Archive for November, 2017

185 – State of Humankind …

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

I am disheartened by the troubling state humankind has reached after millions of years of evolution and ‘progress’ … is it ‘progress to get to be technologically advanced yet ignorant about what we are doing to ourselves and to our world? … our institutions of commerce, governance, religion, education, are dominated by such a level of greed for control, power, possessions, that they are blind … are they really? … to the obscenity of not only what they have created, but what they stubbornly perpetuate. They are the creators, the promoters, the instigators of an economic system based on greed, deceit, division, aggression, conflict, consumerism, nihilistic individualism; they are the creators, the promoters, the instigators of an economic system so destructive and corrupt, that it is overwhelming the natural resources of the earth and demeaning the value of life.

The warning signs of the impending catastrophe this economic system is bringing upon us are loud and clear, yet the increasing levels of consumption, and the exponential population growth it demands, continue their devastating march without a hint of introspection from those leading the parade.

What is it about us, a species threatened by an unprecedented catastrophe of our own making, that the profits of corporations seem more important than the survival of humankind? Have we lost our minds, we, supposedly the smartest creatures on earth?

I believe that the dominance of greed in human nature began to take a hold on us during the called Agricultural Revolution; a time in our evolution when early humans were congregating in increasingly larger populations, which pressed them to make the transition from hunting and roaming, to agriculture and settlement. This transition permitted the buildup and storage of goods, which then became not only a source of relative stability and security, but also of profit and control.

A degree of greed is obviously necessary for survival, but it has become so abnormally dominant in modern man that we accept it as essential to what we deem as ‘economic progress’. This acceptance has made us blind not only to its consequences, but also to be able to recognize it as the root of genocides, the exploitation of the vulnerable, the cruelty toward animals, the obscene levels of inequality that throw millions of human lives into displacement, poverty, despair.

How to even begin to think about a way to reverse the virulence of greed among us? How, when humankind is so prone to avoid self-reflection upon our own History for understanding?

To re-orient human nature toward a different path seems a monumental, if not impossible task … a miracle! … yet science can do it with a single swoop of the Knowledge accumulated throughout its history: In the same way scientists are using the advancements in communications to spread the warning signs of an environment in crisis, they can spread the Fact that, like atoms, cells, planetary systems, we are, each and all of us, constitutive, subordinate, vital, adaptable parts of Nature, and as such, those beautiful theories … like Relativity, Evolution, Quantum, Autopoiesis … they have devised to describe Nature, also describe us. But what is even more important, is that they can re-assert the Fact that the great majority of humankind, the great majority of us, do not want a world dominated by greed, do not want a world that threatens the high levels of ingenuity, dexterity, conscious self-awareness, which have taken us millions of years and an excruciating history to attain, with a world without peace, with a world without compassion, with a world perhaps even without us!

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184 – The Meaning, the Essence of E=mc2 …

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

From ancient times, poets, sages, saints, philosophers, scientists, cults, the individual human being, have pondered about the existence of a higher Being. We try to understand this Being with names, beliefs and concepts like Nature, Universe, God, Buddha, Allah, Shiva, the Tao, Life, Spirit, Energy, Creator, etc., etc. But the truth is that we do not know with certainty what this Being is, nor how it emerged into existence, into Life. We have assumptions, theories, hypothesis, but we truly do not know. It is a mystery, as profound as the mystery of Life itself. Yet there is a property of this Being we have come to know through science, and this is that energy and mass played, and continues to play, a fundamental role in its emergence and development, establishing a symmetry where energy is a measure of its mass, and mass a measure of its energy (e=mc2). This symmetry provided the stability essential to its evolution into the unfolding complexity we strive to comprehend.

But this symmetry, this equilibrium in which the content of an element is a constant measure of another, cannot be attained without a degree of self-reflection. As any other body or system in our Universe, the energy sources my changing body consumes must be a continuous measure of its exertion. I could not exist otherwise. And whether I do it consciously or unconsciously, this constant balancing act is not possible without a degree of self-reflection.

Self-reflection is the foundation of Life.

What is beautiful about the level of knowledge we currently have about our Universe, is that science has opened windows to the human mind which organized religion has kept tightly closed with dogma. Those open windows let me peer into the behavior and organization of the Being I am a part of: How, for instance, as I emerged myself, it has emerged with the innate urge to adapt and survive; how, as I evolve myself, it evolves, tentatively, yet steadily, toward higher levels of complexity and order; how, as I do myself, it controls yet frees its own creations, imprinting them with a code of rules that must be followed, yet can be bent.

But the deeper I peer into the composition and complexity of our Universe, the less I know about the reason for its existence, its symmetry, its creativity, the magnificence and ruthlessness of its power. Yet there is a conspicuous Force that propels its existence beyond the natural boundaries that check its evolution; this Force is Self-reflection. The riddle of Life trying to understand itself; the Force of Life reflecting upon its own force. My mind grows beyond the limits of my own body, and I am set free. I am set free to know what I am, to know why a Force inside of me, born into me and all around me, wants me, incites me to reach out, to overcome boundaries, to know. But this Force is, must always be, a reflection of my limitations.

Energy equals mass times the speed of Light squared. The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. I am an organization of about 37 trillion cells plus trillions of bacteria. Their combined mass is the measure of the power I have not only to give structure, motion and purpose to my body, but also the power of a mind able to conceptualize an entire Universe, and wonder about its emergence, about its purpose. Body and mind supporting the symmetry that creates me, that gives me life; measuring each other, reflecting upon one another.

The meaning, the essence of e=mc2 is Self-reflection, the foundation of Life.

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