171 – The Human Condition …

The overall behavior and perceptive capacity of homo sapiens … what we sum up as the Human Race … are controlled in manifold degrees by a set of paradigms, or belief systems, which limit our capacity to comprehend the fact that we are on a downward spiral towards self-destruction.

These paradigms are:

A socio-political paradigm in which Intolerance, Division, Conflict, rule the decision-making of those determining our destiny.

An economic paradigm in which Greed and Aggression are the fundamental forces driving the consumption and production of resources in the industrialized world.

A scientific paradigm in which the physical sciences shy away from systematic enquiry on phenomena, like our capacity to wonder or to adjust our primal emotions, because these essential elements of our existence can neither be measured nor reduced to equations.

A learning paradigm, the most damaging of all, in which the overriding agendas of dominant education systems are the standardization of Human nature and the promotion of the destructive concept of corporate hegemony.

A set of belief systems in which what is beyond the reach of the human intellect is anthropomorphized into idols, or ‘divinities’, possessing our darker characteristics … intolerance, cruelty, revenge, misogyny, hate … which then make us feel vindicated when we are the perpetrators.

It is obvious that under the dominance of these paradigms we are inciting rising levels of poverty, greed, irrationality, conflict, despair; we are consuming and destroying natural resources faster than the environment can replenish and mend them; we are altering the chemical proportions of the environment that sustains our evolution.

Although these paradigms were developed in our struggles to survive amid challenging environments, they are self-imposed human inventions that should have been overcome long ago as we began to realize their destructive potential. But that they are instead perpetuated by the greed of the powerful to control and tax the vulnerable … oftentimes with horrendous cruelty … is not only unforgivable, it is the cause of our downward spiral into self-destruction.

There are no easy solutions for the human condition, and turning around forces of such proportions is a monumental task, but it is our survival.

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170 – On Field Theory …

According to Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, Field Theory was developed to study actions that result from interactions propagating through the dimensions of space and time (electromagnetism, gravitation).

Although the theory is mostly based on mathematical equations, the fundamental premise of the propagation of an action through a medium can perfectly be applied to species, animal relations, the human being, development of organisms, ideas that turn into action, Life.

The propagation of an action can be described in two different yet complementary ways: 1- Action with contact, and 2- Action at a distance.

Action with contact describes how a body, whether alone or not, can modify the structure of the space around it without transporting the location.

Action at a distance describes how a body, whether alone or not, can be determined by the forces acting upon its interactions as it moves through a medium in space/time.

These actions propagate through a medium, and their propagation can potentially create a Field.

The main objective of the Theory is to study how these Fields are created and transformed into ‘forces’ that propagate through a medium, and how these forces are determined or modified by the medium. Action with contact is a self-initiated force that can modify but not change the location of its surroundings. Action at a distance is a force that although propagating, is nonetheless determined by internal and external forces.

Galileo’s understanding of Reality is a good example of the Theory; his understanding was a self-initiated force that impacted the Field of human knowledge without having to move the physical environment in which he existed [action with contact]. But even though the force of his understanding ultimately changed the way we understand Reality, it was delayed by the dogmatic force of the church [action at a distance].

These two forces … our force to affect and the forces that affect us … are complementary (one cannot exist without the other), and together they determine the extent and significance of our actions. When I focus on a goal, I can initiate an action with which, as a driving force, I create a Field, say, of a belief, or the study of a new idea, or a political faction. But although the pursuit of my goal may be turned into a powerful force that can travel through space and time, its outcome will ultimate be determined by conducive or limiting forces acting upon me.

By describing the actions of a body in which the body is the driving force … the ‘operator’ … of a Field, we have to designate it with the attribute, whether instinctive or self-determined, of Purpose, i.e., an entity, quantity, or quality that purposefully affects or changes the existing state of any given system.

What this simply implies is that Field Theory does not only apply to forces like magnetism or gravitation, but also to forces like that of a species or a human being. When we decide to do something, to affect something, to accomplish something, to transform something with a sense of directions and purpose, we become the driving force, the ‘operator’ of a field of action.

To describe Galileo as the ‘driving force’ that ultimately changed the way Humanity perceives Reality, we must include his interactions with, and his dependency upon the existing forces within which his own force was being created. Galileo was the Field Operator, the force behind his actions, but the ultimate outcome of his determination to expand the field of human knowledge was subjected to internal forces [health, mental capacities, etc.] and external forces [the domination of the church, weather, etc.] acting upon him and limiting his determination. Galileo was imprisoned under house arrest for the rest of his life, but the force of his argument ultimately triumphed and changed the way we understand Reality.

When directing, or being directed by the power of ideas and actions, we are transformed into forces pregnant with the potential to unleash unimaginable transformations as demonstrated by a Galileo, an Einstein, a Gandhi, a Hitler. Although limited, and sometimes assisted by their internal and external environments, these individuals unleashed forces that, when measured by their impact or significance, transcended into how we think and act today.

This is what Erich Jantsch calls Self-transcendence, the reaching out beyond the boundaries of one’s own existence.

Our evolution has taken us to levels of discernment that allow us to see the difference between the two forces … the forces within, and the forces that shape us … so we can anticipate and face difficulties with ingenuity and a degree of control. But once again, we can only do this through the intimate relationship with our internal and external environments.

Our lives are fields in the flow of Existence, and even though the power or weakness of the field is oftentimes determined by forces beyond our control, when given the chance we achieve feats that reach beyond our own existence: This is the inherent power within us!

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169 – The Death of Wonder …

“… We were growing up, of course, impatient at times / to grow up more quickly, half to oblige those / who had nothing to show for having grown up. / And yet, when left on our own, what we liked / was what did not change, and there we stood / in the space between world and toy, / a place that had from the beginning / been consecrated for a pure event.

Who shows a child as he really is? Who places / him among the stars and puts the measuring stick of separation / into his hands? … Murderers are / easy to understand. But this, though: death, / all of death, even before life has begun, / to hold it all so gently and without rancor, / this is beyond description.” *

What is it about the human mind that can be so easily manipulated into Conformism?

During the first years of life, the human mind is filled with unbounded curiosity. But this innate capacity begins to be manipulated into conformism under the influence of parental/cultural demands. And then it is further manipulated, oftentimes even to the point of complete obliteration, under the influence of educational systems that demand us to conform to aggressive and destructive economic and socio-political paradigms (consumerism, divisiveness, conflict, gross inequality). The results of conformism to these paradigms is apparent on what we are doing to the earth.

Rebelliousness against the authority of those who curb our curiosity by expecting unquestioning conformism to demands based on boundaries instead of openness, is castigated, oftentimes with levels of cruelty that not only can incite more rebelliousness, but degrees of complacency that lead to cynicism, numbness and the ravages of opioids. There is, without question, the need for guidance in focusing youthful energy within firm yet nurturing discipline. But curiosity’s greatest foe is not rebelliousness, but what lays in the minds of those already in authority; those individuals so conformed to the status quo that they cannot conceive that rebelliousness is an outcome against the irrationality of their actions and demands.

A step in our evolution we have not been able to overcome, is that we continue to perceive Reality exclusively upon the very limitations of our main organic senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell). These senses are, of course, the tools we have developed to perpetuate our survival, but they give us a perception of separation. This sense of separation is an illusion … we are part of Nature and Nature is part of us … this illusion is the cause of our irrational aggressiveness towards the same environment from which we come into existence and on which our survival totally depends. This illusion of separation is strongly reinforced as we guide the infant mind into conformism … Me here – – the world out there to consume and control … and conformism to this illusion of separation is the death of wonder about the primordial continuum of Life throbbing in our veins.

Manipulating an infant mind to fit in … to give in … into conformism, is to chain the boundless curiosity we deem so beautiful in children, is to take away one of the greatest joys of life … this is beyond description.

*Excerpts from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Fourth Elegy. Translation by Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann

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168 – Soul/Spirit, Mind …

Even though they are essential to our being, we don’t know much about what Soul/Spirit and Mind are. Thus, we remain mostly ignorant about the essence of what we are.

We, human beings, come into existence upon the bonding of two cells imprinted with the fundamentals of our unfolding: How to build the systems … skeleton, nervous, circulatory, gastro-intestinal, membrane, reproductive, immune, endocrine, sensory … that are needed for us to be cohesive, functional, alive.

Our mind … the commanding center of the systems … is relatively pre-wired for language, voice recognition, development of sensory input, etc., etc. But since our intercourse with our internal and external environments is based on unique experiences, our mind becomes personalized with a unique set of neuronal connections and patterns of recognition that give us a sense of being, yet also give us an illusory sense of separation from the world. Our intercourse with that sense of being, whether conscious or subconscious, is what we experience as the ‘Self’, the ‘Ego’, the ‘I’.

The Spirit, or Soul that envelops the ‘I’, and with which the ‘I’ interacts, is a Universal Force every creature carries within as the innate urge to become, to bond, to self-generate, to adapt, to self-perpetuate, to transform ourselves and our world; this Force is timeless, primordial, immensurable, yet undeniably present in our very action.

THESE ARE ESSENTIAL ASPECTS OF OUR NATURE, and yet they are stubbornly discounted by the physical sciences because of the impossibility to measure and reduce them to equations.

Is it thus we can build computers with billion-fold calculating capacity than our brain; or build instruments that can explore interstellar space and send back information about other worlds; or manipulate the structure, and the functioning, of genetic material; or build weapons of mass destruction with the power to wipe life as we know it off the face of the earth. And yet – and yet – we remain almost completely ignorant about the essence of what makes us human: The self-evident Fact that the soul/spirit in us, has brought us across the ages to a step in our evolution where we have developed a mind able to imagine, to wonder, and to be aware that we do.

Isn’t this astonishing?

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167 – There Is a Reason …

“The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content”, and mass and energy mold the shape of space and the flow of time. These are the foundations of Relativity; the reason for our capacity, as physical bodies, to adapt to diverse environments and seek a relative degree of stability in our development.

Would we then ever ponder about the reason … because there is a reason … why our bodies instinctively know how to attain stability by balancing what is consumed (what we eat, absorb, inhale) with what is dissipated (the energy we exert as we act and move), so we can unfold in continuous stages of relative equilibrium?

And would we ever ponder about the reason why we instinctively possess the capacity to mold the shape of space and the flow of time, so we can change ourselves and our environments?

Even if current scientific ideology insists in claiming that we have come to be what we are by ‘chance’, it is impossible to deny the obvious Fact that, throughout our evolution and amid the trials of adaptation, we have persisted with unbending determination and relentless ingenuity to unfold into a level of complexity in which we are aware of our own awareness; this cannot happen by ‘chance’.

As neurons in the infant brain of a human being have evolved to pioneer the advent of conscious self-reflection, so we, as a species, have evolved to become pioneers in the advent of a higher dimension of conscious self-reflection … could this be Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’ becoming conscious of itself!

The movement of Nature towards self-awareness is self-evident because it is in us. Can we then ponder about the undeniable Fact that we are, as far as we know, the first in Nature aware of our own awareness, instead of inciting the hate and constant conflict threatening to destroy what has taken Nature eons to achieve?

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166 – To Mold the World and the Flow of Time …

In 1905, in special relativity’s e=mc2, Einstein showed that “the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content.” And in 1915, in general relativity, he showed that mass and energy mold the shape of space and the flow of time.

Thanks to these insights we have a greater understanding of some of the laws that govern the physical world. But because we insist on perpetuating the illusion that we … physical beings … are not part of the physical world, we continue to believe in the fallacy that we are beyond these laws, that they do not apply to us; thus we continue to believe that we are a ‘special creation’ with the right to consume and destroy without having to be responsible for the consequences of our actions.

This disengagement from Reality is perpetuating the barbaric greed for control and power that is throwing us head on into an unprecedented collision with the environment in which our lives depend.

This disengagement from Reality is leading Humanity in the wrong direction … constant conflict, migrations, deceit, overpopulation, gross levels of inequality … and although there is a clamor for Change … Knowledge instead of Ignorance, Understanding instead of Intolerance, Love instead of Hate, Peace instead of War … our clamor is being silenced swiftly and with astonishing cruelty by those whose greed it threatens.

This disengagement from Reality cannot be overturned unless the entire scientific community accepts, and disseminates the Fact that their theories pertain to us … physical beings … as elements of the physical world, and for this Fact to be integrated in the curriculum of educational systems all over the world. Because the kind of change needed to lead us in a different direction must be based on Knowledge.

Relativity is one of the most profoundly misunderstood theories in all of science. We apply it to the atomic and astronomical worlds, but not to ourselves. We do this knowing, without a hint of a doubt, that we are self-powered congregations of atomic particles capable to mold the shape of space and the flow of time. And as such, we are powerhouses of energy.

How else can we explain the undeniable, the beautiful Fact, that from within we gather the power to envision a future; and do we not, in its quest, mold our world and the passage of time?

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165 – On Vacation …

I am on vacation. If everything goes as planned, I will post again on February 1, 2017

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164 – On the Universal Plan …

It is undeniable that our Universe unfolds upon a creative Plan that allows adaptation with a degree of creativity. The more we know about ourselves and about the world in which we exist, the more obvious the creativity of Nature becomes.

Several scientific theories have discerned some of the fundamental properties that form a blueprint for the methodical, progressive Plan that governs and incites with unbounded imagination the creative unfolding of our Universe (from primordial soup to globular and spiral galaxies, from atomic compounds to organic life, from primitive instinct to self-conscious intelligence). Some of these fundamental properties are: self-organization, cohesion, self-generation, equilibrium, self-regulation, adaptation, transformation.

We are inextricably linked to the universal Plan. It is the reason why, from the moment of Becoming when cells from each our parents bond into our progenitor cell, we follow the methodical, progressive properties of a Plan that organizes us with astonishing creativity into a cohesive, self-regulating, intelligent body that inherently knows not only how to adapt creatively to environments, but also how to transform itself and, oftentimes, the world in which it exists. But this creative Plan is so routine, so familiar, that we take it completely for granted; and so, as Hegel said, precisely because it is familiar, it remains unknown.

Is it not inconceivable that we can discern fundamental properties of our unfolding Universe, but we know absolutely nothing about the reason why we create cells in our bodies that not only know how to replicate and bond together with evident intelligence and creativity, but also know how to plan our unfolding?

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163 – What kind of society have we created? …

What kind of society have we created, where investigative journalism and the disclosure of abuses of power and the horrors of war, are grounds for imprisonment and oftentimes assassination?

What kind of society have we created, where dominant political and economic ideologies exercise the most horrendous acts of cruelty and destruction, with total impunity?

What kind of society have we created, when there are incontrovertible scientific proofs that the exponential growth of human activity is dramatically altering the atmosphere in which our lives depend, and these proofs are being veiled or flatly denied to protect the profits of corporations?

What kind of society have we created, when a population is weakened by an epidemic of opioid and chemical addiction, and those who produce are held responsible while those who consume are absolved of responsibility?

What kind of society have we created, where politics is based on deception; where organized religion is based on division; where greed overrides human decency; where the value of money overrides the value of human life?

What kind of society have we created, where entire nations are ravaged by conflict and war; where innocent people are bombed out of existence and their deaths trivialized as ‘collateral damage’; where little boys and girls are taught to hate, and kill?

What kind of society have we created, where levels of inequality are so monstrous that a small few can bask in ravenous wealth, while entire communities are destroyed by conflict and extreme poverty, while millions of children starve?

What kind of society have we created, where there are such levels of violence and poverty in the wealthiest and most powerful nation in History, that when a school Principal in an underserved and violent neighborhood asks a thirteen-year-old student: “Where do you see yourself in five years? his answer is “I don’t know if I am going to be alive that long”? *

Does it not hurt – our silence, allowing the inhumanity, the hate, the poverty, the sheer desolation, the killing of innocents?

Can we not, the creators of this society, the most intelligent and ingenious creatures we know of, do better than this?

*TED talks: Principal Nadia Lopez, Sep 2016

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162 – On Transcendence …

Transcendence: to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits. Merriam-Webster

Update on my quest to find the answers to what I believe are the most profound questions posed to the human mind (the questions are taken from the title of Gauguin’s painting shown below [click on picture to enlarge]).

Gauguin

Where do we come from?

 Like cells in our bodies, we emerge out of a living, creative, self-determined Being; a self-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming phenomenon whose unfolding we call Evolution. But Evolution is the progression of this phenomenon, amid trial and error, creation and destruction, towards higher levels of complexity and order … from a cloud of ice and dust to solar system, from cells to human being, from stars to galaxy … and although the progression of this phenomenon is relatively measurable, its creativity evident, its self-determination tangible, yet remains inexplicable to us, some of us call it God, but we tend to call God what we cannot understand.

And although this Being thrives in us (the flow of ancient blood in our veins; the self-organization of molecules into a life-creating double helix; our universal urge to bond, to re-generate, to survive; our boundless ingenuity in adaptation, our self-reflective contemplation of Self-reflection), what this Being is, how it might have been engendered, what its purpose might be, we cannot yet comprehend – perhaps we never will.

What are we?

 We are self-activated manifestations of the living Phenomenon we call Universe; promoters of its universal mandate to Become, to Self-organize, to Bond, to Re-generate, to Adapt, to Self-perpetuate, to Transform. Thus, ensuring our participation in the renewal and perpetuation of its onward movement.

And although our actions and reactions are mostly driven by primal instincts, and although we are limited by physical laws that regulate our internal and external environments, we are, as far as we know, the only manifestation of this phenomenon with the capacity of conscious self-reflection … the capacity to self-reflect upon our degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world … and so, we are sources of Transformation.

Where are we going?

 Limited by our internal and external environments, yet pregnant with the possibilities of a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world, we forge ahead until we no longer can; at which point in our existence we begin the inexorable dissipation into the environment from which we emerged, yet, in equal measure to

what we have imagined,

what we have created,

what we have destroyed,

what we have taken,

what we have given to the world,

we may re-emerge, transcending the sanctioned limits of perception, into more complex manifestations of Existence.

Think of Einstein – challenging our understanding of Reality; think of Darwin – stimulating research on the origins of our ancestry; think of Mandela, or Gandhi – inspiring pacifist rebellion against the tyranny of unaccountable power; think of Gauguin – living in the haunting questions of his beautiful painting. The mental processes of these individuals live on in us changing the way we understand ourselves and our world. Humanity is different because of them: they transcended into what we are, as we can transcend into what might be.

Dressed with the attire of Ancestry, / we are called into the playground of Existence / at an appointed moment in time and space. / And what we do / or do not do / with our moment of Existence / is the measure of our Transcendence.

Transcendence is a measure of the significance of existence.

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