Reflection and Realization: the Progress of our Evolution

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The universe does not maintain rigid boundaries between living and inanimate matter. We can trace the fate of each atom in our body from the moment of its creation to the nuclei of stars, as a result of the evolution of the universe through the gradual accumulation of even heavier and consequently more complex elements. These elements are created through the formation of more and more complex conglomerations of matter, each with their own unique properties. These aggregations exist not in isolation from one another but coexist as parts of the same totality. In essence, the motion of this evolution is driven by the complexity of the systems and organizations of matter that we have been able to study. If we humans were compared to other remnants of our galaxy, such as stars or planets, we would come to the realization that we are both diminutive and insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. It would be similar to the comparison between a wood stove and a computer microcircuit. The divergence in the utilization of energy resources and the satisfaction of needs only stands to emphasize the fact that the complexity of a system is the unquestionable standard of the evolutionary hierarchy. Life, as we know it, has discovered unique ways of coping with the inevitable entropy of the universe (the dispersion of energy in space). Living forms of matter do not resist entropy. They are open systems, which is an important facet of their organization. They consist of their component elements, which can be constantly substituted. Nevertheless, our understanding of the universe has been a gradual progression that is inevitably linked to our evolution.

Submitted: January 30, 2008

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Submitted: January 30, 2008

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Reflection and Realization: the Progress of our Evolution
 
The universe does not maintain rigid boundaries between living and inanimate matter. We can trace the fate of each atom in our body from the moment of its creation to the nuclei of stars, as a result of the evolution of the universe through the gradual accumulation of even heavier and consequently more complex elements. These elements are created through the formation of more and more complex conglomerations of matter, each with their own unique properties. These aggregations exist not in isolation from one another but coexist as parts of the same totality. In essence, the motion of this evolution is driven by the complexity of the systems and organizations of matter that we have been able to study. If we humans were compared to other remnants of our galaxy, such as stars or planets, we would come to the realization that we are both diminutive and insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. It would be similar to the comparison between a wood stove and a computer microcircuit. The divergence in the utilization of energy resources and the satisfaction of needs only stands to emphasize the fact that the complexity of a system is the unquestionable standard of the evolutionary hierarchy. Life, as we know it, has discovered unique ways of coping with the inevitable entropy of the universe (the dispersion of energy in space). Living forms of matter do not resist entropy. They are open systems, which is an important facet of their organization. They consist of their component elements, which can be constantly substituted. Nevertheless, our understanding of the universe has been a gradual progression that is inevitably linked to our evolution.
We have come to understand the process of evolution as consisting of three distinct phases. First there is simply matter, which is the non-living physical aspect of the universe, consisting of all the atoms and molecules and other particles, in the form of the stars and galaxies and other objects that we observe around us. Living systems comprise the second stage of evolution; they are structured as open systems that are constantly interacting with their environment and the physical laws of our world. Simply stated, all living entities accept and receive energy in this type of system. This second stage distinguishes itself from inanimate matter because there is no collaboration or interaction with the environment it resides in. As such, an open system is not bound by the limitations of physical presence because the concept of an open system is an idea which does not rely on matter. Therefore in our understanding it would be possible to recreate an animal that exists on our planet somewhere else in the galaxy, because the animal is comprised of the same atoms as that environment and will embrace the reciprocal flow of energy through constant interaction. This is different from the first stage of evolution, because recreating an inanimate object in another area of the galaxy would require physically moving it to that location, since it exists as a closed system, one dependent on physical matter. 
The third stage of evolution occupies a more theoretical plane of thought. Human existence allows for the contemplation and realization of ideas and concepts. However, it is our intelligence that allows us to understand that ideas existed long before our capacity to acknowledge and realize their existence. As such, ideas are independent from physical matter and exist merely as concepts in our minds, just like love. Love springs from a sincere interest in any object or phenomenon. It also constitutes a reflection of an object or phenomenon. It is possible to define love as the acknowledgement of the highest value of the reflected object, an appreciation of its uniqueness. Simple reflection is known in inanimate nature. However, it cannot be said that the smoothness of the surface of a lake, which reflects the light of a star, loves this light or falls in love with this star. Possibly that is suitable for poetry, but not for our present consideration. Thus, love is inherently bound by the process of conscious realization.
 
Realization is a complex series of events whereby the absorption of the object or phenomenon breaks through to the unconscious by the act of meditation and introspection. The concept of love does not necessarily imply certain tangible contact with any given object. As such, it would follow that the object does not even need to exist in the physical sense, for love is not bound by the concept of physical matter. It’s sufficient unto itself. Love is a means, a recollection, a presentiment or simply an idea. The love that one may experience with respect to objects in daily life is only a partial aspect of this phenomenon on which we bestow the name of love. Love is a unique designation that we as humans can bestow onto ideas because we reflect the universe through realization and love. This ability elevates our uniqueness within the universe, because we are the only known living beings capable of performing such tasks. For only through reflection are we able to realize their existence, and that is why humans have reached the pinnacle of the evolutionary process. The human race has the capacity to manipulate and transfer these ideas and images but not in the fashion of a living system, because an idea does not rely on its environment or the physical limitations it imposes. 
Evolution as we understand it is a progression toward the development of more complex and more elaborate systems, which can be understood through reflection, but it is not limited to human progression. Just as we occupy the pinnacle of species evolution, we are by nature inclined to create the evolution of our own systems. Therefore, the fourth stage of evolution is the closed or virtual system. A virtual system can be understood as artificial intelligence or a world that is not bound by our evolutionary limitations. Nevertheless, the virtual world can be based on our physical laws and principles. Thus, a virtual system has the capacity to be exchangeable with any other form of matter if it embraces those principles. An example would be the act of closing a computer file. As the file closes it seems to obey the laws of gravity and falls down. In this instance we can see humans imposing our own limitations on a system that does not need to consider such laws. Furthermore, we need to address the fact that virtual reality encompasses a larger scope than previously understood. For as humans progress, so too does the scope and complexity of the virtual world we create. After creating man, the universe itself evolved and is only now being conceived.
Human creations such as computers represent another form of the organization of the material in our universe. Like all things, both living and lifeless, they consist of atoms and molecules which were formed from the creation of the universe itself. These creations begin to form the new universe that we understand, in which the basis of material and energy is symbolic, like the binary code that we ourselves create. This newly developed universe is not subordinated to our laws of physics, thermodynamics, or even logic. In it there are neither problems nor limitations to the rate and flow of time, as is the case with virtual reality where we are capable of molding and creating any world we desire. Although the realities we create may resemble our own, their existence is merely a byproduct of our own evolution—for example, our need for computers. Generally I prefer not to use the term "another universe". If we by the word "universe" indicate that all possible objects exist in one universe but cannot in another, then this definition can easily be rejected by those who embrace ideals of divinity, because how is one universe more morally suited than any other?  
 
As a matter of definition the universe embodies all things, because it is not confined to any boundaries that we can imagine. Stemming from this it is prudent to acknowledge that belief systems that are grounded in religion and the idea of God necessitate that all things, including the universe itself, are a part of God because God embodies all things, hence nothing is beyond God’s scope.
 
If God embodies everything, then there cannot be parts of the universe that exceed God’s reach, even our imaginations. From combining these two concepts, both God and the universe, we can say that the evolution of their understanding and intelligence has led to the appearance of a new form of existence. This is an existence that is independent from them, also from material and space, and since this contradicts our previously established definitions, one should say that as soon as this understanding of a new creation occurs, it immediately becomes a part of the universe and thus is ultimately derived from God. Furthermore, our definition of the universe represents an absolute ideal: namely that everything that can and cannot exist, everything that does and does not exist, and everything that has existed, does exist, and will exist is inherently a part of the universe. 
Now let us study the concept known as ‘evolution’, and how other ideas and theories impact our understanding of its place in the universe. Is it possible to conceive of evolution as separate from the concept of time? It goes without saying that for a human these concepts cannot exist in isolation but are inherently linked since the dawn of creation. Let us accept time as a special case of our perception or, if you want, a special type of existence that does not seem to possess any substance but inevitably unfolds before our eyes. How can we determine time with respect to our conception of the universe or even of God for that matter?
 
How do we perceive time with respect to our concepts of past, present, and future? Everything that exists, those forms powerful enough to exist in harmony with the forces of the universe and those that do not yet possess the ability to withstand them are affected by these ideas. Although it can be argued that those forms which do not possess the power to exist are a part of the past, and quite possibly will inhabit the future as time unfolds. Thus, within the framework of the definition of the universe and God, lurks the concept of evolution as driven by the endless passage of time in a direction that we cannot ourselves control. Since we can only think about the categories of matter that are accessible to us we cannot even dare to state that the universe evolves before our eyes…
 
 


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