Archive for December, 2019

234 – Perspective …

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

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

The 1.5 centimeter-long pro-biotic capsule I take every day to assist digestion, contains two billion cells – Imagine! two billion cells packed in a little capsule. And so it is no wonder that there are some 37 trillion cells in an average human body,[1] each cell containing some 42 million molecules. This is the world inside of me; this is what I am made out of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

The image below, captured by the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, shows the oval shape of the Milky Way – the collection of as much as a 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 embedded across the Universe. This is the world from which our Solar System emerged into existence.

 

 

 

 

I exist in the midst of all these worlds, a part of a Continuum of systems within systems that seems infinite in all directions: I cannot fathom its beginning, nor its end, nor the extent of its immensity, nor of its minuteness. But I do fathom, not just within me but all around me, a willful continuity that links every part together with a degree of freedom to ride the moving, transforming, self-determined Continuum, either quietly – without intrusion, without making waves – or shaking it up with such a force that it transforms it, like when the Earth became Life’s’ playground; or when Life becomes conscious of itself … and decides; or when we realize that we are a part of an ancient and expanding Continuum, and that as its past is living in us, so we may live in its future … but measured by the force of our significance.

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 picture of a cell is from the International Human Cell Atlas Initiative

[2] Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

233 – “Life Feels Itself” …

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

I do not remember exactly where I first read that “Life feels itself”, but I do remember how those three words seemed to carry more meaning than an entire philosophic theory. So I looked into Wikipedia trying to locate the source. What I found was information about a man, the French philosopher Michel Henry (10 January 1922 – 3 July 2002), whose phenomenology had 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 portions from Wikipedia’s information on Michel Henry’s phenomenology (link to entire information below).

“The work of Michel Henry is based on Phenomenology, which is the study of the phenomenon. The English/German/Latinate word “phenomenon” comes from the Greek “phainomenon” 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 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 – “Suffering and joy belong to the essence of life, and they are the two fundamental affective tonalities of its manifestation and – self-revelation.

“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.

Life feels itself and experiences itself in its invisible interiority and in its radical immanence.[1]

“Two modes of manifestation of phenomena exist, according to Henry, which are two ways of appearing: “exteriority”, which is the mode of manifestation of the visible world, and phenomenological “interiority”, which is the mode of manifestation of invisible life. Our bodies, for instance, are in life given to us from the inside, which allows us, for example, to move our hands, and it also appears to us from the outside like any other object that we can see in the world.

“The “invisible”, here, does not correspond to that which is too small to be seen with the naked eye, or to radiation to which the eye is not sensitive, but rather to life, which is forever invisible – No-one has ever seen a force, a thought or a feeling appear in the world in their inner reality.

“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. For Michel Henry, the revelation of the absolute resides in affectivity and is constituted by it.

“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

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)