A few weeks ago, a dear brother and exceptional scientist who recently completed a long and fruitful academic career in astrophysics, presented me with a small book he wrote, which is the distillate of his personal life experience.
I knew that I could expect only the best from such a man, so I paid the proper attention to his book. However, I could not help but notice that all the poems and texts included, were permeated by an intense melancholy and sometimes pessimism, with regard to the life that slips through our fingers and is lost forever.
I expect you to agree that on a personal level, there is nothing to assure us that the all-powerful Third Law of Thermodynamics is not happily at work, in every aspect of our lives. Time passes like a turbulent stream, slowly eroding all we fought for, negating all our dreams and plans, undermining the foundations of everything we have created. Like a sadistic god, it happily reminds us that there is nothing that cannot be destroyed due to a number of unforeseen factors.
The consequences of this unrest and erosion are visible, wherever we turn our gaze. War, misery, poverty, sickness, economic breakdown of whole countries, moral crisis, inability to adapt to an ever-changing environment, ecological crisis, and so on, and so on... Sometimes it makes us wonder whether it is wise to bring new people to life, with the purpose to hand down to them a life that will be subject to thousands of indeterminable factors, all hostile to their very existence.
However, if we were ever able to travel in outer space, we would be blessed to witness our lonely planet from a distance. We could see a beautiful, tranquil sphere floating in the hostile void that surrounds it. In this sphere, for the last 2.5 billion years, there is an ongoing process that can only be perceived as the ultimate insolence against that powerful Third Law. It is called “Life”.
Just by realizing the indescribable wonder happening around us, we should probably question ourselves whether Man is indeed the Measure of All Things. Agreed, as intelligent beings, we have the capacity to perform complicated mental processes which induce a sense of awe for the things we experience. However, have you ever wondered what do we really experience? If you ask ten different persons who have witnessed the picture of the lonely Earth, to describe their feelings and perceptions, you shall receive ten different answers, some of which will be extremely eloquent and deep, while others will be plain stupid.
Is it possible, therefore, that our pessimistic perception for the Third Law, or, as some people call it, “Murphy's Law” cannot escape the limited boundaries of our individuality? Is it possible that we are incapable of fully appreciating the unbelievable wonder of Creation that commenced so many billions of years ago, and of which we, as humans, are parts only during the very last, infinitesimally small period? Finally, do we really believe that we are the high point of that magnificent Creation? To believe such a thing is nothing but a Hubris, as it is perceived in the ancient Greek tragedies.
We are plain constituent items of a huge ecosystem, which, like a newborn baby, is constantly developing. In truth, this baby is immortal, having the capacity to change, to adapt, to assimilate new mechanisms of survival and to reject all those cancer cells that could threaten its existence. Therefore, can we really expect from the Divine Intervention to take care of each one of us, any more than we can take care of each individual cell in our body?
I realize that my position may sound tough, even inhuman. Such a view puts us in a very inconsequential spot within the Universe and makes us feel subject to uncontrollable forces ready to crush us without a warning. How can we have any control to any of the things, destined to come?
The choices presented to us are not limitless. We can either feel miserable with all these thoughts, or consider the true meaning of the ancient myth of Prometheus. This semi-divine personification of the evolutionary process underlines the fact that the human race, in the course of its biological development, received an infinitesimally small piece of the Divine Spark, a tiny fraction of the Mind behind all these billions of years of the magically audacious expression of Life. This small defining element helped us break free from the eternal Predator-Prey circle of life, which defines all other living creatures, and take our fate in our own hands. To put it simply, our gift was that we became “cells” of the brain of this “organism” and not of the sphincter (however useful that may also be).
As such “cells”, in our entirety, we hold a huge capacity to create an Intelligence whose powers could be infinitely larger than those of its constituent parts. Each one of us may not be a god, however, our combined capacities may approach to a far greater degree the Divine nature, pretty much like a bunch of mindless neurons that constitute our brain.
In a previous article of this humble blog, I had beaten you to oblivion with the notion of the Collective Soul of the Masonic Ritual. That is the collective spiritual and mental unification of a number of Brothers who convene together under a team process we call our “Ritual”, by “descending to the depth of our conscience, observing the Natural Phenomena and adapting to the Universal Rhythm”. Should the same mechanism be applied on a global scale, it would be capable of altering Reality as we perceive it.
However, in order to bring such a mechanism into existence, it is imperative that certain “infrastructures” must precede our actions, such as interpersonal communication, information, personal development through a sound educational process and spiritual connection. It would be naïve to expect such levels of communication between a Harvard graduate and a poor outcast in Bangladesh.
However, even the largest planets in the universe were formed when 2 particles of dust stuck together, slowly attracting more and more particles, through gravity.
The only institution that guarantees the prerequisites for an egalitarian spiritual and mental connection between humans, without the intervention of political or religious dogmatism, is that of Freemasonry. The realization of these powers we may have, should make us take our participation, as well as the selection of new Brothers, very seriously, since the all-powerful Third Law has proven time and again that we cannot swim alone, against the current of the relentless Time.
I know that I ask too much, that I dream of our Brethren to be something much more than we have managed to make it, however, I hope you allow me, through these humble posts, to coarsely sketch the ideal Platonic Form, towards which we should strive.
Maybe, one day, we may achieve that....