Archive for the ‘Vision for a New World’ Category

181– What do I really Love?

Friday, September 15th, 2017

I love humankind. I love the incredible beauty, complexity, dexterity, ingenuity of the human being; its boundless capacity for love, for tenderness, for compassion, for imagining the unimaginable and, oftentimes, making it real. I love its capacity to see patterns in Nature, to feel awe in the presence of beauty, to create out of its hands and mind beauty as never heard or seen before. I love what it can do with its own body, shaping it, making it stronger, healthier, pushing it into challenging environments, making love, slowly, not just to impregnate like most animals, but to feel pleasure and give pleasure. I love its desire to travel around the earth to experience other cultures, other ways of living, other ways of learning. I love its capacity to evolve out of the bonding of two cells, already knowing how to self-organize into the most amazing creature we know of in Nature, already possessing the gift of language, the urge to survive, the need for love, the want for learning, the curiosity to look at itself and wonder about its roots, about its destiny.

Yet I cringe at the capacity of the human being to reach the most atrocious levels of cruelty, intolerance, hate, deceit, destruction; its capacity to kill, not for sustenance like most animals, but out of hate, barbarism, greed, envy, and, oftentimes, horribly killing in the hundreds and thousands without a hint of remorse, but instead with pride in the repugnance of its actions. I cringe at the capacity of the human being to use fear and deceit to incite the destruction of other cultures, other set of beliefs, for the sole purpose of appeasing its own fears.

I do believe that human beings are born with certain inherited, latent capacities … language, sensuality, curiosity, love … but no one, absolutely no one, is born with the capacity to be cruel, hateful, destructive; these capacities are incited through continued and premeditated oppression, brutality, torture, abuse, ridicule, humiliation; and these capacities are more damaging and lasting when incited in the vulnerable and impressionable human mind during the formative years of early childhood.

Yet I marvel at exceptional human beings; those who go through unbearable emotional and physical experiences and, seemingly out of nowhere, muster the courage to turn themselves instead into creators of incredible forms of beauty: Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, Mandela’s untiring search for justice. These individuals have shown us that great beauty sometimes comes from pain.  But they are so few, when compared with the innumerable ones throughout our history who, attaining a degree of power, lash out what was done to them on the vulnerable, the powerless, the innocent.

There is no escape from the Fact that modern human beings are a consequence of a primordial evolutionary process, a consequence of an ascending universal force that has brought into Life the miracle of conscious self-reflection. We are the recipients of this miracle. And so I do believe that the destiny of humankind is not to incite hate and oppression, but to propagate and deepen the knowledge of the incredible beauty of what we have come be, what we have come to possess.

Believing in this is what I really love.

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176 – The Saddest Thing …

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Anyone who has witnessed the eyes of a human being at the moment of death, can attest to have seen the departure of Life from the body, leaving in place the indescribable unknown we all must face in our return to where we came from. But experiences like this, instead of reaffirming how encompassing, transient, fragile and implausible Life is, only reinforce the illusion of our sense of individuality, our distance from each other, our separation from the natural world, thus veiling the reality we have not been able to grasp – refuse to grasp – that we are immersed in an environment that connects us all as participants in the unfolding of the organism we call humankind.

Life is energy in motion; never at rest. It has its own sparkle, its own impetus, its own power to constantly self-renew. We are immersed in a living atmosphere in which we participate in a constant process of consumption and dissipation that perpetuates self-renewal. But when this process cannot be sustained, when the power to self-renew is no longer there, we die – of old age, injury, disease, lack of oxygen, starvation.

Our consumption and release of energy sources make a relative impact on the atmosphere that supports and dictates our lives. But because we have made Consumption a god to service a few … it is the measure of success, the measure of happiness, the measure of power, the measure of control … and since this god demands a growing number of consumers to unendingly consume, we have runaway population growth. We have populated every habitable niche on the surface of the planet, and our level of consumption, our intake and release of energy sources, is altering – rapidly and severely – the chemical balance of the environment in which our lives depend.

Our current world population is at seven and a half billion. And with the worldwide number of daily births at 360,000, which more than doubles that of daily deaths at 151,600, * we are projected to reach eight billion by 2023. The chart below shows clearly the speed of our exponential growth.

Population
Years passed Year Billion
1800 1
127 1927 2
33 1960 3
14 1974 4
13 1987 5
12 1999 6
12 2011 7
6 2017 7.5
6 2023 8
United Nations Population Fund 2011 estimate. Two last lines are updated with current information.

The beneficial environment that for millennia has supported our evolution cannot sustain this kind of growth, and it is already showing signs of distress. We are watching these signs, stupefied – they are so ominous some of us prefer to be in denial.

What do we think Life is? We take it for granted because even if we know how implausible it is that we are alive, we are that implausibility. We are the most beautiful and ingenious creature we know of. And so, to see that for the benefit of a few we are destroying ourselves by destroying what gives us Life, is the saddest thing.

*Source: Population Reference Bureau & The World Factbook, 2011 Estimate (Central Intelligence Agency)

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175 – An Inescapable Conclusion …

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Some of our own physical properties are incomprehensible to us: How, for instance, two cells can come together knowing in advance the astonishing process of creating an organism able to reflect upon itself; or how billions, trillions of minute elements can bond, oftentimes fleetingly, into a cohesive organism that can adapt to its constantly changing world; or how can a microscopic double helix encode the relatively pre-determined yet supple line of ascent of the entire species.

But, on the other hand, there are some physical properties that have become self-evident as we develop higher levels of comprehension:

The fact, for instance, that we are utterly unique … there is no one with my exact composition in the entire Universe … while simultaneously being a common member of a species.

Or the fact that we thrive in a body that regulates itself, while simultaneously being regulated by the environment in which we exist.

Or the fact that we are controlled by primal instincts that determine our development and our ultimate disintegration, while simultaneously being liberated by a relative degree of freedom in adaptation.

Or the fact that we imprint every cell we create in our bodies with our specific characteristics … eye color, skin pigment, blood type … while simultaneously we are imprinted with the same characteristics for the extent of our lives.

That these properties are self-evident lead us to an inescapable conclusion: As there is a physical connection between our every cell and us – the organism that creates, imprints and endows them with a relative degree of freedom in adaptation – so there is a parallel physical connection between every one of us and the organism/system/Universe that creates, determines and endows us with a relative degree of freedom in adaptation.

The impact on Humanity of incorporating into our understanding of ourselves and our world the physical connection that unites us all, will liberate us from the devastating divisiveness of intolerance.

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174 – Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? VI

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

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 one of the most beautiful and enigmatic paintings by Paul Gauguin.

Where do we come from?

Like cells in our bodies, we emerge out of a living Being; a self-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming phenomenon whose unfolding we call Evolution. But Evolution is the progression of this phenomenon amid trial and error, creation and destruction, towards higher levels of complexity and order … from clouds of ice and dust into solar systems, from cells into human beings, from stars into galaxies, from nervous systems into the wonder of the mind. And because the progression of this phenomenon is relatively measurable, its determination tangible, its power to destroy and create self-evident, yet it remains incomprehensible, some of us call it God, but we tend to call God what we cannot comprehend.

And although the unfolding of this phenomenon is the archetype of our genesis … the coming together of elements into our self-organizing organisms; the flow of ancient instincts in our blood; our primal urge to bond, to re-generate, to survive; our boundless ingenuity in adaptation, our reflective contemplation of self-reflection … what this phenomenon is, how it might have been engendered, what its purpose might be, we cannot yet comprehend – perhaps we never will.

What are we?

I do not know. But I do know that we are incredibly complex and beautiful manifestations of the living phenomenon; insignificant in the scheme of the Universe and significant in the scheme of the atomic elements; promoters of its universal mandate to Become, to Self-organize, to Bond, to Re-generate, to Adapt, to Self-perpetuate, to Transform; participants in the renewal and perpetuation of its onward movement.

And even though our actions and reactions are limited by physical laws that regulate our internal and external environments, we nonetheless have evolved the capacity to be self-conscious of our degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world … and thus we are self-conscious sources of transformation.

Where are we going?

Limited by internal and external environments, yet pregnant with the possibilities of a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world, we forge ahead until we no longer can; at which point we begin the inexorable return to the environment from which we emerged.

But in equal measure to what we have imagined,

to what we have created,

to what we have destroyed,

to what we have taken,

to what we have given to the world, we may re-emerge into a more complex form of existence.

Think of Einstein – how his ideas live among us opening new visions and challenging our understanding of Reality; or Darwin – how his theory lives among us stimulating research on the origins of Life; or Mandela, or Gandhi – how their courage live among us inspiring pacifist rebellion against the destructive tyranny of unaccountable power; or Socrates – how his method of inquiry lives among us stimulating critical thinking and the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself; or Gauguin – how his profound questions live on his beautiful painting, daring us to find answers. These individuals live on in us, changing and challenging our understanding of the unfolding phenomenon from which we emerge, helping us move forward in the transcendental process of Becoming. Humanity is better because of the significance of their lives.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? We emerge out of a self-generating, self-organizing, self-transforming Being.

WHAT ARE WE? We are self-conscious sources of transformation.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? We transcend into the Future in equal measure to the significance of our lives.

Imagine how different our world will be when these manifest Facts become the foundation of what we teach our children.

Imagine

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172 – The most beautiful Universal Pattern we cannot yet perceive …

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Human beings can perceive many universal patterns … the periodic table of the atomic elements, the preference of galaxies for spiral and globular shapes, the double helix of the DNA molecule, the Fibonacci sequence, e=mc2 … but we cannot perceive the Universal Pattern I believe is the most beautiful of all … not yet.

Although in plain sight, the pattern of a universal blueprint that creates order and induces a movement towards greater and greater complexity remains beyond our powers of perception. And to think that all we need to perceive it, is to look at the similarities between our own Becoming and that of everything else in our Universe.

If we look for similarities between an atom, a cell, an animal, a tree, a planetary system, a galaxy, you and I, we can see that upon genesis, as we become supple manifestations of existence, we all follow the same fundamental sequence of events: We organize, generate, bond components into a cohesive body/system capable of sensing, responding and adapting with a degree of flexibility to the changes in our internal and external environments. As we encounter and surmount challenges, this flexibility is the key to survival and the catalyst for our transformation into greater complexity.

Becoming through Self-organization, Self-generation, Bonding, Adaptation, Self-perpetuation, Transformation, comprises the pattern of a Universal Order that ensures the progression of the creative process of Evolution toward the levels of complexity we see in ourselves and in our Universe.

And when we are able to perceive this pattern, we will not only perceive the beauty and magnificence of a higher symmetry, but we will also see how it connects us all.

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171 – The Human Condition …

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

The overall behavior and perceptive capacity of homo sapiens … what we sum up as the Human Race … are controlled in manifold degrees by a set of paradigms, or belief systems, which limit our capacity to comprehend the fact that we are on a downward spiral towards self-destruction.

These paradigms are:

A socio-political paradigm in which Intolerance, Division, Conflict, rule the decision-making of those determining our destiny.

An economic paradigm in which Greed and Aggression are the fundamental forces driving the consumption and production of resources in the industrialized world.

A scientific paradigm in which the physical sciences shy away from systematic enquiry on phenomena, like our capacity to wonder or to adjust our primal emotions, because these essential elements of our existence can neither be measured nor reduced to equations.

A learning paradigm, the most damaging of all, in which the overriding agendas of dominant education systems are the standardization of Human nature and the promotion of the destructive concept of corporate hegemony.

A set of belief systems in which what is beyond the reach of the human intellect is anthropomorphized into idols, or ‘divinities’, possessing our darker characteristics … intolerance, cruelty, revenge, misogyny, hate … which then make us feel vindicated when we are the perpetrators.

It is obvious that under the dominance of these paradigms we are inciting rising levels of poverty, greed, irrationality, conflict, despair; we are consuming and destroying natural resources faster than the environment can replenish and mend them; we are altering the chemical proportions of the environment that sustains our evolution.

Although these paradigms were developed in our struggles to survive amid challenging environments, they are self-imposed human inventions that should have been overcome long ago as we began to realize their destructive potential. But that they are instead perpetuated by the greed of the powerful to control and tax the vulnerable … oftentimes with horrendous cruelty … is not only unforgivable, it is the cause of our downward spiral into self-destruction.

There are no easy solutions for the human condition, and turning around forces of such proportions is a monumental task, but it is our survival.

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170 – On Field Theory …

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

According to Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, Field Theory was developed to study actions that result from interactions propagating through the dimensions of space and time (electromagnetism, gravitation).

Although the theory is mostly based on mathematical equations, the fundamental premise of the propagation of an action through a medium can perfectly be applied to species, animal relations, the human being, development of organisms, ideas that turn into action, Life.

The propagation of an action can be described in two different yet complementary ways: 1- Action with contact, and 2- Action at a distance.

Action with contact describes how a body, whether alone or not, can modify the structure of the space around it without transporting the location.

Action at a distance describes how a body, whether alone or not, can be determined by the forces acting upon its interactions as it moves through a medium in space/time.

These actions propagate through a medium, and their propagation can potentially create a Field.

The main objective of the Theory is to study how these Fields are created and transformed into ‘forces’ that propagate through a medium, and how these forces are determined or modified by the medium. Action with contact is a self-initiated force that can modify but not change the location of its surroundings. Action at a distance is a force that although propagating, is nonetheless determined by internal and external forces.

Galileo’s understanding of Reality is a good example of the Theory; his understanding was a self-initiated force that impacted the Field of human knowledge without having to move the physical environment in which he existed [action with contact]. But even though the force of his understanding ultimately changed the way we understand Reality, it was delayed by the dogmatic force of the church [action at a distance].

These two forces … our force to affect and the forces that affect us … are complementary (one cannot exist without the other), and together they determine the extent and significance of our actions. When I focus on a goal, I can initiate an action with which, as a driving force, I create a Field, say, of a belief, or the study of a new idea, or a political faction. But although the pursuit of my goal may be turned into a powerful force that can travel through space and time, its outcome will ultimate be determined by conducive or limiting forces acting upon me.

By describing the actions of a body in which the body is the driving force … the ‘operator’ … of a Field, we have to designate it with the attribute, whether instinctive or self-determined, of Purpose, i.e., an entity, quantity, or quality that purposefully affects or changes the existing state of any given system.

What this simply implies is that Field Theory does not only apply to forces like magnetism or gravitation, but also to forces like that of a species or a human being. When we decide to do something, to affect something, to accomplish something, to transform something with a sense of directions and purpose, we become the driving force, the ‘operator’ of a field of action.

To describe Galileo as the ‘driving force’ that ultimately changed the way Humanity perceives Reality, we must include his interactions with, and his dependency upon the existing forces within which his own force was being created. Galileo was the Field Operator, the force behind his actions, but the ultimate outcome of his determination to expand the field of human knowledge was subjected to internal forces [health, mental capacities, etc.] and external forces [the domination of the church, weather, etc.] acting upon him and limiting his determination. Galileo was imprisoned under house arrest for the rest of his life, but the force of his argument ultimately triumphed and changed the way we understand Reality.

When directing, or being directed by the power of ideas and actions, we are transformed into forces pregnant with the potential to unleash unimaginable transformations as demonstrated by a Galileo, an Einstein, a Gandhi, a Hitler. Although limited, and sometimes assisted by their internal and external environments, these individuals unleashed forces that, when measured by their impact or significance, transcended into how we think and act today.

This is what Erich Jantsch calls Self-transcendence, the reaching out beyond the boundaries of one’s own existence.

Our evolution has taken us to levels of discernment that allow us to see the difference between the two forces … the forces within, and the forces that shape us … so we can anticipate and face difficulties with ingenuity and a degree of control. But once again, we can only do this through the intimate relationship with our internal and external environments.

Our lives are fields in the flow of Existence, and even though the power or weakness of the field is oftentimes determined by forces beyond our control, when given the chance we achieve feats that reach beyond our own existence: This is the inherent power within us!

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169 – The Death of Wonder …

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

“… We were growing up, of course, impatient at times / to grow up more quickly, half to oblige those / who had nothing to show for having grown up. / And yet, when left on our own, what we liked / was what did not change, and there we stood / in the space between world and toy, / a place that had from the beginning / been consecrated for a pure event.

Who shows a child as he really is? Who places / him among the stars and puts the measuring stick of separation / into his hands? … Murderers are / easy to understand. But this, though: death, / all of death, even before life has begun, / to hold it all so gently and without rancor, / this is beyond description.” *

What is it about the human mind that can be so easily manipulated into Conformism?

During the first years of life, the human mind is filled with unbounded curiosity. But this innate capacity begins to be manipulated into conformism under the influence of parental/cultural demands. And then it is further manipulated, oftentimes even to the point of complete obliteration, under the influence of educational systems that demand us to conform to aggressive and destructive economic and socio-political paradigms (consumerism, divisiveness, conflict, gross inequality). The results of conformism to these paradigms is apparent on what we are doing to the earth.

Rebelliousness against the authority of those who curb our curiosity by expecting unquestioning conformism to demands based on boundaries instead of openness, is castigated, oftentimes with levels of cruelty that not only can incite more rebelliousness, but degrees of complacency that lead to cynicism, numbness and the ravages of opioids. There is, without question, the need for guidance in focusing youthful energy within firm yet nurturing discipline. But curiosity’s greatest foe is not rebelliousness, but what lays in the minds of those already in authority; those individuals so conformed to the status quo that they cannot conceive that rebelliousness is an outcome against the irrationality of their actions and demands.

A step in our evolution we have not been able to overcome, is that we continue to perceive Reality exclusively upon the very limitations of our main organic senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell). These senses are, of course, the tools we have developed to perpetuate our survival, but they give us a perception of separation. This sense of separation is an illusion … we are part of Nature and Nature is part of us … this illusion is the cause of our irrational aggressiveness towards the same environment from which we come into existence and on which our survival totally depends. This illusion of separation is strongly reinforced as we guide the infant mind into conformism … Me here – – the world out there to consume and control … and conformism to this illusion of separation is the death of wonder about the primordial continuum of Life throbbing in our veins.

Manipulating an infant mind to fit in … to give in … into conformism, is to chain the boundless curiosity we deem so beautiful in children, is to take away one of the greatest joys of life … this is beyond description.

*Excerpts from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Fourth Elegy. Translation by Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann

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168 – Soul/Spirit, Mind …

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Even though they are essential to our being, we don’t know much about what Soul/Spirit and Mind are. Thus, we remain mostly ignorant about the essence of what we are.

We, human beings, come into existence upon the bonding of two cells imprinted with the fundamentals of our unfolding: How to build the systems … skeleton, nervous, circulatory, gastro-intestinal, membrane, reproductive, immune, endocrine, sensory … that are needed for us to be cohesive, functional, alive.

Our mind … the commanding center of the systems … is relatively pre-wired for language, voice recognition, development of sensory input, etc., etc. But since our intercourse with our internal and external environments is based on unique experiences, our mind becomes personalized with a unique set of neuronal connections and patterns of recognition that give us a sense of being, yet also give us an illusory sense of separation from the world. Our intercourse with that sense of being, whether conscious or subconscious, is what we experience as the ‘Self’, the ‘Ego’, the ‘I’.

The Spirit, or Soul that envelops the ‘I’, and with which the ‘I’ interacts, is a Universal Force every creature carries within as the innate urge to become, to bond, to self-generate, to adapt, to self-perpetuate, to transform ourselves and our world; this Force is timeless, primordial, immensurable, yet undeniably present in our every action.

THESE ARE ESSENTIAL ASPECTS OF OUR NATURE, and yet they are stubbornly discounted by the physical sciences because of the impossibility to measure and reduce them to equations.

We can build computers with billion-fold calculating capacity than our brain; or build instruments that can explore interstellar space and send back information about other worlds; or manipulate the structure and functioning of genetic material; or build weapons of mass destruction with the power to wipe life as we know it off the face of the earth. And yet – and yet – we remain almost completely ignorant about the essence of what makes us human: The self-evident Fact that the soul/spirit in us, has brought us across the ages to a step in our evolution where we have developed a mind able to imagine, to wonder … and to be aware that we do.

Isn’t this astonishing?

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167 – There Is a Reason …

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

“The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content”, and mass and energy mold the shape of space and the flow of time. These are the foundations of Relativity; the reason for our capacity, as physical bodies, to adapt to diverse environments and seek a relative degree of stability in our development.

Would we then ever ponder about the reason … because there is a reason … why our bodies instinctively know how to attain stability by balancing what is consumed (what we eat, absorb, inhale) with what is dissipated (the energy we exert as we act and move), so we can unfold in continuous stages of relative equilibrium?

And would we ever ponder about the reason why we instinctively possess the capacity to mold the shape of space and the flow of time, so we can change ourselves and our environments?

Even if current scientific ideology insists in claiming that we have come to be what we are by ‘chance’, it is impossible to deny the obvious Fact that, throughout our evolution and amid the trials of adaptation, we have persisted with unbending determination and relentless ingenuity to unfold into a level of complexity in which we are aware of our own awareness; this cannot happen by ‘chance’.

As neurons in the infant brain of a human being have evolved to pioneer the advent of conscious self-reflection, so we, as a species, have evolved to become pioneers in the advent of a higher dimension of conscious self-reflection … could this be Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’ becoming conscious of itself!

The movement of Nature towards self-awareness is self-evident because it is in us. Can we then ponder about the undeniable Fact that we are, as far as we know, the first in Nature aware of our own awareness, instead of inciting the hate and constant conflict threatening to destroy what has taken Nature eons to achieve?

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