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A Blip in the Cosmos

Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Got questions? Rabbi Rami has answers.

Q: We humans are nothing more than a blip in the infinite expanse of the cosmos. Why do people matter? Rabbi Rami: Think of the 26 letters of the English alphabet. These letters are the smallest component of this column—just a blip. Yet without letters there are no words, and without words there are no sentences, and without sentences there are no paragraphs, and without paragraphs there is no column, and without this column there is no pay- check, and without a paycheck there is no food, and without food there is no me, and while I am also a blip, I matter—at least to me, my loved ones, and my creditors. So, while it is true that we humans are just a blip in the cosmos, without blips there is no cosmos at all. Given the drop in religious belief, my Gen Z grandchildren will likely grow up to be atheists. How do I keep this from happening? My grandson is four years old: the last of the Gen Z cohort. He asked me about God the other day and I had three options as to how to respond: (A) I could talk with him about nondual panentheism, explain Spinoza’s notion of God as natura natura …

About the Author

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. In the print version of our magazine, he has an advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addressing reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art. Rabbi Rami hosts our podcast, “Essential Conversations.”

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