had a bizarre dream last night and I donÕt know what to make of it. It could be a warning or a sixth sense about something or someone, but I donÕt know what. I guess it couldÕve meant nothing, except it felt too real and revealing for that. Maybe itÕs got something to do with my pending job interview, or my family. I know it was a revelation, or maybe IÕm making too much of it? Nevertheless, you have to hear me out and help me understand. Be ready, though, because it isnÕt light and it may be bold.
IÕm the only person in this dream and IÕm holding a tall cup of hot coffee in one hand and a burning cigarette in the other – I donÕt really smoke but I was in this particular dream. Not only am I the principal lead in this production but also the audience and the crew. Anyway, itÕs a slow, rainy day and IÕm sitting by the window in a frosty, downtown caf, sipping coffee and rambling, rambling on, and onÉ
* * *
Spontaneous generation, whatÕs that? ArenÕt roaches the product of spontaneous generation? I guessÉThatÕs what IÕve always heard. Maybe thatÕs how we come to exist, too. I mean, when and how do babies become Ōliving thingsĶ? DoesnÕt it happen spontaneously sometime between conception and birth? Or maybe even before then? That tenuous separation between body and spirit is at the heart of the mystery and at the center of the whole abortion issue, and our complete ignorance of it.
Obviously, when it comes to the spirit, no one knows how we came to have it – if we have it, that is – and no one knows how to relinquish or extinguish it. We donÕt really know if death is the demise of the spirit, or if death really means anything. If we follow DescartesÕ train of thought, weÕll only conclude that we donÕt know anything, except that we exist, and we donÕt even know that, which is where I differ from DescartesÕ theory, since we donÕt understand what mandates existence. Who said thinking implies existence, anyway? No oneÕs proven that! Perhaps the spirit is the premise for life, just as existence was in DescartesÕ theory. WeÕd never absolutely or necessarily recognize it in anything we see, though, given our limited sensory capabilities, if we exclude our spiritual capabilities, which are untapped resources for most of us, as far as IÕm concerned (perhaps weÕre barely aware of those faculties).
Okay, letÕs think about the beginning of time and how it all started. Did we evolve from single-cell organisms? What determined our present-day features, our extremities, and our senses? Did God create us in His image, literally and physically? If God is all spirit, then it doesnÕt make any sense. DidnÕt God also make animals in his image? MaybeÉThen again, maybe not. If He created us and all living creatures in His spiritual image, then it makes sense.
What determines life, anyhow? Is a rock a living thing? Must it have organs, as we know them, for it to exist? Or must it speak, move, love, hurt, or play? Must it be aware? How do we know if theyÕre, in fact, ŌawareĶ? I donÕt know. Is it possible they feel, think, emote, and grow, but at such slow speeds that weÕd never know it? Maybe EinsteinÕs Law of Relativity (rephrased in this context, of course) explains it:
Anything that moves at much slower tempo and speed than our perceptive senses is essentially dead to us, for all practical purposes, but in absolute terms, not really.
Rocks could live the span of several of our lifetimes – like the universe – and weÕd never be aware of their Ōliving,Ķ or their trials of existence. Maybe the planets are alive and react and emote to life in the universe. Inversely, organisms could live at such a fast rate that we wouldnÕt even catch a glimpse of their lifecycle, yet they live and exist, like all of us, but unaware of us – as we are of them.
Okay, what about the universe? What determined the laws of gravitational pull or the force between electrical charges? We know they govern our physical realm today, but we donÕt really know why they must necessarily exist, or if we could do without them, without the basic scientific laws that form the basis of our physical world, which give meaning to mechanics, chemistry, and electricity. Again, I donÕt know. How could I know? IÕve no idea. Without gravitational or electrical force, wouldnÕt our bodies expand indefinitely and conform to the laws of chaotic order, to entropy? Our bodies would disintegrate into thin air without the force needed to hold atoms and molecules together, to hold them on the planet or anything else. Maybe the whole universe would expand at infinite speeds, given that nothing would deter it, or slow it down. IsnÕt the universe another living creature? It movesÉWhy are there so many different forms of life, anyway, from plants to animals, from mother earth to life-giving water and fire? WhyÉWhyÉ
If itÕs okay, for a moment or two, humor me and allow me to speculate for a second. What ifÉout of the abyss of nothingness, Matter and Spirit emerged. Their origins are unknown, of course, and may never be explained. Let them be the basic premise of this foregoing theory, then, like thinking was to Descartes. No rules couldÕve bound them, physically or psychologically, nor could they be constrained to shapes or confined to finite or infinite space. The universe, of course, at the very beginning, didnÕt exist. There was no light, no darkness, just emptiness, a big void.
Being thrown into the pot, so to speak, could we just expect Matter and Spirit to exist and not coexist, and to live and not relate or mix? The mere existence of one affected the other. Why?ÉBecause neither of them had ever been with the other. Obviously, they simply didnÕt know what to make of the whole situation – figuratively speaking, of course. Could they simply accept each other? Exist and co-exist? We canÕt go any further if we donÕt allow ourselves to make another assumption, place another brick in the edifice of creation. Let us assume that existence inherently and necessarily implies a desire for self-preservation, and anything that exists will therefore do whatever it takes to survive by adapting and conforming to its newly found environment, which is not a novel, puzzling idea to us, but one weÕve come to accept in the conventional sense. Consequently, Matter and Spirit had no choice but to adapt to each other to continue to exist.
How does Spirit adapt to Matter? Maybe one diffuses into the other? I mean, what else? Become one?ÉWell, merging meant that both would have to adapt and each attempt would imply the creation or modification of their own existence. Could the universe, then, be the outcome of the Spirit-Matter ŌmergerĶ? Could the birth of the stars simply be the adaptive response to the newly found conditions of this merger? The stars are part of the merger and are all part of the whole, part of the same Spirit, the same Matter, all in one and one in all. CouldnÕt the planets be the reactive consequence of the stars, and gravitational force the result of planets coexisting with stars in close and far-off distances? CouldnÕt the expanding universe be the opposing, stabilizing, responsive force to gravitational pull, or vice versa? CouldnÕt the creation of everything be the adaptive, stabilizing response to the previous reaction? Maybe single-cell organisms materialized to feed off or balance out the extremely sluggish life forms, like rocks and planets. Water might then be the result of creatures trying to survive and nourish themselves in a way that would allow them to live at relatively faster rates within low-density surroundings, with moderate metabolic rates. Maybe plants morphed to feed these creatures, which eventually adapted and mutated to an array of animals, including humans and – why not? – aliens, and even ghosts.
What does this all mean, anyway? WeÕve known that adaptation is a basic life-giving quality in humans and all living things, which explains evolution very well. So thatÕs not new or surprising. We donÕt understand it, really, but we feel itÕs true, a basic truth, to which this theory also conforms, and we accept it in faith. The spirit is another supposition, and we donÕt know anything about it, except that we also feel comfortable in accepting it, as we do matter, given our intuitive experience of the world and our life in it.
Like these three assumptions – matter, spirit, and adaptation – we accept an array of laws and theories that form the basis of science and religion, of families and communities at large. In accepting an infinite number of laws, however, truth is probably lost in the shuffle of assumptions and suppositions, many of which mightÕve been wrong and ill-conceived, not to mention politically biased and self-serving. The merger theory attempts to explain everything in an intuitive yet somewhat scientific and spiritual manner by adopting the three basic but unfounded assumptions that are typically accepted as truths anyway: the existence of Spirit and Matter and their desire to survive through Adaptation, which in and of themselves are acts of faith. Science is indeed an example of faith, the confidence that gravity will still hold true tomorrow and that a whole bunch of other basic laws will still govern our world. Strict scientific proof for the merger canÕt be offered, of course, because Spirit is involved, which defies basic scientific knowledge somehow, and is therefore exempt from its usual rules (how convenient for me!).
So why do we have basic physical laws governing our world and our universe, anyway? Maybe theyÕre simply the result of an adaptive process that started out with a single event, the Ōmerger,Ķ causing an endless chain of reactions. Does God exist? I donÕt pretend to answer that, but given the usual connotations of God, the resulting entity from the marriage of Matter and Spirit could be God, since the combination makes everything else possible, which embodies omnipotence. How about benevolence? Everything is for the sake of preservation, for coexistence. IsnÕt that the foundation of benevolence, to pursue and respect everyoneÕs right to self-preserve, to help others in their quest for self-preservation?
Is God present everywhere? Yes! We are all part of the ŌmergerĶ and we all have both Matter and Spirit, at least according to the theory. Having no real boundaries allows us to be part of the whole, indifferent from the total. Like a thousand and one flashlights pointing in one direction, the light emanating from each bulb is indistinguishable from the rest and the total light lands on an object as though it came from a single source. Just like the Holy Trinity in Catholicism, where God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ are all one, we are all part of the merger and the merger is part of all of us. WeÕre all God, and God is us, which is not to say that weÕre omnipotent on our own, but as a whole. WellÉitÕs just a theory.
Okay, were we made in the image of God? Of course, us and the rest of the physical and spiritual world, which are all one in the same, anyway, and both part of the spirit-matter merger. Is everything alive? Yes, everything is both matter and spirit and we all adapt and react to survive at our own relative speeds. The Grand Canyon in Arizona reacts painfully slow but reacts, nonetheless, to the weathering effects of time, to the singularly distinct and naturally occurring events that govern our planet, like flooding, tornadoes, sandstorms, etc. We, on the other hand, react daily to the more instantaneous nuances of collecting goods and providing services in the hopes of self-preservation.
Why do we exist, though? Because we were the necessary, adaptive response to the merger at some point in the adaptive chain of events, just as it is for the creation of an array of other things. Why the merger, in the first place? I donÕt knowÉWhy not! ThatÕs actually one of the implied premises in the foregoing theory: Matter meets Spirit and they both adapt to survive.
Can we possibly evolve out of our bodies and disconnect ourselves from the physical world, so to speak? Again, why not! ItÕd be the reaction to a changing, evolving environment, where our bodies would no longer be necessary in the adaptive sequence of responses. WeÕd attach ourselves to some less dense state of matter, maybe gas. So then, couldnÕt these constantly changing circumstances phase out the need for manÕs existence and lead to the creation of another living form? ItÕd be consistent with our own creation and the extinction of dinosaurs and such. Going back to one of the first questions posed: when do spirits attach themselves to babies? Maybe they were always one, never separate. Perhaps theyÕve been attached since the beginning of time, since the merger.
Is there such a thing as sin? Is there anything inherently bad or good? This question may not be easy to answer. Rules certainly donÕt exist, nor is there anybody outlining them for us. We can certainly have faith in our philosophers, but that would be assuming too much (maybe). Surely, weÕd violate the law of self-preservation if we performed acts that werenÕt consistent or inspired by the basic truth of adaptation, which is another way of saying evolution. However, would we ever do anything but react to ensure self-preservation? Even the so-called criminal commits his crime in the name of self-preservation, in the only way he knows how, and the easiest way, which is also a feature of self-preservation: to save his strength in the hopes of consequently living a longer, fuller life.
In seeking self-preservation, should we limit our neighborsÕ capacity to self-preserve? We certainly donÕt follow that when it comes to performing experiments on animals that would allow us to save ourselves, not necessarily the animals. The concept of the food chain is also contradictory: eating animals and plants, which we know are alive, for the sake of our own life. Maybe we shouldnÕt do those things, then. Or should we? I donÕt know. I think thatÕs part of evolution, survival of the fittest, if you will. I donÕt think sin, as seen through the eyes of this foregoing theory, applies, and neither does ŌgoodĶ nor Ōbad.Ķ In adapting, we may certainly make a bad choice, which could lead to our premature Ōdeath,Ķ as we like to call it, but thatÕs not a sin, per se, or inherently immoral or wrong. It is an adaptive consequence, one of many possible outcomes, which depends on our adaptive choice, the mergerÕs choice. Rules exist to sustain society and preserve the right to exist for many, and violating one of these rules constitutes a punishable deed, but not a sin, not necessarily.
Now that we think we know (or rather, I think I know), what do I do with this information? Reject it? Adopt it? Neither! This is just a theory. It could be the truth, or part of it, or none of it. Who knows? Chances are the solution is not in what we perceive or have habitually thought to be the case through either religion or science, which are arguably one in the same. The answer, more than likely, converges at one basic truth, which lies at the heart of what we call the spirit and what stares us in the face every day. The real answers, I feel, tend to be elegantly packaged in a few basic, simple truths, if not just one truth. Accepted and perceived notions of the so-called truth, especially when theyÕre complex, may keep us from contemplating the real one, the root of it all. Of course, we may find the truth along the way, let it go, and open our minds to further absurdities, which may pull us away from the very thing we seek (good luck is all I can say).
Well, enough of that, then. IÕll believe in what feels right, even if that changes from day to dayÉ
* * *
ŌCome on, Jos, the doctor is waiting!Ķ And Jos walks into the office.
ŌGood morning, Jos.Ķ
ŌHello, Dr. Peterson. IÕm ready for todayÕs interview.Ķ
ŌGreat! Tell me, how have you felt through the week? I have in my notes that you only had one episode this week, two less than last week.Ķ
ŌYes, IÕve been feeling a lot better. IÕve had a few weird dreams, thoughÉDoctor, come closer.Ķ Jos then starts to whisper in the doctorÕs ear. ŌThe ghosts havenÕt been bothering me as much. Ethel and Harry have pretty much quieted down. I only had one visit and it was from Ethan, who you know is the worst of the bunch. He haunts me every night. He still canÕt forgive me for what I did to him – I donÕt think he ever will. Sending him down to the entrails of hell is not something heÕll likely forget. I just couldnÕt stand his nagging anymore. Flying in circles around me and not letting me sleep in peace just got to meÉĶ
ŌHow does that make you feel?Ķ And Jos pulls back.
ŌWell, it makes me angryÉBy the way, did I get a call from Carla, the Venus girl? She said sheÕd leave a message or a note for me.Ķ
ŌNo, not yet. Margarita did say hello, though. Do you remember her? Your secretary at the embassy, before the departmental merger? Before yourÉĶ