I woke up early. Still in bed, I turned on the closest device at hand. Yes, one of those handheld gadgets, that opens information flows and connects you with words and images of the world. I was browsing through headlines of all sorts. I stopped at one item; an article about the value of the Hubble Constant (which measures the rate of expansion of the universe). I read that there was an apparent debate in cosmology and physics about the rate of the expansion.
Oh no, I said as I trembled in panic and wondered what to do now.
I already was worried about my bedtime reading last night about the latest finding in human anatomy and the ensuing scientific debate, about the status of a new organ or not, the Interstitium -a new body-wide structure found in the human body, that until a year ago did not show up in the venerable maps of anatomy developed since Vesalius.
I pondered with concern, as I looked through the small window of my smart phone, at these latest currents of scientific thinking and my mind drifted into thinking about the nature of mind, this universe interpretation tool, that brings forth into existence, Hubble constants and Interstitiums and descriptions and theories, for every manner and flavor of the stuff “out there”. Mind, this oozing of consciousness, that rules, interprets, manipulates, conceptualizes, believes, asserts, desires, gossips, envies, envelops itself and falls in love with an id and constructs points of view, and ponders on the minutest details, like the number of oarsmen in Ulysses’ boat or how many angels fit on a pinhead.
I wondered, at the so many treatises, in so many specialized niches of knowledge by people who have focused on all aspects of the world, of life, and human nature. Yes, I concluded to myself, awareness and the sharing of it, seems to be the most fascinating of all things in existence.
On the other hand, I continued, the degree of awareness and perception of each, seems to be associated with the way we define ourselves. If we just perceive as our being as just a sac from toe to nose, as our body and personality, we build a small fortress of self and survival, extensive to perhaps the others, family and the tribe we identify with. But today there seems to be a growing consensus among physicists, ecologists, cosmologists, philosophers, and mystics, that the universe is a continuous unified field of energy flows. They all seem to coincide about an interconnectedness of all, with fragmentation just being a sensorial and mental mirage of individual forms.
So, it seems, that at least intellectually, we can no longer escape the fact that all life is intimately bonded. Yet, our behavioral patterns, as individuals and societies continue to be based on fragmentation, on niches of separation, where we feel secure and emotionally safe, where we pursue our selfish survival instincts based on fear of the other. Throughout history we have perpetuated this behavioural concept of breaking the cosmic wholeness into bite-size bits. Naturally we call it human nature. Of course, we humans vary in sensibility and the definition of self-space and the according orientation of behaviour, from a Trump to a Mandela, to give an example.
The question that arose in my morning drift caused by the Hubble constant debate was, at these times when we are so many, when our information and communication systems are so connected, when our footprint on life-supporting commons is so overwhelming -can we continue to operate under fragmentation premises without making a terrible mess to our civilization and survival?
It is true that selfishness and selflessness, preponderance of individuality or interdependence, egotism and love, have always been salient dilemmas in the drivers, debates and discourse, that guide our individual and social behaviour. We oscillate between “each one to his/her own” and a community interdependent way of sustainable living, where the preponderance of separative existence, yields to the appreciation that we are all interconnected and must love each other as we love ourselves.
Thinking about my being, now in bed, connected with the world to handheld information flows, it dawned upon me that our humanness today is linked, at least externally, as never before, a network of interwoven technological conduits that makes possible a simultaneous global conversation. The conversation cloud pervades as one continuum. Previous codes emerged in relative isolation are now exposed, challenged to redefinition, compared, and evolved. Millions upon millions of voices and silences, images and symbols collide in the crucible of our collective mind. A new culture seems to be emerging from this fusion.
On the other hand, different ethnicities are now merging on a global scale, at rates never seen before in our history, gene pools are converging, creating new potentials. However, at the same time, fear is growing in tribal bounded cultures, as they fear dissolution -the losing of cherished distinctive traits to hybridization. At a glance and considering the currents of history, the convergence trends are unstoppable. And I hope they will bring forth a new consciousness of the unified field of life. Perhaps, I thought, it is the only thing that can save us from ourselves. Like Ernesto Sabato once said: “…only a more fraternal meaning of life can heal us... a desire of transforming life into a human terroir”. I believe that we are moving inevitably towards a recognition of the wholeness of life. Towards the acceptance, not just in intellectual appreciation, but in behavior, that life is organically interrelated in wholeness. I sighed to myself, as my mind continued its morning rambling and the universe continued to expand, at whatever rate would be established by the resolution of the Hubble constant debate.
Giving it a last thought, I ended my mental monologue with the following conclusions: on one hand it looks that most of humanity is caught up in fragmentation consciousness. So, projecting our future from this perspective portrays a vision of unrelieved despair, a grim vision of what is to come. But on the other hand, there seems to be an emerging understanding of the holistic nature of life, call it a spiritual or total system perception, that will perhaps come into full play and effectively create a sustainable human society. Already, I reflected, many men and women throughout the world, are coming together in their desire for a more human world, and they have already started to generate change, taking risks in experiences as profound as love and solidarity.
I stopped my morning stream of consciousness provoked by the Hubble constant dilemma, saying to myself: “Wow, poetry, butterflies, sunrises, falling in love, survival of the cruelest circumstances of callousness and disasters, endless stars, the interstitium, and world news plus the information access about them in the artificial brightness of my hand held device. What a happening this life is, -what a masterpiece of beauty, mystery, tenderness, contrast and possibility, life is!”
With that jumped out of bed and walked outside, in the twilight of morning, among waking trees, bushes, and bird chants, the light of moon, and the caresses of breeze. And I was so grateful just to be, to be. And somehow, despite the angst and the uncertainties, about the interstitium, political news, the Hubble constant and the future, I felt a mellow state of everything is alright- surrounding all.
All the intricacies revealed as one is alive, through consciousness, the experiencing of the surround, the processes of interpretation, imagination and thought, the emotional contexts, fears, attractions, desires, the complexities of our personality that of others. This dance of life, this endless observed and inferred universe. They all suddenly converged and wafted me into a deep state of awe, prompted as I peeked into that little window of the I pad, from my I consciousness, this morning.
As I browsed multiple headlines and tidbits of information, my mind remembered, imagined, anticipated and became enthralled by just one moment of being.