A Theoretical Purpose for Consciousness and the Mote of a Soul Part Two
Part Two: Parallel Development of a Material and Non-Material Universe
If the self is not the mind and not the body, then what is it? What is its purpose? From where does it originate? I have been a proponent of the idea that immortality is a function of species, that the clear biological function of any organism is to pass on its genetic material to future generations. This idea suggests that all species are in fact one super-organism, and possibly that all life on a sphere is a massive hyper-organism. Immortality is not present in its individual components, and while the experiences of one component may be of use to the process of improving the viability of the species, ultimately it is only the biological imperative which is of any lasting importance. Life lives, with little concern for anything else. With this in mind, the only kind of immortality that an individual personality can hope to achieve is through their actions and their impact on the culture of their species. I have said that we should build monuments in time to our greatness to influence the future.
While I still support this idea, I am now uncertain if that is the real limit.
I find myself considering the possibility of a parallel development which is supported by the biological and material development of our universe. All matter comes from one source, as far as we have been able to discern. Our bodies, in different proportions and combinations, are made of the same stuff as stars. When I considered in the past the phenomenon of self, of Awareness and Consciousness, when looking at the diverse fauna of our planet, my initial conclusion was that this Awareness and Consciousness served no real purpose other than being a relatively unique evolutionary tool for seeing to the future viability of the species. We are the smartest monkeys, and all our development and enlightenment makes certain that our sperm and eggs continue to dominate our biosphere.
When I consider, though, the hyper-organism, all life on our planet, the purpose of Awareness and Consciousness, of self, becomes readily apparent. As richly diverse as life is on out planet, it cannot survive because it is locked to this one sphere. As Stephen Hawkings has pointed-out, the destruction of this world, given enough time, is a mathematical certainty. The only way in which life survives is if it thrives and expands to new environments, to leave this biosphere and inhabit or create a new one, life must have an organism which is Aware enough to recognize the imperative and Conscious enough to create the means to deal with the problem. A clear marker of the presence of Awareness is the understanding that the death of the body is inevitable and Consciousness is denoted by behaviors which indicate the organism acts in accordance to this awareness.
Look around at your fellow smart-monkeys and ask yourself how many of them act as if their inevitable demise is a reality, let alone the potential demise of their species. Life requires the evolution of Awareness and Consciousness in order to become truly viable on a universal scale.
I would propose that the human species has evolved to support and house the Awareness and Consciousness of the biology of our world. Just as the brain houses the Awareness and Consciousness that drives the body, the Aware and Conscious members of humanity might be the housing for the Awareness and Consciousness of our biosphere. Our interactions, properly organized, are leading to a Global Awareness, and eventually a Global Consciousness. Not a hive-mind, but rather a biosphere Awakening, with the survival of the life originating on this sphere being its priority. This imperative originates with the life on our planet itself, which is rooted in the formation of the planet, itself spawned by the formation of our local star and its system, to the organizing of matter an energy of our galaxy, to the on-going reorganization of the universe. Everything in our universe is simply a different energy-matter matrix, a particular expression of potentiality.
Stars exists for millions of years. They proceed from instability in molecular clouds which cause the material to coalesce into one body. The gravity of the mass eventually results in hydrogen fusion. Fusion continues through the elements until iron results, and the star begins to collapse and die. The whole process takes billions of years, and in the entire time of the star’s development its fate is already known. It is, as far as the development of new and ongoing energy/matter matrices, a dead-end. A super-nova may agitate the molecular structure of other clouds which begins the process anew, but this is not a matter of choice and the result is the same in future stars. Evolution does not occur.
Without the presence of life and the possibility of Awareness, energy and matter would continue the process of expansion, re-organization, and collapse infinitely and with no change or purpose. This is the state of a purely material universe, and if this were the totality of the universe then Awareness and Consciousness, or self, would be superficial or even counter-productive. If, however, there is a parallel process involved, then self becomes of tantamount importance. The explosion of the “Big Bang” leads to the expansion and re-organization of energy/matter matrices. Some conditions produce stars, and in turn some conditions produce planets which might sustain life, and then life develops under the proper conditions and in some of those biospheres it develops to the point of being able to support Awareness. This Awareness, in some cases, supports Consciousness. In Consciousness, we find a matrix that is the most rare of all the expression in the universe. It is a matrix that can be self-determining. Just as the imperative of biological life is to survive and thrive, it is possible that the imperative of Awareness and Consciousness is to break from of the material cycle of our universe, to create something which may be able to endure the “Big Crunch” and beyond.
If all material for our universe and every energy/matter matrix within it has a common source, then I would propose that it is the same for Awareness. This is not to suggest a “god” or creator deity, but simply a hidden universal Awareness that co-exists with the obvious universal body. Just as humanity is the Awareness and potential Consciousness of our biosphere, so might all Conscious biospheres be the Awareness and potential Consciousness of this universal self. Just as each organism is a component of the total material of the universe, then each Consciousness is a component of the universal totality. “God” would be an over-simplification. In our own biosphere, we see patterns and processes repeat; cellular function is akin to the function of the organism is akin to the function of the species is akin to the function of the biosphere. As below, so above.