Let’s say you were interviewing a butterfly or a Mayfly. A Mayfly lives for four or five days. Say that Mayfly was standing on the branch of a giant Sequoia tree in California, which lives for thousands of years. If you were to ask that Mayfly, “Do you perceive this branch that you are standing on as being alive?” The Mayfly would say, “Of course not. I’ve been here my entire life, four days, and the branch hasn’t done a single thing.”

Yet when you look at the tree in our context, it is very much alive. It started with a seed, and it grew. Well, Earth is very much like that tree, and mankind is very much like that Mayfly. If we are lucky, we will live a hundred years. We are standing on a planet that was born four and a half billion years ago. It looked very different when it was born; it evolved and has changed. Africa used to be just outside the window. Morocco was connected to Cape Cod. Beneath this building are rocks from Africa. It’s hard to imagine that.

But if you were to sit on the moon, and look at the Earth and blink your eyes once every million years, it would come blossoming to life.