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A NOTE TO A NEWBORN
Welcome, little one. Welcome to your new dimension of being. Whatever, wherever, whoever, . . .or if ever . . . .your preceding state, you are here now. In essence and of essence you’ll interact with the vast realm that surrounds you.
All life to varying extents is programmed thus. The cybernetic circuitry (the “hardware”) of neurology and even mere cytology plays programs of surroundings and experience (the “software”) . . .and the individual of any level is conjoined with the realm beyond, infused, influenced, patterned, programmed. Of course, “cybernetic” fits only to an extent. Factors such as (synaptic) interneurochemical and intraneuronal-electrical variability take the “computer of the mind” far beyond a mere binary paradigm.
During the first and second trimesters of . . .mother’s pregnancy, the neurons began to reach tentacles out to each other, establishing synapses -- points of contact -- at a rate of two million a second. Three months before the baby was born, it possessed more brain cells than it would need again; an overwrought jungle of connections. There were far more than needed as a fetus in the cognitively unchallenging womb -- far more, even, than would be needed as an adult. . . .Then, just weeks away from birth, the trend reversed. Groups of neurons competed with each other to recruit other neurons into expanding circuits with specific functions. Those that lost died off in a pruning process scientists call “neural Darwinism”. . . . . .The circuits that survived were already partly tuned to the world beyond. At birth, the infant was already predisposed to the sound of mother’s voice over that of strangers’; to the cadence of nursery rhymes that might have been overheard in the womb; and perhaps to the tastes of mother’s cuisine which had been sampled generously in the amniotic fluid. The last senses to develop fully were visual. (from a National Geographic article, date unknown)
Ah, but for human life there’s more to consider. You, like all, are to some degree “eidetic”, instantly imprinted by the sounds, sights, touches, and the feelings and imagery around you. Your body (which is inclusive of its brain) is like a multifarious antenna receiving the beyond to become part of your incarnate being. Your senses are like lenses focusing the external as the flash photolysis of your neurons, even your cells . . . .indelible fascination and image, inspiration and information that will transcend just knowledge to become the synergic fusion of all the above as your adult awareness.
To some extent this is true of all organism. Yet though (for example) the awareness of a bacterium may align with geomagnetic fields, and a bird may all but circumnavigate the earth via its awareness even of stellar configurations (for night-flight), (etc. etc. etc.), all other life-forms equate only with parts, with portions, of the spectrum of the para-perceptual realm . . . .the realm beyond mere knowledge as “data-processing”. Only the human transcends the parameters and can potentially grasp the cosmic, the very cosmos, the totality. But this is not to devalue other incarnations in juxtaposition to man’s complexity, his existential “comprehensivety”. . . . . .universality . . . .
Living matter takes specific form by transfer (messenger RNA) from the “master-plan” of DNA. The possibilities produced are of a “universal set”. For whatever grows as life is absolute, self-justified in existence. Est, ergo est. (It is, therefore it is.) From microbe to mammal, spore to redwood, blade of grass to man, life is. There are no relatives of evalu-ative differential (derogatory or preferential) between the dimensions and domains of organic evolution.
Awareness likewise formulates by transfer from the “master plan” of the beyond. And from this universal set of potential come aborigines and scientists, philanthropists and thieves, snobs, submissives, savants, schizophrenics . . . . .the myriad of humans whose awareness that they are is existential absolute. The relatives of “what they are” . . are of a different plane of contemplation. For man, there is the sense of self which transcends, so profoundly, mere identity.
Self. You are a brand new, separate self, little one. A special, separate synthesis of the universe . . . . .a baby. . . . . .yet already with the universe within your being. Potentially the total universe within you as a human being. . . . . .a universe you contain as revealed by those “life-form” stages of your formulation in gestation (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny -- at least in embryological semblances). Just think. Two single cells unite, and from such microscopic fusion of such basal biologic building blocks (as if in surreal nine-month instant-replay of evolution . . or creationistic sequencing . . . .) your organism’s universe expanded. From egg and sperm to human life, a universe of temporal and genetic essence developed.
Self. Another might employ the word “mind” (or “consciousness”). Where “awareness” is almost inscrutable, akin to “soul” or Plato’s Intellectus Purus, mind is of the material and mortal realm of being. Through organic and neural and biochemical processes, mind views, feels, and selects (or is determined by) the influences and images of its environment, thus to evolve and develop a unique “image”, a synthesis, a SELF.
“Awareness” is sentience alone. Environment inclusive of the innate organism in assimilation with or rejection of the external . . . .environment is the universal-set realm of possibility. “Mind” is “transfer-molecule” to awareness with a quantum jump in man. SELF.
Self. The sense of self. Self is one’s identity with others who have influenced, instructed, imprinted and even insisted their love and lessons and meaning. Self is the transcarnal metempsychosis** (the “reincarnation” of man as man rather than animal form) implicit in the primal transference to the child by the parents (or others) -- spanning from information given, through emotion and awe infused, even unto the basal-profound of morphological similarity suffused (and, by the child sensed,) thus to provide the structure of self as a semblance and continuum of specie and of heritage and even familial being. Self evolves through development and differentiation of one’s mind from others’ through recognition of cause and effect, responsibility, reason, choice. Self is nurtured by love and fulfillment so that “my” is a firm foundation for the structure of “me” and builds beyond autonomy into compassion and even altruism.
** or intra-vitae (within lives, or between the living) . . . . .
as opposed to the “reincarnate” inter-vita (reviviscare)
where the transfer requires death.
Also contained at birth is the domain of such almost infinite complexity and interactive and selective marvel as to warrant the terms “endo-universe” and “micro-mind”, . . .the immune system (the actual systemic dynamics and components develop, in part, after the infant is born . . . .unless there‘s a serious screwup.).
Infant grows to child and to adult, the mind proliferating complexity beyond mere maturation. Only a preexisting exponential synergy of sense and synapse can account for man’s dimension of awareness which potentially encompasses the total scope and span of existence. This ‘neural analogue” or “incarnate parallel” of the universe is born in man, and from sub particulate to cosmological, from heredity to ideation (genetic to mimetic?), from absolute zero to infinity, even from bebop to Beethoven (?), the total spectrum of creation is innate, is man’s inheritance at least potentially.
To observe, sense, wonder, study, understand, interact with, often causally determine (or catalyze) vast dynamics of existence, man’s mind actualizes the innate “potential” spontaneously (through discovery or invention or other creativity or genius), and/or didactically (research and study and learning, etc.).
And then to lead, show, explain, and teach another, especially a child . . . . .what greater expansions of the universal state of man’s being can there be?
Consider that every creature of existence dwells within the same cosmos, the same universe. Only man identifies with and codifies (language and other symbols, representations) an “analogue dimension” of essence. . . . . Knowledge!! If I may trans-pose God to god (the totality, the “universal-set” of being -- that which created the uni-verse and all that dwells therein), and with this in mind we look at the grasp and scope of the mind of man . . . . .we see how profound the statement, “god created man in (his) its image.”
But man’s heritage embodies so much more. Only man seems to sense awe, enthralling beauty, hilarity, satire, even poignancy and pathos, the “orchestrations” of his mind which hue, abstract, and enhance his ideational synchrony and analogue synchron-icity with the universe and the universal . . . . .with . . . .”god”.
How can there be anything more, you ask.
Also somewhere in the Bible something’s said about man being made to “glorify” God. “Glorify.” Could that mean “enhance”, “expand”, (Teillard deChardin’s) “complexify”?
The universe contained, then actualized in man results in architecture, sculpture, literature, media, the astounding profundity of opera and great classical music (wherein the orchestration/sound creates visual and emotional and even tactile experience and response in the listener -- “experiential onomatopoeia”) . The universe contained and manifested in man includes astronomy and biology and medicine’s miraculous technologies and techniques. The universe of man’s mind involves myriad manufacture which enhances man’s life, and conjoins (interfaces) man’s very informational and ideational being through the “shared neurology” of the Internet!!
And so many other things we could consider which position man so dimensionally apart from all other forms of life. . .like, that man replicates existence itself, via art, sculpture, mathematical modeling, algorithmic actualization, electron/pixel presentation, diagnostic-penetrating rays, etc. etc. etc. Replication!
And in your position and roles in your replication as a life, little one, you should fulfill your universe within and expand that of those around you. (You’ve already been the “big-bang” to blow your parents’ mind.!!)
This completes your orientation. I hope you remember everything I’ve written here. To an extent, your life may represent a test on this material.
Welcome to life, little one.
Have a good one.
A H Schneider
The Existential Series