This conversation thread is a continuation from Magic Continued 2, which ended with this comment:
Rod MacKinnon Hi Gary R. Smith...Michael F. …. I’ve been thinking about one of your conversations wherein you, Michael, talked about two comparative examples, one of intentional design…a house being built to a planned blueprint and another of accidental outcomes, that of a cave being formed by a river flowing to the sea.
Thinking about the nature of IT (Intangible /Tangible-All-That-Is), from observation, IT appears to have a passion for constant, spontaneous, innovation within defined parameters. This description can also be applied to artists, musicians, performers…. anyone who creates within their art form, purely for the sake of doing it. In the creation of an artwork there’s a relationship occurring between the artist and the artwork. An accomplished jazz player, improvising, plays as a spontaneous response to the sound as it is being created… art, artwork and artist are a gestalt, a unified integrated entity……self-creating….there’s no separation… and the “design” isn’t rigid…it’s a conscious, intelligent, spontaneous response to itself…. Perhaps IT is of a similar nature…
Michael F. Which is more magical? A painting created by a person, or a painting that created itself, containing us?
Rod MacKinnon Both...
Michael F. I don't quite understand your concept of IT, but going by context, you seem to be discussing a creator working to develop his creation.
While I can't prove that such a creator does not exist, there is nothing I see that tells me that one is necessary. On the face of it, everything up until the creation of consciousness was a fairly mechanical unfolding.
While some galaxies my LOOK beautiful in Hubble photos, they are no more designed than the sheen on a gasoline-streaked puddle or a spectacular sunset. There is no painter in the sky arranging the clouds and choosing the colors of a sunset. They are "accidents" to do largely with the amount of dirt in the atmosphere.
Even consciousness emerged from accident. (like colony or swarm behavior emerges from a bunch of ants and bees)
However, once consciousness DID eventually emerge - after 14 billion years - the ability for self-reflection emerged.
And now there ARE painters - US - who can create art in the way that you describe. And because we ARE part of the universe - the universe is now creating itself. First, it understands itself (through us), and then it creates, consciously, through us.
"And God saw that it was good"
- We are that God. We are the ones who add meaning to the accident - we are the ones who see that it is good. A dirty atmosphere that absorbs high-frequency photons is just that - until a human looks at it and goes "WOW!". THERE is the magic.
When people walk past a bed of flowers on their way to work and don't notice it - then there is no meaning. When they get struck by the sheer implausible wonder of it all - then there is meaning.
Rod MacKinnon No... Language is such a blunt instrument.... I was really just making an observation that the "universe" appears to demonstrate characteristics of innovation, structure, spontaneity,.... etc...There isn't a separate "creator"...
The universe appears to me, a self-creating "intelligent/conscious" organism... to quote..."A painting creating itself"...not with any defined intention... simply responding to/with itself...because it can... as with any event..."it is what it is, then we add meaning"....
Gary R Smith Michael wrote, 'On the face of it, everything up until the creation of consciousness was a fairly mechanical unfolding.'
What is the significance of whether 'everything was a fairly mechanical unfolding up until the creation of consciousness' or consciousness 'was' before everything unfolded?
Either way, I experience consciousness as inherent within energy/matter Now.
M. - 'Even consciousness emerged from accident. (like colony or swarm behavior emerges from a bunch of ants and bees)'
G. - Do you know that it was by accident that colony or swarm behavior emerged from a bunch of ants and bees? How do you come to that certainty? Are there possibilities other than accident which could explain the emergence of the behavior?
M. - 'However, once consciousness DID eventually emerge - after 14 billion years - the ability for self-reflection emerged.'
G. - I can allow for the emergence of consciousness from random events as one possibility and for the self-existence of consciousness before the beginning of the material multi-verse as another. I like the concept of the Unmoved Mover moving, while recognizing it is a concept.
So also is the emergence of consciousness from random events a concept, and it does not make a difference to me which is a more accurate representation. Whether or not there was a grand designer before the beginning, there is one now, and it is 'us' when we include ourselves in the 'all that is.' The grand designer is what I am within.
M. - We are that God. We are the ones who add meaning to the accident - we are the ones who see that it is good. A dirty atmosphere that absorbs high-frequency photons is just that - until a human looks at it and goes "WOW!". THERE is the magic.
G. - Yes, we are sentient observers interacting with waves of probability. We are that God, just as the ants and the bees are that God. Human beings have some particular characteristics and capabilities which seem to set us apart, such as individuated consciousness, self awareness and self will, and I feel that whether this is by design or accident, it is to be explored with humility and reverence.
As Rod wrote, 'The universe appears to me, a self-creating "intelligent/conscious" organism... not with any defined intention... simply responding to/with itself...because it can... as with any event..."it is what it is, then we add meaning".... which you, Michael, interpreted as 'discussing a creator working to develop his creation.'
I have no difficulty adjusting my ideas to be compatible with those of both of you, which seem compatible with each other. Whatever was, consciousness is Now, and inherent in energy/matter. The grand designer and the grand design cannot be separated. Earlier on my spiritual journey, I often wrote and said, 'We are One Being,' and although this was met with little enthusiasm from others, it still has meaning to me. Aware of this, I have a greater responsibility to myself and the 'other' to live in cooperation and harmony with the whole of existence.