78 – “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?”

This set of old questions … immortalized by Paul Gauguin in one of his most beautiful and enigmatic paintings [1] … have always held my fascination. To me they are the most profound questions ever posed to the human mind. It is thus a humbling exercise even to attempt to answer them, but they demand answers. So years ago I began to try. The answers below are very incomplete … to say the least … but I have learned much in the attempt. I will continue to work on them and periodically update them.

Where do we come from?

We emerge into life out of a primordial, creative and unfolding Source. Some of us call it Evolution, but Evolution is just the process of its unfolding. Some of us call it God, but we call God what we don’t understand. Some of us call it Nature, but Nature is just one of its manifestations. Some of us call it the Big Bang, but the Big Bang is just the birth of our Universe.

And even if this ancient Source is unfolding within us and all around us … in the primal flow of our blood, in the increasing complexity of our brains, in the creativity of the changing earth … we are not developed enough to comprehend it.

What are we?

I do not know. But I do know that we are born with the main purpose of regenerating and perpetuating the unfolding of the ancient Source; that we emerge out of this ancient Source endowed with a relative degree of freedom to adapt, to act according to our needs and desires, to transform and be transformed; that we are cohesive organizations of myriad elements working in symbiosis with our environment to originate the mystery of the Mind; that from the dimension of the stars we are infinitesimally small and from the dimension of the atoms we are immensely immense; and yet, like the stars and the atoms, we are sources of Transformation.

Where are we going?

We forge ahead to meet the unknown, mostly driven by primal instincts and limited by the constraints of our internal and external environments, and yet we are pregnant with Possibility. We forge ahead until we no longer can. And so we dissolve into cells and molecules and atoms. But Death is just a door that,  in equal measure to the significance of our lives … what we have done, what we have created, what we have imagined, how we have transformed ourselves, how we have transformed our world … opens up into the ancient Source so we can re-emerge in new and more complex forms of existence.

Although there are many salient examples of individuals in Human History (Muhammad, Buddha, Jesus, Socrates, Rumi, Da Vinci, Einstein, Beethoven; to name a few) from whom the legacy of their accomplishments re-emerged in new and more complex physical and dynamic forms of existence, and although their legacy is a physical and dynamic force affecting human development … in religions, philosophy, science, the arts … this kind of re-emergence is very difficult for us to conceptualize under our current Paradigm.

Centuries ago, misled by the limitations of our organic senses, the human mind was under the misconception that the earth was the center of the Universe. Today, still misled by the limitations of our organic senses, we are under the misconception of a Paradigm in which our minds are perceived as separate from our bodies and our bodies as separate from their Source. And thus, like our ancestors centuries ago, we question undeniable Facts: We question the Fact that we physically emerge out of the same primal Source into which we all ultimately return. We question the Fact that as the significance of the teachings of a prophet, or the inquisitiveness of a philosopher, or the visions of a poet, or the insights of a scientist, or the passions of an artist have re-emerged in more complex forms of existence … organized religions, philosophical methods of inquiry, scientific theories, a body of art … so we too can re-emerge into the unfolding of the ancient and creative Source, but only in equal measure to the significance of our actions, our creations, our ideas.

The realization of these Facts will change the course of Humanity.

[1] A photo of the painting can be found at the bottom of the Pictures page. Click on it to expand.

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