Monday, May 12, 2008

Consciousness, God and Apocalypse

Two comments from John in a dialogue:

Around the 2012 time frame there are kind of two main possible worlds of the many worlds that await us on earth and even Revelations in the Bible is fairly accurate about those two possibilities. There's either a rapture-like event where the planet gets access to conformal like degrees of freedom which can cause some confusion cause you can't tell left from right and there's variable physicality but it overall is supposed to offer more control over the environment and be easier on the soul. The other possibility is the everyone back in caves with a reddish cosmic disaster sky to essentilly start over again for another 300,000 year cycle.

God is and is not distinct from creation. God is a prerequisite of creation and creation is a prerequisite of God's self-knowledge. Theologians have speculated on the possibility of something existing outside God. German mystic Jacob Boehme speaks of the ungrund, a sort of primal field of all potentialities which is the source of creation. This ungrund is not however the same as God. In more modern terms, we could say the ungrund is the zero point field and God is the consciousness which mediates between this and the emergence of all which is, energy as well as matter. Nicolai Berdayev proposes that the ungrund is in fact the primordial freedom, which is then brought to form by creation. Thus freedom is in a sense more fundamental than God.

No matter how civil the gloss, there are major problems with all these prophecies of apocalypse and theories about God in the universe.

Prophecies of a final end of days remain very real in evolving world culture and the ongoing clash of world cultures, to the detriment of our future survival and that of the living biosphere. The idea of apocalypse as 'unveiling' has permeated diverse cultures, because our own cultural falling out from nature has been an ongoing process of future shock in which we have become all too aware amid war and the rumour of war that a great shaking out is occurring in which the covers are relentlessly being thrown off reality in a tumult heading for a triage of all living beings. This is as real for the Aztecs and it was for the Zoroastrians who invented the final cleansing. It culminates in a genuine explosion of knowledge of the physical universe in the scientific revolution but is still accompanied by visions of final victory of religion seen through a glass darkly in the clash of the cultures.

Nevertheless it is a male fantasy of linear history, leading inevitably to a high-noon, in which the forces of light and darkness will be set in final opposition, instead of the complementarity that begets the complex conscious condition over evolutionary time.

The actual reality is that human culture has become patriachally dominant through the formation of male coalitions we call armies, amid urbanization, and that the male idea of a history of dominance has led to the sequences of conflict, famine, resurgence and delusions of final victory of our standard-bearer we call God, in a process which has, and is, seriously destabilizing our own future viability.

This kind of linear process converging on the 'end of days' is not the way the universe comes to generate life and consciousness, which is far from linear and steeped in complementarity between chaos and order, amid many cycles of astronomical upheaval, emergence of primeaval life, birth and death amid tooth and claw among predator, prey and parasite and host, and only indirectly, almost as an afterthought, comes upon the conscious condition and the emergence of love, altruism, morality and ethics as win-win evolutionary strategies in the prisoners' dilemma game life is.

One could take a leaf out of the Tao and the Tantric origin here, in which sexual fusion is the foundation of existence, and that all forms of interaction are a fragmented form of the act of love-making, but even this has led to all kinds of God delusions on both the male and female side, as soon as the parties have retreated far enough from coitus, to enter into the scrap of relationship dysphoria, amid value judgments about the illusory nature of the physical world, as the female's degenerate and blood-thirsty lower part in the cosmic embrace.

Just as humans use the construction of machines as their prime, if very clunky idea of cosmogenesis, in the form of a 'creator God' tinkering with some Pinocchio androids to see if they will distinguish good and evil, so more sophisticated attempts to move one step higher use the organismic analogy of a living being acting in history, generally replete with emotions, of which jealousy is a prime mover and retributor of 'divine justice'.

Both the machine and personality analogies have no meaning in the wider cosmological context. There is no evidence whatever that any of the process we see in cosmogenesis, from the big bang, through galaxy formation to evolution of living organisms, or in the embryogenic process that leads to ourselves among living organisms, nor the structure and function of the human brain, ever has, or could have been, externally created by a third-party agent, rather than develop through a series of self-interactions. Neither is personality, as such, an adequate generator of complexity, but rather, like the created machine, is a product, rather than a cause, of cosmogenesis.

The entire myth arises simply because we, as agents, are having a significantly dire impact on the planet, and tend to project on to the cosmos our own mistakes in amplified form, accompanied by a wistful child-like feeling of needing to attribute the consequences of our own partially destructive activities, on to a loving, but jealous, 'father figure', who takes ultimate responsibility for our folly, while chiding us, or threatening us with hell fires of damnation, if we don't mend our ways, and give our sole allegiance to Him.

While John's ideas about God are a good attempt to rationalize these ancient delusions into a more culturally acceptable entity, they still suffer from patriarchal nemesis. Firstly, while for each of us living in our own personal condition, subjective consciousness is undeniable and constitutes 100% of our experience of reality, God is an undecidable proposition inserted into the cosmic scheme without due or just cause to provide a creation myth based essentially on manufacture.

There is no evidence whatever that the cosmos needs and inside or outside third party agent for the cosmic process to flower to the point of conscious observers or beyond into the future. The idea of creation is the gloss humans try to put on the cosmic process by analogy with tool-making. All the evidence form the physical universe is that open complex systems are self-generating or interactively generating, not created. This is abundantly clear for living organisms, despite their structurally-stable genetic foundation, which then becomes the basis for a selective process leading to complexification and consciousness. At this point, it is we who are conscious participants in the future of reality and it is we who have to learn to come to take responsibility for our choices as the living manifestation of the redemptive process.

The key question that has to be asked here is not about God, or an inserted rationale for a creator in the process, but what the role of subjective consciousness is in organismic evolution, because no brain would so completely invest in such a process unless it had evolutionary advantage. It is this that is the crucible and arena for our conscious quest, and its fulfillment, not delusions of grandeur in the third person in the name of God.

The answer seems to be that free-will, quantum uncertainty and survival are linked in anticipating situations in the real world which in terms of classical computation would be intractable in 'encounter time' because they involve an exponential runaway of possibilities. In turn this seems to have accessed a deep interconnectivity across space-time, which we now call quantum entanglement.

This brings in a second question which is the role of consciousness in anticipating future states and modifying them through the action of free-will in a way which may come to collapse the wave function of the universe and hence all the hypothetical multi-verses of prophecy, premonition and fantasy, to create the unique path we call world history. It may be that evolution simply had to resolve the computationally intractable np-hard problem of the environment by resorting to chaotic holographic processing, and found that the laws of nature because of entanglement, then open up the space-time transactional route of anticipation of future states as well.

The only evidence we have for an agent like that John suggests in the universe is the biota, for it is the biota, and only the biota, that invoke this strange and fantastic contraption stuck onto the cosmic process some of us call God. It is only through the biota that we know consciousness is manifest, and despite its seemingly ephemeral nature, tossed in the annihilating forces of the universe, from black holes to big bangs, the biota still represent the 'inevitable' sigma of interactive fulfillment of the re-interaction of the founding forces of nature and the vehicle of sentient consciousness which gives us this existential dilemma in the first place.

Where some modern cosmic theorists do come a little closer to the mark is invoking ideas of internal symmetries and symmetry-breaking processes to explain the relationships between these forces which lead to such unbounded complexity. But again the idea that God invented the octonians or the exceptionally simple group E8 is a contradiction in terms, as silly as whether God invented the real numbers, when we know they are simply an axiomatic system possessing uniqueness properties of their own.

Now back to the God delusion and we find in John's very romantic account another fatal flaw in the form of the 'ungrund' or primal field, which forms another terrible condemnation of this idea as fatally patriachal as Marduk slaying Tiamat, in that the physical, and with it the feminine, are assigned to a passive slave role in merely being the female putty in God's male hands although possessing the ephemeral attribute of 'free-will' allowing a moment of 'splendour in the grass' before God intervenes to punish us for our sins of 'concupiscence'.

Whenever we find a description of reality in which the symmetry-broken complements descend into the dominance - let alone S&M role of creator and primal chaos, we need to stop and say to ourselves that the cosmic pregnancy has been aborted by a macho fantasy.

A prime example of this kind of male fantasy are the Mayan prophecies which were all based on mechanical cogs in a cosmology which at least in Aztec formulation resulted in a universe where thousands had to be sacrificed every season to keep the Sun on its course. We can't simply pick up pieces of this mechanistic cosmology and insert them into the new age of Western culture as 'prophecies' without completely fooling ourselves in our own superstitious state about the apocalyptic condition and without doing both them and ourselves a complete disservice turning genuine cultural traditions, which should be a warning to our own gullibility and risk-taking dominance into cyborg travesties of their original form, in a new age mold the originators would smart at.

Ultimately the buck stops here. Rather than speculating on prophecies, it is us who are the prophets of doom and salvation through taking personal responsibility for our actions on the biosphere and for the futures we invoke, both through the exercise of 'free-will' in collapsing the wave function of the universe into a beneficent or invidious 'destiny', and through our future-anticipating conscious awareness.

It is through us, and our emergent compassion, that the problem of existence will become a redemptive flowering of consciousness. Consciousness is participatory and it is only when we can cast God aside and stand up for the undeniable fact of our own participation in the flowering of conscious reality, that salvation will come to the world. This is where the messiah in each of us separates from our illusion of Abba and grows up in the conscious condition to become redeemers of the compassionate mortal coil as Bodhisattvas of the natural world.

John: I don't think I disagree with you anywhere. Consciousness and physicality are one down at the smallest level and there is no 3rd party God just the individual souls that all begin/end from where all is one and one is all.

In the first comment below, Egull claims we are nothing but the pawns of creator Gods, and that any thought of free will, democracy, or any form of biological autonomy, is in fundamental error - that we are, in spite of the lack of any real evidence - living in a deterministic, nightmare universe pre-determined for all time by creator Gods. This typifies the worst in religious thinking, which, in its essence, robs us of our autonomy, and any responsibility for our actions, by making us utterly helpless husks of the religious delusion that we are nothing but slaves to God. What is all the more alarming about this point of view is that, such beliefs are not as silly as they might sound, but are shared by the world's great religions, and a vast number of people on the planet.

This demonstrates how completely the messianic awakening comes into direct collision with religion as spiritual bondage in the 'binding together' religio asserts. The messiah takes complete personal responsibility, not just for one's own fate but for redeeming the fate of the entire cosmos. By contrast, the religious follower is a helpless slave of God. The fact that these two are in collision becomes all the clearer when one realizes that Yeshua's own life and death, far from being manifest as the Son of God, cast him into the oblivion of an untimely crucifixion for blasphemy and insurrection, like all the prophetic voices in the wilderness crying before him.

Those who would martyr themselves in Yeshua's shadow, in suicide bombings dedicated to being the slaves of al-Llah, need to comprehend that such a mission is a fallacy, because Yeshua's death had meaning only because he was taking, at least in his own mind, cosmic responsibility for his own actions, and the damage done; in pitting his own will against those of the religious forces of the day; not assigning himself to the vain hope of seeing God's face in paradise, surrounded by 32 black eyed virgins, no matter how many innocents are maimed, or killed along the way.


egull said...

We exist to serve the thing that created us. Everything that we do has been predetermined by it, and the control it has on us allows no error or deviation. We are connected to the intelligence that controls this world, so we are at the whims of what it has decided for us. It can make you forget or even remember things you have never personally experienced. We are limited by the veil it has put on us so that we can be effective at our respective purposes/destinies.

Humans err (in thought) when we equate the knowledge of possibilities to free will. Knowledge of possibilities only refines the actions we are preprogrammed to do, as we are better able to distinguish the possibility(s) we are directed to experience.

The Mayans are correct about doom, and the Gods are asleep - which allowed democracy to florish. If you read carefully then you will realize that all the ancient religions are saying the same thing. And when they awake they will destroy us in order to restart a streamlined civilization with a God-King-Priest at the helm. As that type of civilization serves their purpose. And you are right about the sex thing but only on a grander scale than you imagine.

That site is a good start to begin to see more possibilities.

master mistery said...

the ungrund you mention is an interesting concept. But there is another way to think about all of this, and that is pantheism or even panentheism. Whereby the thing called God is simply Everything. Including Everything that is, has been, will be, could be in all domains, material or otherwise. This approach gets you out of all sorts of difficulties relating to whether God stands inside or outside of creation, etc. The fact, God IS Creation and Creation IS God. Plenty more of this on my blog at cosmic rapture

Dhushara said...

Pantheism is fine as far as it goes. In the quantum world, a single wave function can be regarded as 'conscious' of how its particle appears in its collapse, and in all chaotic phenomena like th weather there is a potential for 'aliveness' in the butterfly effect, which may link to the quantum world too. This does set up circumstances where we can think of the whole universe as alive and indeed this is part of the Taoistic view of the universe. On the other hand it is we ourselves who need to take personal responsibility for the consequences of our actions upon the world around us for the future generations. Also the way evolution and quantum anticipation works is vastly different from anything we have seen before and suggests the 'conscious universe' is coming about through an interplay of order and chaos, not one blessed utopian fate. To simply ascribe everything to be alive and hence creation and God to be one and all is an oversimplification and may make the same mistake monotheism makes in the long run by reducing everything to a kind of fantasy of destiny we make to fool ourselves.

Dhushara said...

Egull you are deluded. The way you express yourself has the ring of false certainty and belies the sensitivity of your own conscious being. We are not here to be certain or we would not be here at all. Neither are we here to suffer an inevitable doom except in so far as all mortal beings are transient. Human consciousness and the biota are here to play an integral part in the covers being thrown off reality - this is why we are conscious and is the respite for our mortality - to play a part, however small in the unfolding of the universe and taking personal responsibility for the future of the planet. This future is not determine and the idea of God-Priest-King is an alpha male delusion of ultimate dominance - sad deluded and damaging.