No adventure of imagination, can have more literary value, than the most insignificant episode of day-to-day life.
(Gabriel García Márquez)
We used to meet, in a corner of our neighborhood street, almost every other evening, to talk under a street lamppost; four preadolescents. Our conversations ranged about everything we knew and had heard, from both our parents and schools, in that first decade of our lives.
The vocabulary was simple, the imagination wild, and the self-importance of whatever we said, which each one considered truth, crucial. We soon discovered that there was objectivity, beyond opinion, things that were verifiable, like who would run faster, jump higher, or whose family car was more expensive. There were other not easily verifiable matters, for which we had to rely on who was telling the story better and quoting the most impressive sources.
Looking back now, to those in vivo neighborhood chats, I can see in them the first signs of the non-stop conversation that life is all about. Every human being has a unique circumstance, context, an interiority. We interact through multiple endless opinions, our points of view, and we arrive at consensus through the same mechanisms we used in our corner.
I believe this constant interaction reflects the very nature of life’s substance itself, a primordial conversation carried through different stages of unfoldment and evolution of communication, by consciousness, the basic stuff making up the universe. Federico Faggin in a recent series of fascinating articles in Wall Street International Magazine presents a model of this evolving resonance of consciousness.
The essential social nature of our human species is based on self-awareness. Our incredible capacity, to communicate our perceptions of the surround, and the unique inner person that defines us. There is not an idle moment in our mind’s film screens, at conscious and subconscious levels, they are constantly churning, adjusting, judging, accepting, rejecting, opinionating. There is an innate urge, conscious or unconscious in all, to explain, assert, and define what is this existence moment that we happen to be caught in.
I left my neighborhood corner and went through adulthood, career, life, and retirement. Conversations took other formats and contexts, but overall, the protocols for reaching agreement and holding on to opinions remained the same. Arguments pertaining to objectively non-verifiable issues: politics, ideology, or belief systems, would be decided by biases, self-interest, and a reverberation between influencers and the gullible. On the other hand, there were areas where objective facts could be measured and catalogued, subject to empirical measurement and verification. In the frontiers of scientific discovery, sometimes this was more fluid, and while reproducibility of observations, predictive behavior, and experimentation happened, there was room, for “educated” opinion divergence and debate.
I also discovered through life beyond the corner chats, that there was something else beyond objectivity and opinion. Call them moments of deep feeling, intuition, or a sudden awareness dawning inside you. Moments that were beyond thought, opinion, conversation, and facts. They happened within, in silence, and felt experiential and whole, unexplainable, and revealing.
Let me illustrate what I mean by a story. It is about two neighbors in a coastal village, one a professor of quantum physics, a declared atheist, the other a fundamentalist religious minister, who avoided each other in meetings because they would always end up having terrible arguments.
One early morning, by coincidence, they happened to be in a small pier by the sea, to watch the sunrise. They nodded in recognition, and stood close to each other in the small platform, to wait for dawn. That day, a spectacular sunrise took place, the cloud formations, the variance of colors, the hues were awesome. Both were awestruck by the beauty. So much, that they placed their arms around their shoulders, and a tear or two fell through their cheeks. Both were enthralled in silence.
After sunrise ended, they started walking back to their street. The reverend broke the silence first, “Did you see the hands of God creating so much beauty, His infinite palette of color His creativity?”.
No, snapped back the scientist, “I just saw the prismatic effect of the upper layers of the atmosphere, as it diffracted the wave of light, into different vibrational frequencies…”.
When they tried to grasp, with their minds and favorite nomenclature, the experience of beauty, and wholeness that united them in a silent moment of bliss, they ended up again in a terrible argument.
The most basic challenge we face as humans is the explanation of our existence. Beyond whatever worldview we subscribe to, we are not able to come to a full-fledged explanation or rational understanding, a comprehension, of what is life, the universe, its purpose and origin, and our presence in it. Our conversations are all about thoughts, nomenclature, and opinions, but they cannot encompass being.
Our self-aware id, associates itself with its thoughts, likes and dislikes, desires noble and ignominious, through this awareness that peeks out. And we pledge allegiance to all sorts of ideologies, religions, and belief systems, from our relative uncertainties, and we fight for them, kill for them, and propagate them to others not just as our truth, but as truth.
And although through science, we have gathered evidence of the systemic nature and interconnectedness of the universe, our self-awareness is focused on our id’s, on the “us versus them”. Deepak Chopra, in a recent article addressing the limitations of the materialistic worldview, states: “The four most urgent problems on humanity’s plate are overpopulation, pandemic disease, massive migration, and climate change.” To overcome these, he states, we need a change in our self-awareness because “at present- he continues - we deny responsibility for the problems that no truly self-aware person would tolerate.”
That is, we must expand the little fiefdoms of our egos and their immediate surroundings, in which our self-awareness is entrenched, because “a really self-aware person wouldn’t go to war, stockpile nuclear weapons, harbor racial prejudice, mistreat and abuse women, and foul the environment.”
A few days ago, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, issued a dire warning: “The world is moving in the wrong direction and faces a pivotal moment where continuing business as usual could lead to a breakdown of global order and a future of perpetual crisis, and that the world is under enormous stress on almost every front”.
The crux of the matter is that we are too many, and too greedy and selfish, and are ignoring the interconnectivity of the life support system. It is no longer possible to continue with the same worldview, to sustain the world as it is today; consumeristic appetites, silo mentalities, hoarding instincts, and each one to his own approach. We cannot continue having the attitude of opinionated preteens, discussing the world in a corner, making our opinions prevail, polarizing, demonizing, creating conspiracies everywhere. Witch hunts, Illuminati, Rothschilds, Big Pharma, staged moon landings, reptilians from outer space, pedophile networks and so on.
Let’s just focus on one example. The recent conversation in the world regarding Covid-19, our current pandemic. This time, the pandemic is not depending on caravans, trade and rats for its dispersion, or debates about God’s punishment or not, as the cause of getting it. Now, we understand the bacterial and viral causes of many diseases, the organism’s immunological defense systems, we know about drugs that can kill bacteria and check viruses, and about vaccines that can set the readiness level of the body’s defenses, so that people or animals are protected against infection.
Yet, the conversation level of the response to Covid-19 is as opinionated as the chats in my childhood corner. Except that now it is a global corner, reaching millions of people instantaneously, carrying opinions portrayed as knowledgeable from influencers to gullible audiences, and inspiring behavior that can run against public health.
Some of it is promoted because it helps a particular self-interest, i.e., a political or business agenda, but most are carried with the same gusto, and lack of verifiable evidence, that we as kids spoke our perceived “truths” in the neighborhood corner. With that flavor of the I know better, or my family, friend, political leader, knows better.
So here we are, contrasting potential objective platforms of scientific research, to conspiracy theorists and all sorts of in-between dilutions. We see conclusions arising out of well-balanced and carefully measured studies, like those coming from the Oxford University Principle project and the Cochrane organization. Independent data from scientific studies are challenged by assertions made by political leaders like Trump, about certain drugs and even the possible use of disinfectants to combat Covid.
And not just extreme sources, like the former President. Take for example the following assertions, made by a serious peacemaker and evolutionary leader, Mitchel J. Rabin, on a recent article, (which otherwise contains some very good arguments seriously questioning the justification of wars and interventions like Afghanistan or Vietnam).
- “The MRNA technology which its inventor, Dr. Robert Malone, has warned the public to stay away from as they are still in an experimental stage”.
- “It was discovered in early 2020 by Australian researchers that the long-time, FDA-approved anti-viral drug, Ivermectin, was working well in cases of Covid-19.
- “If mainstream media refer to Ivermectin at all, it is mocking, completely embarrassing from a scientific point of view. But one must just remember that their salaries are paid for largely by Big Pharma. Facts, objective science and truth simply have little to do with today’s commercial media.
These statements about Covid are interwoven with otherwise very deep statements about human nature, the false justification of wars, corrupt practices of media and business, which I fully agree with Rabin. But if we go to the childhood corner and apply objective measures, we find that the above statements are questionable.
- Nobody can singularly claim the “invention of MRNA technology” as this has been a long process of research by many institutions and scientists, and no other contributor makes Malone’s case.
- Ivermectin is not an antiviral FDA-approved drug, but an FDA and worldwide approved antiparasitic drug.
- The implication the mainstream media querying of the value of Ivermectin as a Covid 19 remedy is because Big Pharma is buying them, misses the fact that Merck, the largest producer of Ivermectin, and one of the biggest of the Big Pharma, made an official statement:
- there is no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19 from pre-clinical studies;
- there is no meaningful evidence for a clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19 disease;
- there is a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.
My point is not to create another corner discussion about the above, but to signal that we must expand our platforms for conversation, to go beyond opinions and allegiances and understand that we are in the same planet-boat, and that includes primarily a planetary self-awareness.
We have created a civilization, that should enable us to be more compassionate and aware of the unified field of life, functionally aware of our interconnectedness, not as a philosophical context, but as an essential systemic organizing principle, which requires that we assume responsibility for the impact of our actions, our opinions, our statements, on the wellbeing of others.
We do seem to have, as a human in general, in our visionary and realization moments, the capacity to overcome ourselves and become selfless rather than selfish, to have a conscious feeling of the unified field of existence that we are part of, reflect on the marvelousness of life, and that thing that we call, love, -love at its highest level.
For all the irrationality, the injustice, the stubborn ignorance, the selfishness, the hurt that we are all capable to bring to ourselves and to others, there is beauty, love, wisdom, joy, and fairness too. I happen to believe, as an optimist, that this story of life, which genre includes all genres, has a happy ending, that imagination ends up meeting itself, and that all our episodes, opinions, and points of view merge in a point of joy.
No one is to blame for the unfoldment, and its multifarious manifestations in forces of nature, mind, consciousness. It is all, I believe, with the passion I made my arguments in my childhood corner, even if I don’t know for certain, an emergence process, and an inescapable bloom for all in the exuberant garden of existence.
Teilhard de Chardin in his seminal book, The Phenomenon of Man, beautifully described the unfoldment of the universe and life, as an evolution of consciousness, and how the collective and individual self-awareness, came out in unfurling self-expression of this innate energy, to experience full self-awareness.
The universe, humanity, civilization, you, and I, are part of an ocean returning to itself, through a process of evolution and realization, to full consciousness.
The universe is a completely unique entity. Everything and everyone is bound together with some invisible strings. Do not break anyone’s heart; do not look down on weaker than you. One’s sorrow at the other side of the world can make the entire world suffer; one’s happiness can make the entire world smile.