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REVOLUTIONS IN CONSCIOUSNESS

 

 

   

From Copernicus to Newton to Darwin to Einstein to Sai

   
   

IV

Darwin – The Age of Information

 

   

The next major revolution which takes us another 150 years further along in the progressive development of Western thought, is the Darwinian revolution. This revolution in consciousness characterizes all the other revolutionary steps in the historical development of Science. Its principal theme is this: Not only is there relationship and connectedness between every object across the vast Universe because of the common natural laws which govern the behavior of all matter, but there is also a progressive hierarchy of order in the Universe.


Within the great river of change which moves every individual form towards dissolution and chaos, there is a finer stream that moves on a much longer time-scale, slowly wending its way upstream towards greater order. It has the effect of slowly but surely changing all the templates or blueprints, we might say, out of which like forms have been created throughout the Universe, steadily evolving those forms towards higher and higher levels of organization.


For example, all matter in the early Universe was made up of only simple Hydrogen and Helium; but then as the Universe grew older, some of this early matter evolved into the heavier elements and the large range of molecules that we know today. All of this is governed by an evolutionary process that is universally the same everywhere.


Of course, Darwin was concerned only with the evolution of living species on Earth and he worked out the theory based on individual variation and natural selection through mutation; but these details are not important in the context of our discussion here. It is the basic principle of evolution that we are concerned with, which holds true for matter in general, as well as for life, and even for cultural information and ideas. This process changes the simple, the limited, the potential into the unlimited creative expression and varied spectrum of possibilities in which forms have manifested themselves, and in which ideas have expressed themselves, as life and matter and ideas evolved here on Earth.


The vast range of complexity that we find in the World today has all originated from the simplest forms. To give some examples, we have the evolution of the chemical elements from Hydrogen all the way to Uranium, the evolution of amorphous cosmic dust clouds into moons and planets and stars and giant galaxies, the evolution of volcanic rocks into seas and continents, the evolution of life from simple bacteria all the way to the miraculous manifestation of the infinitely complex human being, and the evolution of ideas from simple grunts to the most sublime poetry and from simple tool-making to Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory.


This understanding of the dynamic makeup of the Universe, leading upwards step-by-step, in an orderly progression from primeval matter to Man, who is the crowning achievement of the evolutionary process, provides a much subtler and higher level of awareness than that given by the universal laws. For it provides not only a set of common rules for the behavior of matter, but it also provides a characteristic niche, a purposeful role for every individual entity and even every thought...for each there is a place on the ladder of development of forms and ideas, progressing from the least to the greatest.


Underneath the surface everything is alike; everything is made up of the same stuff and follows the same laws. But in manifestation everything has its own individual uniqueness, its own role to play and its own destiny to fulfill. The inescapable philosophical implication of this is that in the Universe there is not only matter and energy, but there are also embedded informational packets, codes which give rise to specific forms and provide them with their unique function. Information is always at a higher level of organization than energy, and matter. Through information, such as that contained in a blueprint, vast amounts of matter and energy can be organized in a specific way to express an infinite array of different forms having different functions. For instance, through the information contained in the DNA molecules matter and energy can be organized to produce everything from an amoeba to a blade of grass to a cockroach to a human being.


Through the evolutionary process, the informational code changes, and consequently forms progress in complexity and order so as to associate with each other in mutually simbiotic ways, in the process building up ever greater capabilities of functioning and specialization. Organisms of greater and greater complexity develop with ever greater capabilities of functioning and purpose. Ultimately everything is seen to have a characteristic purpose, and even the whole Universe can be considered to be tied together as one vast, growing, changing, developing and eventually disintegrating organism.


When we see everything this way, the demarcation between Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology and even Psychology gets increasingly fuzzy. We become concerned with the dynamics of the whole and not so much with its reduction into definable parts. This naturally leads to ecological thinking, tying together the whole range of possible experiences that make up Nature and our existence within it. This is a true revolution in thought which has not yet fully matured in the established scientific thinking, but it is slowly filtering into the awareness of the new generation.


We can associate this level of understanding with the cosmic mental, the still more subtle mind aspect of the universe. At this level, Science began to shift its attention to the Master Plan and the overall organizing principles that unify the various manifestations which have taken form, into a coherent whole. For example, as already mentioned, in the Life Sciences we discovered the genetic code, the informational blueprint which is common to all life forms, wherein recorded messages express themselves as all the different organisms found on Earth.


When the awesome beauty, the ingenious intricacy, the progressive flowering of forms throughout the Universe, unfold themselves to our view, like interwoven scenes on a grand tapestry, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny the existence of an underlying organizing intelligence, a creative consciousness, which through its will gives purpose to this entire awesome fabric of expression.
“How could all this have happened without a responsible agency, a maker?” we ask ourselves. There must be some organizing, animating principle behind it all.

It is like remembering a particularly vivid dream and wondering about the dreamer, or seeing an outstanding film and wondering about the director, or seeing a striking complex of modern buildings and wondering about the architect. Behind the plans there surely must have been a designer. Yet, in the case of the World, the design is so intricately balanced and the laws so ingeniously conceived, that the master planner can remain totally hidden, and only the power, the exquisite scope of genius and the delicacy of the design, reveal the possibility of such a presence.


And so, we are beginning to get hints that there is still a higher level of organization beyond information, beyond energy and beyond matter. We can call it consciousness or pure awareness, a more subtle and subjective quality, a considerably more powerful organizing principle than either information or energy. But it had to take yet another revolution in awareness before the principle of Consciousness began to expose itself in inexplicable ways, as Science moved closer to rediscovering the eternal truths known to the ancient Seers and Mystics.

 
   

 

   
   

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