210 – Billions like one, one like billions …

Doesn’t it make you wonder why your body grows into the same common shape as those of billions of other human beings, yet with peculiar differences that make you utterly unique? Aren’t you at least a bit curious to know why?

It is easily understood that you and I are common in the sense that we share the same fundamental shape with billions of other human beings (four extremities; a head with a brain, two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth; a skeleton that allows us to stand erect, sexual organs, a nervous system, an all-enveloping skin, a pulsing heart), and that we are utterly unique, for instance, in the peculiar ways we sense and understand reality, feel emotions and respond to them, fall in and out of love, dream, reason, think. This is because Perception is based on our individual experience of our bodies, our environment, our upbringing, our interaction with others, our tendencies, our opportunities (or none), our schooling (or none). We are also utterly unique in the sense that the components that make up our bodies (atoms, molecules, cells, nervous system, neural connections), are exclusively ours and not someone else’s. There is no other body in the entire world exactly like yours or mine.

But what is not easy for us to understand is that we are both, unique and common at the same time. Our intellect is not trained to consider this duality in our nature. These two properties complement each other and one cannot be fully understood without including the other.

Duality in Nature is universal. Everything is a unique component of something greater than itself; a natural phenomenon from which we receive a shared structure and upon which we can affect change. For instance, we know that Earth is the unique component of a Solar System from which it receives its spheroid shape and upon which it pioneers the phenomenon of self-conscious life; or, if you are a cat person as I am, you know that a cat is a cat wherever or whenever you see one, but there is no other cat in the entire world like the one sitting on my lap, staring at me with those beautiful oval eyes as if he can see something in me I cannot see myself; or if you know that Light is made up of the tiny pockets of energy we call Photons, and that propagating in waves through space and time they give us, among other things, vision.

And so we are complements of something greater than us, something that makes us common like billions and unique among billions; something which can very well exist without each one of us, but without which we cannot exist.

We are complements of the organism we call Humanity; an organism that is alive and evolving and surging because of the actions and interactions of each and all of us; an organism that determines our shared common mold yet can be transformed by the unique potential of a human action, or a unique idea of a human mind.

Remember you are all people and all people

are you

Remember you are this universe and this

universe is you *

*Selected lines from Joy Harjo’s “Remember”

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209 – What the previous post (208 – Beauty) means personally to me …

When I was trying to find Beauty in me against a world constantly telling me otherwise, the greatest affirmation came with the understanding that 1 – I am a system embedded in other systems and composed of other systems, 2 – I have a mind with the capacity to reflect upon universal patterns, and 3 – patterns are the genesis of complexity, order, and beauty.

When this understanding was cemented in my brain, it provided a lens through which I discerned the beautiful pattern of development that sanctions the unfolding of Universal Order.

An Order that came alive in me the instant an ovum and a sperm fused together and began the process of my Becoming. A process that, evolving across eons of time and self-succeeding generations, follows a non-negotiable yet supple pattern of development that drives all systems in Nature to self-organize, bond, self-generate, adapt, self-perpetuate, and transform. This is the universal pattern that meticulously organizes the cells I generate, bonding them together into the preset yet adaptable structure of my body, and giving me a relative degree of freedom to transform not only my life, but Life itself.

This is the greatest beauty in me, I am Life transforming itself.

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208 – Beauty …

Where is our sense of Beauty gone that we cannot see our reflection in the Beauty of our Universe?

Beauty, as we can see it with our naked eyes, with our telescopes, with our microscopes, is rooted in patterns of behavior and structure that create physical fields of energy in space and time and are driven by a universal tendency toward complexity and order. This tendency is self-evident in the complexity and order of rainbows, language, numbers, spirals, planetary orbits, light, the DNA molecule, inheritance of traits, natural selection, Life, and ultimately, the Universe itself.

Salient scientific theories of the past two centuries – like Relativity (equilibrium), Bell’s Theorem (entanglement), Quantum Theories (freedom) – have discovered underlying patterns of a beautiful Universal Order, that is not only unfolding into complexity, but its progression can be measured with relative precision. This beautiful Order is rooted on a pattern of development that is universal and encompasses the Becoming, Self-organization, Bonding, Self-generation, Adaptation, Self-perpetuation, Transformation of all organic and inorganic systems in Nature. The beauty of this Universal Order is that it charts development yet allows a degree of freedom in adaptation.

Upon conception, each one of us follows the same pattern of development our Universe follows. And like our Universe, we are a link in an ongoing sequence of events with a degree of freedom to create our own sequence of events – physical fields of energy in space and time in which we are the operator, the driving force, the catalyst for transformation.

This is what the Universe is. This is what we are, you and I – reflections of something extraordinarily beautiful: Life transforming itself.

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207 – How do we get back on track?

The progress we were making early in our evolution towards developing an intellect capable of understanding, not only our relationship with our own selves but our relationship with the Universe from which we are nurtured into Life, was derailed by Greed – unreasonable, unsatisfiable, destructive, and selfish greed for power and material possessions that has thrown us into an environmental crisis of global proportions.

For reasons that elude Reason, as humankind assured its survival when becoming the dominant species on Earth, the pace and essence of trying to understand our self-reflective intellect and our relationship with the Universe from which we are engendered, was somehow trampled by Greed – Contention overruled Nurture.

It so that the great majority of our schools teach children not the arts of Understanding ourselves, but those of Craving.

This is at the root of humankind’s monumental paradox: It has taken us eons of evolutionary time to grow consciously aware of our capacity to reflect upon ourselves and our presence in the world, and yet we allow Greed to kill it.

How do we get back on track? How do we sever ourselves from what clouds our Reason? How?

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206 – On vacation …

If everything goes as planned, I will be posting again on October 15th.

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205 – Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? …

 

Update on my ongoing quest to answer what I believe are the most profound questions posed to the human mind. These questions are the title of the above painting by Paul Gauguin.

Where do we come from?

As a cell emerges out of the self-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming processes of our bodies, we emerge out of the self-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming processes of the phenomenon we call Life. But Life is just a manifestation of a Primordial Source that, amid trial and error, creation and destruction, inexorably progresses toward greater heights of complexity and order.

But because the progression of this Source is evident, tangible, relatively measurable, its power to create and destroy terrifying and magnificent yet it remains beyond understanding, some of us call it God, Allah, Shiva, etc., etc. But we tend to create deities when there is something we cannot understand. And even though we do not know what it is, how it might have been engendered, what its purpose might be, we do know that we emerge out of a self-generating, self-transforming Primordial Source whose unfolding we call Life.

What are we?

As manifestations of the phenomenon we call Life, we have evolved the conscious self-awareness that 1 – we are insignificant in the scheme of the Universe and significant in the scheme of the atomic elements,  2 – that as everything in Nature, we obey a universal mandate to Become, to Self-organize, to Bond, to Re-generate, to Adapt, to Self-perpetuate, and to Transform, and 3 – that amid physical laws that regulate our internal and external environments, we possess a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world. We are sources of transformation.

Where are we going?

Regulated by our internal and external environments, yet pregnant with the possibilities of a degree of freedom in adaptation, we forge ahead until we no longer can, at which point we begin the inexorable return to the Primordial Source from which we emerged.

But equivalent to the significance of 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 into higher levels of existence.

As everything in Nature, the human being has evolved in transcendental steps. Each step builds upon the ones taken before. Each step has a degree of significance and affects our life and oftentimes the life of others. Some steps may affect immediate progeny, some may affect entire generations, and some may be so significant that may affect not only the course of our evolution but Evolution itself.

Think of Einstein – how his ideas live among us, opening new visions and challenging our understanding of Reality; or Darwin – how his theory of Evolution live among us, stimulating research in the origins of Life; or Mandela and Gandhi – how their courage live among us, inspiring pacifist rebellion against the tyranny of unaccountable power; or Socrates – how his method of inquiry live among us, stimulating us to reflect upon ourselves; or Gauguin – how his profound questions live among us, daring us to wonder and find answers. These human beings live among us in the progressive movement of our evolution, in the greater reaches of our perception, in the heightened insights of our conscious self-reflection; they live among us, challenging and transforming our understanding of the unfolding phenomenon from which we emerge, helping us move forward in the transcendental process of Becoming. And so, as these human beings have transcended into our lives, making us more daring in our visions of the future, more curious about our origins, more aware of what is right and what is wrong, more self-conscious about the struggles and the wonders of existence, so, as measured by the significance of what we accomplish with our lives, we may also transcend into the unfolding of future generations.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? We emerge out of a self-generating, self-transforming Primordial Source whose unfolding we call Life.

WHAT ARE WE? We are sources of transformation.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? Measured by the significance of our life, we may transcend into higher levels of complexity in the unfolding of the Primordial Source.

TRANSCENDENCE IS A MEASURE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EXISTENCE.

Last updated January 1, 2018. Post 188

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204 – How terribly sad that would be!

I cannot but to be stunned by how, without apparent concern, our political and economic leaderships are recklessly, insolently, deviously, and forcefully driving humanity to confront an unprecedented and catastrophic environmental upheaval.

Currently, a great majority of the world’s leadership is patriarchal and bending towards the regressive ideologies of Authoritarianism. And even though we are already facing the dawn of catastrophic events caused by the impact that under their leadership we have made on the environment, these madmen continue to re-enforce the unsustainable concepts of voracious consumerism and unlimited growth that have incited the crisis.

As I wrote in my previous post, I believe that the main reasons behind the crisis are 1 – the erroneous perception that homo sapiens is separate from and better than Nature, and 2 – the way that this perception gives us the ‘right’ to plunder Nature with complete disregard for the consequences of our actions.

In order for humanity to move away from this erroneous perception, it is imperative that science steps in once again in a manner similar to what Galilei did centuries ago, and dare tell us our true relation to Nature: That as neurons in our brains are deeply embedded and totally dependent on our bodies for survival, so we are deeply embedded and totally dependent on Nature for survival; and as we endow each neuron with the capacity to be a catalyst for transformation, so Nature endows each one of us with the capacity to be a catalyst for transformation. Nature is us, as we are Nature.

The claim that we need to ‘save the planet’ is well-intentioned, but it is misguiding: it shifts focus away from what we, as a species, have done to the planet. The planet does not need to be saved. It is we who need saving. Earth will go on as it has for eons of time, a bit changed for what we have done to it, but it will go on giving perhaps other species the opportunity we squandered.

Of all the creatures we know of, we seem to be the ones with the highest capacity for conscious self-reflection. We have accomplished much but still don’t know much about the universe that lives in us, nor about the universe in which we live and from which we come into existence. And if we wiped ourselves off the face of the Earth, we will never know how those two universes become one in each one of us.

How terribly sad that would be!

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203 – Undividedness …

The Universe is us, as we are the Universe.

Of all the animals on Earth, we are the only ones devoid of a sense of undividedness from the Medium – what we call Nature – in which we are embedded, the Medium that provides us with sources of sustenance yet also makes us a source of sustenance (food chain). But since humankind has evolved into the dominant species on Earth, we have no significant predators other than viruses, and ourselves.

The innate capacity to perceive an undivided connection with Nature is annihilated as soon as we open our eyes, when we begin to be shown the world and all its contents as separate from us, opposite to us, conflicting with us.

The loss of a sense of oneness with Nature makes us insolent, apathetic, and turns us into the deadly creatures who, now in such great numbers, are ravaging our environment, precipitating mass extinctions, taunting Nature, sowing our own demise.

Rilke put the significance of this loss within the lines of his insightful poetry: Who shows a child as he really is? Who place 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. *

We do this to ourselves and our progeny because most of us do not know the difference. Our sense of separation from Nature was reaffirmed by Rene Descartes in the seventeenth century, and his erroneous claim that the mind is a separate entity from the body has since dominated our perception of the world.

This error should have been corrected in the first half of the Twentieth Century with the introduction of Niels Bohr’s Complementarity. The premise of the theory is that all properties (like mind and body, particle and wave, light and dark) exist in pairs, and that although the properties may seem mutually exclusive, they are nonetheless complementary manifestations of the same system. But due to the reticence of the physical sciences to apply the findings of their theories to the physical systems of our bodies, the concept of complementarity in Nature has not been commonly assimilated in human perception. And thus, Descartes’ misconception continues to dominate how we perceive the world, perpetuating the erroneous sense of separation that inhibits our innate sense of undividedness from Nature.

But our sense of undividedness, although inhibited in most of us, is not dead; it is dormant and can be re-awakened. And for those of us who can perceive it, it haunts us with the beauty of its possibilities and the damaging impact of its inhibition. And so, we rebel against a culture dominated by a mistake a man made centuries ago; a culture that even though is beginning the feel the pangs of its treatment of Nature as something separate, persists on dividing the indivisible.

Ah! To know, to see, to sense that the Universe is us as we are the Universe, is the pinnacle of perception.

*Rainier Maria Rilke – excerpts from the Fourth Elegy

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202 – This is not what we are, but what we are turned into …

The human animal is, to me, the most beautiful creature in Nature. There is nothing as beautiful as the sight of two human beings in love with each other. There is nothing as beautiful as a mother’s face at the first sight of her newborn baby. Nothing as beautiful as a human mind trying to understand itself and the universe in which it lives. Nothing as beautiful as the search for tenderness and love in the eyes of a baby. Nothing as beautiful as the breathtaking sights of a fiery sunset or a graceful rainbow. Nothing as beautiful as human altruism, compassion, understanding, acceptance, love.

Yet the human animal is the cruelest creature in Nature. There is nothing as cruel as the torturing of another one of us with the purpose of degrading, humiliating, inflicting as much physical and emotional pain as possible. There is nothing as cruel as the bending of human ingenuity to create ever more powerful weapons of mass destruction. There is nothing as cruel as the plundering of pristine and delicate environments for the profits of greedy corporations. There is nothing as cruel as the enslaving of the human mind to serve the destructive machinations of Greed. There is nothing as cruel as a starving child in the midst of obscene wealth.

We are the most beautiful creatures in Nature, yet we are the cruelest. What a baffling conundrum we are!

Nothing is born cruel in Nature. Nothing. But in cultures dominated by a Paradigm that incites the alienation from and the frantic control over Nature, the human mind, especially in the impressionable and easily manipulated infancy when it is totally dependent on others, can be thrown into a survival mode in which it turns against its inherent instincts … love, empathy, tolerance … to become instead not only contentious, intolerant, cruel, but worse, the instigator of these destructive trends on its progeny.

This is not what we are, but what we are turned into.

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201 – Presence …

Although I don’t actually feel it, my body is constantly changing: Cells die and are replaced with new ones that already know the functions of those they are replacing; my heart constantly pumps re-oxygenated blood to revitalize every niche in my body; my brain and nervous systems constantly adjust to meet emotional and physical changes.

These are but a very few of the many amazing feats my body is constantly accomplishing. But there is another one: A mysterious, astonishing feat, yet so fundamental I could not exist without it. I refer to the process through which the combination of the myriad components of my body collectively generates the Presence, the Persona, I project into the world.

And as astonishing as this is, there is something even more astonishing about me: Of all the living species I know of on Earth, I … homo sapiens … have become self-conscious of that Presence to an extent that I can trace its development, not only through my own personal history but through the evolutionary history of the species. But somehow I have become incapable of taking responsibility for the impact my Presence makes on the world. And as a consequence, I am facing an impending environmental upheaval of terrifying proportions.

Is it not astonishing? It has taken homo sapiens eons of grueling evolutionary processes for me to become conscious of my Presence in the world, but because I don’t want to take responsibility for what it is doing to the world, I might be wiped out, without a trace, from the face of the Earth.

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