Try as it might, an ant could never fully comprehend the world we know. Ants lack the brain capacity to understand it, and they’re also restricted by their proportion to the environment.
What’s small to the human eye is gigantic to an ant: a mushroom growing from the ground, a dandelion, a leaf. Strands of grass are like skyscrapers. Ants even build their own intricate societies, which to the human eye are just a mound of dirt. Their world looks minuscule and rather unimportant to us, but to an ant it’s their whole existence. As far as we know, they have little comprehension of what exists beyond dirt lumps and grass skyscrapers.
Similarly, though we can grasp our surroundings, there’s no way we can understand what’s beyond it. But we want desperately to know, so we try to reduce its complexity by fitting it into books and creating images of God that mirror human qualities. To fathom what we can’t understand, we try to mold it into ideas, systems and structures that we’re already familiar with. And by doing that, we only gather a fraction of the whole.
Humans are ants in the world, and the world is an ant to the galaxy we live in, and the galaxy is an ant to the universe, which may be only one of many. When we accept our inability to comprehend it, we can release the need to control it. Panic of the unknown – death, purpose, the “whys” of life – melt away when we no longer demand the answers. We find life’s sweet spot when we let go of control and trust that there are answers… they’re just beyond our ant-like minds.
That sweet spot – when we’re not consumed with control or panic – is where we find space to simply appreciate it all: the complexity of a dragonfly, the sweet sound of birdsong, the masterpiece that unfolds in the sky every morning and evening, and the other number of inexplicable things we witness every. single. day. Is it too much to simply admire it?