134 – Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? IV …

Gauguin

This is another attempt on my quest to answer what I believe are the most profound questions posited to the human mind. * The questions are the title of Paul Gauguin’s most enigmatic painting (click on the picture above to enlarge). In trying to answer the questions, I feel am reaching a deeper understanding of what we are in the scheme of Nature; a deeper understanding of the Source from which we all emerge, into which we all ultimately return, and into which we potentially re-emerge.

Where do we come from?

We emerge out of a primordial, self-creative Source; a self-organizing, self-generating, self-regulating, self-perpetuating phenomenon which onward movement we call Evolution. But Evolution is just the progression of the Source into higher and higher orders of complexity and order. And since this progression is measurable, its creativity evident, its self-determination discernible, its power to transform and be transformed tremendous, some of us call it God, but we tend to call God what we cannot understand. And since its movement can be manipulated as it can manipulate us, some of us call it Nature, but Nature is just the manifestation of the Source into diverse and myriad forms. And since we can only imagine its beginning as an explosion out of nowhere, some of us call it the Big Bang, but that was merely the birth of one of its many universes.

And although the Source thrives in the pulse of primal blood in our veins, in our inborn urge to bond and re-generate, in the compelling instinct to adapt and survive, in the boundless creativity and ingenuity of Life, in the selective self-organization of galaxies into spirals and globular clusters, in the constant creation of solar and atomic systems out of recycled forms of energy and mass, in the self-reflective contemplation of self-reflection, what the Source is, what its purpose might be, we are not yet developed enough to comprehend.

What are we?

Infinitesimally small from the dimension of the stars and enormously vast from the dimension of the atoms, we are manifestations of a Source that imprints us all at the moment of creation with a universal mandate to bond, to self-organize, to self-generate, to adapt, to self-perpetuate, thus ensuring our participation in the progression of its onward movement.

And although our actions and reactions are mostly driven by primal instincts, we nonetheless have come to evolve the conscious awareness of possessing a degree of freedom to choose, to see beyond immediacy, to transform ourselves and our world. We are self-conscious sources of transformation.

Where are we going?

Pregnant with the possibilities of a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world, yet limited by the constraints of our internal and external environments, we forge ahead until we no longer can; at which point we face our inexorable dissolution and potential re-emergence into the Source from which we emerged. But this re-emergence, this transcendence, is 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 our world,

and so, the measure of our re-emergence, our transcendence, into the primal Source is equivalent to the significance of our lives.

Think of Einstein – opening new visions and challenging our understanding of reality; think of Mandela – inspiring pacifist rebellion against the tyranny of unaccountable power; think of Socrates – stimulating critical thinking and fueling the transformation of ideas; think of Gauguin – living in the beauty of his paintings, especially the one above, that keeps asking his profound questions. The deeds of these individuals, to name a few, are alive in us in our collective humanity – challenging us, encouraging us, transforming us – their transcendence a measure of the significance of their lives.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? We emerge out of a primordial, self-creative Source.

WHAT ARE WE? We are self-conscious sources of transformation.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? We are transcending into the future in equal measure to the significance of our lives.

Transcendence is a measure of the significance of existence.

* Former attempts on Posts 78, 95, and 118.

Revised July 2020   

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