The Insatiable Mind

by Maricel

I am basically a by-product of my inquisitive mind.

Whereas schooling helped me test and validate my presumptions, it is my inherent desire for knowledge that drove me to know more beyond what the classroom could offer.

My late high school Physics instructor, Mrs. Marapao would often remind us to always aspire to learn more, to know more, to never let that thirst for knowledge be quenched. “If it’s additional schooling that’s needed, then by any means, take it; through whichever way, just do not let that want, die a natural death.”

For many years since I was a kid, I believe I have always lived by that principle.

At a young age, I begin to get so fascinated about Science. I dreamt of being an astronaut when I grow up (actually until now). While kids my age were busy playing with others before dusk, I would go to one corner in the corn field where we used to play, and lift my head up to the heavens. It’s a delight to see and count meteorites…night after night after night, regardless of how tired and pained my neck would become. I would look closely at the moon and how it would be like watching the earth from there. What could lie beyond it? The galaxy? This universe? How stars and the night sky can be so beautiful to look at! Every night, my mind would drift with the stars somewhere and my heart breaks for those countless red stars that I saw—as I was taught that red stars are the oldest and that they will all eventually die and explode. To a young fanatic, that is not a good thought to reckon with—how something so beautiful and real could just not last forever. So many questions thrived that baffles the young mind—if there are other life forms in other celestial bodies who like us, are scouring the universe to find that proof that we are co-existing with others in the universe—that ultimately, we and them, are not really alone as we claim we are.

My interest in Physical and Earth Sciences peaked when I was in high school, the same time I got overly engrossed with History, Literature and Geography. Instead of spending my weekends like normal teenagers do, I made way to learn something better. Books of these subjects became my occasional playmates. To me, the library is a paradise. Being a teenager doesn’t mean a lot to me other than finding ways to learn more. It was fun learning something new each day and sharing that discovery to anyone interested. I rejoiced in every opportunity of learning that came along.

When I went to college, the varying time-demanding tasks which were core priorities lessened the time I spent on advancing my interests. I slowly drifted away from what used to be the love of my childhood life. I got estranged on purpose. As much as I would love to, time did not allow me. What used to be habits now became dreams; instead of doing, I got accustomed to wishing—that I could go back to that place and time when all I did was get lost in the mystery that is the universe.

Time drifted away and here I am now, still on my quest for knowledge, but in a different sphere. Not only did my priorities changed but also some ideas which I regarded as truth like those that played along with my young mind as I watched the ginormous creation before me. Time has a way of changing our hearts but regardless of what changes and what remains, the truth about how I view myself with respect to the universe never changes. I am no less than a fraction of a tiny speck of dust—a truth that reminds me how privileged I am to have lived this far in this world.

But how insignificant my physical presence really is in relation to this universe? Perhaps as minuscule as a nanno subatomic particle. Or see for yourself.

If it did not make you question your existence, I don’t know what will.

The cosmos is so strange and mysterious and magical. Like the physical earth itself that we see, feel and live and exploit. From time to time we get newer discoveries about our mega universe, through explorations born out of people’s hunger and thirst for knowledge. The more we know about the universe, the more complex the theories becomes. Instead of getting answers to satisfy our wonder, we embark on a multitude of newer whys, whats, and hows..  which all seek to be answered. The cycle of questioning becomes perennial and man’s inquisitive mind restless.

I have not known enough yet to stop asking. But I also do not seek to know everything that I may let life pass before me without enjoying every moment of it. (I’ve gone through that phase already). I may not live my dream of being an astronaut (which I knew is too far-fetched to consider) or being able to watch the earth from the moon or the ISS… or even die without having to see the Perseids once again. But life as a mystery itself is worth exploring. I would still dream about the galaxy and everything above but I shall continue to live basking on the glory that life has offered me—the sunrises and sunsets, the familiar mountain that held memories of struggle, the sound of rain and wind, the smell of a forest and berries, the dandelions and the roses, ocean, people. The earth.

Man never really stops thinking and questioning. He just learn to subdue his insatiable nature by living for the moment.

I do.

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