DOES THE UNIVERSE HAVE A BRAIN
By Kenneth Harper Finton ©2015, 2021
Is the universe itself a brain? They certainly have a similar look in these pictures. That might not prove that it is a brain nor that it has intelligence, yet everything we know about the workings of nature and the universe, in general, seems to have a masterly and thoughtful aspect about it.
Mathematics are human tools used to calculate facts and events in the natural world, but the math systems themselves seem to work because they uncover pre-existing patterns that follow universal laws and principles. Does that mean that mathematics came first and we humans simply discover the underlying equations? This often appears to be the case.
We view the world emotionally. How we view our world and the universe about us plays an important part in our emotional well-being. It is impossible to envision a life without pain and suffering, as these things are natural tools essential to our survival. Without pain, we would not know what was bad for us. Without suffering and loss, we could not value happiness and gains properly.
To get to the actuality––I will not call it truth because we can only paint a local image of what we observe––to attempt to describe our world, we have to get beyond our emotional feeling. We need to throw out the dogmas our religions have created.
Our emotional natures reflect upon our own demise and often create negative emotions when we think about our temporal stays as existing beings.
I published an article in Helios about the near-death experience of a young girl who was certain that she was about to die. She put it his way:
“…when a vision of absolute nothingness rises before my eyes with the sudden damning conviction that there is nothing after death and our life is but a tiny spark in the midst of eternal meaningless darkness. The thought of such insignificance and meaninglessness is so daunting, and the idea of the world carrying on irrespective of our existence so unbearable, that our mind hurries to close the idea up again, with the result that the vision or realization disappears as soon as it appeared, leaving only the cold clammy feeling of an uncertain dread in its place. The realization of our minuscule existence in the enormous scheme of things can’t fail to be accompanied by a lack of faith in the meaningfulness of our insignificant lives. It’s an idea probed time and again by writers and artists alike, yet it is one that can yield no answers. It causes us to question the nature of existence itself, and the justification behind its repetitive mundane pursuits.”
I remember being a child when Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking on the door to spread their gospel according to their teachings. They said that: “Millions now living will never die.” By this, they meant that the world as we knew it was coming to an end and a new world where death was vanquished for the faithful believers was just around the corner.
In one form or another, that is the message of most of the world’s religions. They offer either a heaven or an altered state of consciousness where death is no longer something to fear or fret about. Because people want to believe this, such religious dogmas take root and are used by organized religion to control the minds, emotions, and lives of the believers. The masses want a God of understanding and love who will want to keep their experiences in living memory. They want heaven for continued experience and Nirvana to be more than a rock group.
IS SOLACE EVEN POSSIBLE?
The question then, is there anything else that can give solace in our emotional quest for everlasting life? Would we even be pleased with an eternal life from which there is no escape from the essential suffering and loss that is built into existence itself?
Is it necessary for our life experience to be recorded infinitely or continue eternally for the soul to be happy with its lot?
We humans forget many things and our memories are often faulty. Some mundane events do not seem to be worth the remembering. Our own experiences disappear into memory and we lose track of the mundane details. In order to save our better experiences for later times, we developed writing, drawing pictures, and photography.
Is the physical matter that exists and in our world a record of events and actions that have occurred in time and space?
It seems obvious that this is so. We reconstruct our history from past events and experiences that left a physical mark on time and space.
We can experience the reality of this ourselves. Our movements and actions make changes in the outside world that are recorded in memory as events and experiences. Actions are recorded in the world outside ourselves as well, as we change our world physically every moment. We, ourselves, change physically from moment to moment.
We can––with a minimum of effort––reduce and simplify the world enough to show that we exist in a continuing process of conscious and unconscious awareness. This too is obvious by the nature of our minds and status as Homo Sapiens. That this is true of all of nature is my best-educated guess.
Giving the attribute of awareness to inanimate and non-living chemicals is a stretch for some people. We equate awareness to higher forms of life and intelligence to those mammals with brains and nervous systems. Yet, most processes are not what we would call conscious processes, but unconscious processes.
Underneath, the unconscious goes about creating processes independent from our intellectual understanding. There is a difference between that which we consciously know and that which is an unconscious process that keeps the intellectual consciousness alive and builds the world itself.
We need to redefine that which we term to be the mind. If the unconscious mind were actually non-conscious or unaware, it could not function with the degree of precision that we observe.
Transmissions of information and transformations of matter into energy and back again take place in the smallest of events from chemical bonding to electromagnetic attractions. To my way of thinking, this can and should be defined as being a mental process, something controlled and actuated by a mind that is obviously different from the human brain. Nature itself thinks and creates, apparently without the need for self-awareness.
Nature is constantly experimenting with new forms and redesigning the old. Nature itself is still learning, as there is an indefinite amount to learn. Nature has the urge to unite and compound, the propensity to create new elements for more advanced compounds––all this occurs and is nurtured by nature.
The instinctive and unconscious desire to be more than we can be by ourselves alone seems to be the driving force behind evolutionary change. Nature has been producing matter and life for billions of years, long before self-consciousness arose in the form of the human species. Our self-reflective species did not cause the universe to exist. Time and space arrived before human cognition.
2 thoughts on “DOES THE UNIVERSE HAVE A BRAIN”
Ah yes. I sometimes fall into the mistake, imagining nature to be unthinking, because it doesn’t demonstrate the same self-consciousness (the very human obsession) that we attribute to being conscious. But it is quite obvious that nature is aware. So now seeing that it’s entirely possible to be conscious, without the need to be self-conscious, helps me a great deal.
I’ve been asking this question for some time, is there really a distinction between conscious and subconscious, and where is the line, and how do things move from one to the other? As in hypnosis and meditation it’s possible to move between these states.
Your article here has inspired an idea for me, that there are two parallel processes at work, yet not distinctive. A main stream and a tributary. The main stream being the underlying consciousness itself, which includes all life, nature, perhaps even the universe, and this stream forgoes the necessity for self-reflection. The other being self-consciousness, this human feedback system, a reflecting on what we are conscious of. The latter being that which distinguishes human consciousness from the universal consciousness.
Seeing it as a tributary shows that our human self reflective consciousness is perhaps nature experimenting with consciousness itself. Some kind of consciousness evolution on a cosmic scale, nature evolving the senses to be able to reflect on itself. The universe has eyes!
Yes, to think of it as a river of consciousness with tributaries helps visualizations. Thank you for your very thoughtful reply.