Archive for the ‘Vision for a New World’ Category

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

Friday, September 14th, 2018

 

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-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming processes of our bodies, we emerge out of the self-organizing, self-generating, self-transforming processes of the phenomenon we call Life. But Life is just a manifestation of a Primordial Source that, amid trial and error, creation and destruction, inexorably progresses toward greater heights of complexity and order.

But because the progression of this Source is evident, tangible, relatively measurable, its power to create and destroy terrifying and magnificent, yet it remains beyond our understanding, 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 the progression of the Source is the fundamental origin of our existence, what it is, how it might have been engendered, what its purpose might be, we do not know.

What are we?

As manifestations of the phenomenon we call Life, we have evolved the conscious self-awareness that 1 – we are insignificant in the scheme of the Universe and significant in the scheme of the atomic elements,  2 – that as everything in Nature, we obey a universal mandate to Become, Self-organize, Bond, Re-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform, and 3 – that amid 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 our internal and external environments, yet pregnant with the possibilities of a degree of freedom in adaptation, we forge ahead until we no longer can, at which point we begin the inexorable return to the Primal Source from which we emerged.

But 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, we may re-emerge into higher levels of existence.

As 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 our life and oftentimes those of others. Some steps may affect immediate progeny, some may affect entire generations, and some 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 find 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-reflection; 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 because the significance of their accomplishments transcended into our lives, we are 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 the wonders of existence.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? We emerge out of a self-generating, self-transforming Primordial Source whose unfolding we call Life.

WHAT ARE WE? We are sources of transformation.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? Measured by the significance of our life, we may transcend into higher levels of complexity and order in the unfolding of the Primordial Source.

Last updated January 1, 2018. Post 188

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204 – How terribly sad that would be!

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

I cannot but to be stunned by how, without apparent concern, our political and economic leadership are recklessly, insolently, deviously, and forcefully driving humanity to confront an unprecedented and catastrophic environmental upheaval.

Currently, a great majority of the world’s leadership is patriarchal and bending towards the regressive ideologies of Authoritarianism. And even though we are already facing the dawn of catastrophic events caused by the impact that under their leadership we have made on the environment, these madmen continue to re-enforce the unsustainable concepts of voracious consumerism and unlimited growth that have incited the crisis.

As I wrote in my previous post, I believe that the main reasons behind the crisis are 1 – the erroneous perception that homo sapiens is separate from and better than Nature, and 2 – the way that this perception gives us the ‘right’ to plunder Nature with complete disregard for the consequences of our actions.

In order for humanity to move away from this erroneous perception, it is imperative that science steps in once again in a manner similar to what Galilei did centuries ago, and dare tell us our true relation to Nature: That as neurons in our brains are deeply embedded and totally dependent on our bodies for survival, so we are deeply embedded and totally dependent on Nature for survival; and as we endow each neuron with the capacity to be a catalyst for transformation, so Nature endows each one of us with the capacity to be a catalyst for transformation. Nature is us, as we are Nature.

The claim that we need to ‘save the planet’ is well-intentioned, but it is misguiding: it shifts focus away from what we, as a species, have done to the planet. The planet does not need to be saved. It is we who need saving. Earth will go on as it has for eons of time, a bit changed for what we have done to it, but it will go on giving perhaps other species the opportunity we squandered.

Of all the creatures we know of, we seem to be the ones with the highest capacity for conscious self-reflection. We have accomplished much but still don’t know much about the universe that lives in us, nor about the universe in which we live and from which we come into existence. And if we wiped ourselves off the face of the Earth, we will never know how those two universes become one in each one of us.

How terribly sad that would be!

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203 – Undividedness …

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

The Universe is us, as we are the Universe.

Of all the animals on Earth, we are the only ones devoid of a sense of undividedness from the Medium – what we call Nature – in which we are embedded, the Medium that provides us with sources of sustenance yet also makes us a source of sustenance (food chain). But since humankind has evolved into the dominant species on Earth, we have no significant predators other than viruses, and ourselves.

The innate capacity to perceive an undivided connection with Nature is annihilated as soon as we open our eyes, when we begin to be shown the world and all its contents as separate from us, opposite to us, conflicting with us.

The loss of a sense of oneness with Nature makes us insolent, apathetic, and turns us into the deadly creatures who, now in such great numbers, are ravaging our environment, precipitating mass extinctions, taunting Nature, sowing our own demise.

Rilke put the significance of this loss within the lines of his insightful poetry: Who shows a child as he really is? Who place 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. *

We do this to ourselves and our progeny because most of us do not know the difference. Our sense of separation from Nature was reaffirmed by Rene Descartes in the seventeenth century, and his erroneous claim that the mind is a separate entity from the body has since dominated our perception of the world.

This error should have been corrected in the first half of the Twentieth Century with the introduction of Niels Bohr’s Complementarity. The premise of the theory is that all properties (like mind and body, particle and wave, light and dark) exist in pairs, and that although the properties may seem mutually exclusive, they are nonetheless complementary manifestations of the same system. But due to the reticence of the physical sciences to apply the findings of their theories to the physical systems of our bodies, the concept of complementarity in Nature has not been commonly assimilated in human perception. And thus, Descartes’ misconception continues to dominate how we perceive the world, perpetuating the erroneous sense of separation that inhibits our innate sense of undividedness from Nature.

But our sense of undividedness, although inhibited in most of us, is not dead; it is dormant and can be re-awakened. And for those of us who can perceive it, it haunts us with the beauty of its possibilities and the damaging impact of its inhibition. And so, we rebel against a culture dominated by a mistake a man made centuries ago; a culture that even though is beginning the feel the pangs of its treatment of Nature as something separate, persists on dividing the indivisible.

Ah! To know, to see, to sense that the Universe is us as we are the Universe, is the pinnacle of perception.

*Rainier Maria Rilke – excerpts from the Fourth Elegy

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202 – This is not what we are, but what we are turned into …

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

The human animal is, to me, the most beautiful creature in Nature. There is nothing as beautiful as the sight of two human beings in love with each other. There is nothing as beautiful as a mother’s face at the first sight of her newborn baby. Nothing as beautiful as a human mind trying to understand itself and the universe in which it lives. Nothing as beautiful as the search for tenderness and love in the eyes of a baby. Nothing as beautiful as the breathtaking sights of a fiery sunset or a graceful rainbow. Nothing as beautiful as human altruism, compassion, understanding, acceptance, love.

Yet the human animal is the cruelest creature in Nature. There is nothing as cruel as the torturing of another one of us with the purpose of degrading, humiliating, inflicting as much physical and emotional pain as possible. There is nothing as cruel as the bending of human ingenuity to create ever more powerful weapons of mass destruction. There is nothing as cruel as the plundering of pristine and delicate environments for the profits of greedy corporations. There is nothing as cruel as the enslaving of the human mind to serve the destructive machinations of Greed. There is nothing as cruel as a starving child in the midst of obscene wealth.

We are the most beautiful creatures in Nature, yet we are the cruelest. What a baffling conundrum we are!

Nothing is born cruel in Nature. Nothing. But in cultures dominated by a Paradigm that incites the alienation from and the frantic control over Nature, the human mind, especially in the impressionable and easily manipulated infancy when it is totally dependent on others, can be thrown into a survival mode in which it turns against its inherent instincts … love, empathy, tolerance … to become instead not only contentious, intolerant, cruel, but worse, the instigator of these destructive trends on its progeny.

This is not what we are, but what we are turned into.

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199 – Beautiful and Horrific …

Friday, June 15th, 2018

As a species, our history is both beautiful and horrific.

Of all the animals on Earth that we know of, the human animal is the only one capable of reaching the most extreme opposites in the spectrum of behaviors: We can be intelligent, thoughtful, creative, altruistic, compassionate, wise, gentle, excruciatingly beautiful. And we can be greedy, selfish, intolerant, destructive, corrupt, barbarous, cruel, deceitful, grotesquely oblivious to our own monstrosities.

I believe it is extremely important in our education to acknowledge both sides … the beautiful and the horrific in us; the terrifying reaches of our inhumanity and the beautiful summits of our humanity … together they tell us how we have come to be what we are.

From a chimp-like humanoid to the evolving creature we call Homo Sapiens, we have adapted to every habitable niche on the surface of the planet; we have learned to manage the resources of the Earth to feed our exploding population growth; we have overcome the limitations of our organic senses to explore the immensity of the universe and the microscopic world of the atomic particles; we have evolved sophisticated languages to talk about life, love, wisdom, happiness;  we have the capacity to reach extraordinary heights of altruism during catastrophic events; we have developed amazingly complex technologies to create, among other things, a hand-held gadget that connects us with the rest of us; we have become aware of the amazing beauty of our own awareness.

But we have allowed greed to become the driving force behind our economic, religious, and political paradigms. A selfish, reckless greed for power and possessions that has overtaken us, blinding us to such levels of irrationality that knowingly, we … the most thoughtful, creative, altruistic, compassionate, wise, gentle, excruciatingly beautiful animal on Earth … send millions of us into abject poverty and desperation, and we, with full knowledge of what we are doing, devise weaponry capable of wiping life off the face of the Earth.

Most behaviors that drive us to commit horrible things … selfishness, blindness, intolerance, corruption, destructiveness, cruelty, deceitfulness … stem from our greed. Recognizing this may be a first step in understanding why we, Homo Sapiens (wise!!!), have come to create a world where in the midst of obscene wealth millions die of starvation; a world where the profits of the war machine are of more consequence than the millions killed by the ravages of manufactured conflict; a world where the horrors committed in the name of greed make it difficult for us to see how beautiful we are.

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196 – I am a Presence in the Universe

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

I am a presence in the Universe,

A catalyst for transformation.

Aware of my own awareness

I trace the making of my destiny,

And knowing where I must go

I set my mind free.

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194 – Evil does not exist …

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

The history of how man acquired power and control over his world is full of examples of lies fabricated to shift blame for his destructive actions, or to avoid acknowledging his ignorance about events he could not understand.

The concept of ‘evil’ in some cultures and religious beliefs is an example of a lie fabricated in early patriarchal civilizations to avoid responsibility for men’s cruel and vengeful actions and blame them on someone or something else. As a result, we are now not only extremely good at lying and shifting responsibility for the consequences of our actions, but we have become the cruelest and most destructive species on earth.

Catastrophes and astronomical events like epidemics, floods, solar eclipses, were also blamed on ‘evil forces’, but this is more difficult now with the technological advances that help us explain their causes.

It is my belief that, historically, the main culprit reinforcing the fallacy of the existence of ‘evil’ throughout the ages has been the Roman Catholic Church. Under pressure to protect its fundamental dogma of an ‘all-knowing and omnipotent god’ in the face of the destructive and cruel aspects of man and Nature, the Church fabricated the lie of a powerful and evil ‘dark angel’ to blame for god’s folly.

How have the men of the Roman Church been able to get away with this lie, is beyond conception? The lie is pathetic. How can an ‘all-knowing and omnipotent god’ not know the consequences of what ‘he’ was creating? Yet with the horrors of the Inquisition, the barbarism of the Crusades, the threat of eternal punishment in ‘hell’ for disobeying patriarchal authority, this lie has been deeply imprinted on the minds of its believers while turning into a bonanza for greedy minds: If the men of the Church can shift responsibility upon others for their lies, why not the common man. The allure of this train of thought spread to other beliefs and has disastrously come to dominate entire cultures.

It is thus extremely disconcerting to see people who seem intelligent and learned, especially politicians, heads of corporations, religious and political leaders, lie with impunity and without a hint of compassion for the human beings they are blaming for their crimes.

Nature is the creative evolutionary process that amid constant change progresses towards complexity and order. This progression is achieved through the innate capacity of its creations to attain developing states of equilibrium between the energy consumed and the energy exerted. Nothing in Nature, as far as we know, can develop, survive, and transform itself and its environment without some degree of equilibrium, as is the case with the human fetus. From the moment the human fetus begins to develop, we consume sources of energy from the nutrients of the placenta, exerting the energy into growth and activity in equivalent measure to the quantity of the energy consumed, and the waste and gas produced in the process are disposed of via our mother’s blood supply. We instinctively know how to sustain this process in relative equilibrium while creating a complex and beautiful human being.

As all the myriad components of our Universe, we fuel our existence by consuming sources of energy … other forms of Life, other creatures, other systems … don’t we kill other living things to exist?

The essence of Nature is transformation through creation and destruction; its evolutionary process could not exist without either one. But because the destructive side is chaotic, full of uncertainty, and oftentimes catastrophic and devastating to human life, it does not mean it is ‘evil’; it is just the essential complement that nurtures the progression of the creative side towards complexity and order.

Evil does not exist.

When will the human mind be able to realize that it has been duped by a lie?  Evil is a fabrication like those of mermaids and unicorns. But this lie imprisons the human mind and drives us into deception and cruelty.

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192 – What is it about us? …

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

It is very easy for us to recognize that as human beings we are highly ingenious, adaptable, resourceful, intelligent, aware of our own awareness. With ingenuity we have extended our vision and our imagination by creating instruments that allow us to see the microscopic and the faraway and immense components of our Universe; with our adaptability we have populated just about every continent and sizeable island on the surface of the planet; with our resourcefulness and intelligence we have transformed natural materials to speed up time travel, to extend our life-span, to create a world-wide web of communications; with the awareness of our own awareness we have come to realize the power within us to transform ourselves and our world.

But somehow, although the signs are becoming more and more evident and menacing, it is not easy for us to recognize that our exponential growth and voracious consumerism are driving us into an unprecedented and violent confrontation with the atmosphere in which our lives, and the lives of myriad other organisms, depend. The dominant, destructive, aggressive, visionless role of our species, has driven us to become like a ravenous and unstoppable virus overwhelming the organism that gives it nourishment.

In this state, where we can witness without trepidation the environmental crisis we are bringing upon ourselves, it is, of course, about impossible for us to see the beauty of a Universe that over eons of time and through incredible struggles has created a niche for Life to begin to be aware of itself. We inhabit that niche. And we are breaking its equilibrium.

What is it about us that we are able to recognize our intelligence, ingenuity, adaptability, resourcefulness, and yet, with self-imposed blindness, avoid recognition not only of the destructive impact of our actions, but of the consequences on the beauty and fragility of the niche in which we have been able to attain a high level of conscious self-awareness?

Centuries ago, even if it was contrary to the perception of our organic senses, the incorporation into our understanding of Reality of the fact that it is our planet that orbits the Sun and not the other way around, catapulted our perception into a more accurate vision of our Universe. In a similar way, the incorporation into our understanding of the empirical facts that our most basic components are atomic particles, and that in great measure they are mostly made of energy, will bring us to accept the fact, even if it is contrary to the perception of our organic senses, that we are made mostly of energy. Energy is a physical substance. We absorb it from the environment and convert it into power and transformative forces. That is how we develop and empower our bodies. That is how we fuel our daily activity. That is how we pump our hearts and energize every single component in our organisms. That is how our ideas can change minds and start movements that can become a force around the world. That is how, with the power of our convictions, we can move multitudes. That is how we give boundless flight to our imagination.

Energy fills us and radiates from us. This is evident in the common experience we call magnetism when we focus our eyes on a person and make her or him feel us and look at us.

What is it about us that with our highly developed levels of ingenuity, adaptability, resourcefulness, intelligence, conscious self-awareness, we cannot yet accept the self-evident fact that it is the energy in us, the energy that we radiate, that gives us the unequivocal power to transform not only ourselves but also our world. Accepting the force of this power within us will set in motion a worldwide comprehension of the damage we are inflicting on our source of life. It will change the course of our evolution.

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191 – Aren’t we among pioneers? …

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

“One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know or react to the miseries which afflict this world.” Lorraine Hansberry

One of the most significant mass extinctions on Earth was the Great Oxygenation Event (also known in scientific media as Oxygen Catastrophe, Oxygen Holocaust, Oxygen Revolution, or Great Oxidation), which began approximately 2.45 billion years ago and was induced by the appearance of free oxygen (O2) in the atmosphere. Although the causes are not completely clear, the current evidence is the exponential growth of a bacteria (Cyanobacteria) that developed into coordinate macroscopic forms as early as 2.3 billion years ago (approximately 200 million years before the event) and produced oxygen through photosynthesis. The increased production of oxygen set Earth’s original atmosphere off balance. Oxygen was toxic to some living creatures at that time on Earth, and it wiped out most of them. *

The evidence that by disturbing the balance of the atmosphere, we are positioning ourselves … the Human species … to be the next biological organism to cause a mass extinction on Earth, is more and more incontestable by the day.

In early civilizations, man learned to avoid responsibility for his cruel and destructive actions by blaming someone or something else … there was always a vulnerable group, an individual, or a catastrophic event to blame … with the avoidance of responsibility, introspection about the consequences of his actions was blunted – practically obliterated. And thus, in a male-dominated civilization, we have become the cruelest and most destructive species on Earth.

The mass extinction of wildlife due to our exponential population growth, overconsumption, and poaching, is already on its way.

Extreme climate change, melting Arctic sea ice, rising ocean levels, constant conflict, unimaginable levels of cruelty, migrations, severe droughts, fires, flooding, will continue to accelerate under the pressures on the environment of our exponential growth and an aggressive economic system that demands more and more consumption.

There is no turning back from the damage we have already done. There are, perhaps, ways to ameliorate the impact of what we have set in motion. But that we must face the consequences of our actions is not a question any longer.

The survivors and descendants of the mass extinction 2.45 billion years ago were, as is obvious, adaptable, oxygen-breathing organisms from which we eventually evolved. The populations that might survive the mass extinction of our own creation will have to adapt to a rarer, harsher, more volatile environment, and, hopefully, evolve with the knowledge that, as the destiny of a fertilized human ovum is to build … cell by cell … the pathways to the self-reflective mind, our destiny has always been to know that we are building blocks in a majestic and ingenious universal plan. Aren’t we already among pioneers in conscious self-reflection?

*Data taken from Wikipedia

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189 – The Universe in Me …

Monday, January 15th, 2018

When I think about myself as the communal activity of myriad components in my body, I cannot help but contemplate the fact that I am just a partial owner and operator of my own Self. I am a partial owner and operator because at the moment I was conceived, the driving force of the primordial being most of us understand as ‘the subconscious mind’ was introduced into my life. This being is the one who knew how to generate, organize and build the entire structure of my body out of two miniscule cells; it is the one who knows how to decipher the input my body gathers from the environment and transforms it into the self-reflective mind with which I try to understand myself, make sense of the world, and feast on the boundless reaches of the imagination.

And even though my relationship with this primordial being is what has given me the physical experience of a unified Self traversing through Life, I only have the heavily dogmatic teachings of organized religion to explore it. Because for the most part, science claims that the primordial power of our instincts is a ‘self – less’, spontaneous phenomenon. But how can something as complex as the brain of the human animal, in which trillions of synaptic connections create a mind that tries to understand itself, can be something spontaneous, something that happens by chance? And so, I must rely solely on intuition:

The being we call the ‘subconscious mind’ is the universal force manifesting in my instincts, desires, fears, needs; mandating me to become, self-organize, bond, self-generate, adapt, self-perpetuate, and yet endowing me with a degree of freedom to transform myself and, perhaps even the world. The being we call the ‘subconscious mind’ is the Universe in me, and I am made to see it.

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