Home Forums Deep Time Journey Forum Is the universe a "living system"? Reply To: Is the universe a "living system"?

Karen Chaffee

Elisabet Sahtouris wrote:  ‘In fact, many western scientists, influenced by also studying eastern sciences and philosophies, as mentioned above, have come to the startling conclusion that life does not come from non-life, that intelligence is already inherent in “dumb mud” and that planets, as well as people and their brains, evolve within a limitless universal consciousness that gives rise to everything we know as our universe.’ 


    It is a very interesting idea that the universe has more going on than we suspect, and the above is a new paradigm for me.  I am not well read in any of this.  My only connection to the Deep Time community is Jennifer Morgan, her books and some seminars she gave, and I haven’t read the philosophers you and others have mentioned.  

 Which makes me hesitate to jump in with my theories, developed by me imprudently right here and now, but anyway:   The problem I see is the emphasis given to ‘life’ and ‘consciousness’. What if  life is _just not all that important_ compared to this ‘intelligence’ you see in the ‘not-so-dumb’ mud.   I think the reason we see ‘life’ and ‘consciousness’ as so important is because it is what we have and are.  We can’t imagine anything greater.  We’d like to see the universe as having what we know, so when we pass from this life, we join something that is the same as it has always been.   


  But right now ‘life’ is polymers that can replicate using material and energy from the surroundings and maybe also adapt to the environment and that’s just _not all the interesting_ compared to this idea of the universe and what it might be.  And consciousness might be just an illusion.  But the universe–it has this great _stuff_ we can’t even imagine.  


  So we don’t have to argue is a bacteria mechanism of adaption and reproduction, or so-called ‘life’ reducible to its components, because maybe it is the _components_ that have this truly interesting property you are trying to describe in the above quote.  And thus if it turns out the bacteria is reducible, it doesn’t change anything.  


  I mean, imagine a cat who thinks (if it can think) its true attribute as a cat is its athletic body that moves through its world and lets it have a sense of being a cat.  So to a cat, a universe should move through the world the same way.  To a bird, the universe should fly.  To a fish swim.  Because it can’t imagine anything else.  To some alien, it might be magnets, or smell, or who knows . 


  Maybe it is that we humans who are the most important thing, and we are conscious because the universe is conscious, and the universe developed us humans in its image.  I just don’t know; it would be nice and it is not all that implausible, but there is no evidence for it, except experiential evidence that Ed has mentioned.  (That I have never experienced, but that is another story!)  


  Now, as I said before, as for this interesting _stuff_ of the universe, if we do figure it out, our understanding, I feel, will come from the study of the small.  Just a gut feel.  And my feeling might stem from the fact that I am pretty well versed in chemistry and biology, but not so much in physics and math.    But still, I think we need to study the electron to have any type of understanding, and that is why I am studying it.


  (I don’t know why the above is bold type, but I can’t seem to change it! )