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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Through All and In All

Matter itself does not exist by its own right, as some brute fact unto itself, necessitating itself and sustaining itself, but rather it exists wholly by, in, and through a Mind. The stuff of this Mind seeds existence and enables, vitalizes, infuses the material world with the ability to be and to unfold as the glorious rational universe that it is. The space the universe inhabits is not its own nor did it somehow self-actualize, but is in and through God’s being. That is why matter possesses the properties of consciousness. Human being as well as other living things grew out of the universe because matter is infused with the Logos of God, who is the life and the light. 

Matter cannot be so magical as to somehow make necessary its own existence, and then endow upon itself the ability to possess consciousness. Matter is necessitated and sustained by a transcendent and necessary Mind and this Mind is timeless and eternal, a fact unto itself in a way that we cannot comprehend.

John 1:3-4 says of this Mind, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” This property of consciousness within matter has as its Source the same Source from and through which matter itself exists. 

This Source is that ultimate necessity which possibilizes existence: God. 

Paul the apostle states this same concept when he writes, “He is the One who is before all, and all things exist in Him” (Colossians 1:17) and “In Him we live, move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28) and "From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen" (Romans 11:36). The same life that permeates existence allowing it to be, is the life that is the light of consciousness shining forth in the human mind, bringing to life the material human body with breath and identity. He is through all and in all.

Even though we must conclude that the existence of matter is through something transcendent, this fact however is not immediately apparent. The reason it is not immediately apparent is simply because matter is immediately available to our senses and therefore does not fit our definition of transcendent. That is, we see and touch matter, we study its regular patterns, and we call these regularities laws, and we call the study of these laws science.

Nothing “transcendent” about that, right?

But just because matter is seen, touched, and shown to behave according to regular patterns, does not explain why it has being, or how it continues to be, or why it behaves in regular patterns, or why these laws continue to exist. Just because the material world is perceived and we are use to that fact does not make its existence necessary. The existence of the laws which matter follows is not necessary in and of itself either. A little closer look at the quantum nature of matter, as well as a few existential ponderings, and we begin to see the transcendent nature of all things, including matter.

To the atheist who believes that science is the be-all-end-all, allow me to say that science is simply the study of the regularities of matter. We call these regularities “laws”. Are these laws somehow compelled to exist in and of themselves? Are we to accept these laws as ultimate, brute facts with no reason for existing other than that they just do? Again the question is asked, “Who created these laws?” Professor of philosopher Richard Swiburne does a brilliant job uncovering the truth about “laws of nature”, that they are a mystery just like everything else, and must arise out of some ultimate substance.

“What is a law of nature? To say that it is a law of nature that all bodies behave in a certain way is, I suggest, just to say that each body of physical necessity behaves in that way. And it is simpler to suppose that this uniformity arises from the action of one substance which causes them all to behave in the same way, rather than to suppose that all bodies behaving in the same uniform way is an ultimate brute fact.” - Richard Swinburne, “Design Defended,” Think (Spring 2004): 14

In other words, the fact that there are laws of nature does not explain anything except that there are laws of nature. The only thing this leads to is the question, “Why are there laws of nature and where do they come from?”

As Oxford philosopher John Foster says, “We shall be rationally warranted in concluding that it is God-the God of the theistic account-who creates the laws by imposing the regularities on the world as regularities.” - John Foster, The Divine Lawmaker: Lectures on Induction, Laws of Nature and the Existence of God (Oxford: Clarendon, 2004), 160

Matter is not necessary unto itself. Matter has as its nature some transcendent, enabling factor. Though this is not immediately obvious because matter is so commonly perceived, it is nonetheless the logical conclusion.

However, consciousness is not so regular. Consciousness is spontaneous, possessing personal awareness, individual will, and subjective feelings and thoughts. For consciousness, it is more immediately obvious than matter that it is has as its source some transcendent factor. The same transcendent conscious Mind that matter exists through is what allows matter to possess the mysterious and spiritual properties of consciousness.

When I use the word transcendent, I mean something that is of a higher realm then we are capable of comprehending. I mean a reality that cannot be explained but can only be accepted as having its essence in the ineffable and eternal.

The properties for life, consciousness, and rationality are engrained in the material universe, not because matter is the ultimate fact of existence, but because life, consciousness, and rationality is the ultimate fact of existence, the life, consciousness, and rationality of God.

The universe comes forth from transcendent life, consciousness, and rationality. The universe, everywhere, is growing out of the truth of existence, which is God. Life, consciousness, and rationality is a truth to the very essence of existence, because it is the traits of God, and that is why the universe unfolded towards the same, and life and consciousness and rational beings blossomed out of this “matter”.
Material existence therefore proceeds out of a superior rational conscious Being, and thus rational consciousness inevitably is infused through the universe, being an expression of this eternal rational conscious Being.

“How is it that, with so many other apparent options, we are in a universe that possesses just that peculiar nexus of properties that breeds life? It has occurred to me lately - I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities - that both questions might be brought into some degree of congruence. This is with the assumption that Mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality- that the stuff of which physical reality is composed is mind-stuff. It is Mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life, and so eventually evolves creatures that know and create: science, art, and technology-making creatures.” -George Wald, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology, and former atheist, 1984, “Life and Mind in the Universe”, International Journal of Quantum Chemistry: Quantum Biology Symposium 11, 1984: 1-15.

Sensibleness and rationality in humans perception of the universe is part of this infusion of the transcendent Rationality through reality. For sensible mathematics to simply just exist, unconscious of how or why they exist, with no preceding Being which gave them their ability for sensibleness, would plainly contradict any type of logical scenario.

Not only can a brute, unconscious universe not endow consciousness upon itself, neither can it endow upon itself rationality.

The concepts of order and sensibleness could not have unconsciously and coincidentally jumped into existence mindlessly becoming a truth in and of themselves, with rationality and thus meaning in conscious beings being the outcome. There is no reason these concepts should have the ability of existing through brute matter without some sort of superior rational Being enabling them. The concepts of sensibleness, order, and rationality reflect a higher order, which is the Source of the universe’s reflection of the same.

This superior rational Being expresses itself through creation, and therefore existence is infused with His eternal nature of meaning and truth, inevitably causing reality to manifest consciousness and rationality and meaning. As discussed previously, matter possesses deep within it the properties of life, consciousness, and rationality. And this is simply because the primal energy which makes up matter comes forth from God, therefore naturally has within it the living expression of God.

The property of consciousness within matter is of course the life of God, infused into all things, who all things exist through, who is the fuel of existence, the life-blood running through its veins, the ability for something to be, and who’s life breathes through matter to allow living beings to come forth. In the following, Albert Einstein, through numerous quotes of his, does a good job relating the mystery of the rationality shining through the universe.

“I have never found a better expression than ‘religious’ for this trust in the rational nature of reality and of it peculiar accessibility to the human mind. Where this trust is lacking science degenerates into uninspired empiricism.” – Albert Einstein 

“But whoever has undergone the intense experience of successful advances made in this domain, is moved by the profound reverence for the rationality made manifest in existence… the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence.” – Albert Einstein 

“Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality and intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order. The firm belief, which is bound up with deep feeling, in a superior mind revealing himself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God.” - Albert Einstein 

“Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.” – Albert Einstein 

“My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God." - Albert Einstein 

Forget the gap of billions of years between the big bang and the development of human being. Billions of years doesn't do the magic trick. Time is not the hero. Time is part of the miracles of all things. No matter the long time frame, the idea that nothing (or compressed hydrogen; whatever you are convinced was there before the big bang) would morph into intelligent consciousness that perceives existence (human being), is infinitely strange and impossible. This is obvious and yet a joyous revelation of the all-pervasive and divine purpose of the universe and our existence. It is all a grand miracle endowed by a great Being. There is a purpose. Existence itself is a manifestation of that purpose. You are the carrier of this existential purpose, within your own breast, and are propelled forth by it day in and day out. This purpose that is manifested through our universe is actualized by a Being who purposes. GOD forever, amen.