It took 13.7 billion years for the atoms to come together to create the portal to the universe which is my physical self … And I feel such deep gratitude for being able to take this conscious look at the universe — at myself as being part of the universe.

So that perspective, and this idea of the universe evolving from energy into simple matter into gradual complexity into microbes on planet Earth and then, two billion years later, the symbiotic merger of a bacteria and an archaea, to create a eukaryote, which exploded complexity, creating us — the complexity and intelligent life that we have today — that vision and just how improbable is my birth and this opportunity just fills me with deep gratitude …

I don’t know what that means, in terms of a soul. I don’t prescribe to anything more. I don’t need anything more, frankly. I’m completely at home with the idea that I’ve had this ephemeral time here to do this, and I’m just so grateful. And that’s enough.

— Natalie Batalha

Tippett, K., Popova, M., & Batalha, N. 2018. Cosmic Imagining, Civic Pondering. On Being.


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