Something From Nothing (Recycled Thoughts)

I formerly had a Tumblr blog which I sporadically updated with bursts of thought followed by long lulls of nothing.  I'm in the process of consolidating some of the information I've got out there in so many forms.  Here's an old post, likely in a string of posts which I'll eventually upload here:

 

So, let's suppose it all began from nothing. An unfathomable explosion of material and energy. Expanding at an unimaginable rate. Let's just agree that magic occurred, just this once. Things cooled, coalesced, and expanded further and further apart. Cosmic dust formed stars, gravitational pull clumped elements together, things cooled, planets formed, and somewhere along the way the Earth came to be. To the best of our knowledge at the moment the universe it said to be 13.75 billion years old and the earth a mere 4.54 billion years old.

Then, about 3.8 billion years ago simple cells (prokaryotes) began to form. Suddenly we've got life on Earth. It took a while but about 2 billion years ago we end up with complex cells (eukaryotes). After another billion years we end up with multicellular life, 600 million years ago we jump to simple animals, 500 million years ago there were fish, 475 million years ago there were land plants. As you can see, this timeline seems to be increasing it's speed. The jumps and changes start occurring more frequently. At 400 million years ago there were insects and seeds, 300 million and we hit reptiles, 200 million and finally we've got mammals. At 150 million years ago there were birds and roughly the same time flowers. The dinosaurs dies out 65 million years ago. 2.5 million years ago our genus came to be. Then, only 200,000 years ago anatomically modern humans arose. Only 25,000 years ago Neanderthals disappeared.

If we look at these figures there definitely seems to be a pattern of acceleration. Now that we've agreed that a magical explosion created all that exists can we agree that there is a constant drive towards complexity? I for one am going to agree with that. And, as that complexity gets more complex (for lack of a better word) the speed at which it evolves continues to accelerate. The building blocks get more and more complicated and can then help to create that next even more complex block at an even faster rate. Makes sense doesn't it?

So, up until a certain point this creation/change/move towards complexity was all very unconscious. Even at its ever increasing pace it still took very long periods of time (by human standards) to make leaps from one point to another. Then there was a shift from unconscious creation to conscious creation.

At some point our minds made the leap that we could shape/change out surroundings to better our situation. This must have been monumental. For the better part of 4.5 billion years things progressed and moved forward without cognitive guidance. Then, if we are to use tools as the benchmark, about 2 to 2.5 million years ago the changing of elements to fit our needs came into being with certain Homo habilis specimens. There's no definite date or occurrence but at some point someone made the leap from just being a part of the process to actually influencing the process. From there the acceleration gets bizarre.

A shift occurred. From unconscious evolution through extreme lengths of time to consciously manipulating the world around. Is this what the drive toward complexity has been aiming at? And we are not the only species to be doing this, crows and primates are great examples but dolphins, elephants, octopus, and many others have been witnessed using tools and manipulating their environments. Perhaps we just got there first, there may be more on the way.

This, in its essence, is an act of creation. Changing your surroundings. Using the mind to figure out how to change those surroundings and think ahead to how this will benefit you. A rudimentary form of creation by our current standards but it was a major step to be sure. The first acts of creation were for the betterment of survival. Eventually we reached a point of comfort wherein creation could become a pastime. Be it the creation of myths in attempt to explain this wild ride, to cave painting, to adorning the body ... these all seem like acts of creation motivated by something else. Creation for the sake of creation rather than the sake of survival. I hypothesize that the act of creating is an integral part of what makes us “human”. Without it where would we be? In the grand scheme of things, from the prokaryotes of 3.8 billion years ago to our complex human brains I see a straight line aiming toward instilling the drive to create.

As the human brain has evolved even further we are no longer bound by the physical restraints of evolution. With the creation of language we've dissolved the synesthetic boundary. We can create images and sensations in others just by making sounds with our vocal chords. I can describe an event, an image, something you've never seen, and you can create a mental image based on my sounds. I can transfer what's in my brain directly into yours. I'm doing it right now with these words. Take a moment to digest what we take for granted most every moment of most every day. Language, both spoken and written, is awe inspiring when you really think about what's going on. We can transfer ideas to each other, there is no material here, just the transfer of information. But we can also take that information and create objects in the physical realm. Plucking objects from the ethos and manifesting them into this realm. If we look at what we're manifesting and the rate at which its complexity is increasing the whole concept seems limitless. In my short lifetime the changes that have occurred are mind boggling. With the advent of the internet we can now communicate and exchange ideas with most anyone in most any location. A hive of thought has been created and we're all plugging into it. The pace increases, the complexity accelerates. The acceleration gets compounded to the point where it almost seems instantaneous. As the growth curve moves ever towards vertical it will eventually verge on a point of singularity wherein as soon as it's thought it is manifested into physical reality.

And this is where I make an even greater leap. We, in our rudimentary human mind state have the ability to create all that is around us by beginning with a thought. A thought, which has no physical form and is essentially “nothing” somehow turns into a computer, a car, a building, all of which are astounding creations. Of course there are many steps between the thought and the final product but those steps get faster and the creations get crazier. So what are we doing here? Essentially we are creating “something” from “nothing”. Does this sound familiar? Kind of like what we describe as the beginnings of our universe? All that exists began as nothing at all and by some magical factor came into being. Could this magical factor be based on a thought and an act of creation? If we look at the pace in which our minds have evolved it's not as though that pace will slow or that the pinnacle has been reached. A lot of us like to think that the goal has been scored, it's done, we are the ultimate. We may be the top of the heap on Earth, but that's just at this instant in time, it's not as though 13.75 billion years of movement towards complexity had the end game set at 2012 the land of iPhones and internet porn.

So, would it be so preposterous to think that the end game of our ever evolving minds and mental capacity to manifest the immaterial into the material realm just might be the creation of universes? Why would it be unfathomable that this ever increasing complexity and ability to manipulate reality may not eventually reach a point of wherein creation gets so very grand as to bring into being other dimensions/universes/realms in which the thread of creation and complexity can then grow and move forward in a never ending fractal miasma of thought and love and creation? I'm not proposing that you or I have this capacity, but as the mind evolves, given enough time the possibilities are truly limitless.

There you have it, a thought experiment encompassing all that exists and all that may exist. No big deal, just figuring out the unexplainable here. Hope you've enjoyed the ride, like it or leave it, at least I got to put ideas directly from my mind into yours. Keep on creating in your own way, you might just be participating in the essential act of existence, or maybe not, but it's definitely fun to think about.

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