Everything Makes Sense: A Close-Notice of Life and Consciousness

Everything Makes Sense: A Close-Notice of Life and Consciousness

By Tim Garvin (www.o-books.com)

The Universe and Divinity in Everything Makes Sense

Everything Makes Sense opens its exploration of existence by proposing two thought-primitives—meaning and desire—as the base-most constituents in every moment of consciousness. The discussion elaborates the consciousness-unconsciousness junction, explores the puzzle of free will, considers the complementary philosophies of physicalism and neo-Darwinism, and finally, after careful and wide-ranging thought, arrives at its central conjecture—a universal intelligence produced, and is producing, the cosmos, now and now and now.

This conjecture is vaguely central to all religions, but modern science has exposed religion’s simplicities. Yet since the province of religion and science is identical—the cosmos itself—opposition between these two fields has always been absurd. Everything Makes Sense exposes that absurdity and invites all sides, instead of sitting in opposition, to take their place at a table made round by wonder.

As the book proceeds, always in a conversational, offhand, and direct manner—sometimes with humor—the discussion considers the nature of knowing, the sizing of desire, the opposing stations of egotism and humility, and finally examines the base-most desire within all desire, namely, the restless longing for reconnection to the Being beneath and supporting all being. Eventually the work of two cartographers of the inner world, Aurobindo Ghose and Meher Baba, is introduced and noted as identical with each other, and also identical with the richest spiritual thinking throughout history. Their thinking is examined and elaborated and found to answer humanity’s most urgent questions and to provide as well a sturdy basis for further exploration. 

In 1925, in a small village in Maharashtra, India, Meher Baba wrote that God manifests creation through the Om point. A few years later, in 1927, Georges Lemaître, (1894-1966), a Belgian cosmologist, published the first scientific paper describing the origin of the universe as a singularity from which burst the numberless particles of the cosmos. As this view of the universe took hold in the universities, the steady state theory of the cosmos, held even by Einstein, was supplanted by this “Big Bang” hypothesis. In Meher Baba’s explanation, everything in the universe is a manifestation of the “imagination” of God who, as infinite intelligence, poured forth from the Om point not only the material universe, but also the worlds of energy and mind. The soul, which is God himself, incarnates again and again as stone, metal, plant, worm, fish, bird, animal, and finally as a human being. These incarnations (approximately 50 million of them) develop the soul’s subtle (energy) and mental bodies, which are carried from form to form as God peers ever more clearly through these evolving lenses of his creation. At the human stage, the development of consciousness/intelligence is complete, and the soul moves from experience to experience, from male to female and from king to beggar and back again many times, until finally the long grind of emptiness stirs within the soul an irresistible longing for Truth. And so begins the search.

The search may begin from the shock of loss, from deep thinking, sometimes even from simple intellectual curiosity. Eventually, as the process develops, it becomes clear that the work required is not intellectual and has little to do with the duties and strictures of religion. Instead, it is a peering within, a close-notice of the workings of the mind and heart, to discover a larger and more integrated self—and eventually the divine Self within all.

Aurobindo notes that there are four aids in this process, namely knowledge, effort, time, and the master. Knowledge is the insight received from looking within. Effort is produced by the urge for Truth. Time is being incarnate in form. And the master is the inner presence of God, spoken of by Jesus as the Comforter and by the Sufis as the Guest.  According to Meher Baba, this Comforter and Guest is nothing but the Avatar, the first soul through creation whose duty is and will always be to confer divine love on each soul that has ripened in longing. Recognition of this Avatar is valuable for the seeker because it establishes the right view (the first part of Buddha’s eightfold path) and also because the universe is a vast system of links in the universal mind. (The linkiness of the universe—and of intelligence itself—is why we can give each other hints: what’s that long-necked animal that lives in Africa?) Through our linkage to the final purity of God,  we are gradually consumed in the divine flame and made free in the realization of divinity. Which is the goal of creation.

Yet Everything Makes Sense is not a petition for belief. Instead it is an openhanded examination of the basis of intelligence and consciousness. Its supposition about the nature of existence, that divinity underlies everything, is reached only after careful consideration, and rejection, of alternatives.

Of the numerous discussions in Everything Makes Sense, the elaboration of nature of free will is particularly important. Freedom seems undeniable—I can blink if I want to—and yet as physicalism has come to dominate the modern scientific mind, concluding that existence is best understood as a swarm of particles obedient to hidden laws, it has become ever more difficult to credit humankind with freedom. Yet Everything Makes Sense does not rescue freedom. In fact, the book offers a simple thought experience to confirm that freedom is an illusion: chocolate or vanilla? I’ll take chocolate. Why? I like it better than vanilla. Did you choose to like it better? Ah!

Every choice is impelled by desire and is, however delayed by a considering hesitation, merely a sounding for preference as decision clarifies. The strongest desire always prevails. Still, Everything Makes Sense makes it clear that our freedom-feeling, however illusory, is required for living naturally. As the book puts it, “there are no fatalist pedestrians in heavy traffic.”

But if the laws that order our societies, as well as all blame and guilt, are founded on the ontological error that the past, if only we had willed more properly, could have been different and better, how to hold scoundrels and ourselves accountable? This puzzle strands us in an unsolvable dilemma—until we realize that there is an undiscovered, but discoverable, inner terrain that makes entire and comfortable sense of our no-freedom fix. When we come to understand and finally to feel that we are held in the invisible palm of divinity, that the swirl of particles and thought within and without us is that divinity, and more, that that divinity is in fact the same soul in all, then we have entered the path and are on our way home. We find that path first through need, through longing for truth, and next, and more and more, through love for the One.

Here’s a final, entertaining, and consoling thought. Does recognizing the divinity of the universe invoke God’s forgiveness? It does not, because God, the Being within us, without us, and identical to us, has never blamed us. Recognizing God does, though, eventually awaken love.

The remainder of the book elaborates the consequences of these hard-won insights and considers, among other topics, the notion of fate, the difference between morality and good and bad, politics, psychedelics, the occult, and the change in consciousness currently overtaking the earth. As trickles of new awareness gather into streams, and science bends itself to a waiting field of exploration, the inner world Everything Makes Sense describes will likely become evident to instrumentation. When this occurs, mankind will have developed a new science in which the aims of prosperity and of human valuing are identical.

Carl Jung remarked that the neurosis of his patients usually dissipated when they discovered a good reason for living. Everything Makes Sense is an effort to provide that reason.

Everything Makes Sense: A Close-Notice of Life and Consciousness by Tim Garvin is available from www.o-books.com or from wherever books are sold.

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