Why Celebrating Evolution Will Make You Successful

What makes you successful? Is it amazing genes, smarts, beauty, friendliness, or something else?

Evolution is about success over time. Success is about survival of fittest, whether it’s the survival of the tiger with the sharpest claws, the peacock with the brightest plumage, or ants with the best ability to cooperate. What makes humans successful?

Humans have many attributes that contribute to their success, such as friendliness, cleverness, the ability to envision the future, love, nurturing, wisdom. One often overlooked capacity is CELEBRATION. To celebrate is to honor a person or event. Celebration is a way that people remind themselves of what they want to focus on creating in their life.

Celebrate what you want to see more of.

~ Tom Peters

Celebration relaxes the body while simultaneously energizing it. A relaxed and energized brain is better at solving problems. People who celebrate have more fun, are friendlier, are more generous, are less stressed, are more creative, and thus more successful.

What better way to celebrate than to observe the thing most worthy of all celebrations? And what is most worthy of celebration? Why the ORIGIN and CREATION of the COSMOS itself!

Some people celebrate the beauty of creation every day when they wake up to the promise of a new day, just as they celebrate their loved ones every time they meet.

But what about an extra special day of celebration? Of course we are happy to have friends every day. And, for one special day of the year, we celebrate that person by honoring them on their birthday.

So too, we can have a special day for celebrating the creativity of our universe. One special day when we can gather to celebrate the moment when this universe came in to being and began the long march toward the birth of Planet Earth, the birth of life, and the birth of humanity. Hurray!

Celebration is the Antidote to Despair

But isn’t it disrespectful to celebrate when so many people are suffering? When people are dying of Coronavirus? When millions have lost their jobs, when countless others are stressed and dying of despair? Each day, we learn of new disasters: devastating fires, hurricanes, floods, droughts, famines, terrorism, mass shooters. 

These problems are very real and existential threats loom ever larger.

And yet, humans have faced existential threats since before we were human. Death and extinction have been have been a part of our evolutionary journey.

Humans have been able to overcome so many of these threats to our existence through the power of our minds to predict and prevent. Using our minds, we know that stockpiling food will get us through seasons of poor crops. We are learning about infectious disease and ways to prevent them. We learn and we prevail.

And one of the best ways to learn is through joy. When we learn, our brain rewards us with dopamine, which makes us feel good and energized. By promoting the cycle of joy, we also promote the cycle of learning, and so SUCCESSFULLY deal with the problems facing each of us individually and as a species.

In order to effectively respond to these challenges,  we are free to step back and look at the whole of existence and give thanks for our lives, for the universe, and for the powers that make everything possible. by celebrating the vast creative process, we renew a sense of possibility. With a renewed sense of possibility, we can more effectively find creatives solutions to these challenges.

Why October 23?

What day shall we gather to celebrate the Birth of the Universe?

We will likely never know the day this universe began. But that should not stop us from celebrating the day that was the most auspicious of all days.

While the exact birth date of our universe may never be known, physicists tell us that our Universe burst forth 13.8 billion years ago (give or take a few million years).

This presents us with a dilemma: what is the best date each year to throw a birthday party for the Universe, an occasion certainly worth celebrating?

Many people already celebrate this day of creation. Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah each year sometime in September. Many Christians celebrate Creation Day on October 23. Both of these religions mark the day that God created the universe.

While many don’t necessarily believe in God, all (most?) of us acknowledge that this particular universe had a beginning.

In the mid 1600s, many Europeans were inspired by the age of Enlightenment with its power of reason, observation and calculation to better the human condition.

One of the people inspired by these Enlightenment ideals was James Ussher, the Archbishop of Ireland. Like other thinkers of his era, such as Newton, Locke and Leibniz, Ussher used his powers of observation and calculation to determine when the universe was born. Ussher consulted various historical texts and the Bible to calculate the date our universe came into being. He calculated that God created the universe on the eve of  October 23, 4004 B.C.

While some may ridicule Ussher for his calculation that the universe was created only a few thousand years ago and for giving a precise date to a time that is surely unknowable, he, like other scholars of his era, had little data available to date the universe.  Two hundred years after Ussher, the best scientists, (including Charles Darwin) thought the Earth was only a few million years old.  And, less than 60 years ago, many physicists believed that our universe was eternal and had no beginning. It was only in 1965 that scientists discovered convincing evidence that the universe had a beginning. Only a decade ago, physicists pushed back the origin another several hundred million years. Dating the origin of the universe shows that science is a process of discovery, not a dogmatic recitation of facts. We could judge Bishop Ussher harshly, or, we could celebrate Ussher’s spirit of seeking the truth that would eventually set all of us free.

Were Ussher alive today,  his enthusiasm for science would have led him to agree that the age of the universe is around 14 billion years. In addition to being Professor of Divinity at Dublin’s Trinity College, Ussher embraced  Galileo’s idea that the Earth revolved around the Sun.   Inspired by the newly emerging scientific age which employed the best information available, Ussher consulted various sources when writing his chronology of the world. Ussher was also a deeply religious man and in 1658, he published his timeline in Annals of the Old Testament, which sought to reconcile the science of his era with his faith.

Was the universe born in September? Was October 23 the day the universe was born?  Who knows?  Months and days are human creations.

No matter the day, it is to our benefit as individuals and to our success as a species that celebrate the most amazing event, the birth of the universe.

I invite you to find a day to celebrate the occasion of the most auspicious moment of all: when the universe was born.

October 23, 13,800,000,000 BC

Like many people, I too am deeply inspired by the awe and wonder of the Power that Creates the Universe.   And like many of these people, I like to devote a day of the year to celebrate the birth of existence and the whole creative process that eventually gave rise to galaxies, to stars, to planets, to life, to culture, to you, to your loved ones and to your dreams.

If you like, I would LOVE to have you join me on October 23 to celebrate Creation Day. On October 23, I gather with friends to celebrate the most momentous event of all time, the event that created time and space and everything in it. We mark this day with thanksgiving and songs of celebration. We rejoice for the awe and wonder of existence and its glorious unfolding into life, into ever greater awareness, and into ever more empathy and love. It’s also a day we renew our commitment to creating a flourishing future.

So on October 23, I invite you to celebrate the birth of the universe, the moment that set into motion all the other events that we celebrate.   This is a day to rejoice for the awe and wonder of the magnificent unfolding of life into awareness and into love. Creation Day is also a day we may renew our commitment to creating a flourishing future.

Whatever day you decide to celebrate the creation and evolution of our universe, I hope you give celebration a try. At the very least, celebration will give you a few moments of joy. At the best, spending time to celebrate this magnificent universe will offer you perspective and even new solutions to create your own most amazing life. By celebrating the creation of the cosmos, you will succeed in creating your own most wonderful life.

How do you Celebrate the Birth of our Universe?

Do you have rituals, songs or special ways that you celebrate the birth of the beautiful universe? What is your favorite way to celebrate? I would love to hear from you. Please connect with me. cat 23 at me dot com.

Learn more about the age of the universe and Bishop Usscher:

Age of the Universe – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_universe

Bishop Ussher Dates the World: 4004, BC. byDr. Donald E. Simanek, Emeritus Professor of Physics,  Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm

Rereading Darwin: Science now takes for granted the importance of forces and time spans we can’t perceive directly by Robert L. Dorit http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/keyboards-codes-and-the-search-for-optimality

Usscher and Galileo http://discourse.biologos.org/t/dr-cavaliers-comments-re-ussher-and-galileo/27