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It seems that nature is wondrous to behold as an observer, but at times terrifying to experience as a participant. When least expected, our breath may be cut short, our perceived mooring in creation may be toppled, and our stability may be exposed as a fraud in a single brittle and fragile moment. Despite our awe of nature, it affronts us in three primary ways. Our cosmology puts us, forgets us, in an unremarkable corner of one of uncountable galaxies; our biology tells us that we exist at the end of an innumerable number of mutations through the ages, compensating for insufficient instinct and lack of physical adaptation with intelligence from a three-pound brain; and our psychology exposes our fragile ego with defense mechanisms that demonstrate that we are not masters of our own consciousness.

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