Thursday, October 7, 2010

In The Very Very Beginning

Excerpted from the book: A View Beyond the Stars, on Amazon, iTunes, Lulu and Barnes & Noble

There are many legends from indigenous peoples of every continent on Earth, which relate ancient tales of the beginning of the world and the first emergence of mankind. You might think they could only imagine their origins arising from the earliest human prehistoric times, well before the written word and born entirely in the mud of this planet. After all, what else could they know than what their aboriginal ancestors had experienced first hand and could pass along to them?

We are all familiar with Classical Mythology, of Roman and Greek origin, which describes various ages of man beginning with a Golden Age of living in a divine, non-corporeal state among the gods from which man supposedly experienced a steady decline into lower awareness. As thousands of years passed we are thought to have descended from the heavens through a succession of heroic eras, ultimately to dwell on the Earth as merely higher animals in what amounted to a rather complete fall from grace and consciousness.

This of course flies in the face of evolutionary theories which relate a Darwinian path from pond scum to the highest form of mammal we know as modern man of today. These persist without any reference to such a mythical pre-history of more eloquent times for man. Still, according to such mythology, Darwin could really not have known of this earlier supernatural time if he were only observing physical biological evidence; thereby easily missing whole chunks of this pre-dawn era of humanity. Or on the other hand, as many would point out thoroughly disproving any notions of such fantasy concerning the origins of mankind.

Our earliest recorded evidence of hominids, believed to be our first biological ancestors, is plotted at between 7 and 8 million years ago; which leaves more than 4 billion years of our planet’s existence unaccounted for. And yet, most of these native legends speak about a time well before our planet was born, before the stars and even before the heavens emerged. They speak of things beyond the possibility of their vision and as simple people, surely outside their scope of imagination.

However, most relate an eerily similar experience in these tales, certainly beyond human knowledge, of super beings emerging from an impenetrable and eternal darkness to suddenly create the first light, or a cosmic egg that burst forth to disgorge a primordial dimension of time and space. Still others describe awesome creatures that arose from a boundless sea beneath an infinite sky to form the firmament which ultimately became what we now know as Earth; and then created all the creatures upon it. And from these first mysterious eternal beings there sprang forth all that has become the many worlds of our vast universe and this one tiny world among the stars which has spawned the only known source of human Life.

These are the creation myths of our earliest ancestors, which have seeded man’s consciousness about other mystical possibilities for the appearance of human beings, juxtaposed with scientific facts which clarify biology, but still fall far short of helping us understand an equally important spiritual heritage. Yet, while they have been reverently passed down through the ages surviving tens of thousands of years from generation to generation, most people now consider them with only mild interest and even some amusement. Unless of course you consider that the world’s major religions are among these many creation myths as well.

Today, in our modern age of finite sciences and many religious faiths, there is still great disparity of opinion about what this oddity of nature we call intelligent Life truly is. In 1944, Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Erwin Schrödinger wrote a book entitled, What Is Life?; which was intended for the lay reader’s better understanding of the subject. Among the many liberally quoted passages in his book was this one that sheds some light on his opinion about the ability of science to understand the essence of Life:

“…the vital parts of living organisms differs so entirely from that of any piece of matter that we physicists and chemists have ever handled physically in our laboratories or mentally at our writing desks.”

Where Life originates from, and it’s ultimate purpose for existence are vital questions that need definitive answers. As a single race of humans living on this speck of rock speeding through a daunting expanse of the cosmos around us, we need to understand how we came to be. The mold from which we have all emerged as humans, how we view ourselves and how we treat our fellows is intimately cast from this great mystery. Many explanations abound even into our present 21st century. But we do mostly agree on one common theme: that the essence of all Life was somehow formed along with the creation of our Universe and that human beings, after billions of years in the making, finally appeared on the scene to top the evolutionary scale. It is the “why”, the meaning for it all which yet divides us. And it this great divide which has made Life on planet Earth rather interesting for us all, to say the least.

No matter your preference for an explanation, evolution by chance, or creation by God, there is no irrefutable proof of either. I make the claim here that there is sufficient evidence to suggest another, a third even more incredible yet compelling possibility and invite you to explore it with me. I also contend that surprisingly it will not invalidate the many truths contained within both science and religion.

The single source and reason for Life however, cannot be proven by any means we possess at present; therefore both science and religion are also belief systems concerning its origins. And so they are not so different from these earlier creation myths on this subject; no matter how staunch and like minded their followers. Yes, even science with all its vaunted facts and formulas has no definitive answer for our primal questions about the essence of Life and its ultimate purpose. Religion of course makes it clear that we are to be divinely tested by a leap of faith to embrace the story of creation passed down through the ages, describing the decisive formation of Earth and its earliest stirrings of Life.

This third ideology, actually builds upon each of the core beliefs of the other two as supportive evidence for the one proposed to you here. It should bring a refreshing change of perspective and fill in the gaps left in each of the other dominant beliefs. For while scientific happenstance and the wonder of fulfillment in nature alone is comforting to some, it presents a cold and pitiless world without purpose to others. And for the others, the warm embrace of the gods of religion give purpose to our struggle, offering hope for eternal existence and peace to assuage our fear of death, but requires that we set aside all scientific understanding. Each directly contradicts the other and leaves the world in perpetual dismay as to who we really are and why we are here.

Truly, not allowing for the possibility of a god as the author of the Universe is no more an egregious intellectual crime than proclaiming divine miracles incapable of ultimate scientific explanation. In other words, there is no more proof of a godless Universe than there is for a god-full one. But depending on your viewpoint, you may believe one is preferred over the other. That simply doesn’t make it truer.

In fact, God could create a Universe without leaving fingerprints just to provide scientists an esteemed and life long profession searching to discover the truth. On the other hand, if the awe inspiring machinery of our Universe is so perfect without intelligent design, we should want to invent God to explain a higher purpose beyond mere amusement of a few humans on a small rock out on the rim of a minor galaxy.

What you will read in the book A View Beyond the Stars will stretch your imagination. Whether you ultimately decide to agree with me or not, hopefully you will come away with a new appreciation for your own limitless personal potential, as well as for those around you who share this voyage, huddled together on a tiny vessel called Earth amidst the majesty of an endless sea of stars.

“Life has come to be mis-defined as a conditional state of existence. To the extent this misunderstanding has been perpetuated, humanity has suffered under the misguidance that death is the end of Life. The notion that laws of the physical Universe also apply to Life is a created illusion.

Life’s source has come to be misidentified with physical bodies, as individuals have come to invest power in them, beyond their original purpose. As mans understanding of the true essence of Life and the nature of spirituality have withered, so has he clutched more tightly to an altered reality. So, he has come to accept a limiting state of existence. So, he has come to be humbled by the fear of death.”

-- DC Musgrove

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