Archive for January, 2019

213 – Life can only come from Life …

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Know thyself and thou will know the Universe. Thou shall likewise know that according to Law, the nature of this universe is in all things.” Pythagoras

I wonder what will happen to us, the human race, if we come to accept the premise that the Universe is as alive as we are.

There are facts about our Universe that can only be understood thus.

The fundamental substance of our Universe (what it is fundamentally made out of) is energy/mass – energy condensing into mass and mass dissipating into energy – and the elemental composition of this substance is atomic.

Atomic particles are generated through interactions between matter in which they are organized into systems that conform to and influence environments. But the viability of the systems depends entirely on a capacity to regulate their mass and energy contents to always be one a measure of the other. [1]

I believe our Universe could not have come into existence in a vacuum; its energy could not have condensed into mass nor its mass conform to be a measure of its energy, without the influence of an external force – pressure, incitement, reiteration. Our Universe, like everything it encompasses, needs not only a constant source of energy to grow, but an environment to interact with and unfold into. We have nothing to compare the vastness nor the majesty of our Universe, but we have some empirical insights into its nature: we know, for instance, that two of its major players are energy and matter; we also know that our Universe began to regulate these two major players in a process that leads progressively toward complexity and order.

Although we do it all the time, we are hardly aware of self-regulation in us. We consume energy sources from the environment (foods, oxygen), store them as mass and weight (bone, fat), and dissipate them in the energy of growth, motion, action, re-generation. But our existence depends entirely not just on our capacity to regulate this process, but to keep it in equilibrium. As we grow in activity and gain weight during our infancy and youth, our body demands increasing amounts of energy, and as we grow older and reduce the vigor of our activity, our body demands lesser amounts of energy. This is self-regulation, and without it, Life is not viable.

Although self-regulation does not explain the genesis of Life, it shows us Life’s purpose in a deliberate action; Regulating its own components with the deliberate purpose to develop and survive into complexity. But deliberate purpose is not possible without a degree of self-reflection. And Self-reflection with a purpose is, I believe, something only Life can do.

We are self-reflective creatures because we are alive, and so is our Universe.

Life can only come from Life.

Revised January 2020

[1] I use Matter and Mass interchangeably because both terms refer to properties of the same phenomenon, the fundamental substance of our Universe.

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212 – My mind …

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

How can we ever stop being amazed, mystified, awed by our minds, by what we can do with them?

How can myriad neurons – billions of them – independently and communally bond together to become the phenomenon of the mind; a phenomenon that allows me to project outward into the world, and inward into myself, into my own experience, into my own existence?

How can myriad neurons build, and constantly fine-tune, a network of connections that stores my experiences with varying degrees of accuracy and importance, creating a phenomenon that responds to the world according not only to the perception of my senses, but to the influence of my culture, my upbringing, my fears, desires, dreams, metabolism, environment?

The mind is a form of energy that can be redirected, focused, expanded, manipulated; a form of energy that can be wrought by music, anger, fear, death, love, beauty; a form of energy that can objectify visions, ideas, concepts. But because our experience of the mind is intangible and immensurable, it is difficult for us to accept the fact that it is as physical a force as the one synchronizing the beats of our hearts, or the force carrying oxygen to every niche in our bodies.

We don’t know of any other creature that possesses a mind with a degree of conscious self-reflection as developed as ours. We can perceive degrees of self-reflection in other animals, but whether it is conscious, we do not know. The capacity of the human mind to reflect upon itself is a major step forward in the evolution of Life, an achievement in its unequivocal movement towards greater levels of complexity and order. But although this is an amazing insight about the nature of the human mind, it does not bring us any closer to understanding the intangible yet incontestable presence of our conscious mind.

It therefore continues to be baffling to try to understand how myriad neurons can create a phenomenon so utterly individual in its experiences, so unique in the physical connectivity of its neurons, and yet, like the wonder of murmurations, how it dances with its kin creating patterns and rhythms of increasing complexity.

I wish I could understand how is it that my mind can reach so far beyond the grasp of my senses, when I know it is limited by what I am, by what I know, by what I perceive; how is it that my mind is so present in me, such part of me, when I know it is older than old and greater than itself; how is it that my mind creates itself moment by moment, day by day, when I know it is being aided not only by what is immediate, but what is eternal; how is it that my mind can converse and connect with other minds, when I know it is inscrutable amid the beauty and uniqueness of its own music.

– this is why I feel so lonely when I am alone with it, yet I know it is the greatest possession to connect with the world ever given to me.

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