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Awareness: the master sense of our future

 © Allan Webber (B.Sc, Grad Dip Ed Admin) - 2017

The secret to understanding our future begins with an understanding of awareness and its evolution.

Awareness relies on the evolutionary mechanism of memory for escaping the momentary existence that time delivers to the spatial universe. It exploits the continuity unifying space and time to build a bridge between time past, time to come and the reality of the instant.

Like life, awareness has evolved and it may be part of life or may be a parallel aspect. To be parallel it would have an independent origin that bonded with the process we call life to bring us to where we now stand.

Whatever its status is we are beings able to look at both and admire all that brought us here.

Paramecium awarenessThe human relationship with awareness is profound but like all things familiar it is abused, taken for granted and twisted to the individual needs.

There is a form of awareness common to living organisms that allows them to interact actively with surrounds.

It began with physio-chemical actions alone that changed the habits of those beings but they didn't know the gift of awe and wonder or have any enjoyment at all of the spectacular chance that placed them there. Then evolution added touch and smell, memory and fear as life learnt its place within its environmental frame but still there was no awe, no feeling of a place made by forces unknown.

Such experiences of being alive are not isolated to animals with each branch of life, whether they be plants, insects or microbes having its own peculiar form of awareness.

It is awareness evolved beyond the previous norms that gives our race attributes of religion, speech, inspiration, mysticism and reason.

But our past has been dominated by a misunderstanding of awareness that misdirects our appreciation.

Awareness is in reality a sense of similar dimensions to all the others that unite us with our environment. However it is more advanced than that of hearing, touch or smell but still in essence it is a sense bestowed on man that also has an evolutionary past.

But it is a sense so far evolved that its very presence tears at the fabric of our being mortal. We yearn and ache beyond our station of beings destined to die and in that state of human distress the worst of us can emerge.

The Gift of Awareness.

Awareness is one of our gifts but like that of speech if it isn't exercised its utility is constrained.

In order to appreciate what the future holds we need to cherish both our past and the mystery of the vast reach of time in which the universe existed and evolved with nothing seeming able to know that it was there at all.

Then consider where we humans are, a species of apes who consider themselves the pinnacle of the evolutionary chain.

Consider the constraints that have limited other species in their appreciation of the universe and know that our special gifts will one day be surpassed. And we will most likely remain as unknowing of that which next evolves as are bacteria of knowing that we humans see and hear and are aware.

Yet we can have some clues about our own limitations. We know 'survival of the fittest' is considered the prime driver of evolution and that it mandates the senses to continuously improve. Hence it is highly probable that awareness of the environment will be the major attribute advanced by future evolution.

We already know that awareness is not just a concept it is a tool evolution has created and honed.

And as our own form of awareness inevitably evolves there will always be newer aspects to come that remain unknown to us. We know this truth because it is what has happened to all beings in different parts of the evolutionary chain.

So a dog doesn't know that colour exists and a tree has no idea of human emotions nor of different lands.

And we in turn cannot know of senses yet to emerge as life evolves beyond that which makes us human.

This is our mystery and it is one whose paradox tears at the fabric of humankind.

The human burden of Awareness. 

Awareness in our species like many others is naturally focused on the past. The past dominates our experience and our reality while the future is speculative and virtual.  By concentrating on what exists we humans, being the most recent inhabitants of this universe, are prone to feelings of superiority.

Our history is dogged with actions that assume everything else that exists is below our race. Even other humans have been branded inferior and that still happens today.
But there is another way, another more essential view, one that allows humankind to reach a greater potential.

Things change when we look forward rather than back. Humans are then a single link in the chain of evolution and that which follows will include the human species only if we are useful in the ongoing progression towards greater awareness.

Construction Neutral Evolution PrincipleThe qualities that makes evolution so successful is its means to ensure it can hold nature’s patterns in a memory structure that persists and that its creations pass on its legacy to successive generations. Yet modern man challenges this natural scheme.

If we destroy our planet then we will be surpassed. If we think we can shape the future and remain human we underestimate both the power of the evolutionary process and the longevity of future time.

I believe it is inevitable that awareness of the universe will continue to expand through nature's modes of constructive evolution and not by the manipulations of our species. But the logic of this process means it is probable awareness will continue to improve its mastery of time and move beyond enhanced memory towards enhanced prescience.
Many species already have the ability to employ the future. Reaction times are one of the evolutionary paths to this end. But so too is knowledge and awareness of the way our universe works.

For instance we know the sun will come up tomorrow and that it will burn brightly for billions of years to come. We know these things beyond the understanding of most other creatures that exist today but we will be surpassed by things that can master the paths of time.

If this is so then future time being so vast will inevitably evolve creatures that willingly or involuntarily reach back to us. However we with the poorer senses may not recognise this even though their influence would then be present in our current world.

In this scenario inspirations will prove to be increasingly valid guides to the future and unreasonable jumps in understanding will materialise without there being any contradiction in the laws of time. But we know these mysteries already it is only their origin that we question.
The eternal ignorance of modern times
The past which covers all time before our own was until the last few centuries viewed so differently that people rightly had no concept of evolution and the longevity of time. Accordingly the origin of humankind was judged to be as described by the elders and their scribes; the ultimate object designed by an eternal creator.

To people today it might seem that we are not held back by such barriers to thought but nonetheless there are attitudinal, traditional and new-think attitudes that shape our views. Science, enlightened as it has the capacity to be, is not immune from this same restriction for its members are human.

Accordingly, the greatest ignorance of our time is still based around our perception of our place in the universe. This bias isn't an overt thing but a hidden set of values that make us smug about those gifts nature has bestowed on us.

So we can be seduced into believing our cleverness can never be surpassed and it is us who now will determine the beings that rule the universe.

The reality is it is inevitable that the future will sideline mankind. Evolution doesn't stop with humans and our species has no guaranteed place as chief ruler of anything that matters.
It isn't that man has to disappear quickly if at all but we can be assured that within a million years from now evolution will still exist but mankind most probably will not.
However evolution will not waste our existence since its future patterns will embrace the things that set us apart.

Mandelbrot spiral art It does so not by choice for choice is not involved. It is the perpetual presence of the pattern imprinted in the chromosome spiral that dictates the shape of life.

And it is the innate ability to replicate, form new structure and surmount barriers that guarantees life will evolve.

Maybe it will take place here on, earth, maybe in the lineage of humankind but neither of these options is essential to the progress of evolution in the universe.

To even partially replicate the power inherent in the chromosomal spiral is difficult as it has a degree of complexity requiring mathematics that unifies modern group and field theories.

Despite it being infinitely more complex than the engineering implicit in a Rubik Cube nature has accomplished this at least once before.
It is unlikely that chance can lead to such a spectacular singularity and it is therefore probable that life will be found to be repeated throughout the expanse and duration of the universe.

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