224 – This is Transcendence …

How would we live, how would we behave, how would we understand ourselves and our world, if we knew, without a hint of doubt, that we are not only able to affect the future, but that measured by what we do with our lives we can continue to be a physical, living, dynamic presence in its unfolding?

We, each one of us, perform for humanity the basic functions a DNA molecule performs for us. Like the DNA molecule that carries the instructions for the development, functioning, growth, reproduction, of the organic system in which it exists, we also carry the instructions for the development, functioning, growth, reproduction of the organic system we call humankind.

Although the length of the evolutionary process through which the DNA molecule has developed into its current configuration is not clear, the role of mutations, environmental stresses, catastrophic events, the role of the individual component, all are and continue to be transformative factors. But even though these factors can often be harmful, or neutral, they can also be catalysts for the adaptation or re-configuration of the molecule. And if or when the new configuration proves to be beneficial to its survival, it is adopted and transmitted to succeeding generations, with the cause of the transformative factor imprinted as a physical, living, dynamic presence in its unfolding.

Our lives mirror our own DNA. We transmit our genes … at least half of them … to our progeny; they carry, perpetuate, transform that part of us into them. It is the same with ideas, they are passed on to future generations according to their significance, with the potential to be assimilated into the fabric of the future.

For us, for humankind, the transmission of information from generation to generation – inheritance – goes mostly unabated for extended periods of time, until a natural or human factor that demands change can be expressed through an individual or a group of individuals who, compelling us to alter not only our organic configuration but the way we function and relate to the world, affect us to such a degree that it becomes a presence in our unfolding.

Think about our simian ancestors who, for a reason yet unexplained, dared to leave the protection of the jungle to delve into the open savannah – that step was so transformative that it demanded the physical re-configuration not only of our bodies but of the way we function in the world. Or think about Copernicus, Einstein, Darwin, to name a few, whose insights into the nature of reality were so transformative that demanded a re-configuration not only of the neural connectivity of our brains but of the way we understand ourselves and our world; their ideas, their discoveries are still with us; they are a dynamic, living part of what we are.

To some degree or another, we all transcend by the mere impact of Existing – parents in their progeny, teachers in their students, scientists in their insights, molecules in our configuration – but those whose imprint make us change course as a species continue to be a dynamic, living presence in our Becoming.

This is Transcendence.

Revised January 2022

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