Archive for November, 2017

185 – State of Humankind …

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

The troubling state humankind has reached after millions of years of evolution and ‘progress’ disheartens me. We are technologically advanced yet ignorant about what we are doing to our world. Our institutions of commerce, governance, religion, and education are dominated by such levels of greed for power and control that they are blind – are they? – to the obscenity of what they stubbornly perpetuate. They are the creators, the promoters, the instigators of a greedy and divisive economic system so destructive that it is overwhelming the planet’s natural resources.

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 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 a catastrophe of our own making, that the profits of corporations seem to be more important than the survival of Humanity? 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 increasing numbers, which pressed them to transition from hunting and roaming to agriculture and communal settlements. 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, ultimately, greed.

A degree of greed is necessary for survival. Still, it has become so abnormally dominant in our cultures that we accept it as essential to what we deem is ‘economic progress.’ The normalization of greed has made us blind to its consequences and the recognition that it is the root of the exploitation of the vulnerable and the obscene levels of inequality that throw millions of human lives into displacement, poverty, and despair.

How to even begin to think about a way to reverse the virulence of greed among us? How, when we are so prone to avoid reflection upon our own history?

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 swoop of its accumulated knowledge. In the same way scientists are using the advancements in communications to spread the warning signs of an environment in crisis, they can spread 1 – the fact that like atoms, or cells, or planetary systems, we are parts of Nature, and as such, those beautiful theories they devise to describe Nature also describe us; like atoms, or cells, or planetary systems, we are organizations of myriad components predetermined by environments yet endowed with a degree of freedom in adaptation, and 2 – the fact that most of us do not want a world dominated by greed, a world that threatens our survival, a world without peace, without compassion, perhaps even without us!

Revised January 2021   

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

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

From ancient times, poets, sages, philosophers, scientists, individual human beings, have pondered about the existence of a Higher Being. We try to understand this Being with beliefs, concepts, names, like Nature, God, Creator, Buddha, Allah, Shiva, the Tao, Life, Spirit, Energy, Universe, and so forth. But the truth is that we do not know with certainty what this Being is, how it emerged into existence, into Life. We have theories, hypotheses, assumptions, but we truly do not know. It is a mystery as profound as the mystery of Life itself. Yet discoveries in science show patterns in our Universe that give us insights into the nature of this Being: One of the patterns is manifested in the recurrence of equilibrium at microscopic and macroscopic levels in Nature.

At this point I must assert two facts that are self-evident to me: 1 – the Universe is the body of a living, intelligent, self-creating, organism and 2 – I am one of its myriad components.

But here is the conundrum:

Regardless of the size or level of complexity of a component, ongoing equilibrium between its elements is not possible without a degree of self-reflection – one element a measure of the other as the component unfolds.

But the deeper I peer into the composition and complexity of our Universe, the less I know about the reason for its existence, its capacity to self-create, the magnificence and ruthlessness of its progression. Yet a force propelling its existence beyond the natural boundaries that check its evolution is conspicuous. That force is self-reflection; Life reflecting upon its own unfolding.

My mind grows beyond the limits of my body, and I am set free to try to know what I am, to know why a Force born into me, etched into me, incites me to reach out, to overcome boundaries, to Know. And yet this Force is, must always be, a reflection of my limitations.

Like the Universe, I am the physical organization of trillions of components. Their combined mass turns into the force of a mind able to reflect upon its own emergence, yet this force reflects my limitations.

Self-reflective equilibrium is the essence of e=mc2 – the equivalence between what is, and what may be.

And because I am one of its components, Einstein’s insight into the nature of our Universe let me peek into the nature of something that is, and what it might be.

Revised February 2021   

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the Blog, click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the Home page’s left column, down below the Archives.