169 – The Death of Wonder …

“… 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 …

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 …

“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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166 – To Mold the World and the Flow of Time …

In 1905, in special relativity’s e=mc2, Einstein showed that “the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content.” And in 1915, in general relativity, he showed that mass and energy mold the shape of space and the flow of time.

Thanks to these insights we have a greater understanding of some of the laws that govern the physical world. But because we insist on perpetuating the illusion that we … physical beings … are not part of the physical world, we continue to believe in the fallacy that we are beyond these laws, that they do not apply to us; thus we continue to believe that we are a ‘special creation’ with the right to consume and destroy without having to be responsible for the consequences of our actions.

This disengagement from Reality is perpetuating the barbaric greed for control and power that is throwing us head on into an unprecedented collision with the environment in which our lives depend.

This disengagement from Reality is leading Humanity in the wrong direction … constant conflict, migrations, deceit, overpopulation, gross levels of inequality … and although there is a clamor for Change … Knowledge instead of Ignorance, Understanding instead of Intolerance, Love instead of Hate, Peace instead of War … our clamor is being silenced swiftly and with astonishing cruelty by those whose greed it threatens.

This disengagement from Reality cannot be overturned unless the entire scientific community accepts, and disseminates the Fact that their theories pertain to us … physical beings … as elements of the physical world, and for this Fact to be integrated in the curriculum of educational systems all over the world. Because the kind of change needed to lead us in a different direction must be based on Knowledge.

Relativity is one of the most profoundly misunderstood theories in all of science. We apply it to the atomic and astronomical worlds, but not to ourselves. We do this knowing, without a hint of a doubt, that we are self-powered congregations of atomic particles capable to mold the shape of space and the flow of time. And as such, we are powerhouses of energy.

How else can we explain the undeniable, the beautiful Fact, that from within we gather the power to envision a future; and do we not, in its quest, mold our world and the passage of time?

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165 – On Vacation …

I am on vacation. If everything goes as planned, I will post again on February 1, 2017

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164 – On the Universal Plan …

It is undeniable that our Universe unfolds upon a creative Plan that allows adaptation with a degree of creativity. The more we know about ourselves and about the world in which we exist, the more obvious the creativity of Nature becomes.

Several scientific theories have discerned some of the fundamental properties that form a blueprint for the methodical, progressive Plan that governs and incites with unbounded imagination the creative unfolding of our Universe (from primordial soup to globular and spiral galaxies, from atomic compounds to organic life, from primitive instinct to self-conscious intelligence). Some of these fundamental properties are: self-organization, cohesion, self-generation, equilibrium, self-regulation, adaptation, transformation.

We are inextricably linked to the universal Plan. It is the reason why, from the moment of Becoming when cells from each our parents bond into our progenitor cell, we follow the methodical, progressive properties of a Plan that organizes us with astonishing creativity into a cohesive, self-regulating, intelligent body that inherently knows not only how to adapt creatively to environments, but also how to transform itself and, oftentimes, the world in which it exists. But this creative Plan is so routine, so familiar, that we take it completely for granted; and so, as Hegel said, precisely because it is familiar, it remains unknown.

Is it not inconceivable that we can discern fundamental properties of our unfolding Universe, but we know absolutely nothing about the reason why we create cells in our bodies that not only know how to replicate and bond together with evident intelligence and creativity, but also know how to plan our unfolding?

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163 – What kind of society have we created? …

What kind of society have we created, where investigative journalism and the disclosure of abuses of power and the horrors of war, are grounds for imprisonment and oftentimes assassination?

What kind of society have we created, where dominant political and economic ideologies exercise the most horrendous acts of cruelty and destruction, with total impunity?

What kind of society have we created, when there are incontrovertible scientific proofs that the exponential growth of human activity is dramatically altering the atmosphere in which our lives depend, and these proofs are being veiled or flatly denied to protect the profits of corporations?

What kind of society have we created, when a population is weakened by an epidemic of opioid and chemical addiction, and those who produce are held responsible while those who consume are absolved of responsibility?

What kind of society have we created, where politics is based on deception; where organized religion is based on division; where greed overrides human decency; where the value of money overrides the value of human life?

What kind of society have we created, where entire nations are ravaged by conflict and war; where innocent people are bombed out of existence and their deaths trivialized as ‘collateral damage’; where little boys and girls are taught to hate, and kill?

What kind of society have we created, where levels of inequality are so monstrous that a small few can bask in ravenous wealth, while entire communities are destroyed by conflict and extreme poverty, while millions of children starve?

What kind of society have we created, where there are such levels of violence and poverty in the wealthiest and most powerful nation in History, that when a school Principal in an underserved and violent neighborhood asks a thirteen-year-old student: “Where do you see yourself in five years? his answer is “I don’t know if I am going to be alive that long”? *

Does it not hurt – our silence, allowing the inhumanity, the hate, the poverty, the sheer desolation, the killing of innocents?

Can we not, the creators of this society, the most intelligent and ingenious creatures we know of, do better than this?

*TED talks: Principal Nadia Lopez, Sep 2016

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162 – On Transcendence …

Transcendence: to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits. Merriam-Webster

Update on my quest to find the answers to what I believe are the most profound questions posed to the human mind (the questions are taken from the title of Gauguin’s painting shown below [click on picture to enlarge]).


Where do we come from?

 Like cells in our bodies, we emerge out of a living, creative, self-determined 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 a cloud of ice and dust to solar system, from cells to human being, from stars to galaxy … and although the progression of this phenomenon is relatively measurable, its creativity evident, its self-determination tangible, yet remains inexplicable to us, some of us call it God, but we tend to call God what we cannot understand.

And although this Being thrives in us (the flow of ancient blood in our veins; the self-organization of molecules into a life-creating double helix; our universal urge to bond, to re-generate, to survive; our boundless ingenuity in adaptation, our self-reflective contemplation of Self-reflection), what this Being is, how it might have been engendered, what its purpose might be, we cannot yet comprehend – perhaps we never will.

What are we?

 We are self-activated manifestations of the living Phenomenon we call Universe; promoters of its universal mandate to Become, to Self-organize, to Bond, to Re-generate, to Adapt, to Self-perpetuate, to Transform. Thus, ensuring our participation in the renewal and perpetuation of its onward movement.

And although our actions and reactions are mostly driven by primal instincts, and although we are limited by physical laws that regulate our internal and external environments, we are, as far as we know, the only manifestation of this phenomenon with the capacity of conscious self-reflection … the capacity to self-reflect upon our degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world … and so, we are sources of Transformation.

Where are we going?

 Limited by our 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 in our existence we begin the inexorable dissipation into the environment from which we emerged, yet, in equal measure to

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, transcending the sanctioned limits of perception, into more complex manifestations of Existence.

Think of Einstein – challenging our understanding of Reality; think of Darwin – stimulating research on the origins of our ancestry; think of Mandela, or Gandhi – inspiring pacifist rebellion against the tyranny of unaccountable power; think of Gauguin – living in the haunting questions of his beautiful painting. The mental processes of these individuals live on in us changing the way we understand ourselves and our world. Humanity is different because of them: they transcended into what we are, as we can transcend into what might be.

Dressed in the attire of Ancestry, / we are called into the playground of Existence / at an appointed moment in time and space. / And what we do / or do not do / with our moment of Existence / is the measure of our Transcendence.

Transcendence is a measure of the significance of existence.

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161 – On Life …

Excerpt from a book I wrote and am currently editing:

… Life is chaotic, destructive, cruel, and at times seems purposeless and without meaning. But Life is also incredibly beautiful, creative, full of determination and opportunity. We are intensely interdependent and relatively pre-determined complements of Life’s evolutionary processes, and as such, we are Life itself. But Life is neither exclusive to our planet, nor something of which man is the zenith. Life is manifested in the dynamism of atoms, in the self-replication of cells, in the purpose of human beings, in the self-regulation of our planet, in the self-generated magnificence of our galaxy, in the infinite creativity of our complex Universe. Life, in all its manifestations, is the universal urge to survive, the innate need to bond, the insatiable drive to self-generate, the inherent promise of a process brimming with possibilities. Life is the spark ignited when the fundamental complements (mass and energy) find the promise of continuity in determined steps of self-reflective equilibrium. Full of tenacity and possibility, Life contains a degree of freedom to change the course of its own evolution, and under immutable laws and the pressures of environmental demands, it is this degree of freedom that encourages the infinite creativity in adaptation we witness in us and all around us; it is this degree of freedom that can give a single action the power to transcend; it is this degree of freedom that has given Life, in the manifestation of a human being, the capacity to look at itself and wonder.

And, when measured against the significance of our actions and the repercussion of our accomplishments, it is what we do with Life that ultimately determines the magnitude of our transcendence. The names of Jesus and Aristotle and Hitler and Gandhi and Einstein and Darwin, to name a few, come to mind; the repercussions of their ideas, the reach of their visions, the significance of their actions, transformed the reach of human knowledge, creativity, destructiveness, activism, understanding, into the heights that continue to reverberate among us today, challenging the course we are taking with our lives.

Isn’t it amazing that Life is manifested in us and all around us … stumbling, ingenious, urgent, insatiable, promising … yet we have no idea what it is? …

Would it not be a challenge worthy of  our advanced intelligence to strive to understand the Force that, out of two microscopic cells, creates in us a form of Life aware of its own awareness?

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160 – What Makes Us So Blind? …

What makes us so blind that we cannot see we are making the wrong decisions: supporting constant conflict, creating scapegoats to sway judgment through fear, building more and more powerful weapons of mass destruction, allowing educational systems to focus on aggressive and irresponsible consumerism. These decisions, and others alike … as is plainly obvious … are driving us into a world consumed by hate, fear, greed.

With immense creativity we have been able to discern the structure of the Atom, the double helix of the DNA molecule, the economy of the periodic table of the chemical elements, the shape of the galaxy we are embedded in. But we remain in complete ignorance about how our organic brain induces a mind bent on comprehending itself; or why is music such an immanent and expressive part of us; or why is love a force that can make us incredibly happy and excruciatingly desolate; or how, engendered from the coupling of mere two cells, an organization of myriads and myriads of them can end up creating something as beautiful as Beethoven’s Ninth or Einstein’s e=mc2; or why, amid destruction and seeming randomness, is Nature incontrovertibly moving towards complexity?

Creativity is one of our most beautiful characteristics, but instead of making us wiser we have turned it into a distressing tool.

We have created a world where a great part of humanity is barely able to survive; where children are abandoned to the elements because parents cannot provide shelter or food; where fear is manufactured and used to induce violence and war; where deceit, corruption and oppression are used to create the horrendous levels of poverty and ignorance that annihilate the human spirit. We have created a world where there is so much cruelty, devastation, hate, injustice, inequality, deception, that Beauty is ever more and more difficult for us to see.

Why are we doing this? Why? Can we not see it is wrong?

What make us so blind?

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