Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

The Meaning of It All

Originally posted on August 19, 2011

My son sent me an email that mentioned a TED lecture from England, David Deutsch   contemplated the meaning of sentient life in the cosmos. My own take on this history is this: Building on the work of Teilhard de Chardin, I think that what is going on is that the cosmos is moving towards greater complexity: 13 billion years to make a star that includes a planet (and who knows how many other stars and planets conducive to life?); 4 billion years for life to evolve; 400 million years for more life plus rudimentary systems of communication aside from exchanging DNA; 40 million years for more complex systems of communications and social networks, social species; 4 million years for primates and other more complex systems, 400,000 years for beginnings of technology and human-like communication, 50,000 years for language (maybe longer)—and also the awareness that death deserves a ritual burial.

Speeding up the evolution: 5000 years ago, the invention of writing—but still very rudimentary, 2500 years ago, alphabets, more user friendly; 500 years ago, practical applications of printing; 200 years ago, other media more widely used—postage,etc.—100 years ago, telephone, telegraph, mass newspapers; 40 years beginning of internet; and what’s been growing also in the last 2500 years to some accelerating degree is the idea of thinking about thinking itself—meta-cognition—and thinking also about what is spirituality, beyond merely doing it.

This growing complexity of mind and also networks of mind ups the process and depth of the ways we think about human existence and wonder about its purpose—beyond dogma to psychology.

Everything Deutsch was saying was great but I think he stopped just short of the possibility that the cosmos generates complexity and mind to turn the corner and become capable of tikkun olam—a mystical Jewish term for the healing of the broken-ness of the cosmos. I see this concept as compatible with Teilhard’s.

My myth: God in this sector of the multi-verse seeks to become more explicitly aware, conscious, to in a sense, “wake up,” but can only do this through our awakening. So G-d has naturally had to weave / evolve more and more complex forms of matter-information-energy that can adequately “know” and in turn “share,” which then sets up the resonating network of consciousness that can in turn evolve into a spiritual “we-ness” sense that includes the “beyond.”  It’s more than mere intelligence, but must also include the integrated reason and feeling that becomes higher forms of love, peacemaking, the awareness of inter-connection and identity with the Holy Emergence.

Not that this self-awareness as God-becoming is the only Purpose. There are others! Indeed, there are a near-infinite range and number of purposes, and I wouldn’t deny to God each goal: To live, live well, and live better. For an ameba, a little more warmth and some bacteria to eat, Yum, ahhh.  And for a normal man, say, perhaps the pleasures of  new ideas, pride in his kids, his wife’s sweet love, a clean garage, and thousands of other pleasures. Multiply this by billions upon billions—whatever is valuable for each entity (and as I note, it may involve thousands of fun different things)  and you get God having fun as She Wakes Up even More!

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