Monday, December 6, 2010

You Are Not “Mere Matter”

Are Human beings just matter? Or are we more?

The movie Avatar raises some interesting questions about Human nature. An Avatar in Indian mythology is a deity that returns to earth. The inference of the film is Humans are a kind of Avatar, that we have a sort of divine aspect to ourselves. Is this true?

It depends if you think that we are simply “matter”, and whether you think that we are beings that always strive for the higher. If we are transcendent entities then Avatar might apply, if we are not then it could not apply.

A Human being is a Diverse Whole of many incredible things. At the same time we come from a much greater Diverse Whole, the cosmos itself. We come originally from the great Subsume or the original singularity, if you will.

From this initial state all was formed -- galaxies, planets, matter and dark matter, suns, living organisms, ecologies, species evolution, individual Human beings, complex brains, complicated Human cultures, theories and systems of ideas and method.

But Humans are not mere matter not simply protons and electrons. We have emotions, abstract thoughts, imagination, feelings, doctrines, notions of personal identity, a soul and much more. We live in a mental zone that is real and illusion mixed together. We have time perception, we can comprehend past though it does not really exist, and we can see the future though it does not exist either. We have many minds each with its own personality, all this we have to juggle. We have abstract thought systems like logic, math, language and art. We dream and plan. We love and care. We have emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, compassion. We have morality and principles.

Mere matter cannot produce such things. We must ask how is thought itself created? How does abstraction appear in a mass of matter? How do feelings appear in electro-chemical systems? What is a feeling? How do you feel a feeling? Why does love feel the way it does? Why does fear feel the way it does? How do we sense the color red? How was red created?  Because there is really no such thing as red in the light spectrum. How were all of these types of codes and signals created from a physical mass of matter?

Where does a moral code come from? In physical reality there is no moral code, it is extra-moral.

And what is a dream? It is a random fantasy but how does a material thing produce a random fantasy of apparitions that do not exist in the real world? Here the break with a physical reality must seem complete, but the dreamer and the brain are still part of the world.

We have a brain produced by substance trying to contemplate whether it is substance or not, matter or not. This is interesting; we have a material structure with ethereal ghosts trying to determine whether it is material or ethereal.

And more questions: How does DNA a chemical combination create life? Life transcends purely physical things. We have senses, desires, needs, thoughts, the need to survive. Built upon mere matter is a whole level of behavior that is not like that of a proton or neutron or photon or gamma ray.

We must conclude after asking these questions, that we are not matter at all, though matter is a part of us. We are mixed phenomenon that is magical, profound and mystical. We are matter and not matter simultaneously. We are a diverse mix of many things. We cannot really say what this is and how this why or why this is, but we know it IS, and it is US. No one really knows the source of everything, nor why there is change and evolution, and diversity and wholes to coordinate them. In fact, we do not even why there are such things as opposites. But we look at the world and they are everywhere. Why is that?

We know that all of this came from an original something. But we find a logical problem. When someone says that we are “matter”, that we came from matter, they are confused. They are reducing all higher things to protons, electrons. They are not grasping that with these material units are life, abstractions, imagination, feelings and morality.

The notion of “Matter” comes as a result of a split between substance and living things, substance and thought, substance and feeling, substance and creativity. When you say that mere ‘matter’ is the origin of all things you have created an insurmountable problem. How does all come from matter? But if you let go of the concept then you can have a leap of realization and a solution to the quandary.

Let us not make this split of matter vs. the ethereal, let us accept that it is one, as magical as that may seem. In this way we keep the psychological and spiritual in our lives, in this plane of existence, in one plane of existence. It is not matter vs. spirit, it is matter plus spirit, it is matter as spirit, and spirit as matter.

We know it all comes from one source which is Diverse itself. The cosmos elaborates outward into a Diverse of infinite phenomenon. All comes from a one, all is related in the singular origin -- All Potential within an Actual. The singularity is not singular at all, it many. Then it bursts outward, and in billions of years of evolution we have our reality today of matter-plus or post-matter or meta-matter.

 It is sometimes difficult for us to grasp this point because we live surrounded by a world of elaboration where all the potential elements of the original Subsume are separated out into distinct things. We are used to this complex tangible state of things. But this is only a latter state of existence. But because we see all separated now then we may think this separation has always been, hence there is matter vs. something else.

In the beginning we have all the disparate elements merged into one, all actual shoved together into potential, into one tangled and confused singularity, not just of energy and matter in the conventional physicist’s view but of all phenomena as in the theologian’s viewpoint.

This “substance” or whatever you want to call it is the source of all. This thing is more a force or process that exists in the matter which yields things that are not matter, thus the matter is something else, something that has a physical aspect but other aspects too.

It would be wiser to call this something else, these are “evolutionary units” of some sort, not so much things, as processes, forces, evolutionary structures, units of creativity, and dynamic pairs of opposites.

The solution to the problem is in reconsidering the origin ‘substance’ itself. In the beginning there must have been the potential for later developments, progressive or higher phases of this initial material or whatever it is.

This potential is then unlocked through evolution. This initial stuff is thus dynamic and changing, ramifying into diverse things, and building complex things.

So while today we speak of atoms, protons, electrons, subatomic particles, mass and energy, what we need to do is consider these elementary units of the cosmos as units of evolution, as evolutionary bits of structure and energy that have profound power and possibilities.

These “evolutionary elements” or “Genio units” develop life, ecosystems, Human beings, thought, emotions, souls, imagination and creativity. From the Big Bang came evolutionary units that spread across the cosmos that over billions of years gave us the Diverse in all its Genio.

So “matter” is actually made up of this creative stuff which made living cells, which are higher more complex evolutionary units, which then led to more complex living organisms, which then led to Humans as evolutionary units with all of their developmental potential -- and all of the particular evolutionary aspects of Humans:

·                     Ideas as a kind of evolutionary unit....ideas that keep evolving and lead to new ideas and connections with other ideas
·                     Human souls as a kind of evolutionary unit...the evolution of the individual soul and the evolution of all souls together in a mass of Human interactions
·                     Creative products as a type of evolutionary unit where we have one creative breakthrough leading to another and then another
·                     And even the evolution of Human emotions, for our emotions are the synthesis of the animal feelings and the higher Human thoughts and the result is an ongoing evolution of Human emotions, more refined, transcendent and nuanced.
·                     And Human culture evolves endlessly too as an evolutionary structure
·                     And many more things in our behavior can be explained in this manner.

The concept of a force or process or creativity is more helpful than that of “matter” for it links together the great Diverse of phenomena in the cosmos, and offers a single explanation for this diversity. The world is profound and stunning, far beyond our understanding, but at the same time it IS and we can get to know it over a period of historical time.

We cannot explain why we have such a duality in our cosmos of matter and non-matter, but we know all of these dualities exist, and they are connected and operate as little wholes, we do not know why but we know they are.

Only the Subsume and its Genio units know why, we never will. For the Subsume and its Genio units do not have consciousness or soul, and have no need to explain themselves; they are intelligence without consciousness or plan or curriculum. They produce US, this we know.

And because of this original explosion, you are created. And because of this initial big bang, you are an evolutionary being. And you are a higher being, you are a magical and mystical being, you are a creative being. You are complex, living in many different realms at once, owning them all, and developing high skill to manage this manifold affair.

You are the cosmos, it is all within you.

When you see yourself in this way, then you will achieve and go farther than others. You will take yourself to new heights, and with others will take the whole Human race to its next height.

In this sense, we are Avatars as in the film. We are striving for the higher. And we are initially higher, if we only can recognize the fact, from this higher state as a basic Human being the next level of the transcendent emerges.

We are not really deities as the term Avatar implies but we are striving for something elevated, we want to ascend the heights. We can call this the “divine” within us, or even the sacred within a Human being. It is part of Human nature, that is our best nature, and at the same time it is evolution, creativity and progress. It is a striving put there by the cosmos itself; this striving reflects the cosmos’ mystical and profound nature. This intrinsic force is its divine personality. Thus we are driven throughout a lifetime to transcend, and the whole Human race is driven also to reach for as long as it exists and can strive.

We can ask no more, for we are not really deities, we are imperfect, we make mistakes and learn. Each of us has the force within us, if we wish to use it to evolve and leave behind the condemnation of “mere matter”. It is our choice.

Cage Innoye
Axxiad News

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