How Man arrived in the Cosmos

How soul-satisfying is the beauty of the Universe at all times, and which we are also made aware of in other ways. The majesty of the mountains which tower over all; the sibilance of the sea at rest; the scintillating sensual sunsets; the joyful bombasts of birdcalls; and the soothing scenery surrounding unprepossessing man-made constructions; are only some of the sights and sounds which uplift our spirits.

How incredibly complex is this Universe and its components. The miracle of birth; the very visible and innate love between the young – animal to animal (or bird), and between human and animal (and bird); the structure and functioning of our solar system which affect our lives insidiously; the strange balance between animate and inanimate life on Earth; the mostly unconscious bond between humans of all varieties; and an unavoidable instinctive yearning by many of us for merging with what we conceive of as the Divine; and the unbelievably complex arrangements within our bodies, such as the provision of energy by our cellular structure, which represents life; these are key features of Cosmic complexity.

These, and the totality of the inter-relationships discovered in the Universe, have led me to believe – and to accept – that logically there has to be a Creator of all that is. How and why are questions beyond our comprehension.

As one who was introduced to the scientific method, I follow ‘Occam’s Razor,’ the principle which says that that the simplest adequate explanation is best. Yes, it has to be minimally adequate.

Such an explanation of the origin, structure, and operation of the Universe and its components can be thus: An arm’s-length Creator set up a simple core ‘machinery,’ imbued it with a capacity for continuous change, with an associated sense of ‘purpose,’ and allowing evolution (change reflecting improvement or betterment) to occur.

Purpose (including human free will) can explain, in part, where we are now; possibly aided in our formation by ubiquitous bacteria, and by (Sitchin’s) 223 extraterrestrial genes (not found anywhere else on Earth) during our development. Chance and radiation/bombardment from distant space, as well as solar bursts, would also have had significant impacts on our path to the present.

No Earthly mind can prove – or disprove – this attempted explanation. No one can be blamed or receive credit for what has eventuated. Adding additional complexity may reflect only egoism.

What is postulated is an autonomous process, operating post-creation. A comparison – when sperm fuses with ovum to form a zygote. Asking ‘Why?’ would not be relevant.

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Reality may be non-material

I prefer the material realm of the universe we occupy to be a projection of an ethereal realm. The latter is a hitherto effectively unknown and inexplicable dimension of existence. Why? Because reality seems to me to be more ethereal than material. The latter also cannot explain the former, whereas the latter can seemingly be derived from the former.

When Heraclitus (a Greek philosopher of yore) quoted a typically unrecognised Hindu thinker of centuries before him, saying “All is fire,” he was referring to the firmament which surrounds us. All my life, I have been enchanted by the apparently infinite number of balls of fire which we see as stars.

Recently, my mind’s-eye developed this scenario. The invisible smoke from these fires could represent the ephemeral realm of the Universe; and the ashes and other disgorgements from each sun which fall upon their respective planets (such as Earth) could represent the material from which life forms eventually oozed or erupted. Does this vision make possible sense?

Then, there is the material realm of which we are part; that is, we are matter. We are part of the 4% of the totality of matter estimated to exist in the Universe to be visible.

What of invisible matter? Two-thirds is said to be dark matter; one third is apparently dark energy. Was the latter transmuted from dark matter, or vice versa? However, since we cannot see either, could they actually exist? Of course they can, in the way bees and some animals apparently use certain alternative strands of the electromagnetic spectrum to go about their business.

As well, there was my first clairvoyant who could see, and describe accurately, the spirit of my uncle who had manifested himself to him. That is, invisible cosmic matter may become visible under appropriate conditions; and invisible energy may be identifiable through its impacts.

In the event, what is the point of all the fuss we make about the minuscule amount of visible matter, including our (human) material selves? Are we not a lot more than our material bodies? Should we not be investigating non-visible matter and energy, to understand the ephemeral aspects of humanity?

Ultimate reality seems to be beyond the visible, tangible, crudity, and crassness of much of Earthly human existence.

Reincarnation supported by quantum theory?

I do not understand quantum theory; I do not need to. But I do understand reincarnation. Some of my past lives, as reported to me by 2 clairvoyants; plus competent published research on past-life memories of many young children all over the world; and intimations of my immediate past-life butting against the bottom of my sampan carrying me into what I hope is a placid lake of spirituality, have led me to believe in the reincarnation process.

A paper sent to me this week strangely asserts that quantum theory enables a belief that human life may not end at Earthly death! I include Part 1 of this paper below.

A book titled “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the Nature of the Universe” has stirred up the Internet, because it contained a notion that life does not end when the body dies, and it can last forever.

The author of this publication, scientist Dr. Robert Lanza who was voted the 3rd most important scientist alive by the NY Times, has no doubts that this is possible.

  1. BEYOND TIME AND SPACE

Lanza is an expert in regenerative medicine and scientific director of Advanced Cell Technology Company. Before he has been known for his extensive research which dealt with stem cells, he was also famous for several successful experiments on cloning endangered animal species.

But not so long ago, the scientist became involved with physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics. This explosive mixture has given birth to the new theory of biocentrism, which the professor has been preaching ever since. Biocentrism teaches that life and consciousness are fundamental to the universe. It is consciousness that creates the material universe, not the other way around.

Lanza points to the structure of the universe itself, and that the laws, forces, and constants of the universe appear to be fine-tuned for life, implying intelligence existed prior to matter. He also claims that space and time are not objects or things, but rather tools of our animal understanding. Lanza says that we carry space and time around with us “like turtles with shells.” meaning that when the shell comes off (space and time), we still exist.

The theory implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist. It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, thinking their consciousness will disappear too. If the body generates consciousness, then consciousness dies when the body dies. But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals, then of course consciousness does not end at the death of the physical vehicle. In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. In other words, it is non-local in the same sense that quantum objects are non-local.

Lanza also believes that multiple universes can exist simultaneously. In one universe, the body can be dead. And in another it continues to exist, absorbing consciousness which migrated into this universe. This means that a dead person while traveling through the same tunnel ends up not in hell or in heaven, but in a similar world he or she once inhabited, but this time alive. And so on, infinitely. It’s almost like a cosmic Russian doll afterlife effect.

(Comment: Does this not sound like metaphysical Hinduism? Refer Parts 2 and 3 for the rest of this summary.)

 

 

Are humans programmed for spiritual experiences?

I had a spiritual experience in a Yoga Ashram. It was an incredibly emotional experience when I was in deep meditation. It was personal.

On the contrary, Paramahansa Yogananda’s spiritual exposure (refer a relatively recent post of mine) was about the underlying processes of the Universe. His description of the event – in a dream? – was unbelievable. It cannot be discounted. A real experience cannot be sneered away by professional sceptics. We know very little about ourselves and our Earthly home.

Is there a facility in the human brain (and psyche) which enables some of us to have religious or spiritual experiences?

Many years ago I read that some scientist had made the following discovery. When an electrical probe touched a particular part of the brain, the patient reported sensations which seemed to be, or were interpreted as, of a religious nature. What staggered me was the suggestion that the origin of religious experiences had now been found.

As I wrote in one of my books, this is akin to saying that the music, scenes, etc. we experience through radio or television actually originate in these machines!

However, I realised that a specific area of the human brain may be ‘programmed’ (by evolution?) to receive signals which we interpret as religious or spiritual. Surely, we have all been emotionally influenced by beautiful sights, inspiring music, religious chants, and suchlike – up to a level akin to ecstasy.

Neuroscientist Prof. V.S. Ramachandran said “ … with the lie detector we were able to show that the human brain apparently responds particularly strongly to religious ideas … … we concluded that evolution might have equipped the human brain with special circuits for spiritual experiences. That would explain why all people have a religion. … … these are highly speculative ideas … “ (Refer Ramachandran’s article on Consciousness ‘In the Hall of IIlusions’ in Stefan Klein’s ‘We are all stardust,’ – a most interesting book.)

In my view, it pays to have an open mind to achieve a glimpse of reality.

What is reality?

Whatever it is, is there a single reality covering all humans, or is reality a personal, individual matter? And is it only subjective?

I have pondered this question for a while, and read a few articles. But I would not dare to ask any professional concept-splitters, as I feel that I may be swamped semantically.

While I kept pondering, I wondered what reality might have been for my former canine friend, Kao the German Shepherd. I had him trained from when he was 3 months old. He had lived with me until age 12 months, when his best mate (my daughter), with whom he had bonded for life at age 6 weeks, returned from overseas.

Since I had not told him that he is a dog, could his reality have been that he was one of us? Big, with a placid nature, never fussy, never aggressive, he kept company with the family. When my granddaughter began to crawl, he allowed her to climb all over him, rest on him, and (for a short while) to poke his eyes and nostrils. When she was asleep during the day, he kept watch. He was a caring companion.

On an outing at a beach, the child led him on a walk one morning, holding his lead. What was amazing was that Kao kept a step ahead of the 2 year-old, and walked at her pace! He was more careful than mothers I have observed dragging a child at the mother’s walking pace on footpaths.

Was he self-aware? Did he create for himself a reality based on experience? I suspect that he did.

Do we humans also create an individual subjective experience-based reality? Then, how many realities do we create? I envisage a physical reality, as well as a mental reality reflecting our thoughts and memories.

Since I have been exposed to the realm of spirits, do I then not have a third reality? Then, if there is an ephemeral realm beyond the realm of spirits, and were this to engulf us at all times (as I feel it does), would this be a fourth (but generally un-noticed) reality?

Destiny – God – and the spirit realm

“ What was to happen to me, and thus to my family, was actually foretold to my mother and me soon after my father’s demise, but in an indirect and somewhat casual manner by a visiting yogi. But, his message or warning had not registered with us. Thus, we had to perform the dance of Destiny as laid out for us. So, why was he sent to alert us?” … …

“My present understanding of Destiny is that we are indeed marionettes, the puppet master being a set of circumstances set up by ourselves. That is, we have free will, exercised both autonomously and reactively. By our actions and thoughts, we set in train the Cosmic Law of Cause and Effect; that is, the Law of Cosmic Justice (or Karma, as the Hindus term it).

We, in each life on Earth, carve out the banks and the rocky impediments through and over which will flow the river of our personal destiny in the next life, even as we obey the imperatives of Destiny in our current life. The latter would have been carved out in previous existences. Just as there are scientific laws which govern our physical lives, so there seem to be cosmic laws which govern our existence from birth to death, and thereafter.

Thus, in each life, I will paddle on the river of my personal Destiny. My trajectory will be within the walls of the canyon and over those rocky impediments I had carved out during my past life. As I paddle, relate to others, and respond to circumstances reflecting both the Law of Chance and the cosmic unavoidables (exercising what free will seems available), I will be carving out the framework for my next life, paying off my cosmic debt, and improving myself spiritually (if that is what I want).

Seems reasonable, does it not? Thus, I reached the conclusion, as said by some guru, that karma, like shadows, follows one everywhere. I also felt that chance must have an independent role in the circumstances of my life.

So where is God in all this? All that is required from the one and only Creator is to set up the mechanisms underpinning our lives and relationships, let them evolve as appropriate, and allow us to choose our own path and bed. In some circumstances, He/She might choose to intervene in our lives.

But then, why not leave that work to the higher beings in the spirit world? They certainly seem to have been active in my life. Indeed, I can testify that I have received the odd message – and in a timely manner!

In so doing, were my spirit guides acting on their own? Or, were they only instruments of Destiny? If the latter, were they guiding me to optimise the opportunities available in my path of Destiny to improve my life-chances in both my current and future lives? Or, were they acting at the behest of God, who had chosen to intervene in my life? “

These are extracts from my second memoir (and a very personal one) titled ‘The Dance of Destiny’. Like ‘The Karma of Culture,’ ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity,’ and ‘Musings at death’s door,’ it was Recommended by the US Review of Books.

 

 

 

On religion – origin of the universe?

“The Chandogya Upanishad says that the universe came forth from the unknowable Brahman, and will return to Brahman. Brahman is held to be the essence of all existence. Brahman is ever-existing, from whom everything emanates, and to whom everything returns. Brahman is Consciousness, immanent in all that is created; yet transient.

It is out of this essence or Consciousness or Godhead that the Creator god Brahma, the one who experiences that day and night of existence, is said to have arisen. Brahma, the first of the Hindu gods, is thus merely a projection of Brahman. In terms of the cosmology, the other gods are not that significant, all the gods being manifestations of that uni­versal cosmic essence, the unknowable Brahman.

The nuts and bolts of this cosmology is that something tangible (the Cosmos) is said to have come forth from some­thing intangible, an essence or force beyond our descrip­tive capabilities.” … …

“Contradictorily, the Upanishads claim that the human mind is not conscious. It is only an instrument of conscious­ness, a seemingly all-pervasive phenomenon or facility. If so, could this amorphous consciousness enable some rare human minds to perceive the reality of the physical universe correctly, in spite of being unable to communicate this vision in a verifiable way?” … …

“I like the idea of a few evolved minds able to ‘perceive’ the Cosmos as it is, even if they are unable to tell us. I can believe that a Creator (not an anthropomorphic one shaped in the image of Man but perhaps an amorphous intelligence) did put out some form of energy, drawn from the Ocean of Consciousness, and that this had the capacity to evolve and to form extensions, forces, facilities, fields or what-have-you, all capable of evolving in their own respective ways – the process of evolution being variable too.” … …

“And I like the view that Brahman is not knowable ordi­narily, but can be experienced only through deep meditation. Since Brahman is believed to be immanent in all creation, we need to look no further than inward (that is, within our­selves) for that experience. I need to be very, very patient through quite a few Earthly lives.”

These are extracts from my book ‘Musings at death’s door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society.’

Brahma is the Creator whose life span is 3.11 trillion years, to be replaced for yet another Creator and his creation lasting 3.11 years, ad infinitum. Refer Hindu cosmology about the many cycles of existence and non-existence (or suspension). It is both fascinating and incredible. Extraterrestrial input has been claimed. When? From where?    

 

 

On religion – an arm’s length Creator

“Studying the belief systems of the simpler societies at my university, and dip­ping into some anthropology, sociology, psychology, and the major religions, I realised that there has been, and is, an innate need in many, if not most, of us to understand what we humans are, and our place in the Cosmos.

I realised further that: the complexity and beauty, as well as the observable but inadequately explicable aspects of the experienced world; the exceedingly complex patterns of inter-linked cause and effect, action and reaction, and the inter-dependencies of the physical, chemical and electro­magnetic forces affecting us; the uniformity, the invariability, the predictive capacity of the laws of nature; the ecological balance between mobile and fixed forms of life; the intuitive yearning by sensitive souls for communion with sublime or higher forces not clearly understood; and the inferred influ­ence of the spirit world, all of which affect our lives, could not have occurred purely by chance.

Instead, they might, I felt, reflect the mind and soul of a Creator. How else could all that have occurred? By chance? Is that another name for an inexplicable cause, akin to the gods of simpler people?

I did conclude, logically, that there had to be a Creator of all that exists. I then noted, with great interest, that an aca­demic and confirmed atheist had reached the same conclusion after a lifetime of non-belief in a Creator, for exactly the same reasons. There has to be a Creator, he now accepts, thereby upsetting most severely his former fellow-believers in that causal mechanism named Chance. Like me, he doesn’t claim to know; only that a creator god makes (unverifiable) sense.

There seems to be clear evidence, comparable to the sta­bility of patterns found within chaos, of purpose within the complexity and apparent unpredictability of life, and of a uni-directional path of species evolution, and the personal development of many individual humans.

In the event, all that a Creator had to do was to set up a mechanism capable of evolving by itself, even as it related to the sentient forms within creation, and these forms too would evolve. An arm’s-length Creator, not an interventionist god of the kind who baffles supplicants and frustrates the priesthood, makes good sense.

Such an objective analytic approach would fit life as experienced. There seem to be trajectories for the universe we think we know, for the observable galaxies, individual suns, and planets, and for us occupants on planet Earth. The pattern of an individual’s existence and the associated path of any personal development reflects, in my view, what might be termed as personal destiny.

This is not fate, not something unavoidable. It is a pathway for one’s current life created by each of us for ourselves, both reactively and through free will, during past lives. With free will, one can also choose, during each life, to obey the imperatives of one’s own self-crafted destiny or respond in some other manner, much in the way a motorist might behave in a well-policed crowded city.”

These are extracts from my book ‘Musings at death’s door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society’.

On religion – a belief based on free will

“What of those of us who hold beliefs which range from the religious to the psychic? My dialogue with the spirit of my uncle (we did have a three-way exchange) led me somewhat reluctantly to an acceptance of the spirit world. Why reluctant? Because it did not fit into my then understanding of reality. Since then I have had other exposures to the spirit world. I now have reason to believe that I have benefited from the involve­ment of this domain in my life. Proof? None! It is, however, not so much a gut-feeling as a subconscious intellectual awareness. Otherwise I remain as rational as humanly possible.

This belief in the reality of the world of souls supports what I was taught to believe in my youth, enhanced by my recent understanding of Hinduism. This understanding was obtained late in life through my reading of the Upanishads. These writings represent, to me, the highest level of meta­physics of any religion. A succinct summary of my beliefs follows. I have been reading about religion and society since I was about 24.

At death, I would join the souls of my predecessors (except those who have been reincarnated). After a period of learning in whatever dimension I find myself, I would be reincarnated on Earth. Let me make clear that I was never taught to believe in a spirit domain from which the soul of a former relative or, for that matter, the soul of perhaps a guru, could enter my life and offer me advice. Or that those in this domain might be able to influence the direction of my life at some significant point – as has apparently happened more than once!

Moving on – each Earthly life would involve me paying for the sins of my past lives while being offered opportunities to learn to better myself morally, possibly spiritually. After many, many rebirths, I might be permitted to return to that Ocean of Consciousness from which, it is said, we had origi­nally arisen. The ultimate objective of this extended process? To improve the stock of human souls? So, is there meaning and purpose in human existence?

The above belief would give meaning where none exists for the unbeliever. It would give more meaning than the claim that human existence has meaning but only for each Earthly existence. A concept embodying continuity through lifetimes, of opportunities to move up some moral scale, life by life, and of exercising free will rather than being carried blindly through time on Earth, is enticing, because it offers a path of purpose, and of hope – with free will.”

These extracts are from my book ‘Musings at death’s door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society’.

On religion -probable origins

“I have long wondered how a religious belief could have come about, looking way back into Man’s social history. Before seeking an answer to that question, I had to define what I consider to be religious belief. My conclusion?

A sense or feeling of awe about something or events so powerful, so beyond our control or understanding, so ubiq­uitous, more often than not very frightening, yet uplifting at times. Since our primordial emotional state is anxiety, that is, uncertainty mixed with a degree of fear about what might happen, it is only natural that we would seek to reduce our sense of trepidation or fear.

Normally, when confronted by either an ethereal or a tangible source of anxiety, one either flees or fights. When thunder and lightning, torrential rain and floods, earth­quakes and tsunamis, and such like terrorised primitive Man, did he conjure up or imagine spirits of indefinable form, with malevolent intent, as causing his terror? Indeed, are not beliefs of an animist nature still held in the more simple soci­eties in the world? Did Early Man then also attempt to pro­pitiate the unknown and unseen causes of his terror in some way? Did he subsequently come to conclude that propitia­tion can at times be effective, especially after experiencing a period of relative peace?

Then did some opportunistic fellows set themselves up as competent intermediaries? That is, to intercede between the fearful and the feared – and perhaps for some small reward, price or benefit, which progressively led to control over the fearful? Was this how the shamans, the witchdoctors, the ‘brahmins’, and all other priesthoods came into being?

By interposing themselves as intermediaries able to reach fearsome spirits, and by appearing to appease them, as well as purporting to obtain guidance for the gullible, did the intermediaries then extend their power by subtle threats against both unbelievers and competitors? Were shrines then con­structed as places for placation? Did gifts, ostensibly to bribe the spirits (now possibly described as gods), then lead to the enrichment of the ‘priests’? Did they then begin to conduct ceremonies of some kind to convey the dead to their resting places, to welcome the newborn to the living, and to join in marriage those wanting to create new life?

Did these clever intermediaries use rituals they had devised; accompanied by allegedly explanatory mumbo-jumbo they had also concocted, to subjugate in superstition the fearful? Was this the process which engulfed not only primitive Man, but also the members of the simpler soci­eties which subsequently developed? Claiming to reach the Under-world, or the Over-world, or the mystical domains of those who allegedly have power over mankind must have been persuasive – especially if accompanied by some evi­dence of ill-luck for non-belief or non-compliance!”

The above are extracts from my book ‘Musings at death’s door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society’