Expanding Profoundness of Mystery — The Fermi Paradox

Reflections on NYT 4/20/13 Worlds Away From Here by Ross Douthat

Perhaps I missed it, but for years I’ve thought it arrogant of those at the forefront of consciousness exploration (Wilber, Beck, et al) to imply (often by being silent about alternatives) that we on planet Earth are the most evolved life-form and level of consciousness in this Cosmos in which we live. My own questioning of this and reasoning would go like this…

Look at our evolution of consciousness and of scientific thought in the past 300 years – a mere “nanosecond” in the Cosmos’ 13.81 billion year history.  And with this exponential growth in understanding and experience over the past 300 years, imagine, if that were possible, where will be we be in another 300 years? 1,000 years? 10,000 years? If the pace of evolution of consciousness, science, and technology continues to explode exponentially, how can the best of us in the fields of consciousness, science, and technology begin to even imagine the world not of 2020 but of 12020?

And since even 10,000 years is but an insignificant “nanosecond” in the Cosmos’ history, where are those civilizations in the Cosmos that are not 10,000 years beyond us but 1,000,000 or 1,000,000,000 years beyond where we are in 2013? Or are we alone in the Universe and, in fact, are thus at “the leading edge” of evolution in the Cosmos?

And what over time will we discover about the nature of what we humbly call “Dark Energy” (68% of the Cosmos) or “Dark Matter” (27% of the Cosmos) (vs. the “Ordinary Matter” that we experience in galaxies, stars, molecules, atoms, and quarks – all totaling but 5% of the Cosmos)? And remember that 50 or 100 years ago we knew none of this strange world of “Dark Energy and Matter” that we now hold as representing 95% of “what is” in the Cosmos.

Oh, and what about the top space story of 2012 – the discovery of the long-sought-after Higgs boson particle? One scientific article asked whether the discovery of the Higgs boson using the Large Hadron Collider in Europe brought us to the end of what we can know about the Cosmos – the “final” piece of the particle puzzle – or rather merely to the door of still another chapter (or two or three or …) of what can be known about our world of “particles” “energy,” and  “phenomena” that comprise our Universe.

And what about what we call consciousness – we already admit there something very profound beyond “ordinary states of consciousness” that again we creatively call simply “non-ordinary states of consciousness.” What will reveal itself regarding what we name “consciousness” (ordinary and non-ordinary) over the next 10,000 years? Will there be “phenomena” beyond “consciousness” that we cannot even begin to imagine?

Yes, it would seem we are once again at a point in 2013 (as we were in 1913, 1813, etc.) where no matter the profoundness of what we discover we are left with an intuitive sense that there is an even greater profoundness of the Mystery of it all beyond what we have uncovered. We seem to be getting deeper in ignorance as we grow in knowledge. What we come to “know” is dwarfed by what at the same time we come to see that we do not “know.“ The Mystery expands faster than what we think we know expands!

A number of years ago I began asking why leaders in these fields of consciousness, science, and technology seem to assume that we on planet earth are the farthest evolved entities in our Cosmos’ 16+ billion year history. And why we would not expect to encounter “conscious” entities in the Cosmos far more evolved than we are.  Yet it seems we have not received any “signal” that we recognize from civilizations anywhere in the Cosmos whose science, technology, and level of consciousness are orders of magnitude beyond our own.

Or, as a student of Pathwork I have to ask, have we not? Where have the thousands of pages of channeled material that make up Pathwork come from if not from somewhere “Beyond”? But, of course, most students of consciousness, science, and technology simply dismiss such phenomena as “channeling” as even being possible, and even if possible, are convinced there will have to be a way we shall come to understand such phenomena as channeling in a scientific “ordinary” way, by which we mean? …  Suffice it to say that I resonate deeply with the Pathwork material, am comfortable with it, and see no reason not to accept it as Truth meant to inform my sojourn on earth.

But I will not dwell on Pathwork here. Rather, with the above reflections as background, I had to smile in reading the article Worlds Away From Here by Ross Douthat in today’s (April 21, 2013) New York Times. (Link to copy of article) (link to NYT article per se).  He noted that in a week filled with tragic news (including the Boston Marathon bombings) in this week there was also a report not so well publicized about two earth-like planets circling a star named Kepler 62, a star which is 1,200 light-years away. There may be water on these planets. If so, is there life on these two planets? If so, could the evolution of life on these planets be beyond that of our own by millions if not billions of years? And if so, why would we not have “heard” from them?  Or have we, and not recognized it?

Douthat then says that these questions about “not hearing from ‘out there’” were posed by the physicist Enrico Fermi over lunch with fellow physicists one day in 1950. These questions even have a name: the Fermi Paradox (open Wikipedia article)

I feel excitement in being affirmed in learning that the questions that I have wrestled with – these questions which I have finally and comfortably accepted as beyond my “merely and utterly human” capacity to Know, all part of the Great Mystery – actually have been asked before and even have a name!  I can hold this Unknowing in Mystery. AND at the same time I can feel myself informed by Pathwork in a way that nurtures my Soul.  Alas, I do not know why Pathwork feels so “right” for my soul, or why it has for at least this past decade of my life.

Shared in love, Gary