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Excerpt from "The Intelligence of the Cosmos"

Part One: Perennial Questions--and A New Answer

by Ervin Laszlo


Chapter 3 

A New Answer 

Einstein remarked that there are two ways to live one’s life: as if everything is a miracle, or as if nothing is. For the outdated and yet in many quarters still upheld materialist paradigm, the world is a giant mechanism functioning in accordance with in part already known and in part not yet known but in principle knowable laws. When we discover these laws the world is no longer a miracle, and nothing is a miracle in the world. 

The new concept emerging at the frontiers of science offers a different view. The world is interconnected and whole, and it is in-formed by a cosmic intelligence. This is not a finite, mechanistic-material world; it is a consciousness-infused whole-system world. And this world is evolving in a discernable direction, both in regard to the systems it calls forth, and in regard to the consciousness that appears in association with the systems--and also beyond them. 

Who are we, then, denizens of this consciousness-infused quasi-miraculous world, and why are we here?

Why We Are Here 

Let us turn now to the paramount question: the purpose of our existence. The answer that emerges, although on first sight speculative, has an empirical foundation: it is grounded on the observed direction of evolution in the universe. Let us summarize the key findings. 

There are two processes of evolution unfolding in the world: the evolution of natural entities such as quantum particles building into coherent systems, and the evolution of consciousness. We observe the evolution of coherent systems, and we experience the evolution of consciousness. The systems evolve toward embracing intrinsic as well as extrinsic coherence and become more and more complex in the process. The evolution of consciousness, in turn, is oriented toward the mindset that characterizes mature and ethical individuals. It is hallmarked by empathy and compassion, embracing oneness, and unconditional love. 

These are simultaneously unfolding processes, and they are not separate: they occur in the same space-time domain of the cosmos: our universe. The purpose of evolution in this domain, it appears, is to achieve coherence in natural systems, and, embracing empathy, oneness and love in consciousness. 

Let us now essay an answer to the question concerning the purpose of existence--of our existence and of all existence. We, as other coherent natural systems, are clusters of vibration in the Akashic sub-quantum field. We are in the universe, but the intelligence that in-forms us is not in the universe: it is beyond it. The same as the laws of nature, the intelligence of the cosmos acts on things in the universe, but is not part of the things on which it acts. 

The intelligence of the cosmos is beyond the space-time domain called universe. The universe is in-formed by the cosmic intelligence, but nothing that takes place in the universe affects that intelligence. The latter in-forms the universe, but is not in-formed by the universe. 

We humans, as all things in the universe, are in-formed by the intelligence of the cosmos. Through our consciousness we receive the intelligence of the cosmos, and through our brain and body we transmit it into space and time. This, it appears, is the purpose of our existence. 

We are here to transmit the intelligence of the cosmos into space and time. 

But what is the purpose of this purpose--why are we here to transmit the intelligence of the cosmos into the universe? This is a seemingly esoteric, metaphysical question, but it has a seasoned, empirically-based answer. We can discover it by this train of thought. 

The purpose of an evolutionary process, as we said, is disclosed by the direction displayed by that process. And the evolutionary process, we noted, displays a twofold direction: toward coherence in the evolution of natural systems, and embracing oneness and love in the evolution of consciousness. These goal-states define what we can see as the purpose of the processes of evolution. 

However, these goal-states do not have equal status in the deeper reality of the cosmos. The evolution of coherence in natural systems is not and cannot be an ultimate goal-state for the simple reason that natural systems cannot exist infinitely in the cosmos. Such systems arise and evolve in the universe, but the universe is a temporary presence in the cosmos. It arose in the cosmic singularity we call Big Bang as particulate entities were created, with specific spatial and temporal relations. They introduced space and time in the seamless wholeness of the field that is the primordial reality and basic ground-state of the cosmos. The particles--and the atoms, molecules, and multi-molecular systems formed by the particles--are as many ripples produced by the excitation of the ground-state, which then becomes the Akashic sub-quantum field in the universe. The ripples evolve, take on structure and complexity, and create the world we inhabit. But they are not permanent--physical cosmology tells us that sooner or later they fall back into the cosmic ground-state. 

The universe is known to be finite in time, but just how it comes to an end is not definitively known. The possibilities are described in various cosmological scenarios. The end may be the “Big Crunch” Stephen Hawking described as the final evaporation of galactic-size black holes, constituting the vanishing of stripped hydrogen nuclei, the super-compacted remnants of matter in the universe. The end could also the Big Freeze, an infinite expansion of space, creating infinite distances and temperatures below the threshold of irreversible processes. And even if the universe remains balanced at the razor’s edge between expansion and contraction, the systems that arose in it will still break down and vanish, since the hydrogen nuclei required for the formation of stars is in finite supply, and when that supply is exhausted, no further stars can form.

Ervin Laszlo is a philosopher, systems scientist, and winner of the 2017 Luxembourg Peace Prize. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, he has published more than 75 books and over 400 articles and research papers. The subject of the one-hour PBS special Life of a Modern-Day Genius, Laszlo is the founder and president of the international think tank the Club of Budapest and of the prestigious Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research. He lives in Tuscany. http://ervinlaszlo.com/


The Intelligence of the Cosmos by Ervin Laszlo, foreword by Jane Goodall, afterword by James O’Dea © 2017 Inner Traditions. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

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