205 – Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? …

 

Update on my ongoing quest to answer what I believe are the most profound questions posed to the human mind. These questions are the title of the above painting by Paul Gauguin.

Where do we come from?

As a cell emerges out of the self-generating processes of our bodies, we emerge out of the self-generating processes of the phenomenon we call Life. But Life is just a manifestation of a primordial source which, amid trial and error, creation and destruction, progresses inexorably toward greater heights of complexity and order. But because this progression is evident, tangible, measurable, its power to destroy and create terrifying and magnificent, and yet it remains beyond our comprehension, some of us call it God, Allah, Shiva, etc., etc. But we tend to create deities when there is something we cannot understand. And even though we do not know what the source is, or how it might have been engendered, or what its purpose might be, it is from which we emerge with the purpose 0f perpetuating itself.

What are we?

As manifestations of the phenomenon we call Life, we have evolved the awareness that 1 – we are insignificant in the scheme of the Universe and significant in the scheme of the atomic elements,  2 – that like everything in Nature, we obey a universal mandate that creates and regulates our bodies, 3 – that amid the constraints of physical laws that regulate our internal and external environments, we possess a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world. We are sources of transformation.

Where are we going?

Regulated by internal and external environments, yet pregnant with the possibilities of a degree of freedom in transformation, we forge ahead until we no longer can, at which time we begin the inexorable return to the primordial source from which we might re-emerge.

But re-emergence is equivalent to the significance of what we have imagined,

what we have created,

what we have destroyed,

what we have taken,

what we have given to the world.

Like everything in Nature, the human being has evolved in transcendental steps. Each step builds upon the ones taken before. Each step has a degree of significance and affects not only our life but oftentimes the life of others. Some steps may affect immediate progeny, some entire generations, and some steps may be so significant that may affect not only the course of our evolution but Evolution itself.

Think of Einstein – how his ideas live among us, opening new visions and challenging our understanding of reality; or Darwin – how his theory of Evolution live among us, stimulating research in the origins of Life; or Mandela and Gandhi – how their courage live among us, inspiring pacifist rebellion against the tyranny of unaccountable power; or Socrates – how his method of inquiry live among us, stimulating us to reflect upon ourselves; or Gauguin – how his profound questions live among us, daring us to wonder and search for answers. These human beings live among us in the progressive movement of our evolution, in the greater reaches of our perception, in the heightened insights of our conscious self-awareness; they live among us challenging and transforming our understanding of the unfolding phenomenon from which we emerge, helping us move forward in the transcendental process of Becoming. And so, as these human beings have transcended into our lives, making us more daring in our visions of the future, more curious about our origins, more aware of what is right and what is wrong, more self-conscious about the struggles and wonders of existence, so, equivalent to the significance of what we accomplish with our lives, we may transcend into the unfolding of the future.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? We emerge out of a self-generating primordial source whose unfolding we call Life.

WHAT ARE WE? We are sources of transformation.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? We are going into the future and may transcend into the unfolding of the primordial source as measured by the significance of our life. 

TRANSCENDENCE IS A MEASURE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EXISTENCE.

Revised May 2021   

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