Wednesday, September 28, 2011
What is the antidote to the existential dilemma and the ultimate answer to the meaning of life? I am going to unravel the trillion dollar question to the life the universe and everything in a nutshell! This is practical, exciting, urgent, necessary and the biggest challenge any of us could face. It transcends and encompasses all forms of religious belief in a greater reality that is also completely at one with the scientific revolution.
This is something we all need to come together on, and form a movement, to safeguard the future together, with an enthusiasm that outshines all traditional religions, because it is the way of life's incandescent conscious future. To do this we need to integrate nature and spirituality in a new way.
People turn to religion to try to find the ultimate answer to the reason for conscious existence. However, because religious ideas haven't caught up with the scientific revolution, we end up stuck with the invention of the woolly-haired moral deity and notions of heaven and hell, to try to build a moral firmament around the vagaries of human existence.
However the revolution of science is sweeping away our preconceived notions and bringing us face to face with a universe of stunning complexity, which our forefathers and mothers couldn't have even dreamed of. At the same time, the spiritual and conscious dimension has remained fixed in traditional religion with some New Age fantasies thrown into the cauldron of cultural beliefs, from Eastern mysticism to shamanism, and a revival of the fertility Goddess. The spiritual dimension needs to catch up, if we are going to save the planet from a mass extinction and threats to our own survival and good health, driven by relentless human impact and lack of long-term foresight.
So what is the galvanizing raison d'etre that brings us all together as 'one' to save the world and bring about the immortal age of paradise?
There is a two-fold key: (1) Central to the secret of existence driving the religious impulse is that the universe is conscious and we have also come to understand that (2) consciousness arises through the living species, and so far as we know only the living species (not God or an angel in the heavenly vacuum) - i.e. the biota - and thus becomes conscious of itself and comes to understand itself ever more deeply.
If you like we are collectively 'God' in a state of becoming through the conscious passage of the generations.
Essentially this is a complementary cosmology. Although we discover our individual consciousness seems to be a fragile product of our biological brain state, we know that our subjective consciousness is the only actual experience we have from birth to death, with the physical universe witnessed only through our conscious experiences, so consciousness remains complementary to our natural bodies and physical existence. This is a manifestation of the fact that the conscious brain is the most highly evolved expression of the quantum-cosmological laws of nature in the known universe and probably in the entire universe.
Humanity has already evolved to the point where we are able to experience both that we are living biological beings and that we are conscious beings witnessing the paradox of incarnate sentient existence. We are able to define in meditative contemplation a deep relationship between our individual consciousness and its archetypal basis in what one might call cosmic consciousness.
Despite the rule of tooth and claw, humanity is a climax species of the evolutionary process with a long and blessed lifespan if we use it wisely. We have become blessed with a capacity for self-consciousness, the experience of free will and the capacity to change the course of history, the ability to invoke culture, art, music and science, maintaining a creative record of our emergence and development in an evolving state of future shock at the changes we have been bringing about on the planet and to one another, the ability to love and be loved and to experience the ecstasy of being-in-love, and to have a sense of conscience and empathy with others, which makes it possible for us to stand on the threshold of a cosmic awakening into our ongoing role in the universe and its future.
However, although humanity is a climax species there is no evidence that this is the end of the road. The relentless potential of life that has resulted in our evolution as an intelligent self-aware conscious species still has the potential to reach even greater heights of awareness and greater depths of conscious meditation, unless we, in our selfishness and folly, allow ourselves to destroy the potential future, by inflicting serious long-term damage on the future viability of life on Earth.
Traditional religions teach us that we are fallible mortals, potential or actual sinners, who without the support of the fatherly creator God would be destitute and helpless. Hinduism, and the Judeo-Christian Islamic complex all share this sense of human frailty and flawed as all nature is deemed flawed and cursed partly for its essential sexuality. This leaves us as supplicant beings, cursed with original sin in the Christian paradigm, and child like, dependent on God, al-Llah, or Jesus as Lord and Savior, unable to take full personal responsibility for our fate, or for the impact humanity is having on the planetary future.
Buddhism attempts to address the suffering of human attachment to the physical through renunciation, again perceiving the natural world as a gross manifestation of an essentially conscious reality, in which all living organisms are merely conscious beings and a rare threatened species is no more valuable than a common rodent. Thus although many Buddhist paths lay claim to protecting life and respecting nature, the vision is unbalanced and in effect a patriarchal vision of consciousness supreme over flawed matter.
The twin notions of apocalypse, or the covers being thrown off reality in the unveiling, in a tumult of future-shock and the fall from paradise, through a falling out of sexual relationship into a male-dominant hierarchy in which woman is cursed as the devil's gateway, or unclean, are an archetypal description of our own cultural emergence, departure from the gather-hunter lifestyle into patriarchal city states, the tumult of conflicting civilizations amid war and the rumors of war, running through to the invention of nuclear weapons and a potential mass extinction of life through unconstrained human impact.
With the growth of science, the explosion of the human population to potentially unsustainable levels, the invention of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear Armageddon, and the ever increasing human impact causing planet-wide habitat destruction, climate instability and depletion of non-renewable resources, driven by the emergence of a multi-national world culture spanning the entire planet, there is an urgent need for our survival, for us to now come of age to the point where we can each accept personal responsibility for the fate of the planet, and do what is necessary to safeguard the future generations of humanity and the diversity of life.
These concerns continue to take second place to business as usual, the struggle for economic endless growth, the greed of short term investment and a tragedy of the commons driven by winner take all venture capital, the accumulation of vastly disproportionate wealth amid near or actual starvation, and claims to intellectual property such as entire genomes, which are the endowment of the planetary heritage. Many of these features share characteristics of the spermatogenic reproductive strategy resulting from the patriarchal dominance of our traditional world cultures.
However the golden lining is that the future is not simply a repeat of the past. The future is absolutely nascent and unfolding before our eyes. While we do have the capacity for cosmic consciousness, we have at this point in time no idea of the full potential of the evolutionary process to give rise to even deeper and more illuminating forms of consciousness than we have experienced to date. Thus saving the planet and the future of life is not just a question of a banal life of more of the same, playing guitars under the coconut trees, but is an unfolding sacred task capable of invoking paradises we have not conceived of, or hells as bad, or worse, than we have triggered in genocidal war and nuclear holocaust and potentially of a vastly longer duration. Genetic damage to the planet's evolutionary heritage is irreversible and could take millions of years to recover from.
This means that the specters of heaven and hell are not just contrived fantasies, but destinies we could end up bringing about, in both physical and conscious form, if we don't have the foresight to understand the portal role conscious beings play in the ongoing life of the sentient universe. Seeking the afterlife, or immortal individual existence, is a fallacy of perspective that comes from a lack of empathy with all conscious beings and a misunderstanding of the way sexuality provides for endless conscious variety within the cosmic underlying basis of consciousness itself. So although we are mortal, we are one in spirit and if we do the right thing and make true meaning of our lives we become part of the immortal web of consciousness - the universe coming to know even also as we are known.
The purpose and meaning of life in the present is that we are the portal guardians and protectors of an even greater potential future, in which conscious life will discover ever more deeply the nature of existence, This is an immortal process, in which we all become one, in giving to the unfolding of the passage of the conscious generations, becoming in effect the eyes of divinity coming to know and understand itself and ourselves, through the sentient biota of the planetary biospheres.
This fidelity to conscious runs deeper than humanity as a species, and deeper than Earth as just one planet. Life may surpass the Earth and spread beyond, and life may also evolve beyond humanity as we know it.
However, because we all share sentient conscious existence, we are each in the likeness of the cosmic source. Each of us is a focal point of the universe, discovering more deeply its own relationship with existence over the entire time the universe evolves. By becoming one with the unfolding passage of the generations, in giving our best to cherish and replenish the Earth's living viability, we gain the sense of meaning and connectedness with life in the passage of the generations. While we are alive we then gain the free lunch of being able to witness the extraordinary nature of conscious existence, to love, to procreate, to have visions and to sample in our inner contemplation, the deepest essential nature of conscious experience on a cosmic footing.
The experience of the universe of itself is an eternal process, extending throughout space-time, uniting all sentient beings who come into existence, wherever and whenever they arise. In the cosmic nature of consciousness, complementing the evolving state of biological life of the biota, lies the timeless moment shared by all sentient beings that have ever lived and currently living and shall ever come into sentient existence, throughout the length and breadth of the universe in space-time, from alpha to omega.
So the eight-fold recipe for the meaning of existence is as follows:
1. Life is good and our personal incarnations as conscious beings are here to help the universe become super-conscious and fully discover its deepest mysteries.
2. Consciousness is a complementary cosmological manifestation to the natural universe, which comes through living species - the biota - as the most completely developed forms of the fundamental laws of physics and cosmology.
3. The purpose and meaning of life, in each generation, is to act as the guardian and portal for a potentially even more awesome conscious experience of reality in succeeding generations, while enjoying the paradox of sentient existence to the full in our own lifetimes.
4. Sex is good and essential to the fertility and diversity of conscious life. Our role as sexual beings is central to the expression of the life force and it is from sex that consciousness emerges rather than sex being a degeneration of conscious purity. In the paradox of sex and courtship each sex finds its meaning and creative fulfillment in gaining the acceptance of the other so that neither sex is dominant in the evolutionary race of super-intelligence.
5. We need urgently to gather together to express this reality of living guardianship with enthusiasm in pagent and celebration, both because it makes us one together in the incarnate process and makes everything we do worthwhile, because it is the meaning and the only real path of value, and because we need to parry other forces, both of religious fundamentalism, which could damage the planetary future and personal greed and exploitation, which also blinds people to the greater good and the needs of the long-term future.
6. This can be given fertile expression in all the rites of passage of life, from birth, sacred partnership to passing away, in the festivals of the seasons, in sexual coitus, in the art and music of human creativity shared in a celebratory setting and in social and environmental activism to cherish the Earth and replenish it.
7. We need to do this consensually as egalitarian coinhabitants, not following leaders or an established priesthood or any other form of bondage to our autonomy as conscious sentient beings. The natural sacraments of the biosphere are the living visionary species, and their various molecular variants, which along with meditative techniques, and sexual fulfillment, provide all humanity with a capacity to witness first hand the immanence and transcendence of the conscious mysterium tremendum.
8. We need above all to protect the living diversity of the planet, its species diversity, its genetic diversity and the genetic, cultural and creative diversity and viability of our own human species. This requires having a very astute inscrutable understanding of genetic processes and the human impacts upon them, as well as a proactive program to sustain biodiversity and natural habitats. It also requires adequate contraception to address the impact of overpopulation on the planet.