62 – On Life …
Life … even if we are alive, even if we are one of its manifestations, even if we are experiencing the most intimate relationship with it, even if we are able to reflect on it and populate it and have the innate capacity to reproduce it … is inscrutable to us.
There are many, many definitions of Life; and they vary sometimes immensely depending on the field from which Life is perceived, yet they only explain Life as a Process … metabolic, self-regulating, self-organizing, adaptable, creative, resourceful, infinitely imaginative, self-generating, responsive to stimuli, and, my favorite, “… a dynamic equilibrium in a polyphasic system” (Biochemist Frederick Gowland Hopkins), but Life, itself, we cannot define: Why does it exist, how did it begin, how did it come to be Alive, how did it grow to be such an amazing Force, how can it be so ugly and yet so beautiful, how can it be so cruel and yet so nurturing, how can it be so violent and yet so tender, how can it be so destructive and yet so creative, how can it feel so free and yet be so dependent? And although it is obvious that Life’ evolution flows toward Complexity and Order, we cannot fathom the Purpose. All we know is that Life has learned to re-generate and self-reflect on itself.
Throughout Humanity’s recorded History, we have shown an unshakable ability to create ‘gods’ when faced with phenomena we cannot comprehend or explain: Thunder, the Sun, Life. We have been able to explain the phenomena of Thunder and Sun, and those ‘gods’ have been replaced by empirical Knowledge. But since the phenomenon of Life is still incomprehensible to us, we persist on hanging on to the fallacy of a ‘god’.
And although Life has shown to be one of the most creative and pervasive elements in Nature … just in our own environment we find myriad life-forms in the most unlikely places and in the most unlikely forms (living creatures in the boiling fissures of tectonic plates, in glacial waters, inside our bodies) … we somehow manage to contain Life to fit the arrogance and ignorance of those who want to control it.
And even though we have reached an advanced evolutionary stage where we can recognize the strong evidence of Purpose in Nature … the organization of the chemical elements of our Universe in neatly atomic numbers, or how the earth has sustained a relatively balanced environment for eons of time so a highly self-reflective intelligence like ours can come into existence … most of us are still unable to consider the Earth and the Universe as living systems, disregarding the Fact that they both clearly fit our own definitions of what we consider to be Alive: metabolic, self-regulating, self-organizing, adaptable, creative, resourceful, infinitely imaginative, responsive to stimuli, self-generating, and polyphasic systems in dynamic equilibrium.
Like in a Hologram, every cell in our Body is imprinted with our own unique blueprint … the color of our eyes, the pigment of our skin, the density of our bones … thus the unfolding yet cohesive process of our existence is sustained; likewise, everything in our Universe (every atom, every cell, every human being, every galaxy) is imprinted with a universal blueprint … self-organizing, self-generating, self-regulating … so an unfolding yet cohesive process towards Complexity and Order can be perpetuated.
Primeval Forces run in our blood … our yearning to bond, our urge to re-generate, our drive to survive … but there is nothing in us more ancient and compelling than the intent Force that constantly incites us to transform energy into mass, and mass into energy so we can create Complexity and Order. This ancient Force, this universal drive for Transformation, is one of Life’s essential pre-requisites. But this Force cannot live without Equilibrium. And equilibrium between the intake and release of energy sources cannot be sustained without a degree of Self-reflection.
Self-reflective Life is a property of Nature. It arises because our Universe provides the blueprint, and the ingredients, and the advantageous environment. And so it is how we have come to be, as far as know, the recipients of the highest manifestation of Self-reflective Life.
And whether we accept it today or tomorrow, the undeniable Truth is that we have come to this stage in our evolution … to be aware of how Nature transforms us, and how we can transform Nature … because we exist in a Universe intent on searching for the highest degree of self-awareness.
So what is it about us? Why are we so hardheaded in accepting evidence that we won’t be able to continue to hide for long behind myths and implausible ‘gods’? Why do we keep on insisting to judge the self-reflective process towards Complexity and Order of an entire Universe by what our limited Minds can comprehend?
“ … in the soul there lives a longing for light and an indispensable urge to emerge from the initial darkness.” C.G. Jung
Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog scroll down to the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page or on the same icon on the barcode.