95 – A second attempt to answer Gauguin questions …

On Post 78, dated May 1, 2013, I published, for the first time, my ongoing attempt to answer the haunting and profound questions Paul Gauguin posited as the title of one of his most beautiful paintings: “Where do we come from   What are we   Where are we going”.

I have since continued trying to answer the questions, and now, nine months later, it is interesting to see how my answers have changed as I have learned not only to write a bit better, but more importantly, to understand them better.

Although the answers to the questions are about impossible to discern with our current knowledge, the last one is still the most difficult because it is so mired in Fear, Doubt, Fantasy, Belief, Speculation, Ignorance. And although my answer to that question may seem improbable, the observable evidence demonstrates more and more how, throughout our evolutionary History, the significance of the life, the ideas, the creations of a single or group of individuals, can continue to be a physical or spiritual presence not only affecting how succeeding generations think and behave, but also how they understand themselves and their world.

Where do we come from?  

We emerge into Life out of the primordial, creative and unfolding Process some of us call Evolution, but Evolution is just the persistent unfolding toward complexity of this ancient Process; some of us call it God, but we tend to call God what we cannot understand; some of us call it Nature, but Nature is just the myriad forms in which  the Process is manifested; some of us call it the Big Bang, but the Big Bang is merely our conception of the birth of our Universe.

And even though the Process is unfolding in the world within us and the world around us (the flow of our blood, the increasing complexity of our brains, the creativity of Life, the changing cycles of the earth, the birth and death of stars, the majestic splendor of galaxies), we cannot comprehend it yet.

What are we?

I do not know. But what I do know is that we are born to regenerate and perpetuate the ancient Process from which we emerge endowed with a relative degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world; that out of an organized congregation of myriad elements working in symbiosis with the environment, we originate the mystery and the power of the self-reflecting mind; and that like the molecules and the cells we are made of, we are sources of Transformation.

Where are we going?

Driven by primal instincts and restricted by the constraints of our internal and external environments, we forge ahead until we no longer can, at which point we begin our dissolution back into the ancient Source from which we emerged.

But dissolution is not an end; it is a re-emergence back into the ancient Process in equivalent measure to the significance of what we have done with our lives, what we have imagined, what we have created, what we have destroyed, how we have changed ourselves and our world.

Imagine how different our world would be if, unlike the lessons we are taught under our current economic, religious and scientific paradigms in which Death is the end to further transformation, we teach children that we come into existence endowed with the potential to re-emerge upon the dissolution of our physical body into the Process from which we initially emerged, but in equivalent measure to the significance of our lives.

“Immortality exists in the eternal consequences of our acts”. Unknown

“I am confident in the belief that there truly is such a thing as living again”. Socrates   

Revised November 2019   

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