Esto viene de What came before the Big Bang?, un ensayo de Alan Lightman en la última Harper’s:
Quantum cosmology has led us to questions about the fundamental aspects of existence and being, questions that most of us rarely ask. In our short century or less, we generally aim to create a comfortable existence within the tiny rooms of our lives. We eat, we sleep, we get jobs, we pay the bills, we have lovers and children. Some of us build cities or make art. But if we have the luxury of true mental freedom, there are larger concerns to be found. Look at the sky. Does space go on forever, to infinity? Or is it finite but without boundary or edge, like the surface of a sphere? Either answer is disturbing, and unfathomable. Where did we come from? We can follow the lives of our parents and grandparents and their parents backward in time, back and back through the generations, until we come to some ancestor ten thousand years in the past whose DNA remains in our body. We can follow the chain of being even further back in time to the first humans, and the first primates, and the one-celled amoebas swimming about in the primordial seas, and the formation of the atmosphere, and the slow condensation of gases to create Earth. It all happened, whether we think about it or not. We quickly realize how limited we are in our experience of the world. What we see and feel with our bodies, caught midway between atoms and galaxies, is but a small swath of the spectrum, a sliver of reality.
In the 1940s, the American psychologist Abraham Maslow developed the concept of a hierarchy of human needs. He started with the most primitive and urgent demands, and ended with the most lofty and advanced. At the bottom of the pyramid are physical needs for survival, like food and water. Next up is safety. Higher up is love and belonging, then self-esteem. The highest of Maslow’s proposed needs, self-actualization, is the desire to get the most out of ourselves, to be the best we can be. I would suggest adding one more category at the very top of the pyramid, above even self-actualization: imagination and exploration. Wasn’t that the need that propelled Marco Polo and Vasco da Gama and Einstein? The need to imagine new possibilities, the need to reach out beyond ourselves and understand the world around us. Not to help ourselves with physical survival or personal relationships or self-discovery but to know and comprehend this strange cosmos we find ourselves in. The need to ask the really big questions. How did it all begin? Far beyond our own lives, far beyond our community or our nation or our planet or even our solar system. How did the universe begin? It is a luxury to be able to ask such questions. It is also a human necessity.