Syntagma Digital
Editor, John Evans

Midweek Mysticism: What is the Universe?

Hands
"Look up at the sky at night," you might reply, "there is our bit of the Universe." Fair enough, that's reasonably logical and easy to understand, but does it answer the question? I don't think it gets anywhere close. The Universe is certainly impressive. To call it "big" is somewhat underwhelming given the scale of it. There are plenty of scientists on TV screens at the moment asking questions like: "What brought the building blocks of life to Earth to enable human life to evolve?" Ask yourself, why would it need something from somewhere else to do the job? Is our little corner so limited as to require extra-terrestrial forces to create it? This planet is teeming with life. If you drill down into solid matter to atomic level, hardly anything physical seems to exist. Even atoms break down into vast empty spaces with the occasional tiny dot to represent matter, and you can be sure that the dots disappear at some point. Solid matter is clearly nothing of the sort. Nevertheless, comets are the flavour of the moment as the prime movers of life, especially with a European spacecraft latching onto one after a 10-year journey across the Solar System. Naturally, there are high hopes that all will be revealed in due course. Now, I don't want to be a spoilsport, especially as the voyage cost vast amounts of our money, but doesn't anyone think these days? What is the governing factor of all life -- wherever it emerges? Consciousness, of course. That is the magic ingredient. Without consciousness, nothing could exist at all. Consciousness is not just the heart of life, it's the essence of it. ... Don't worry! I'm not going to get all religious on you. This is logical. So let's begin with consciousness itself. Another word for it is "awareness." To be aware is to be conscious. And awareness is the main signifier of life ... and living. That is so obvious it's hardly worth saying, but is rarely articulated. We take it for granted as if it hardly exists. Awareness/consciousness is the real miracle of life. Without it, there would be nothing at all. No us, no universe, no anything. A profound Zero! So what actually created this universe, assuming that it needed creating at all? We have many words for it, mostly magical and mystical to hide our desperate ignorance. Let us simply say that without consciousness there would be nothing. Awareness is both the creator and the thing itself. Is there any need to go further than that? Probably not, but that's not our human way. Most of us want to know who owns this awareness and why it exists. Now that's the biggest mystery of all. John Evans

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