162 – On Transcendence …

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

Update on my quest to find the answers to what I believe are the most profound questions posed to the human mind. These questions are the title of Gauguin’s painting shown below.


Where do we come from?

As 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 just the creative progression of this phenomenon amid constant change toward complexity and order – from clouds of ice and dust into solar systems, from cells into self-reflecting human beings, from stars into galaxies. But because the progression of this phenomenon is relatively measurable, its creativity self-evident, its self-determination tangible, and yet it 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 the flow of ancient blood in our veins, in the self-organization of the life-creating double helix of the DNA molecule, in our universal urge to bond and re-generate, in our boundless ingenuity in adaptation, in the reflective contemplation of our own self-awareness, what this Being is, how It might have been engendered, what Its purpose might be, we cannot yet comprehend and perhaps never will.

What are we?

We are self-activated manifestations of the living Phenomenon we call the Universe; promoters of its universal mandate to become, self-organize, bond, re-generate, adapt, self-regulate, self-perpetuate, and transform with relative freedom to choose. 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 limited by physical laws that regulate our internal and external environments, we are, as far as we know, the only manifestation of this phenomenon that are conscious of the capacity to self-reflect upon our relative freedom to transform ourselves and our world, and, therefore, conscious that 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 our 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,

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

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

Dressed in the attire of Ancestry,

we are called at an appointed moment in time and space

into playing our game in the playground of Existence.

And what we do

or do not do

is the measure of our Transcendence.

Transcendence is a measure of the significance of existence.

Revised December 2020   

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