To begin with: I do not pretend to know the ultimate truth. I'm 89 years old, so had ample time to ponder about what life is about. When I started at an early age to think about the sense of living I accepted wholeheartedly unproven truths about the conditions we are subject to. My mother was a Theosophist which had it that in the universe the laws of karma and re´ncarnation ruled our lives, This explained the apparent injustice of people being born with bad or good characters, parents and conditions. It also threw light on our interior being and origin
Growing older I started to wonder whether logic should be a guideline in ascertaining truths. The life of animals seems so cruel to us. We are besieged by illnesses, adverse conditions and bad fate. Nature does not appear to have any redeeming values.
In my lifetime some hard facts have become common knowledge. The earth was not created some six thousand years ago by a supposedly loving God, but in practice a harsh potentate who demanded being worshipped if one wished not to go to hell after death. Actually much of the contents of the holy books of religions have been proven to be untrue by archeological and historical research. As a result explanations given by religions have lost most of their value, especially in western cultures.
What became accepted is that the universe commenced with a big bang billions of years ago, developing to the cosmos we observe now. We have also ascertained that co´ncidence played a major part in our earth becoming an livable planet and that evolution brought forth animals and finally homo sapiens.
Clever minds have given us insight as to how nature and the brain works.
These are major important discoveries that were not known to the old prophets and philosophers but without which one misses fundamental information to understand life around us.
So how do I look at things now ? First of all I do realise that we are still missing important clues to comprehend the complexity of life on earth. Based on what we do know I propose tentatively the following view:
The first riddle is the very beginning of reality. Where did it all start with? Is there a void without time and space in which everything came into being? Concepts as eternity and infinity are beyond our comprehension. Can in nothingness come anything into being? Even a God? If we pose that there was 'God' in the beginning, where did he/she/it come from?
I'm bypassing that riddle, for it may not be for us human beings with our primitive brains to dare attempt to give an answer.
The birth of the universe
The next step is the birth of our universe. Would it be far-fetched to compare this huge conglomerate to a cell in our body? Cells are renewed continuously. Together billions of them form our body. On a speculative tour: could the universe be a cell in a gigantic being/conglomerate/entity ? Is our universe part of an immense process in time and space? Could we compare the creation of our universe to the birth of a child? The big bang being the moment of fertilisation, followed by growth to a body - the material universe.
In a foetus self-consciouness develops slowly. In a similar manner a cosmic consciousness might accompany the birth of the material outer shell, like a matrix. Living organisms have a diffused self-consciousness which makes them defend themselves and procreate. Evolution develops supposedly only by natural selection and adaptation.
The riddle of evolution
I wonder whether the development of wonderful living organisms can be explained by natural selection only - even in the course of hundreds of millions of years. The second law of thermodynamics has it that in a closed systems conditions/energies always deteriorate. Are we a closed system? ? Evolution is explained by the co´ncidental change in the DNA structure. How many co´ncidences are necessary for a human being to emerge from an uninhabitable mass on Earth? It reminds one of another riddle: would an ape seated behind a typewriter ever produce haphazardly a play of Shakespeare ?
One of the astonishing ways 'nature' uses for evolution is that of metamorphosis. It changes one living organism to a completely different one in order to adapt to other (environmental) conditions. So we see a caterpillar change into a butterfly. The caterpillar feeds on leaves. At one stage it starts to spin a cocoon - disappears in it. After some time a caterpillar appears, feeding on honey and by sucking it up pollinates flowers. Similarly in amphibians, a tadpole may change into a frog breathing underwater through internal gills and their skin. Then later most of them develop into land animals with lungs for breathing air. Specialists have found that both forms keep the same DNA structure.
If one transposes this function to our species one might speculate that man may be a metamorphosed chimpanzee. What makes man human and different from apes is not only the size of the brain but also the development of human features like creativity, language, humor, humanity and impersonal love. This infers that there is still an ape in us: our instincts. These have made the ape survive. We are in the intermediary stage. The chimpanzee in us rules still to a great extent our behaviour in sex, violence, jealousy, herd instinct, ego´sm, and the whole collection of human vices that makes life on earth miserable. Yet we should be thankful that we have ape instincts for they have raised us to the human beings stage. The true man still has to come out of our ego shell. If he does, the result will be a new man governed by spiritual values as compassion, altru´sm, love, inu´tion, humanity and creativity. Qualities that we already value highly. Moreover other faculties may evolve in us that are not recognized by science nowadays: telepathy, clairvoyance, psychic powers such as healing. These extraordinary properties have been reported all through history, although science does not recognize them as they are not repeatable.
The other day Prof. Brian Coe, in a lecture on BBC television, gave an overview of the development of life on our planet. He concluded: 'So all life is chemistry'! And that is the worldview given to presentday youth ! No wonder there is a great search for values now that those of the church have lost credence. In olden times there was the fear of punishment in hell for one's deeds. Nowadays noone has to fear eternal retribution and can do whatever one likes if one takes care not to get caught.
Man is puzzled by the unfair chances he/she has been born under: one's DNA, parents, society, country, fate. All determine the happiness in one's life. For many existence seems unfair.
What is the purpose of life? I should say that it is better to see oneself part of an immense process we have no complete picture of. The material world has fixed laws without mercy. The true homo sapiens has his abode in the consciousness matrix in contact with the spiritual and divine spheres. These spheres have qualities that are truly beyond the material sphere in which we exist now. We may tune into them, or awaken them in us by our way of living.
To the new generation I should prefer to present a grander vision and say: Realize that you are a miracle in the universe ! So far astronomers have not discovered any proof that there are intelligent beings like us in the known universe (although it is most likely there are). We are the only species that can observe the cosmos and may be one day assert influence on it. Mankind is on a great journey of unparalelled dimensions and significance. Feel part of it, if you can. Mankind - united - is on a pathway of endeavour towards a glorious future. Trust your innate potentialities, the faculties that lay dormant in yourselves. The more you reach out to your fellowmen, bring your abilities into practice, be creative, the more your potentialities will develop.
In general I should say: we are on the brink of new discoveries. Will scientists succeed in making that discovery that will convince us that there is more between heaven and earth? Will they ever see the significance of the study of anomalous phenomena ? Future will tell.
More of my musings here
On the web since 7 October 2018, revised 20 November 2018
© Michael Rogge 2018