We Are All the Reincation of Beethoven

Every atom you pos­sess has almost cer­tain­ly passed through sev­er­al stars and been part of mil­lions of organ­isms on its way to becom­ing you. We are each so atom­i­cal­ly numer­ous and so vig­or­ous­ly recy­cled at death that a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of our atoms — up to a bil­lion for each of us, it has been sug­gest­ed — prob­a­bly once belonged to Shakespeare.

A bil­lion more each came from Bud­dha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any oth­er his­tor­i­cal fig­ure you care to name.

So we are all rein­car­na­tions – though short-lived ones. When we die our atoms will dis­as­sem­ble and move off to find new uses else­where – as part of a leaf or oth­er human being or drop of dew.

Bill Bryson, A Short His­to­ry of Near­ly Everything

This is an amaz­ing truth, pop­u­lar­ized by sci­en­tists like Neil deGrasse Tyson & Lawrence Krauss, not to men­tion the “We Are All Con­nect­ed” video by Sym­pho­ny of Science:

For most of my life, i would often pon­der & amaze myself with the truth that the water & air we’re breath­ing is the same stuff the dinosaurs drank. My vision was nar­row, but it hint­ed at a broad­er truth: Not only are we sus­tained by the same resources which have sus­tained life on Earth since life began, but our very atoms are tied to the past.

Past life. Past stars.

Maybe even past alien civilizations?

We are all connected.


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Rick Beckman