Below is a quotation from Admiral Byrd in his autobiography, Alone, describing his experience at the South Pole.
“The day was dying, the night being born, but with great peace. Here were the imponderable processes and forces of the Cosmos, harmonious and soundless. Harmony, that was it!! That was what came out of the silence, a gentle rhythm, the strain of a perfect chord. The music of the spheres, perhaps.
It was enough to catch that rhythm, momentarily, to be myself a part of it. In that instant I could feel no doubt of man’s Oneness with the Universe. The conviction came that that rhythm was too orderly, too harmonious, too perfect, to be a product of blind chance, that therefore there must be purpose in the whole and that man was part of that whole, and not an accidental offshoot. It was a feeling that transcended reason; that went to the heart of man’s despair and found it groundless. The Universe was a Cosmos, not a chaos. Man was as rightfully a part of that Cosmos as were the Day and Night.”
I had briefly touched upon this passage in another article; however, recently found my handwritten copy of this quote made back in the 50’s, I think. I carried it in my billfold a long time. The paper is yellowed and tattered from years in my billfold, which I would take out and read from time to time, finally sticking in a file of mementos.
During an exploration trip to the South Pole, Admiral Byrd left his base camp and crew, setting out on an exploratory trip alone. He was caught in a severe storm and could not get back to camp. The storm was too dangerous for the men at the base camp to venture looking for him. He dug himself in the snow and set up camp at the end of the earth, alone. The storm lasted for some time and he became quite ill, losing contact with his crew at home base.
It is difficult to imagine being buried in snow during a storm at the bottom of the earth, cut off completely from communication with the rest of the world, then getting sick. Not knowing when the storm would end and not knowing if you would ever be rescued. These were the conditions Admiral Byrd experienced as he felt his oneness with the universe and heard the music of the spheres, the rhythm and the perfect harmony, so beautifully described in his book, Alone.
For me, it is one of the most profound passages I have ever read. It’s not something written hundreds of years ago in some remote European country, but in my lifetime during the 19th century.
It has been so inspirational for me, particularly in this day and age where there is so much chaos, confusion and despair with every day life. In a country where so many are popping some kind of drug, prescribed and otherwise, just to try and cope for a moment, realize, and appreciate the Universe is unfolding as it should—quietly, peacefully, harmoniously, furnishing everything we need, with a perfect rhythm, and music of the spheres, as the sun rises every day. To agree with Admiral Byrd, there is a purpose in the whole design, and all of us are a part of that universal design, with a right to be here, and a right to be a part of that perfect design.
And don’t think it’s necessary we go to the end of the earth at the South Pole and be stranded in a snow storm to experience that Oneness with the Universe.
But seek it by getting off the treadmill, and away from the jack hammer, in some quiet place, alone, to find that which he defines and describes.
If in fact it is something you sincerely desire to acquire.
Let Freedom Ring!