In one of the collapse groups this morning, someone was lamenting the loss of human culture. They speculated that literature, music, painting, and architecture would all be lost in the climate apocalypse. They recommended appreciating our “creative endeavor” as long as we are still here.
But it’s worse than that, if you accept the premise. Not only high-level cultural expressions will be lost, but fundamental aspects of human existence in the Universe, like speech, language, and art. The concept of love. Cognition, ideas – the very concept of “ideas.” “Thinking” as a phenomenon or process. All the products of the human mind will vanish with the ending of the biological and physical systems that support them.
If you believe in a complete extinction event, even “sensation” – the translation of energy into perception – will vanish with the last living organism.
This doesn’t make any sense. Intuitively, it’s just wrong. I don’t feel like my sensation or perception will cease with my death, any more than I feel like that when I go to sleep. There is absolutely no evidence that consciousness ceases with death, and plenty of common knowledge to say that it persists.
Why do they tell us the contrary? Why is so much of modern human culture invested in a story that demands we accept a stupid, counterintuitive idea about death?
Hail the King!
Well, it’s patriarchal monotheism, isn’t it? If you want to put a single, male deity at the top of the spiritual food chain, and you want Him to be King of all and judge of all (so that you can derive your earthly authority from Him), then you have to demand loyalty to Him, under pain of … death, just like earthly kings do! But not just normal death; ETERNAL death!
So you make up an imaginary, scary impossibility and tell everyone that that’s how things really are. And you kill people who disagree with you. And you put the majority of human spiritual and intellectual energy into spreading the false story about death, in concert with the export of a sick and degrading economic culture whose entire aim is to extract from, exploit, and poison the earth. It’s monstrous, when you think about it!
And, conveniently, you can label as heresy the more humane and accurate stories told by indigenous people about the interconnectedness of all beings – human and animal, plants and the land, – and kill the people by genocidal displacement. Problem solved!
In reality, it’s much easier to understand that consciousness is the foundation of all being. Intelligence comes first, then the physical world, then the human world, then human culture. Intelligence flows “upward,” as it were, through this sequence, to be expressed in the final manifestation.
This is not an unprecedented idea. Even some of our monotheistic religions begin with the idea that intelligence or order was present at the time of “creation,” though the importance of that presence is downplayed or obscured.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” — John 1:1
The meaning of this seems straightforward. According to the Internet, these words have been conscripted over the years to be an argument for the divinity of Christ, whatever that means, but it’s not a stretch to understand that conscious intelligence is a valid foundation for the “creation” of a universe.
Let’s just put it this way: The universe is made of consciousness; alive and awake. At the center of everything is a fountain of stories. Every life, and all experience, flows from that fountain. Creativity, culture, and art are the originating energy of the universe, not products of it. Human artifacts like novels, songs, paintings, buildings, the Internet – these are outpourings of the underlying source. When humans and their artifacts end, they do not vanish; they recede back into the fertile mystery from which they arose.⭐️