Meta-Cosmic Reflections on Life Itself
This cosmos is a four-banger. After the big bang, we get the equally big bangs of Life, Mind, and Spirit, although I'm sure the least of you kits realizes that what is chronologically later is ontologically earlier.
Again, Spirit is both alpha and omega, not something that only suddenly appears 13.7 billion years into the big bang. Rather, what is new is the sudden realization by conscious beings that Spirit had been doing its thing all along. However, timelessness takes time, as Genesis makes plain; no one is there to realize Spirit until the sixth day -- and really, the seventh day -- even though it was there all along. One might say that the purpose of the Sabbath is to contemplate this orthoparadoxical truth.
It is only a conceit of physics that the first big bang is the origin of the cosmos, for we can argue with equal boombast that there was truly "nothing" until there was a living being there to experience it. Otherwise, you're caught in the literally unimaginable space -- which is no space at all -- of a reality without a point of view.
For example, just try to imagine the room where you are now sitting from every possible angle. This would take the rest of your life. For in reality, the sum total of all points-of-view would still not equal the transcendent no-point-of-view.
So when cosmologists talk about the big bang being the origin of the cosmos, they're obviously "retrojecting" their current consciousness back in time. Which is fine. This is what I did yesterday in order to prove that consciousness and interiority were indeed there at the origin, and at every step of the way between then and now, a now which obviously "always is."
In order to better understand what Life is, we need to get away from the reductionistic schemes of biologists -- who don't really study Life Itself, only abstractions from it. (When I capitalize Life or Mind, I am not just being pompous, but speaking of them "as such," i.e., ontologically and concretely rather than scientistically and abstractly.)
DeKoninck -- who at times again reminds me very much of Teilhard -- wrote that "in the theory of mutations, biology too sees life advance by successive explosions," becoming richer and more concentrated along the way. Viewed vertically, the physical world is only an epidermis, or perhaps "like the shell of an egg" through which Life pushes up from within.
Before the emergence of Life, there was no "center" to existence. Rather, it was as if it were "all periphery," if such a thing can be imagined (which it can't). But among other things, that first living being was the emergence of a center of existence. Afterwards, the flow of evolution will involve increased centration, which ultimately coheres around something called I AM, more on which later. Suffice it to say that Life is a kind of penumbra around the radiant I AM.
Now, just as the first big bang -- creative though it may have been -- "destroyed" whatever previous order existed, so too does Life put an end to the reign of the physical. Again, I caution you to look at the situation vertically, for from that surpassing standpoint, an entirely new cosmic order was revealed 3.85 years ago, when the first itty-bitty defied matter, declared its independence from entropy, and became a transcendent teensy-weensy standing over and above the material plane, even while remaining dependent upon it.
When this happened, what actually happened? -- again, not scientifically but ontologically. After all, this was the primordial revolution, a revolution of which we are all still beneficiaries. How can we ever repay the debt owed to our founding dissipative structures, who defied all the odds in rebelling against the mightiest army every assembled, i.e., pure matter?
DeKoninck writes that "it is the thrust of life which dismantles the universe under its physical aspect, which uses this universe and makes space grow" (emphasis mine). This is a tricky point, but "When life travels toward an organization always more intense, the disorganization of the physical world is only a loss of a cosmos which is absorbed in life."
As I attempted to explain in my book, the emergence of Life did indeed spell the end of Matter's reign, although materialists still haven't gotten the memo. Here it is, p. 70:
"Thus, regardless of how close scientists come to a complete understanding of the cosmos, if they are employing the standard ways of materialistic science, it will be an understanding from before the instant life became manifest. In order to place a bright line between observer and observed, subject and object, science must retreat to a time when no subjects apparently existed. In short, science tries 'to pull the subjective into the objective by pulling the present into the sufficiently remote past'" (emphasis mine... and not mine too, I guess).
Verily, as described by the brilliant theoretical biologist Robert Rosen, biologists -- and scientists in general -- proceed as if living things are "clues only to what the universe is not like," but the more they prove this point, the more they disprove it, for they are like branches of a great tree trying to show that the trunk is dead by growing more leaves.
But you can't eliminate Life that easily, you facile academic boneheads. For what prevents us from turning the cosmos right side up and seeing that Life is a vital clue as to what the universe is actually like? Or, to take it a bit further, what if Mind is an even more vital clue?
Prior to the emergence of Life, there is actually no time or space in the cosmos, for again, space only exists relative to an observer, and time can only "flow" relative to a "now," and there is no now in the absence of Life.
To plagiaphrase DeKoninck, the biosphere lifts itself out of the fragmentation of space and the dispersion of time, which are really the "ashes and smoke of a world which glows with life." Life becomes "a center of pure density," and "cuts through space-time as the prow of a ship cuts through the water." Time does not mete out Life; rather, Life metes out time. Life, in binding space, necessarily binds time. The rhythm of life is the rhythm of being -- although the rhythm of James Brown expresses the point equally well.
Life specifically "travels against the grain of the diffusion of time," and is a "triumph" over its "scattering." We especially see this with the emergence of Mind, which is obviously inconceivable in the absence of memory. For what is memory? First of all, let us bear in mind that DNA is nothing but a memory of life's journey. But so too is a conscious man a man who "remembers" -- not just horizontally, but vertically. Or, to put it another way, the most conscious man is the man with the most vertical recollection, whose memory "wraps around" existence in the same way that Life transcended matter by wrapping around it.
To wrap one's being around existence in this manner is to be fully present to oneSelf. This is what it means to be a big gnosis-all, for the adventure of Life culminates in the Man who "succeeds in uniting all the degrees of cosmic being.... The world tends to join in man its extremities separated by space-time" (DeKoninck).
Thus, we enter time in order to be fulfilled in it. As we rumble and bumble and tumble through its rocky corridors, it is very much as if we are polished and perfected, once again becoming atemporal in process, a finite mode of the infinite. In so doing, we return to the origin of our ring-tale, but now know it for the first time.
Now, March Forth, inward and upward, you ring-taled bastards!