Let us become conscious of infinity

Humanity is only half conscious, because conscious only of finity. Collectively we are unconscious. Surely, we are in the process of birth into consciousness, together, of infinity.

Now.  Humanity is conscious of itself, himself, herself. Self-conscious. Even that is a marvel,  the “phenomenon” which distinguishes our species.

But, within that -we are generally conscious only of finity. (Death is certain, our ego will cease). Ego does NOT want to be conscious of infinity. (Have you ever experienced the terror of existential angst?)

Yet, in glimpses – “through a glass darkly” – I (and thus surely many of us) have been conscious of infinity as pure love. “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well” according to Eliot. I wish for each and all of us that we die to sorrow and are born to joy. Infinity as the “word existing beyond time” as the Book of Common Prayer has it, or the release from the cycle of birth and death as Buddhists and Hindus express it.

Now, being conscious only of finity we are still trapped in the cycle of death and birth. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin describes an approaching Omega Point as a supreme consciousness. Then, being conscious of infinity, we will have arrived. Together.

Here is an extract from the Wikipedia entry on “The Phenomenon of Man” by Teilhard de Chardin. The book is wonderful – floridly French and yet scientifically profound. If you have time it really repays to consider it together with Harari’s “Homo Deus”. We should welcome Artificial Intelligence but struggle to keep learning and knowledge in our common, societal hands….

“Teilhard views evolution as a process that leads to increasing complexity. From the cell to the thinking animal, a process of psychical concentration leads to greater consciousness. The emergence of Homo sapiens marks the beginning of a new age, as the power acquired by consciousness to turn in upon itself raises mankind to a new sphere. Borrowing Huxley’s expression, Teilhard describes humankind as evolution becoming conscious of itself.
In Teilhard’s conception of the evolution of the species, a collective identity begins to develop as trade and the transmission of ideas increases Knowledge accumulates and is transmitted in increasing levels of depth and complexity. This leads to a further augmentation of consciousness and the emergence of a thinking layer that envelops the earth.Teilhard calls the new membrane the “noosphere” (from the Greek “nous”, meaning mind), a term first coined by Vladimir Vernadsky. The noosphere is the collective consciousness of humanity, the networks of thought and emotion in which all are immersed.
The development of science and technology causes an expansion of the human sphere of influence, allowing a person to be simultaneously present in every corner of the world. Teilhard argues that humanity has thus become cosmopolitan, stretching a single organized membrane over the Earth. Teilhard describes the process by which this happens as a “gigantic psychobiological operation, a sort of mega-synthesis, the “super-arrangement” to which all the thinking elements of the earth find themselves today individually and collectively subject”. The rapid expansion of the noosphere requires a new domain of psychical expansion, which “is staring us in the face if we would only raise our heads to look at it”.
In Teilhard’s view, evolution will culminate in the Omega Point, a sort of supreme consciousness. Layers of consciousness will converge in Omega, fusing and consuming them in itself. The concentration of a conscious universe will reassemble in itself all consciousnesses as well as all that we are conscious of. Teilhard emphasizes that each individual facet of consciousness will remain conscious of itself at the end of the process.”

The Wren – John Clare

Why is the cuckoo’s melody preferred

And rich nightingale’s rich song so fondly praised

In poet’s rhymes? Is there no other bird

Of nature’s minstrelsy that oft hath raised

One’s heart to ecstasy and mirth as well?

I judge not how another’s taste is caught – 

With mine there’s other birds that bear the bell,

Whose song hath crowds of happy memories brought,

Such the wood robin singing in the dell

And little wren that many a time hath sought

Shelter from showers in huts where I did dwell

In early spring, the tenant of the plain

Tenting my sheep, and still they come to tell

The happy stories of the past again.

Scotland is..

… an idea, a dream and a gift. Outgoing, passionate, vibrant, edgy, generous, educated, intellectual, yeasty.

What loss to the world if this were once again to be bound to the rock of jingoism and re-contained in the economics of a small land, with a declining and ageing population on the rainy margins of Europe.

Scotland – independent?

.. its not my preference, but if the majority will it – fair enough. First though – we need to fix the economy. Or we’ll be seriously poor.

Scotland has 7.2% negative GDP, and getting worse. And we spend 20% more than revenue on a cash basis.. And getting worse. This, despite middle class Scots families paying £1500 more tax than English. The books balance because of the UK block grant and the skewed Barnet formula.

How about we build new revenues. Before we kick the UK in the teeth?

Join the EU? They wouldn’t have us. Can we please get real. How long can the SNP keep blaming everyone else, rather than getting on with good government?

Sunday Times Scotland Edition 9th February 2020