In Life On Man, microbiologist, Theodor Rosebury, describes the billions of bacteria inside and outside every human being. A healthy individual supports a bacterial ecosystem evolved over millennia, without which we couldn’t survive. Might we be to our Universe like those bacteria are to us?
In his novel, First and Last Men, Olaf Stapledon imagines a distant future when our Universe, near the end of its physical existence, hosts colonies of worms who possess group minds. These strive to unify into ever larger groups. In its final millennia, these last “men” unite until every mind is one, and in its final instant, reaches out, sees, and merges with the Mind of the Creator.
This entrancing idea is ancient. Mind transcends self-awareness and reason to include empathy and love; it engenders religions and gives purpose to lives simple and sainted. It tends to diminish evil, because souls consumed by selfishness and cruelty wink out like candle flames when the body dies. “The wages of sin is death.”
Prehistoric humans saw and worshipped Earth, sun, moon, and stars, they evolved civilizations, developed sciences, discovered that we live in a solar system within a galaxy within a universe, pondered the deep mystery of consciousness. An American quantum physicist, David Bohm, posits a link between sentience and matter. Others, contemplating space and time, postulate that we inhabit a great cosmic creature, a living sentient Universe.
These are rigorous scientists whose mathematical structures point to an evolution of universes as each gives birth to others via Black Holes that burst into other dimensions, and whose offspring inherit characteristics from the parent, like biological offspring. The mystery of consciousness would seem to extend to the universe itself.
Can humanity ever contact that mighty consciousness, exchange thoughts with it? Would a sentient Universe be closer to the Creator, or is it perhaps one more step up an infinite ladder reaching into, beyond and through, a Multiverse, that may itself be sentient, another link in a great chain of sentience on its infinite way to the Creator?
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