosis will change this:

to this.

So what is going on in this jade-and-gold jewel, and why should we call it cosmic? Consider this dynamic from the point of view of the dispersal of matter and energy. Monarch caterpillars eat leaves and disperse the once solid leaf matter and energy. The light of life in this sense is the same as the light of a candle flame that disperses the solid matter of the candle into a dispersed mix of gases, light and heat. The candle dissappears, and in this case, soe does the caterpillar!

As the leaf becomes part of the caterpillar's life force and being, a portion of the organized matter that was once "leaf" becomes dispersed as heat, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and a few other waste products.

But the youngster is also storing some of that leafy matter and energy, everything it will need to morph into a form that will consume an entirely different diet of matter and energy—an adult butterfly.

Within the jewel, the caterpillar is literally dissolving, and patches of tissue that lay dormant in the jeuvinile, are developing into a new head, a new body, new wings, new muscles, and an entirely new apparatus for dispersing matter and energy. The butterfly, unlike its "other self," will consume nectar from flowers, not leaves— a new self!

The universe has designed a creature with a double-dispersal life! That's the way it is in the cosmos. Nature finds as many ways as possible to disperse matter and energy—many of them quite beautiful to look at.

Does the Cosmos have a sense of humor?

(c) R. E. Morel 2009 All rights reserved

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Water into Wine

These are yeast cells. They ferment the sugars in grapes and produce the alcohol in wine. But that isn't the whole story. Wine is more than just alcohol.

Grape-vine leaves capture the Sun's energy (energy from the cosmos) and package it tightly into grape sugars. The vines use some of that sugar energy to manufacture and incorporate, through complex biochemistry, the universe of ingredients that we find in mature grapes. Those ingredients are the foundation for the enormous array of delicate and distinct wine varieties and vintages that we celebrate.

Now here's the water into wine part. The sugars in grapes are made from just two ingredients, carbon dioxide and WATER. Well not all of the water. Water is made up of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, H2O. To make sugar, the hydrogen in water must become available and combined with carbon dioxide. Grapevine leaves use the Sun's energy to strip the hydrogen atoms out of water molecules making them available for combination with carbon dioxide. Without water we wouldn't have wine. By the way, you are breathing the leftover from this stripping process—oxygen!

Why is wine making a cosmic event? Remember the central cosmic theme? The Universe figures out the best ways of dispersing energy and matter. Wine making transforms grape "matter and energy" into a less tightly packaged form of grapes, a liquid form that begs to be dispersed further. Wine drinking is the final rendering of grape matter and energy back to the starting point. If you've had a glass of wine recently, some of your breath is dispersing the carbon dioxide and water that once was "grape."

Wine making and wine drinking are expressions of the same cosmic force that guides the genesis stars and candle flames!


Monday, August 3, 2009

The Spider and the Fly

A creature from outer space?

This is a close-up of a spider's "face." If we keep in mind that Earth is just as "out there" as anywhere else in the Universe, we could say that this is indeed a creature from outer space. And spiders are expressions of the same cosmic theme that fashions stars from stardust. They are very good at capturing a tight package of matter and energy, like, say, a fly and dispersing it to the surroundings. We'll see how this works but first a little poetry.

The Spider and the Fly—an excerpt
Mary Howitt

"Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!"

We all know what happened to the fly. Can't feel too sorry, since, if you read the whole poem, she is a victim of her own vanity.

Let's look look a this tragic tale from a cosmic perspective. A fly is, like the wax and wick in a candle and a gigantic cosmic dust cloud, a highly concentrated bit of matter and energy. Our cosmic theme predicts that a means of dispersing it will arise. In this case it's a spider. Injections from the spider's fangs liquefy the fly's insides and the spider digests the meal. The energy in the matter that was once the fly's inner body is eventually dispersed to the surroundings as heat. The spider uses some of the matter in the fly to maintain its body and some becomes dispersed as carbon dioxide and water vapor. The "unused portion," essentially the fly's skeleton, will be dispersed by other life forms, such as bacteria.

Next: Water into wine. What do these have to do with it?

(c) copyright, R. E.Morel 2009. All rights reserved.