Monday, September 05, 2011

The Integrity of Conscious Awareness

I am passing through uncharted waters at the point where conventional practice is to note the moment of coming into the world and to celebrate it.  So I have friends who click me as is the custom in these modern days, and one or two have sent electronic cards full of the right words and images to call attention that today is passing by, and I'm still here. These waters are uncharted as each day that carves out a place in Time is always new.  It is the newness of things that attracts us, but looking back at these days, as they enter memory and gradually crumble into fragments of remembrance, becomes more complex as you reach that point when the days grow short.  And indeed they do,  "the days grow short when you reach September."  Would that I were really at September of my years, but I know the year is late and "I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."

In the incandescence of intense awareness I embrace those who continue to define my existence, who have nourished me through their response and their dialogic challenge to my conscious awareness.  Thought is the one dimension that moves faster than light, and I have entered parallel universes with such astonishing speed that I see our notions of reality are so primitive and uninformed. We have such richness and depth in our experiences that we could spend lifetimes trying to decode them, and we do. Isn't this what authors do all the time in their exploring and constructing new realities? 

It has been observed that nothing in the known universe contradicts Newton's law of entropy where energy (and matter) dissipates until finally all order disappears. The ordered universe is rushing headlong into disorder.  But there is one problem with Newton's observation: it doesn't include life, or the emergence of thinking, and finally consciousness. Life indeed does evolve toward greater order. Newton's universe is a machine, running like clockwork, but running down.  We are not in that universe, but standing somewhere observing it.

What has energized my thinking and action has been conscious awareness which is more than just consciousness.  This awareness is powerful and faster than the speed of light. It can leap to new realities and new awareness in an instant of insight and understanding. Some might describe this as a spiritual dimension, seeking some way of accounting for experience that is outside of our physical world bound by Newton's laws.

So now as I receive the best wishes in passing from friends and acquaintances, I appreciate that they are celebrating an event I had no control over. I do have prebirth memories, and I do note the days of birth and immediately following.  I still can see my father's blue eyes and his smile as he held me on a pillow in his lap and smiled down at me. I had an instance of insight that I had been particularized, and there was no way out, and what followed was an journey of learning how to survive, how to overcome each day, how to follow some path whose destiny was yet to be revealed.

I understand Hemingway's observations and the comments of existentialists who posit that while we have no control over how we come into this world, we do have a choice as to when and how we leave it.  From the standpoint of existentialism, life is meaningless.  We have the choice to create meaning, and our integrity stems from creating meaning and to understand that death is inevitable, but meaningless. Hemingway had reached a point where he believed  he could no longer create meaning with his life. The one remaining act was the deliberate choice to decide when and how to die. I do perceive we each must make meaning through our acts and choices. Creating meaning is our means for overcoming existential angst.

I just finished reading Yukio Mishima, a Japanese author who took his life in 1970.  He wrote an astonishingly lucid book about a Japanese officer and his wife who chose to end their lives as a final act of giving meaning to their life. Their deaths were an act of honor and bravery. The wife witnessed his death to celebrate his courage and a life of commitment to his country. She cherished her role as witness and followed him in death. Their final shared moments served to climax a life of constructed meaning. Their awareness of life and each other was never so vivid as in their final moments.

All of this now leaps out in vivid clarity in these unfolding days of September. Where once I looked for the meaning of life, I know that there is no answer to that question except the palpable destiny of my journey that constructs significance in an ever unfolding context.   At this juncture of my 75th year, I have more ideas, creative energy, and concrete projects than in years past, and I attribute this to new connections with others at a deeper level of conscious awareness.  There are those in my life that infuse me with a deeper sense of commitment to pursuing a universe of consciousness where life actually transcends and moves in the opposite direction of entropy. This maintains an integrity of conscious awareness at a level I have not experienced until now. But the most exciting prospect is that it is continuing to evolve.

No comments: