Archive for December, 2019

234 – Perspective …

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

The following, current facts, help me get a sense of perspective on my presence in, and interrelatedness with the world in which I exist:

The half-inch-long pro-biotic capsule I take every day to assist digestion contains two billion cells – Imagine! two billion cells packed in a little capsule; that’s how small cells are (the microscopic cell pictured below is from the International Human Cell Atlas Initiative). And so, it is no wonder that there are some 37 trillion cells in an average human body, each cell containing some 42 million molecules. This is the world inside of me; this is what I am made of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NASA picture below shows the location of Voyagers 1 and 2 after 42 years of travel since they were deployed in 1977 (click on the picture to expand it). This picture also shows the oval shape of our solar system as it travels through space embedded in one of the arms of the Milky Way.[1] This is the world from which humankind emerged into existence.

[1] Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

 

 

 

The image below, captured by the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, shows the oval shape of the Milky Way – the collection of about one trillion stars embedded in the Virgo Cluster, which is the collection of about 1200-2000 galaxies embedded in the Virgo Supercluster, which is one of millions of superclusters in our Universe. This is the world from which our Solar System emerged into existence.

 

 

 

 

I exist amid all these worlds, a part of a Continuum of systems within systems that seems infinite in all directions; a Continuum whose beginning nor its end I can fathom, nor the extent of its immensity, nor of its minuteness. But what I do fathom is that I am a part of it; that I exist in it, that its past is in me as I might be in its future; a Continuum that seems to willfully unfold with a degree of freedom … self-generating, self-organizing, self-regulating … either with a transformative force the likes of the one that turned the Earth into Life’s playground or quietly – without intrusion, without making waves – into Life’s awareness of itself.

Revised January 2022

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233 – “Life Feels Itself” …

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

I do not remember exactly where I first read this, “Life feels itself,” but I do remember how those three words seemed to carry more meaning than an entire philosophy. So, I looked it up on Wikipedia. What I found was information about the French philosopher Michel Henry (1922 – 2002), whose Phenomenology had, to me, the soundest understanding of Life I have ever encountered. Michel Henry was not only able to see beyond the walls of pre-conceived notions but affirmed the capacity of the human mind to feel, to love, to experience itself as one of Life’s manifestations.

What follows are selected excerpts from Wikipedia (link to entire information below).

Phenomenology comes from the English/German/Latinate “phenomenon” which means “that which shows itself by coming into the light”.

“The object of phenomenology is not however something that appears, such as a particular thing or phenomena, but the act of appearing itself. Henry’s thought led him to a reversal of Husserlian phenomenology, which acknowledges as phenomenon only that which appears in the world, or exteriority.”

“Henry defines life from a phenomenological point of view as what possesses the faculty and the power “to feel and to experience oneself in each point of its being”. For Henry, life is essentially force and affect; it is essentially invisible; it consists in a pure experience of itself which perpetually oscillates between suffering and joy. Thought is for him only a mode of life, because it is not thought which gives access to life, but life that allows thought to reach itself.”

“According to Henry, life can never be seen from the exterior, as it never appears in the exteriority of the world. Life feels itself and experiences itself in its invisible interiority and in its radical immanence.[1] In the world we never see life itself, but only living beings or living organisms; we cannot see life in them. In the same way, it is impossible to see another person’s soul with the eyes or to perceive it at the end of a scalpel.”

For Henry, “life refers to the fact of being itself, to the fact of being a Self.”

“Western philosophy as a whole since its Greek origins recognizes only the visible world and exteriority as the sole form of manifestation.

“Henry rejects materialism, which admits only matter as reality – “He equally rejects idealism, which reduces being to thought and is in principle incapable of grasping the reality of being which it reduces to an unreal image, to a simple representation.

“The deep originality of Michel Henry’s thought and its radical novelty in relation to all preceding philosophy explains its fairly limited reception. It is however a philosophy that is admired for its “rigor” and its “depth”. But his thought is both “difficult” and “demanding”, despite the simplicity and immediacy of its central and unique theme of phenomenological life, the experience of which it tries to communicate. It is the immediacy and absolute transparency of life which explains the difficulty of grasping it as a thought: it is much easier to speak of what we see than of this invisible life, which fundamentally avoids being seen from the outside.

“Life loves itself with an infinite love and never ceases to engender itself.

“Life is nothing but this absolute love that religion calls God.”

Yet science, enslaved by a methodology that demands a measurable proof to endorse a theory, fails to see that we are the immensurable proof of Henry’s phenomenology: We love, feel, and experience ourselves; we are Life trying to understand itself.

WE ARE LIFE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND ITSELF.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Henry

Revised February 2022

[1] The doctrine or theory of Immanence holds that the divine (the living Cosmos) encompasses or is manifested in the material world. (parenthesis is mine)

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 left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.

[1] The doctrine or theory of Immanence holds that the divine (the living Cosmos) encompasses or is manifested in the material world. (parenthesis is mine)