Torii

The Darwinian Abyss and the Fullness of Life

Evolution is not ‘just a theory’. It’s a fact. There is an abundance of evidence for this. The fossil record, DNA research, rudimentary organs, the geographical distribution of species, the direct observation of the formation of new species, et cetera.

But biological evolution is not the only type of evolution. The universe, our galaxy, our solar system, our earth’s geology and human culture all have their evolution. Even in your own personal life there is an evolution. So evolution is a universal fact.

If we allow ourselves to see that evolution is a fact, that destroys a lot of human pretenses. Evolution shows that humans are basically biochemical machines that are the result of an unplanned event of nature that serves no other purpose than filling a niche in the ecological scheme. So the human species is not more valuable or special than any other species on earth.

There are world wars, serial killers, terrible diseases, siamese twins, stillborn children and brutal dictators, just to name a few dismaying observations of real life. So unsurprisingly, there are also many corrupt religious leaders and corrupt spiritual teachers. These facts all integrate seamlessly with the evolutionary view of the relativity of the human condition. But all world religions struggle with making these facts of life consistent with their teachings.

Human beings are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. We are a just tiny blip in the long history of the huge cosmos. Life has no meaning and no goal. Life is suffering and then you die. It is only logical that when you’re braindead, all faculties connected to the brain, like memory, perception, emotion and consciousness will perish. Everything and everyone you ever loved and everything you know will forever cease to exist for you personally.

I’m not being pessimistic. I’m being realistic. But I have a suggestion at this point. As we are looking down the precipice of the nihilistic Darwinian abyss, I suggest we do not get mesmerized by that side of reality, but I propose that we now make a 180 degree turnaround.

Having made this turnaround, we can look at the other side of reality with a clear, realistic mind. What do we see? The fullness of life. For a blind process, evolution has created an amazingly beautiful, profound universe and remarkably complex, intelligent life.

At the beginning of time our entire universe was packed into a point smaller than an atom. This means that everything that exists originally was one. This in turn means that in essence all things are one. If everyting is one, everything is fundamentally connected. In this sense, you are the universe. This is just as much a fact as what was mentioned earlier.

Einstein said that our sense of individual separation is an optical delusion of our personal consciousness and that to free oneself from this delusion and experience the mysterious is what stands at the cradle of true art and true science.

The fact that everything is one and connected, could well be interpreted as universal love and meaningfulness. But before we get all excited about this, make another 180 degree turnaround and look at the other, empty and meaningless side of reality again, which is just as real...