Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unity of consciousness and advancements in knowledge will bring world peace

Around 475 BC, Leucippus, and his pupil Democritus developed a philosophical hypothesis of atomism, a doctrine postulating that simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles were the basic components of the universe.

About 4 centuries later, in 50 BC, Roman poet and philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus published his epic poem “De rerum natura,” which when translated means “on the nature of things.” Considered a masterpiece of Epicurean philosophy, it portrays nature as a source of life, death, joy, peace, and terror, and describes how human beings should conduct themselves in their relationships. Lucretius conceived that the world could be understood by reason and that religion only aroused fear; that pursuing friendships over belligerence will avoid war; and that in Epicureanism lays the world’s best hope for happiness. In his poem, Leucippus also describes atoms as the building blocks of every object and living thing, and predicts an infinite universe.

Today, about 20 centuries later, from that first philosophical concept of an atom, evolving technology has made possible scientific study of sub-atomic reality. Physicists such as Amit Goswami, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, are now exploring what quantum physics tell us about the origins of the universe: the factual nature of reality rather than its conventional perception, and of life itself.

What Hawking and Mlodinow, as well as Goswami and others have come up with, so far, is that “the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect. But the ‘top-down’ [downwards causation] approach to cosmology they describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us. … the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature.”

If, right now, all sentient life ceased to exist, would geologic or cosmic reality continue to exist? It would not. That is because sentient life creates its own reality, a reality that can only exist within our laws of physics, biology, and chemistry, which paradoxically in itself is a result of our own creation. Our sentience, from which all phenomena are created, depends on chemical reactions to provide the sensory information that enables hearing, vision, touch, smell, and taste, as well as to form objects. Without that cause and effect, nothing would exist. Moreover, Amit Goswami says, “we become one with the neuronal images of an external object because of a strange loop circularity known as tangled hierarchy, wherein the “observer is the observed.”

The evidence clearly suggests that all sentient beings are reciprocally interconnected. We have an inherent unity of consciousness, what Amit Goswami refers to as “monistic idealism,” the “downwards causation” view that consciousness is the foundation of everything that is now or ever will be. The existence of consciousness is much like that of light: omnipresent but not visible.

Other than being curiously interesting, arousing one’s interest because of its novelty and strangeness, why are these findings important?

Foremost, it is necessary to come to an understanding that the purpose of our life is our evolution -- not just Darwinian, but also in every other sense of that word. A process of fluctuation, change and eventual transformation takes place in all creation. Before the birth of Jesus Christ, Leucippus postulated that simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles were the basic components of the universe, a philosophical notion. In 1900, the discovery of quantum mechanics brought science to the scientific study of the structure and behavior of atoms and molecules. Today, Amit Goswami and others are studying the primacy of consciousness, where it is not atoms and molecules that are the basis of reality, but rather, the reality is that “consciousness is the ground of all being.” The pursuit in life should not be for material things; it is the pursuit of knowledge and unity of consciousness that will bring a better life over time through change. For, it is the lack of knowledge that has caused the world’s ills, and it is the gain of knowledge over time that is its cure.

The advancement of knowledge in science and technology, so far, has brought a more comfortable life with more conveniences for most people, while change has been slow in how humans conduct their relationships: we still cling to belligerence, violence, and war as solutions to conflict. The cause has been a worldview grounded in religious values and materialism motivated by a quest for power and wealth. But, the determination of Hawking, Mlodinow, and Goswami is that we must change our worldview if we are to progress and achieve world peace.

Achieving world peace will never come to fruition until the world understands that a pursuit of love and friendship, and embracing human values over religious, materialistic, and monetary values are the only way we will avoid war and unnecessary human conflict. Moreover, there needs to be an understanding that peace is a process, and a way of living, a way of thinking, and a way of being.

These principles originating in consciousness are our only best hope for happiness.


Sources:

Amit Goswami, Center for Quantum Activism, http://www.amitgoswami.org/

Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, "The Grand Design"
Bantam | 2010 | ISBN: 0553805371 | 208 pages | PDF | 10,4 MB

Peter Russell, The Spirit of Now, http://www.peterrussell.com/index2.php

Craig Hamilton, Scientific Proof of the Existence of God, an interview with Amit Goswami, EnlightenmentNext’ magazine: http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j11/goswami.asp

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