In trying to make sense of life and the All, it is perhaps useful to gain some perspective of just how physically imposing we really are in the cosmos by taking a look at the earth from another planet in our solar system:
For some time now, there has been an attempt in the physics world to develop a Theory of Everything (TOE). Unfortunately, the scientists engaged in this attempt have arbitrarily and with profound contempt refused even to consider an aspect of life which has been reported, or misreported, from time immemorial by peoples of all cultures and climes: the paranormal. In the view of said scientists, to imagine the paranormal to be real is the height of self-delusion, if not madness.
Because, they claim, there is no need to investigate such nonsense. Every rational scientist (and his source of government grants) simply knows there could never be such a phenomenon. Anyone who claims anything to the contrary should be cast into the utter darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I have had conversations with such Men of Transcendent Scientific Knowledge. They have shown me the error of my ways by explaining that my dalliances with things and ideas which cannot be analyzed in laboratories or described with higher mathematics are due to inner compulsions and conflicts left over from a problematical childhood.
So I must thank such superior beings for their psychological expertise in psychoanalyzing me as a poor retard who seeks the comfort of a heaven and/or divinity to allay his fears of the postmortem unknown. Why could I never have realized my neurosis? Here all this time I have been imagining that I was looking for something real. Now, thanks to their ad hominem arguments, I know that I really belong in an asylum for the mentally handicapped.
As a penance for my sins of wrong-headedness, let me list the sources and causes of my delusion:
First of all, there is the matter of hauntings haunted houses, graveyards, grounds, etc. In Armando Paveses Manual de Parapsicología (para descubrir y desarrollar sus facultades ocultas de médium, telepático, adivino, sanador, etc
con 60 experimentos prácticos). Santafe de Bogotá, D.C., Colombia: San Pablo, 1994 (Translated by Augusto Aimar into Spanish from the Italian original, Manuale di Parapsicologia (per scoprire e sviluppare le vostre facoltà nascoste di medium, telepatico, rabdomante, guaritore, ecc
con 60 esperimenti pratici), 15033 Casale Monferrato (AL): Edizioni Piemme S. p. A.), the following is noted on pages 60ff. (my translation from the Spanish):
Emotional messaging lies at the heart of the phenomenon of haunting. Ernesto Bozzano (1862 - 1942), the greatest Italian student of spiritism, after examining hundreds of cases of haunting, concluded that 80% of them were connected to a tragedy.
Haunting consists of psychokinetic phenomena such as the sound of steps, blows, creaking, voices, sighs, sounds produced by iron, singing, guffaws, blasts of cold air, the smell of flowers, of burning, of sulfur, spontaneous fires, the apparition of figures, movements of objects which happen in a specific place which may be inhabited or uninhabited, like a building or an open area.
It is convenient to distinguish poltergeists from hauntings. The former are linked to a person, the latter to a place, given that the phenomenon is always repeated in that place.
Hauntings may be divided into two general categories:
- Places where the phenomena are repeated mechanically without depending on the presence of viewers, as though the latter do not even exist.
- Places where the phenomena appear to reflect the presence of a human being, as when intelligible signs appear on walls, signs constituting a communication with whoever is present in those places.
Spiritism has interpreted this second group of phenomena as proof of the view that it is the dead who are doing the communicating. In these cases, in reality, the phenomenon of haunted houses is linked to haunting provoked by a person in the location, with manifestations typical of poltergeists (which are not necessarily connected with adolescents).
In haunted places there have been terrible crimes, murders, battles or deeds which have excited intense emotions through which it can be assumed that the individual unconscious has launched a dramatic message, due to the fact that it has been alerted to imminent death. The communication that results is a call for mixed help » at times, with the admission of guilt. The message can be translated with the words Help! I am guilty! However the message may be interpreted, we are always dealing with a communication transmitting an intense emotion outside of time. By what means does the message come to us or to generations witnessing the phenomenon centuries later?
The most realistic hypothesis is that it derives from the unconscious power of the human being which activates the phenomenon and renders it intelligible.
The literature [of parapsychology] contains the case of a Mrs. Ann Simpson who nightly saw the ghost of a woman who, in plaintive tones, communicated her name, Malory, and let it be known that she had left a debt. The parish priest, informed of the matter, investigated and discovered that a washerwoman of that name who had died several months previously, had left a small debt where she was a wholesaler. The priest paid the debt and the ghost stopped appearing.
The first thing I think happened comes from common sense: if it had been due to a spirit, the world would be full of ghosts wanting their debts paid!
A different consideration leads me to think that Mrs. Ann Simpson unconsciously activated the residue left by the psyche of Mrs. Malory, whose last thought before dying was perhaps the debt.
The the residue left by the psyche forms part of the sediment or archive of the past which presumably contains the psychic experiences of the dead.
Why did the ghost cease appearing? Perhaps because it had never appeared and was a visual hallucination with which Mrs. Simpson, who had paranormally perceived the last message of the dying woman, had materialized the received communication before her own senses. In effect, in the case under consideration, the ghost was appearing in Mrs. Simpsons bedroom and, in consequence, was not bound to a specific place. Mrs. Simpson, finding that the debt had been paid, unconsciously deactivated the message, because she had convinced herself that Mrs. Malory was in peace.
In the cases of haunted houses, the communication is connected to the place and also appears linked to the material of the building. This idea appears confirmed by the verification of the absence of psychokinetic hauntings involving buildings of Greek, Roman and Etruscan civilization. The disappearance of the buildings entailed the disappearance of the phenomenon. Nonetheless, ancient Greek and Roman historians report cases of haunted houses.
In order to reconstruct the event we need two essential elements:
- the dramatic message deposited in the archive of the past;
- the material, that is, the building or place for reconstructing the psychokinetic event.
Even though the communication may exist and continue in being, the lack of the building impedes the manifestation of the phenomenon.
The phenomena of haunted houses can be a proof of the sediment or archive of the past; this archive would embrace all of the reality falling under the sensual perception of past generations that is, everything subject to human interest.
In the phenomena of haunted houses, the individual unconscious, by means of the archive of the past, would perceive the dramatic communication and, through a psycho-physical interaction with bodily energy, reproduce it.
The above text by Mr. Pavese is fully consistent with Rupert Sheldrakes concept of morphic resonance, one of whose corollaries is that a beings form field (morphic field, i.e., memory of a form with its behavior) subsists extra-spatiotemporally, and may be recalled by a later condition ecosystemically similar to the fields original generator. In the case of biology, the field will usually aid in the instantiation of a new life form and its conformation in shape and behavior to that generator. A haunted environment is psycho-physically linked with that generator, which may be sensed or seen by psychically sensitive brains, including some women, small children and animals.
A small digression: I personally know of a case of a haunted house. I have a relative who in 2011 was teaching at a private school in the United States. He had a colleague who, with his wife and their children, including a small daughter, had recently rented a house not far from the school and moved into it in the summer of 2010.
Before they rented it, the prospective landlord had told them that a former tenant had died outside the property, but provided no further information on the manner or location of the death. Shortly after moving in, a neighbor relayed the grisly details of what actually happened: the previous tenant had hanged himself from the wooden beams on one of the side patios. Although sorry to hear about such an event and disturbed at the troubling nature of what had occurred in their new dwelling, the couple chose to remain in the house since they needed a place to live, and this house seemed quite suitable to their needs.
Sometime in early February 2011, on a Friday or Saturday night, my nephew and his colleague were talking, and the conversation got around to the paranormal, whereupon his colleague made it clear that, although he believed in angels and demons, he was highly skeptical of things like ghosts and other paranormal events or hauntings. The usual expressions of denial were given, about how there was scant proof of alleged parapsychic phenomena, it was all anecdotal, correctly noting that there were numerous fakes, and so forth. There the matter lay.
On the morning of February 17, the colleague came into school highly disturbed. My relative asked him what was going on, and he explained that in the early morning hours of that day, a very frightening thing had happened to Lucy, their young daughter.
They had put Lucy to bed, but somewhere between 3 and 4:30a.m., the little girl had become troubled because something was scaring her in her own room. But after coming into her parents room she became terrified because of what she saw. That man, she said, is scaring me. The parents saw nothing and asked, What man? She pointed to the ceiling and stated, That man hanging from the ceiling. She was then asked what the man was doing and in response made a bobbling motion with her neck and head, as if the head were bouncing from side to side, with no solid attachment to the neck.
The parents were extremely disturbed by this and utterly unable to explain it. The colleagues wife left with the children and went to a friends house that very day, not wanting either of the children to have to deal with this paranormal vision again. They quickly found another house to rent and moved there.
An additional fact that later came to light is that the hanged man had committed suicide about year and a day prior to Lucys sighting. He had hanged himself on Feb 16, 2010; Lucy witnessed the vision of the hung man in the early morning hours of Feb 17, 2011.
This occurrence is fully consistent with the explanations given by Mr. Armando Pavese, above.
In the Sheldrakean view, the more instantiations of a given morphic field there are, the stronger it becomes. Thus all electrons (better: electron clouds) have the same mass and spin because they are all instantiating the same field. There are no variations anywhere in electron morphology. To put it in pre-scientific language, there is only a single electron soul expressing itself in innumerable instantiations. Which easily explains the phenomenon of entanglement in physics.
It follows that what we anglophone humans call memory or even mind, then, is a quintessential characteristic of all matter, including us. It supports the ancient view of the universe as characterized by hylopsychism (mind pervading all matter) or hylozoism (matter itself being in some sense alive), or what might be called panentheism.
Which brings us to the matter of life itself, which is a form of matter which accumulates and organizes memories. In fact, morphic fields (which include behavior), function and purpose are one and the same thing under different aspects. Which introduces teleology into the matter of evolution.
A bacterium is different from a grain of sand. This is because, as distinct from the sand grain, it can accumulate new memories on its own. That is, it can learn. And so can all other forms of life. Indeed, the whole story of evolution is evolutionary epistemology a process of ongoing increase in knowledge (ἐπιστήμη = Latin scientia). (On this, see the excellent work of Dr. rer. nat. Dr. phil. Gerhard Vollmer, Evolutionäre Erkenntnistheorie: Angeborene Erkenntnisstrukturen im Kontext von Biologie, Psychologie, Linguistik, Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie, Stuttgart: S. Hirzel Verlag, 1975.) Interestingly, the medieval Catholic Churchs accidental breeding of European Jews produced the smart Ashkenazi branch, which today ranks as having the highest average IQ of all human groups on our planet. The explanation for this may be read in my downloaded webpage of Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy and Henry Harpendings Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence (no paywall, or behind a paywall at the Journal of Biosocial Science). An abbreviated summary can be found in an article at IQ And Disease: The Curious Case of the Ashkenazi Jews. Naturally, political correctness abhors mentioning the obvious role of genetics in IQ, as riots at various colleges and universities against visiting speakers who have written about IQ differences among groups or other forbidden topics show.
Naturally, the current fad among scientists is to deny or ignore this epistemological interpretation of evolution because it sounds too much like teleology or maybe even like being in the same realm as ghostly action at a distance (Einsteins spukhafte Fernwirkung), etc. (By the way, German spukhaft does not mean the same as English spooky.)
But to proceed: life, this student form of matter, shows something else: the urge to survive.
Moreover, in all life, even in the smallest cells, we find incredible intelligence and information-filled structure (design) at work. (For the sake of argument, we may omit here the countless incredible survival strategies found in the behavior of so many species.) In addition, the biological code of deoxynucleic acid (DNA) and its allied epigenetics show marvelous cybernetic architecture and functioning. To summarize some main points of life:
reveal an innate cosmic will to be.
- the fear of death (plus pain), along with
- this incarnate intelligence, and
- the drive to procreate either sexually or asexually
The cosmos wants to exist.
Pain, which appears in all creatures with a central nervous system (with analogues in forms without a CNS), is a psychosomatic messaging system. It conveys information about life status, as does its psychological cousin, sorrow. If a mouse or a fish, say, is pricked with a pin, it will react quickly and evasively, perhaps also defensively. This reaction is not an intellectual operation on the mouses part, but is pre-determined by the subconscious, even though mediated through nerves and biochemicals. In other words, it shows volition in matter itself. (Medical research concentrates almost exclusively on the somatic part of pain, but tends to ignore the psychic aspect.) Given enough intensity, as in murders, lethal accidents, etc., physical (or psychic) agony can leave a psychic memory trace in surrounding matter, resulting in haunted places. But the key element here is the urge to survive, to continue to exist.
In brief, this painful but innate pregeometric response to the question of to be or not to be demonstrates what Aristotle and the medieval scholastics considered to be a conative nisus to live. We are not talking about static things here, but about a process existence as a verb rather than as a noun.
Of course, there is especially in the West a type of atheist that focuses only on the suffering (somatic) aspect of pain, ignoring its informational (psychic) nature. The objection is that, if there were a god, he/she/it would not permit suffering. And he/she/it would have me win the lottery. Etc. Ergo, there can be no god.
This objection is a relic of the god-talk given to a four-year-old child, which assures him or her that God is an all-loving, body-building Big Daddy in the sky, an anthropomorphic Zeus whose picture is seen on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. And of course, most peoples theological understanding never grows past the four-year-old stage. Hence, after puberty, when it becomes evident that Zeus really doesnt exist, the disillusioned individual assumes that there is no mind in the universe greater than his or her own, and throws the whole concept of the non-material overboard.
This Western-atheistic approach requires a brief detour into the Bible, to show that sola scriptura is a dead end, completely inappropriate for serious thinkers.
To begin with, let us start with chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis, the first book of the Torah, or Pentateuch, and also of the entire Tanakh, or Jewish Bible (Christian Old Testament). The best reference on this is Ziony Zevits What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden? (Zevit is Distinguished Professor of Biblical Literature and Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.) In brief, the story of Adam and Eve is simply a stylized depiction of life in the Iron Age Hebrew population. Later, under the influence of Greek Hellenism, it was turned into a myth of a fall from divine grace.
Myths tend to reflect the nature of a populations collective deep psyche. In the mythicized Garden story, the two trees (one of life and the other of knowledge of good and evil) are a poetic rendition of the two aspects of a single tree, which is itself the psychological projection of the human central nervous system, with its roots throughout the body, the spinal trunk and the foliage of the brain. (Many other early religions have the same CNS-as-world-tree symbols: e.g., the yggdrasill of the ancient Northmen, the Mighty Pillar [Irminsūl} of the ancient Saxons, the life-symbol, the ankh, of the Egyptian pharaohs, and the mandala of Buddhism as well as the Christian cross.) The talking snake is a metaphor for curiosity, which worms its way though the mind until it discovers a new piece of knowledge. (It is not a devil, of which there is no mention in the Eden story.) Thus the literal interpretation of the Hellenized Eden myth is simply erroneous. It follows that the idea of an original sin which requires a divine Savior is a non sequitur. This latter idea is a confused outgrowth of Greek mystery religions superimposed on a Jewish individual named Jesus (Yeshúa) as the dying-and-rising god.
The story of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt is another deviation from history. As Ann E. Killebrew showed in her Biblical PeoplesAnd Ethnicity: An Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, And Early Israel 1300-1100 B.C.E., it was not the Hebrews who left Egypt; rather it was the weakening Egyptian empire that left Canaan (which the Egyptians had thitherto dominated), after which the local population developed a powerful ideology centered on their cult god, Yahweh. (Dr. Killebrew is Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies at Pennsylvania State University, a seasoned field archaeologist, and co-editor of Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period [Society of Biblical Literature, 2003].) For a general overview of the collapse of Egyptian power and other empires of the ancient Near East which made Israels rise possible, read Eric H. Clines 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed.
Hundreds of years after the pharaonic forces had withdrawn, the collective memories of the Egyptian occupation, of the enslavement of Canaanites, and of ongoing escapes of slaves were layered atop one another and fictionalized or telescoped (so Killebrew) into a fable of Israelites escaping en masse (according to Exodus 12:37, 600,000 men, not to mention women and children = ca. 2 million people, plus livestock) from Egypt through a miraculously parted sea which subsequently closed over and drowned pursuing pharaonic forces. As this huge number supposedly wandered around in a desert for 40 years (vide Numbers, chapter 33), the hordes were divinely supplied with manna (ch. 11) to keep them and their animals alive.
We can here pass over the myth of Noahs deluge, which is derived from a conflation of different Mesopotamian myths (the epics of Gilgamesh, of Atrahasis, and of Ziasudra, the oldest being ca. 1600 B.C.).
Then there is the event of the Babylonian capitivity (597 538 B.C.) The Persians, who under Cyrus (Kurósh) the Great (the Bibles first Messiah Isaiah 45:1) conquered the Babylonians and released many Jews from their captivity, held the religion of Zoroastrianism. Among many other tenets, this religion believed in a post-mortem hell of everlasting fire for the damned who had led evil lives. The Jews absorbed this idea (among others) and it was inherited thence by Christianity.
Also, most people do not even know of the first Jewish War (described by Josephus) which severed the Jesus movement from Judaism and created Christianity, nor about pseudepigraphy, through which most books of the New Testament arose as compilations under false names, nor about the charter myth of the Acts of the Apostles, a pious lie similar to the Odyssey and the Æneid invented out of whole cloth, nor about Marcion, the author of the first New Testament, who (around A.D. 144) composed of an early (gentilized) version of Luke and ten letters of Paul, or the four centuries it took to establish something resembling a biblical canon. (See The First New Testament: Marcions Scriptural Canon by Jason D. BeDuhn. Also Dennis E. Smith and Joseph B. Tyson, Acts and Christian Beginnings: The Acts Seminar Report, plus Bernard Brandon Scotts The Real Paul: Recovering His Radical Challenge.)
Modern research by many world-renowned scholars have shown that the literalist, Bible-pounding and terror-inspiring views of the past are false. Thus the search for the foundations of being cannot be based on anything biblical, even though Christian churches have done and still do much to civilize and domesticate their adherents. (Note, incidentally, that the issue of Islam with its heavenly whorehouses is not part of the discussion here.) There are other ways to the mystery underlying the cosmos.
Let us consider another oddity of human experience: the Near-Death Experience, or NDE for short. This experience is virtually universal, reported among all peoples, cultures and places. We might even call those who undergo an NDE thanatonauts or death-sailors, from the Greek words thánatos (θάνατος) death and naútēs (ναύτης) sailor, like we have invented the word astronaut (literally star-sailor) or cosmonaut (literally cosmos-sailor). It is probable that animals experience something similar, except that they cannot talk and reveal what they have seen and heard on the edge of life. Quite a few thanatonauts report seeing their entire lives flash before them in the event: sometimes in black and white, sometimes in color, sometimes as a movie, sometimes as a series of still pictures, etc.
But what are they witnessing here? Most think of it in terms of what they know from ordinary life as a movie or picture album separate from themselves. But what they are in fact seeing is themselves as consisting of memory. This is the inner core of living beings, as Rupert Sheldrake has shown.
Yet another element is often found in the recalls of thanatonauts. It is that some of them say they found themselves being sucked, perhaps along with other beings, through a tunnel of some sort toward an extremely brilliant light. Light, of course, along with lamps, the eye (cf. the eye on the American dollar bills Masonic pyramid), and the act of seeing are frequently used as metaphors for knowledge, learning, understanding, thought and the like. In other words, these revenants find themselves being pulled to their deepest existential root: Mind.
Then there are the persistent reports, especially in Third-World countries, of what is often called reincarnation. Ian Stevenson, M.D. (formerly Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia, now deceased) worked for four decades on cases suggestive of what is usually called reincarnation and published his results in a massive, two-volume work, Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, which cannot be lightly dismissed the way the materialists are wont to do. (They typically slur him as having abandoned science, or something along such lines.) Stevenson did a lifetime of research about what is frequently called reincarnation; that research produced incontrovertible evidence of, among other things, how body-disfiguring lethal wounds of people killed violently have often shown up as birth marks and birth defects in genetically similar, or even related, other people who were born afterward (usually within just a few years). This is not to say that a previous personality is reincarnated in toto in a new person, even though small children who have just begun to speak occasionally say that they were someone else in a previous lifetime.
Rather, Stevensons evidence must be viewed in the same light as individuals who have had transplants of major organs from other people, living or dead. It so happens that, subsequently, such transplant recipients sometimes show behavior or abilities which had not at all been characteristic of them before the transplant operation, but had indeed been part of the personality whence the transplanted organ had been taken. This is yet more evidence of the association between matter and memory: in such cases, the morphic fields of donor and recipient have become fused creating, in effect, a new, hybrid soul.
In addition, there is the extraordinary phenomenon of murmuration. Here a school of fish or a flock of starlings acts as a single body, flowing leaderlessly hither, thither and yon as a unit. Such schools and flocks are for all practical purposes identical in their DNA, their epigenetics, their forms and their biology in general. Similarly, human identical twins often exhibit amazingly similar behavior, even though having been separated shortly after birth and subjected to completely different educations and rearings. Such twins might be understood as something close to cases of human murmuration.
Such observations have implications for the origin of multicellular life. Unicellular life arose at the latest about three billion years ago, perhaps even somewhat over four billion years ago. But until about 2.3 billion years ago when oxygen became an important component of the atmosphere, all life remained unicellular. Then, under suitable conditions, two or more cells that were identical or were mutually beneficial to one another (e.g., through endoparasitism, in which one cell as a kind of organ transplant lives inside another to the benefit of both) somehow fused to become a single complex organism composed of more than a single cell. This unification may have been paranormally facilitated by the merging of the morphic fields (or souls) of such cells. (An abiotic analogy might be the way in which the magnetic fields of two magnets combine to make a single, larger, supersummative magnetic field when the two are placed together.) In other words, a merger of this type would have led to multicellular forms activated by a single murmurating soul. Such forms, including humans, are composed of many cells with identical RNA/DNA, but whose individuality is subsumed into the overarching control of the whole.
Animal bodies, including those of humans, are composed of many cells with identical DNA. Although normally taken for granted, it is in fact amazing that such a massive aggregate can produce a single whole acting as a unit. This is yet another element in the extraordinary phenomenon of murmuration, mentioned above. We are all murmurating entities, somewhat more tightly unified than, say, a hive of bees with identical genomes, but nonetheless based on the same principle.
Another element rarely noted is the process of noticing similarity between percepts. I may encounter an object or happening which reminds me of something else, which I take as being similar. This shows that there is a kind of attraction independent of Newtonian geometry between morphic forms of different sizes and times, but in some abstract way akin to one another. In fact, when we survey biological evolution, it appears that such forms may coalesce and become a single composite form. (See Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation, 4th Edition, on this.) Thus, e.g., most of homo sapiens (especially the male half) today enjoys watching games which simulate conflict, fighting and battle. This is because for millions of years our pre-human ancestors engaged in such activities to win food and sex. The memories of these conflicts have fused into a composite morphic field, so that today we do not recall any specific conflict of any individual ancestral primate, but only the generic motif left imprinted on our extra-temporal foundation by the collective trauma of so many instances. This process is the origin of archetypes in the human soul, as noted by many psychologists.
On the multiuniverse ideas (e.g., Edward Wittens M-Theory, which is said to unify all the major superstring theories), and the problems involving quantum gravity, the jury is still out. Certainly, we have no idea what conditions obtain beyond the event horizon of our own observable universe. If the concept of infinitely and eternally effervescing bubble universes should turn out to be true, one interpretation might be that the Prime Mover is, poetically speaking, a seething, trans-spatiotemporal cauldron of life.
There are some mathematicians and physicists who believe that mathematics is the language of the universe. Unfortunately, this Platonist view does not recognize that mathematics itself is a language, even though one much more rigorous than ordinary human linguistic codes. In the real cosmos, there are few if any triangles whose corners add up to exactly 180º, no matter what Euclid says. Most importantly, mathematics-fixated physicists almost universally refuse to acknowledge the rivetting fact that, at the most complex level the level of evolution and life , physics is characterized by biology, which is to say, by learning (a phenomenon known as evolutionary epistemology in philosophy). That is, intelligence is incarnate in cosmic physics; all life forms (including humans), whether earthly or otherwise, are partial instantiations of the Master Intelligence underlying the universe.
Mathematics is based on logical abstraction, following the pattern-finding and abstractional processes of the human brain as a result of our evolutionary development and learning. If anglophone (non-colorblind) humans repeatedly experience a range of wavelengths in the longer bands of the visual spectrum, they may mentally abstract and condense that experience and give it the collective name of red. But the phenomena and their biophysical interpretation behind the experience are vastly more complex, and the word red explains nothing about those phenomena in themselves. The same is true of the abstractions of mathematics, even though math is much more exact and logically constrained than natural linguistics. In mathematics, for instance, we can produce an imaginary number by multiplying a positive real number by the square root of -1 (symbolized as i). Thus the square of imaginary 2i is -4. Such an imaginary number does not per se correspond to anything in nature, but is often used in mathematical physics as a kind of shorthand to cut corners in solving complex problems. In short, mathematics does not describe natural laws, but at best only approximates the external behavior of natural phenomena, even as it adds yet another layer of mental abstraction to our interpretation. Moreover the very word, law, is itself borrowed by analogy from human legislative activity, which has nothing to do with physics. Abstraction is a necessary tool for humans in dealing with reality, but does not explain the inner nature of reality itself.
Mathematicians can, thus, invent vast castles in the algorithmic sky which have no relationship to anything real. More to the point, mathematical physicists Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne and John Archibald Wheeler suggested in Gravitation, their weighty tome on quantum-mechanical and relativistic cosmology (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman & Co., 1970-73, p. 1212), that,
Little astonishment there should be, therefore, if the description of nature carries one in the end to logic, the ethereal eyrie at the center of mathematics. If, as one believes, all mathematics reduces to the mathematics of logic, and all physics reduces to mathematics, what alternative is there but for all physics to reduce to the mathematics of logic? Logic is the only branch of mathematics that can think about itself.
Misner, Thorne and Wheeler then go on to suggest [ibid.] that the foundation of the real world might turn out to be a calculus of propositions. This is a calculus which surveys all possibilities and chooses the one which best fits its criterion.
In this case, that criterion would be the emergence of conscious life, a kind of fractalizing, hologrammaticalizing self-replication of the Primordial Logic.
All of these considerations point to the existence of transcendent, supremely logical Intelligence as the foundation of our existence, an Intelligence quite different from the stew of wishdreams and political propaganda pushed out by traditional religions in response to popular demand. But that Intelligence is nonetheless real. Abusing signs of the paranormal as a tool, Judeo-Christianity used ancient psychology, politics, religions and philosophical movements to create a politically judgemental Lord favoring one ruler or another. Later, a crack-brained Arabian schizophrenic who was hearing voices in his head told the ignorant barbarians around him that those voices came from a sociopathic Allah, and started a perennial international war for permanent barbarism over the entire globe.
But according to our best evidence, the Intelligence referred to above is a cosmic inframind that fractally and hologrammatically replicates its own nature everywhere, a willed process that on suitable planets results in life which is conscious.
By presenting the above, I hope to have done at least a little bit of the penance for my benightedness, even if Men of Transcendent Scientific Knowledge consider my effort to be unworthy of their time. In my unenlightened state, however, it still seems to me odd that they should attempt to fabricate a Theory of Everything without including the massive evidence of a paranormal infrastructure underlying all of nature.
In conclusion, here is an article by retired chemist and atheist Joel Kirschbaum, which mentions porphyrins (sorry, no hemoglobin) apparently found in interstellar dust clouds:
From: https://www.secularhumanism.org/ index.php/articles/9279
The Big Bang Enabled Evolution
Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 37 issue 4, pp. 37ff.
2017 June 2
There is overwhelming objective evidence that the universe began about 13.8 billion years ago with a gigantic explosion that we call the Big Bang. The Big Bang, after cooling, produced the conditions needed to start the process of evolution, both on our planet Earth and theoretically on many other planets possessing the similar mild conditions amenable to life.
Formation of the Chemical Elements Necessary for Life as We Know It
In our universe, after the temperature of the Big Bang cooled below about ten billion degrees Kelvin, protons and neutrons formed lightweight chemical elements initially mainly hydrogen and helium, with trace amounts of lithium and beryllium, according to some theoreticians calculations. All stars convert hydrogen to helium, with the by-products being heat, light, and subatomic radiation. Supernovas produced oxygen, carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen, as well as the higher atomic weight elements such as chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These elements were expelled into space. The last few seconds of existence of some supernovas may have produced heavier atoms such as iron (the core of the oxygen carrier in hemoglobin), cobalt (the catalytic center of vitamin B12), and copper (an essential carrier of electrons in the metabolism of glucose, fats, and many other biological molecules). We assume that there was some overlap between the nucleosynthesis of lighter elements by the Big Bang with the nucleosynthesis by supernovae. Even today, as our planet sweeps through space it picks up chemical elements that were ejected into space, along with meteorites of various sizes. It has been estimated that as much as one-quarter of household dust is of extraterrestrial origin. This means that we are made of the ashes and cinders of stars spewed into space, since all of the constituents of present living organisms originated from the initial Big Bang and subsequent supernovas.
There are an estimated one hundred to two hundred billion stars in an average galaxy. This means that based on the approximately five thousand extrasolar planets found by terrestrial astronomers to date, there are as many as 100 billion planets in each of the estimated two hundred to 1,200 billion galaxies in the known universe. At least an estimated 1 percent of these planets are assumed to be hospitable to life as we know it, places where evolution can occur.
The Inevitable Formation of Small Molecules Is the Prologue to Evolution
How the building blocks of proteins, called amino acids, were formed was the object of study of many researchers. In 1952, the pioneering experimenters Stanley Miller and Harold Urey synthesized amino acids by mixing water, ammonia, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and methane (the compounds then thought to exist on a primitive, lifeless Earth) in a sealed flask. The flask was heated to boiling and electric sparks fired between electrodes to simulate lightning as the source of energy to initiate chemical reactions. (Recently, the number of lightning strikes on the planet Earth has been estimated at one hundred per second. Lengths vary, but each bolt contains up to a billion volts.) Other possible sources of energy are hot springs and the deep-ocean vents that exist at the boundaries of the tectonic plates that comprise Earths crust. These vents are of special interest because many release hydrogen sulfide gas. The sulfur in this gas could be incorporated into the essential amino acid methionine, as well as into other known biochemicals. Large meteorites composed partly of metals, which could act as catalysts when they struck the Earth, will have generated considerable heat on impact that could have lasted long enough to produce amino acids and the precursors of nucleic acids that comprise the genetic code. (About one hundred different amino acids were found in one uncontaminated meteorite.)
The Large Molecule Porphyrin Was at the Start of Evolution
With evolutionary modifications, this key molecule lies at the very heart of the plant and animal kingdoms. Porphyrin is found in chlorophyll, where it uses the energy from the sun to rip oxygen from carbon dioxide molecules, the waste-product of animals. Photosynthesis simultaneously traps energy from the sun in the form of high-energy bonds in the water-soluble circulating molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Its energy can synthesize complex molecules in plants for growth and reproduction. Evolution took a giant short-cut by ingesting the photosynthetic mechanism found in micro-organisms into cells that later became plants. These organelles are now called chloroplasts. Humanity should now increase the efficiency of photosynthesis by making further genetic modifications to feed the ever-increasing population.
Animals use the food synthesized from plants to provide nutrition and energy, relying on oxygen carried by hemoglobin to perform metabolic oxidations. Hemoglobin also carries away waste carbon dioxide, which is recycled to plants. Hemoglobin, which contains iron, and chlorophyll, which contains magnesium, are two large, complex molecules that are related to each other because they are based on modifications of a small, five-atom ring consisting of four carbon and one nitrogen atom called pyrrole. Four of these rings are joined by one carbon bridge to form larger, chemically stable rings called porphyrin. The nitrogen atoms face each other and bind metals that can catalyze chemical reactions.
Digestion in animals breaks down plant and animal tissues to ready their molecules to be metabolized to carbon dioxide and water in a stepwise process involving an interconnected series of metal-porphyrins. The energy from this slow combustion is incorporated into the formation of high-energy phosphate bonds of ATP, the source of energy for life, as mentioned before. ATP allowed the muscles of the body to evolve to become stronger, for example, enabling humans to exceed running speeds of a mile in four minutes.
Animal cells are the beneficiaries of a similar evolutionary shortcut: the ingestion of once-independent micro-organisms that had already evolved a mechanism to metabolize food-stuffs. These organelles, named mitochondria, are found in almost all animal cells. They even have their own DNA for reproduction independent from that of the host or parent cells.
These similarities between photosynthesis and animal biological oxidations are no coincidence, because in each case porphyrins were the building blocks available for evolution to utilize. The porphyrin structure is akin to an adjustable wrench in a toolbox. Studies of optical spectra how molecules absorb or emit different frequencies of light prove almost conclusively that magnesium porphyrin complexes exist in deep space. The existence of this macromolecule in lifeless space shows how avidly chemical reactions produce larger, more complex, stable molecules. Evolution should occur on planets with mild temperatures such as we have on our planet Earth, with no need for intervention by a divinity.
A person might conclude that fairly complex molecules such as porphyrins have an infinitesimally low probability of being formed by fortuitous collisions, but because of the many planets that apparently exist and the eons of time that have been available for such compounds to form, statistics suggests that the elements will have combined many different ways. For example, spectra have been found in space corresponding to a complex sixty-carbon compound soccer-ball shaped organic chemical named Buckminsterfullerene. This cage-like molecule was named after the brilliant architect Buckminster Fuller, who designed homes composed of hexagonal plates. Any objective observer would estimate the odds of sixty carbon atoms simultaneously colliding to form a Buckminsterfullerene (Buckyball) sphere to be infinitesimally low, except here were dealing with billions of years and billions of cubic light years to allow for these coincidences to occur. Evolution appears to be inevitable.
The Formation of the Genetic Code
The general cellular route to growth and reproduction is a path in which deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) produces ribonucleic acid (RNA) that, in turn, synthesizes protein. The structure of nucleotides consists of a sugar attached to a phosphate and a nitrogenous base. The interlocking questions we must answer include how RNA or DNA, which encode for protein structures that can also reproduce themselves, first appeared billions of years ago. We know from the previously discussed pioneering experiments of Urey and Miller that amino acids could be formed in an atmosphere mimicking the low-oxygen conditions hypothesized for early Earth. Subsequent investigators showed that variations of those experiments produced related constituents of RNA and DNA, namely, sugars, purines, and pyrimidines. A key experiment involved replicating the conditions of interstellar space close to a star system (to provide radiation energy). Ammonia (as a source of nitrogen), methane (to provide carbon), and water (for hydrogen and oxygen) were mixed in a vacuum. The final soup contained ribose, a key constituent of RNA; the sugar sorbitol; and glycerol, a constituent of many fats. Experimenters finding two of the four nucleotides that make up RNA suggest that RNA could have formed spontaneously. Elsewhere, two of the nucleotide bases in DNA were found in meteorites. Organic precursors of RNA and DNA were found in interstellar dust and asteroids. The lesser stability of DNA indicates that DNA may have appeared after RNA. What is important is that once life began, evolution was driven by survival of the fittest. Gaps in our knowledge will eventually be filled, just as the composition of the dark or unknown matter and the nature of the dark or unknown energy that is expanding our universe will one day be elucidated.
The myriad successful experiments involving many of the constituents of the genetic code strongly suggest that there may have been multiple routes to the genetic code we know today. This supposition is based by analogy on the presently known eight hominid ancestors between human beings and early primates according to the fossil records, all competing for survival and reproduction. However, all seemed to have shared many genetic sequences. Its well known that humans and some primates a have about 98.5 percent of their DNA in common. The banana eaten by chimpanzees and humans alike is about 25 percent similar to our DNA. The digestive enzymes worms use to assimilate discarded banana skins contain long stretches of amino acids similar to human enzymes. This is truly efficient.
The genetic code raises, again, the question of life on other planets. It is important when scheduling future space flights to examine the liquid water on Saturns moon Titan to look for evidence of life, since aqueous ammonia has the potential to produce constituents needed for life. Extrapolating to the trillions and trillions of stars in the universe adds further impetus to find extrasolar life. Just as the compositions of some atmospheres on extrasolar planets can be inferred from spectral studies, perhaps distant, extremely trace elements indicative of contaminants created by civilizations can be untangled from background chemicals.
Evolution of the complex human brain, whose signal transmission is also powered by ATP, has created traits such as curiosity. A great example is how humans proved the existence of gravitational waves caused by the collision of two black holes, each many times larger than our sun by observing infinitesimal changes in the geometry of detectors. Proud traits found in some other species, and thus not unique to humanity, are altruism, courage, and voluntary care for the helpless. Humor and comedy routines are almost universally enjoyed, even by members of tribes and nations possessing different cultures. The best example may be slapstick, which evokes almost universal laughter without knowledge of the language. Many humans have in common with rats the trait of showing apparent pleasure when tickled.
Human communication has gone past chirps, grunts, and gestures to lengthy stories, novels, and plays. Special examples of creativity include novels, plays, art, and music.
A more shameful trait many humans possess, as we consider the hundreds of millions injured or killed over the centuries, undergirds the beliefs that one particular religious worship of god is the true one and that nonbelievers must endure torture, massacres, famine, war, and even death.
Joel Kirschbaum is a retired chemist who has had more than one hundred articles published in reviewed journals.
The mystery of memory lies at the core of the question of mind. Modern research has finally begun to shed some light on the actual nature of memory: it now appears that the brain or body does not store memory directly, but only as a kind of transmitting station to transform space, a realm or dimension of memory-encoding not exactly identical with visible flesh and blood.
We cannot here go into detail on the illuminating book of brain researcher Paul Pietsch, Shufflebrain (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1981); we can only quote his own statements on what he and his colleagues have discovered. He explains (p. 144)
Transform space is where the holograms message [i.e., memory] abides. The Fourier transform is our link to transform space.
And later (pp. 159ff.):
Memory is phase codes: whether its learned or instinctive has no bearing on its mathematical, and therefore necessary, features.
* * *
Consider something else our stripes, dots, and rings reveal about the phase code. We cant assign memory to specific structural attributes of the system. In hologramic theory, memory is without fixed size, absolute proportions, or particular architecture. Memory is stored as abstract periodicity in transform space. This abstract property is the theoretical basis for the predictions my shufflebrain experiments vindicated, and for why shuffling a salamanders brain doesnt scramble its stored mind. My instruments cannot reach into the ideal transform space where the mind is stored. Hologramic mind will not reduce directly to constituents of the brain.
Further (p. 163):
A mind, the theory asserts, is not specific molecules, particular cells, certain physiological mechanisms, or whatever may serve as its media. It is phase information » relationships displayed in time and in what we have termed perceptual space, and stored as a function of time in transform space.
In biological molecules and structures the information is distributed hologramically, so that each part of the storage medium has (or, better, can regenerate) a whole picture (as, e.g., each body cells nucleus contains the whole code for all the proteins of the entire body in its chromosomes); and it is difficult, often impossible, to assign a given intellectual ability or memory to any clearly delimited area of the brain, especially a more youthful brain. In general, a clearer picture results from a larger amount of storage medium (and greater intelligence from larger and more highly differentiated brains). And finally, the body organs, limbs and entire bodily system would appear to be the expression of a memory complex stored in transform space by an organisms ancestors and recalled by that same organisms genes and developing structure as it grows. This is the logical conclusion to Pietschs research-based theory.
It may be theoretically impossible for us ever to discover the precise way in which memory storage is accomplished by biological structures, but it is clear that this storage process is the true essence of biological life (and why computers will never be alive). For life is a form of matter which is able to acquire and (literally) incarnate new memories, that is, to learn. (In evolution theory, this knowledge-incorporation process is called evolutionary epistemology.) And the remarkable property of unifying all the small, identical and unclear memory-pictures into one large, exclusive and sharply clear and distinct memory-picture is much more akin to the properties of electromagnetic or gravitational fields than to particle-bound chemistry. Such a hologramic field is what we would call a soul. Also like electromagnetic and gravitational fields, it too fuses at its borders into the dominant hologramic superfield of the environment and is governed by it.
On the English word soul:
A fluid, either vapor or liquid (especially water), is the almost universal human symbol for the unconscious. Religiologically, it signifies the deep-soul of the individual and, beyond the individual, the Worldsoul and the Allsoul of which the individual is but a small, wave-like part. As many other peoples, so also the ancient Northmen identified this ethereal ocean with local, physical bodies of water regarded as holy. (Many corpses of obviously sacrificed men, occasionally with a strangling noose still around their necks, have been found in anaerobic peat bogs in northern Europe which were once lakes.) Likewise frequently encountered among many Germanic groups as among other non-literate peoples is the view that souls are recycled from the land of the living to the Worldsoul and back again. The Proto-Germanic word for lake was *saiwaz (whence also modern English sea, German der See lake [and also die See sea]), and the soul was for them a derivative of the lake, a lake-ite, and had the form *saiwalō (the ending -alō meant stemming from), appearing in biblical Visigothic as sáiwala, whence later Old English sāwol, then Middle English sāwle, sōwle and, finally, modern English soul. Hence the word soul bears an implicit etymological (word-origin) reference to the fluid abyss whence it springs. And in ancient Germanic religion, the foremost delver into these fluid and watery depths was Wōōden, the shaman-god of Wednes-day (Wōōdens day). (The original form of the gods name was Gothic, Wōð-in, Wōð-an, meaning chief or leader [~in, ~an] of those who are wōð diabolically possessed, insane, possessed by a god [cf. Shakespearean wood mad, insane], with modern giddy being an adjectival derivative originally meaning goddy, i.e., deranged by godly influence, etc.) A shaman, by the way, is, originally speaking, a tribal religious specialist who deliberately undergoes a Near-Death Experience and, as a thanatonaut, visits the spirits and gains knowledge valuable for hunting, warfare or healing purposes, etc., then returns to communicate that knowledge to the tribe.
In contrast, the Greek word for soul is psyche (ψῡχή, ῆς, ἡ breath, spirit; life). This term in turn comes from psychos (ψῦχος, ους, τό cold, frost; winter). Originally then, psyche meant a cool breath of air, then breath of life, life, and finally the soul as the seat of the feelings and desires. Psycho-logy is thus literally soul-lore, German Seelenlehre. The Latin word for soul is anima (of feminine gender), originally meaning air, a breeze, wind, then breath, and under the influence of Greek philosophy came to mean the principle of life, psyche. The masculine form of this root, animus, was used to refer to the rational, volitional and emotional side of the mind.
Finally, the Russian word for soul or spirit* is дух, with derivative душа́, stemming from Indogermanic *dhousos spirit, breath, creature, which, as in Greek and Latin, viewed the breath as the life principle.
This is the traditional word for Sheldrakes morphic field.