Let us play a little mind game. Let’s travel back in time to England in the year 1545. Let’s make you a successful and important person – you are a member of the court of King Henry VIII – you are well-respected and well-informed, and people seek your opinion on worldly matters.
One day a courier arrives at court with the news that a book written by Nicolaus Copernicus says that the earth is not at the center of the world but somehow spins around the sun. Ridiculous, you think. Who will believe this? Hang the heretic, or better yet torture him until he recants. And you at this time are not an ignorant person, you are just convinced that this idea is nonsense. Who can blame you?
Consider the shift in consciousness that this bizarre information required. The brightest minds on earth had thought that all the planets and stars revolved around us. Day was day, and night was night. The stars were above in the heavens, and the sun rose in the east and set in the west, and the moon came on after darkness, and there was order in the world.
We have only traveled less than 500 years back. Let’s jump back 500,000 years: what do we see? Rough life, harsh conditions. Now let’s jump forward the same amount of years. This entire expanse and more is our mental canvas, the evolutionary information contained in our genes.
It took 13.8 billion years for the universe to evolve from the moment of the big bang to the present moment of you reading this sentence. But the potential – the promise and the premise – of this moment existed right there at the moment of the big bang. Between the reality of the big bang and the reality of you reading these words there are 13.8 billion years of chemical, physical, and biological processes; of planetary alignments; of temperature adjustments; and ongoing shifts of consciousness.
These two images in time – of the past “dark void” of the beginning of the universe and the present “ordered” world – are separated by billions of years of evolution. We have gone back 13.8 billion years. Let’s now go forward that same distance. What can we see? It is safe to say that none of us can accurately predict that future world from our present station. This simple admission underscores the fact that the world we are observing today is not fixed and final, evolution keeps happening all the time, all matter – including you and me – is in constant flux.
The future is not the past. Time does not stop, nor does “Life”, the process of mutation, adaptation, transformation, and renewal. Existence consists of metabolism, i.e. breakdown of substance, absorption, conversion, assimilation, and fresh beginnings. This is the activity taking place in your body right at this moment, and right below the surface of every other object.
Each thing that any of us can do, every one of us is capable of doing in potentia. We are individual manifestations of the cosmic whole – the consciousness permeating the universe. Our personalities consist of the same ingredients in different proportions. Some of us have more courage, or more mathematical skills, or better physical ability as part of our inherited makeup, but we all have all those components in varying degrees. By focusing our attention on a particular capacity, we can enhance it and multiply it. When a new ability is added to the shared vocabulary of human existence, that potential becomes available to every member of the species.
New cosmology shows us that we are a product of exploding stars. We are made of star dust. The carbon in our body could not be created in the universe by any other means than through the collapse and explosion of a star. We are a further incarnation of a star. Stars go through the cycle of birth and death to allow the birth of humans. We are embedded in this evolutionary process: science calls this Self Organizing Dynamics, spiritual traditions call this The Source, and religion calls this God.
You are a culmination of everything that came before you,
and in you there is a promise of everything that will come.