188 – Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? VII

 

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 beautiful Gauguin painting shown above.

Where do we come from?

 Like cells created by the self-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming processes of our bodies, we are created by the self-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming processes of the phenomenon we call Life. But Life is just the progression of a phenomenon that, amid trial and error, creation and destruction, inexorably evolves toward greater levels of complexity and order.

And because for us the progression of this phenomenon is self-evident and relatively measurable, its self-determination tangible, its power to create and destroy explicit, yet it continues to remain beyond our comprehension, some call it God, Allah, Shiva, etc., etc. But we tend to create deities when there is something we cannot comprehend.

And although the evolution of this phenomenon is the cause and the reason of our existence, what it is, how it might have been engendered, what its purpose might be, we cannot yet comprehend – perhaps we never will.

What are we?

 I do not know. But what I do know is that we have evolved into one of the most beautiful and complex manifestations of the phenomenon we call Life; that we have grown self-conscious of our insignificance in the scheme of the Universe and our significance in the scheme of the atomic elements; that we are participants in the universal mandate to Become, Self-organize, Bond, Re-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform; that we are co-creators and promoters of the constant renewal and perpetuation of Life.

And although we know that there are physical laws that regulate our internal and external environments, we also know that we possess a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world. 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 return to the environment from which we emerged.

But 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 upon more complex levels of existence.

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 lives among us, stimulating research in the origins of Life; or Mandela, or Gandhi – how their courage lives among us, inspiring pacifist rebellion against the destructive tyranny of unaccountable power; or Socrates – how his method of inquiry lives among us, stimulating the intellect to the study of itself; or Gauguin – how his profound questions live among us, daring us to wonder and find answers. These individuals live among us in the progression of our evolutionary processes, in the greater reaches of our perception, in the heightened insights of 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 because of what they accomplished with their lives, we are 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.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? Out of a self-generating, self-organizing, self-transcending Being whose unfolding we call Life.

WHAT ARE WE? Self-conscious sources of transformation.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? Into the future, but in equal measure to what we do with of our lives.

 TRANSCENDENCE IS A MEASURE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EXISTENCE.

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