Posts Tagged creation
What I find most fascinating about science is that, when combined with a natural human inclination to wonder, and therefore to invent religious perspectives – read metaphysical and contemplation – a real potential for true understanding emerges. true observation of what really is combined with intuitive understanding of why.
Science by itself isn’t enough, although it’s discipline and focus and precision are wonderful, and it’s ability to reveal actual process, and to show how the world about us operates. But it has to be combined with an open mind and a sense that anything is possible in order to deal with the why question. And for that to happen, you have to be infatuated with the puzzling, astonishing and beautiful nature of what you’re seeing, and to want to understand it, and the truth that underlies it. And to wonder why and how it’s beautiful, and what that might mean.
This doesn’t imply a religious – and therefore inexplicable and often nonsensical – requirement to true understanding. It means that science and the scientific method can take us so far at any given point in understanding, and to progress further, we need also to accept intuition and imagination as useful tools in determining the veracity of what we know, and how to determine a way forward. Sometimes intuition gives us a picture of scenarios that seem to be outlandish and unlikely. Or they might suggest factors that are a result of process – for example, if math explains all process, perhaps beauty is an emergent property of a level of understanding that we should appreciate having been achieved as a result of process.
This combination of wanting to understand the process, but also needing to know the why, and to be willing to accept that beauty is also a significant factor, must surely be why intelligence has come to be. The universe must know itself, otherwise why is it?
Careful analysis and understanding of the process needs to be combined with a deeper knowledge, which is why what is is, in order to sum a truth that’s beyond merely factual. Because it’s only subjective experience that gives rise to factual experience. So where does that deeper interpretation of why that experience was possible come from? Where does objective understanding come from?
This is the thing that puzzles and intrigues me. Understanding how things happen is one thing, understanding why they are is something at a different level.
EDIT: Quote ” Something there is that can refresh and revivify older people: joy in the activities of the younger generation — a joy, to be sure, that is clouded by dark forebodings in these unsettled times. And yet, as always, the springtime sun brings forth new life, and we may rejoice because of this new life and contribute to its unfolding; and Mozart remains as beautiful and tender as he always was and always will be. There is, after all, something eternal that lies beyond the hand of fate and of all human delusions. And such eternals lie closer to an older person than to a younger one oscillating between fear and hope. For us, there remains the privilege of experiencing beauty and truth in their purest forms.” (Albert Eintein)
Humans tend to assume that they have a degree of intelligence that gives them awareness that isnt afforded other species.
Criteria that are used to justify this perspective include lack of evidence of empathy, of emotions including fear and sadness, and of gratitude. Or an ability to assess a given context, and to calculate an appropriate response to it.
Every day, visible instances occur that prove these assumptions are just wrong. They imply an arrogance in humanity that is breathtaking. Other creatures are sufficiently sentient to respond to both circumstance and to other creatures as we are. How could they be alive otherwise?
Here’s a small example:
We have to reappraise our relationship with the rest of the world. To imagine that we’re somehow seperate from it is folly. The whole system that we observe and are able to analyse because its systemic, includes us as a key component. As it does every other creature. This is what makes it a system. How to extrapolate this? Discussions about ‘universal conciousness’? Perhaps. How is a component within a system able to see the system from outside? We can’t know this external perspective. We can only know what we see and experience, and deduce. And we can clearly experience sentience and awareness in other creatures, even with our own emotions and intuition, as opposed to powers of analysis. And deploying this experience usefully, must surely lead us to deduce that we arent a seperate cognitive function of the universe but just a part of a mathematical curve that, if we allow it, will extrapolate. And this is the ultimate goal of evolution.
So, some compassion and respect is called for I think… and a little humility. Otherwise we risk compromising the very system that defines us.
Sitting in bath warm water,
waves lapping up my thighs,
leaning on one hand on the yielding sand,
watching the moon sink into the sea.
The natural world is all that’s real.
The rest is construct and hubris.
Watching that sinking moon
over the turning world,
and the whirling cosmos of a trillion lights,
all ticking step by step in time.
And then it came to be known
amongst all sentience
that the Original Source is me,
and we are the Original Source.
This is a poem.
I can say whatever I like.
Poetic licence and all that.
I can say without fear of ridicule
that I am lonely and mystified by life.
The whirlpools of logic and illogic
and unfathomable stupidities.
And the wonders and astonishing things.
Aspects of grand realities
that seem distant and huge.
And I’m allowed to confess that I cry,
often and loudly,
because I’m a two sided coin.
And other things too.
The sense of smallness
that makes me gently humble as I look around.
That sense of contiguity with all that is
that occurs occasionally.
My smallness and my scope.
My all encompassing modest place.
Watching wise if I’m lucky,
defined by my context,
laughing and crying without doing either.
The cigarette smoke world curls around me,
changing shape and fading away.
The present I see includes the past
as well as imagined futures.
The trees are bare now.
They had leaves and will have again.
The whorls and whirls of the wind
swirl remnants of the past year,
as beady squirrel eyes watch
the world move on.
Earth spins and moves and does its thing.
Fox and Owl make their noises in dark woods,
Jaguar prowls and Bat flits.
In some African savannah,
Kudu is eaten alive by lions.
Nearby, self obsessed termites
build webbed cities.
In the middle of this maelstrom
of whirling world things,
weather and wind and life passing,
I stand bewildered by the pace
and irresistible process
of which I’m a part with no control.
But mostly I’m amazed
by humanity’s contempt.
And I play my part,
and wait to see the consequences.
May my sons forgive us.
If you wonder why you exist,
It’s because life is a fundamental component
Of an inevitably evolving universe.
As fundamental as hydrogen or carbon atoms.
A reflection not of bits but of process.
Of how these and others interact.
And of the evolution of these interactions.
And as this interaction evolves,
It acquires ever evolving conciousness.
If you want to know how to be happy,
Understand this fact.
One life everywhere
So look skyward and see
That one day we’ll blend.
And at that point
The discreet existences we all know
Will come to an end.
As entropy finally converts all matter
To nothing more than understanding
And everything finally stops.
Because there’ll be nothing more to know.
It’s rumoured that we live in a multiverse, comprising an infinite number of universes wherein anything is possible. Somewhere out there there’s a ‘me’ writing something worth reading.
But I don’t think the multiverse is infinite. We may indeed live in a multiverse, but the only universes that exist are those that, from the infinite number of variances of outcome from the Big Bang, actually comprised an outcome that could, by it’s nature, go on to persist and to evolvet.
Most of the potential ways in which the results of the Big Bang could manifest milliseconds after the event were not tenable. They produced results that pretty much instantly collapsed and cancelled themselves out. They ceased to exist, even as they came into existence.
So, whilst there may have been, perhaps still is in creation, an infinite number of events that could have resulted in a universe, only some succeeded. And we exist in one of them.
Therefore there is not an infinite number of universes. Rather, there are a few. Perhaps, just possibly, there’s only one. And the rest failed to achieve suitable stability sufficient to materialise and to evolve.
And then of course there’s the question of life. At the advent of the Big Bang, when all things were possible and all things were attempted, most things failed. But one outcome was a universe that happened to comprise the elements necessary for the material coalescence of various components that are required for life as we know it, and experience it.
So our universe comprises various forms of hydrogen, carbon and other basic elements, and it’s in the nature of things that as these combine, in all the various ways that they’re capable of, the process we know as life emerges.
The sophistication of this process has also evolved. Because that’s the way of the context in which life exists… a context and combination of interlaced processes that obliges the materials involved to tend towards greater degrees of complexity.
And the ways in which life formed interacted with, and came to observe that context. It thus became more complex in its perspective, and ultimately in its understanding. Until eventually, life evolved that was capable of seeing itself within the very context from which it emerged, and of questioning it.
This isn’t necessarily the same thing as consciousness. All living things are conscious, if by conscious we mean aware of, and able to respond to, the physical environment.
But this awareness was to evolve to such a degree that it became aware that it existed, and so it became conciousness. The universe had evolved a way of critically observing itself. And it did so as part of a natural consequence of its nature – namely its composition.
So we can say that life is as much a part of the nature of the universe as say, hydrogen atoms.Or any other component. Life is an intrinsic part of the nature of the universe. The universe we know comprises life as much as it comprises anything else. So given that life, by its nature, evolves to be self aware, so the universe is self aware. Life is part of the universe’s evolution. And we are the manifestation of the early stages of that evolving process.
So open your mind to the beauty of the world, and its complexity and intricacy, and see your awareness of these things as a separate component that you have a responsibility to nurture. Because a unique quality of conciousness, over all the other elements and components of the universe, is that it’s able to manage its own evolution, and growth, and the way in which it functions.
The universe is like a small child that’s starting to understand itself, its nature and its place. It has become self aware. And it is life in its multitude of forms, that undoubtedly occur on millions of planets, that represents that awareness. You yourself are the universe thinking and watching itself. No less than that.
So wise up. Take your eyes off the money, let go of religious dogma and bigotry of whatever persuasion, see that time spent pondering why and what is not time wasted. Disconnect as far as is practically possible from the world of people, think more freely and let yourself be what you feel inclined to be. Because that ‘you’, with all its potential knock-on effects in a chaotic system, is probably why you exist. To play a part in the evolution of the universe.
With thanks to Jostein Gaarder, and his novel ‘The Castle in the Pyrenees’, for inspiration.
Your life’s purpose is
To understand the void
And to see its truth.
Maybe the good bits
Are so good that we must pay
A pain price elsewhere.
On a hot summer night I lie awake and listen
To the still air.
Small insect sound from somewhere.
Then the air’s viscosity alters
As a call pierces the dark.
Something happening there
That makes no sense
From my decorated bedroom
But which affects my dreams
And appeals to my blood.
Whoever you are.
Standing opposite me
And watching me
As I watch you.
The gap between us
doesn’t exist though.
In some place
We’re the same mind.
Knowing in this being alive,
The other side of the dichotomy
So we may know the whole.
There was a woman who stood beautiful,
Who being made of stone and soil, was as tall as the clouds
And who looked down even as her legs were blasted to dust.
As she cried her imperious cry to the righteous,
Her voice was drowned by the sound
Of the driven masses.
As she reeled and collapsed into the swarming crowd below,
She pleaded with them to hear her dying message
As she shrivelled and shrank before her time,
And crumbled into her own sweet ground,
Reaching out to the plaintiff sound
Of her own kind as they died.
That the power of markets and democracy are two different things.
Power and voice like oil and water.
One floats upon, and smothers, the other.
That the land of the free has become the great illusion,
Corrupted by the greed of the few,
And allowed by the complacency of those
Who think they know better.
The river runs fast.
Faster than your perceptions,
And you start to drown.
Rise up above it.
Now look down and see it whole.
Your start and your end.
The bit in between
Is bound by landscape
And flows as it must.
Don’t cry and don’t laugh.
Wait for the true view.
Leaves turn gold and die.
Trees now pleading with the sky
To bring warmth again.
A warm wind blows that shakes trees
And sets golden leaves free to roam.
Transition time now between what was grown
In such surety of purpose,
And the dying and the melding back.
I thought I knew how to be once.
But the seasons changed
And my solutions lost relevance.
They acquired a different beauty
That crumbled and snapped at the slightest stress.
Now they lie in the dirt.
Rotting with promise of new leaves
For the next generation,
Whilst I look on bewildered,
Wondering where my dreams went.
May my children not make the same mistakes.
Purpose is an illusion meant
To defraud us into believing we have value.
I saw peach light flow
Into sparkling silver brook
To run twinkling
Between earth and air
To nourish life there
With the fruit of the sun.
I saw clouds tumble roughly
Over rough hewn hill,
Drenching and quenching
With precious liquid,
The source of life.
I saw limpid waves
Flow in silken grass,
To climb trees and rustle leaves
And dry the earth.
To lift the source
That it might fall again.
I saw flowers bloom of every hue.
Whose natural wisdom
Made one red and
The other one blue?
One living God comprising all.
Beauty, good and evil too.
I saw you there.
Of sun’s sweet nectar,
Earth’s rich texture
And sky’s cool moisture.
Stroked by the gentle hand of wind.
One living creature, one seamless creation.