The Hub of Being – The Biology of Existence

The Biology of Existence

We sense the world to be real because we feel our bodies to be real, and vice versa. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

It seems natural to accept that reality constitutes what our senses provide us. We believe the observable to be true, even comprehensive. This naïve realism is foolhardy. The expanse of our perception is so miniscule that our experiences are merely a make-believe movie compared to the vastness of Nature.

Other organisms – animals, plants, microbes, et cetera – experience completely different worlds. Like us, they are confined to their sensory apparatus as a basis to constructing mental worlds. Their empires of existence may be so alien to us as to constitute a different universe, but those realms are no less ‘real’.

According to quantum mechanics, what we can observe about the world is only a tiny subset of what actually exists. ~ Sean Carroll

Actuality appears as a set of spatial scales. Through microscopes, telescopes, and mathematical projections, we can conceptualize vistas which we cannot directly observe, such as the dynamics that transpire at the quantum and cosmological levels.

The world looks classical because the complex interactions that an object has with its surroundings conspire to conceal quantum effects from our view. ~ Vlatko Vedral

The mirage of objects we tangibly experience are quantized fields which remain ethereal and entangled in interactions. Only the mind makes the world appear.

This is the primordial illusion: that the world is ancient. Actually, it rises with your consciousness. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Our experience is of duality: a mind housed in a body, looking out onto an external world. Dualism is only our proximate actuality – it is not real.

All existence is imaginary. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

We feel within ourselves our own energy and witness it in the world. Yet the mind tells us instead of bodies moving through spacetime, not energetic gyres ecologically interacting in a vast entanglement.

Without objects, consciousness would be nonsense. ~ German philosopher and psychologist Johann Friedrich Herbart

The mind insists that Nature is of discrete objects. We accept it, even as we wonder what is behind it.

It is ironic that one’s mind takes the body to be itself while trying to know its source. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Life

Every organic being, every autopoietic cell is conscious. ~ American evolutionary theorist Lynn Margulis

Every organism is a localized consciousness coupled to coherent energy fields which emergently form a mind and a physical body. The energetic and physiological are entangled in their expressions.

It is not only the entire organism that has its own consciousness. Each organ and every cell in a multicellular organism must have its own intelligence to function. Even organelles and the proteins within cells need savvy to do their jobs. All of these consciousnesses and minds in a being are entangled, though we know neither how nor the implications.

Intelligence is behind every decision. Making a choice necessarily involves perceiving the environment and directing activity accordingly.

Ĉonsciousness  and its attendant intelligence are distributed throughout every life form: localized for appropriate functionality at every scale. Physical centers of mentation, such as the brain, are analogous to chakra energy centers which correspond to nervous systems.

(Cognitive biologists have been so focused on brains that they have largely overlooked that other localized intelligence centers exist. One acknowledged exception is the digestive system, which researchers refer to as a “gut-brain axis.”)

For a body, matter-energy coupling remains upon death, after the resident consciousnesses have left and stopped enlivening the body. Only by continuing the illusion of materiality can the mirage of a physical world be sustained. (Sustaining the semblance of physicality is the function of coherence, irrespective of there being a vital spark of consciousness resident within a quantized mind-body.) In showing a smooth transition, the illusion of death illustrates the unity of Ĉonsciousness and Nature.