Uranium 235 / What God Said

(11 – promoted by buhdydharma )

I posted this diary a year ago, July 17, 2008 as part of the “Writing in the Raw” series.  This is the most recent writing I have done on evolution.  A few people here at DD have asked for more on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Evolution.  

Since I seem to be an ever-procrastinating lazy critter and haven’t come up with anything new and haven’t posted anything this year on those seminal events in the formation of the Evolutionary Imperative, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I repost the essay here with a few changes, mainly in format.  

This is especially for Lady Lib. For any who are truly intersted in this subject, I recommend going to my original post The Evolutionary Imperative — Writing in the Raw and read the truly cogent comments to see how others here are thinking about evolution and our current conundrum.  I begin with my poem:

URANIUM 235 / WHAT GOD SAID

                 by Sydney Vilen

What they remember is the light

Those scientists in the desert night

Ghostly iridescence, unearthly light

No color, merely shades of white.

Trinity Test at Alamogordo

Three…Two…One…Zero

Instantly into the still dark land

The light grew over the sand

Galactic secrets in the predawn night

Galactic secrets in atomic rite

And the light grew

Brighter than the light of twenty noons

And still it grew

An x-ray of the testing crew.

Trinity Test at Alamogordo

Three…Two…One…Zero

Shiva Yahweh Buddha Zeus

Father Son and Holy Goose

Humanity with its head in the noose

Glimpsed its form as god.

[Please glimpse consciousness as gods, beyond the fold]—  

When the light subsided and the shadows rose

Some, returning from that light

Tried to live again as merely human

But others, those few

Unable to deny or to return

Knew we had become as gods in power

And could not turn again.

We have the power that once was god’s

Shiva’s power, the power of fire

The power to turn our earth into a star

The power of Zeus’ lightning rod

To incinerate the earth maiden his bride.

She remembered a pale, sharp, silent light

Before darkness turned day to night

Then woke, as in a dream

Her mother, swirled in smoke

Framed by the lintel

Standing

Arms outstretched

Hair raised skyward

On winds of fire

Like a protecting goddess

Burned to pure white bone.

The bombardier who guided the Enola Gay

The last two minutes on her way

Who eyed the Aioi Bridge in his sight

He too remembers the light

All who have seen it remember the light

And the rainbow sparkling cloud that follows.

Earth the maiden asked her bridegroom

To appear before her in his form as god

And the god of lightning rose on earth

In the light of twenty suns

…pastels and crystals…pastels and creams

…pastels and crystals…pastels and dreams

i can no more separate

the dream form the reality

than I can separate myself from you

it is the dream that keeps reality alive

in these suicidal days

…pastels and crystals…pastels and dreams…

Atomic fission in the brain

The sudden evolving leap of consciousness

Luminous clarity in the heart

Shining into the future.

I’m pleased with what I see happening with consciousness on the planet right now, particularly in places like this blog.  I’m equally fascinated by the questioning about whether or not we will survive beyond the predicaments which surround us.

Human beings seem to be lazy laggards: I know I am. Maybe that’s too strong; but we do seem to suffer from a form of “I’ve arrivedism”.  When we get somewhere, we tend to just want to sit down in the grass, relax, and enjoy.  In all honesty, many of us have been able to do that for a number of years now.  

From time to time, however, life comes along and prods us into the next need to grow and move. We resist; we don’t want to get up, to move on.  We tend to resist change, to get up and move on. And so we don’t until we are absolutely forced to do so by a reality which has become too dangerous, too hostile, too uncomfortable, and too destructive to stay put any longer.

Today is a time when we must not, we cannot, stay put.  The danger is too great.  The stakes are too high.  We have created structures, ways of thinking, and consequent actions which are no longer sustainable.  It is imperative that we move on, that we evolve new ways of thinking and being.  And surprisingly these ways will resemble some older ways as pointed out in Opol’s wonderful essay, “We are All Related,” “Mitakuye Oayasin”.

So good old life is nudging us again, saying get up, move forward, grow, evolve.

Will we make it?  Will we survive?  I don’t have the answer to that.  But I do know I must contribute whatever little bit and all I can to being able to say “Yes!”

Trinity Test

The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.

                              -Albert Einstein

Yesterday was the 64th anniversary of the first test of an atom bomb, in the desert of New Mexico.  Many of these scientists realized that they were opening a Pandora’s box of unknown and dubious contents.  Leo Slizard, in a macabre moment, even took bets as to whether or not the explosion would ignite the atmosphere of the planet.  The splitting of the atom is a seminal moment in the growth of human consciousness.  

We gained physical powers at least approximating the powers once attributed only to gods; but our consciousness, our ethics and morality were lagging somewhere behind.  Thus the imperative to evolve in consciousness to match the growth in our physical/scientific powers.  

The “Bomb” and the threat of Nuclear Winter is not the only threat facing us.  Our “civilized” way of being on the planet up till now has created many additional problems of balance and survival — climate change, environmental degradation, poisoning our foods, and on and on…

We have evolved.  We have always evolved.  And we are still evolving, and the main thrust of the new evolution is in the area of consciousness.

One of my favorites, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin traces the history over thousands of years, from humans living in basically herd-colonies on up to today:

A remarkable change overtakes the process of zoological evolution at the level of Man.  Until that point was reached, every animal, feebly separated from its fellows, existed largely for the purpose of preserving and developing its own species, so that the individual life was primarily a matter of propagation.  But from the time of Man a sort of internal granulation seems to attack the tree of life…With the dawning of Reflection each conscious unit isolates itself and…tends increasingly to live only for itself, as though … the phylum were broken up into individuals…the phyletic sense submerged until it finally vanishes.  

It is to this alarming course of psychic decompostion, and at the very moment when it seems to be reaching its crisis, that the prospect of a human planetary fulfillment brings the appropriate remedy.  If … the social phenomenon is not merely a blind determinism but the portent, the inception of a second phase of human Reflection

(this time not merely individual but collective), then it must mean that the phylum is reconstituting itself above our heads in a new form, a new ramification, no longer of divergence but of convergence; and thus is the Sense of Evolution which, suppressing the spirit of egoism, is of its own right springing to new life in our hearts, and in such a way as to counteract those elements in the forces of collectivisation which are poisonous to Life.

                                 de Chardin, The Future of Man

de Chardin continues:

A new substance has appeared in the heart of the thinking ‘magma’…We might call it Homo progressivus…the man to whom the terestrial future matters more than the present.

…snip…

They are scientists, thinkers. airmen…they will appear … in every compartment into which the human race is divided.  Their emergence is clearly related to some phenomenon of a noospheric kind.*  …some apparent attraction draws these scattered elements together and causes them to unite among themselves.  You have only to take two men, in any gathering, endowed with this mysterious sense of the future.  They will gravitate instinctively towards one another in a crowd; they will know one another.

* the Noosphere” is Teilhard’s term for what he sees as the “thinking magma” of the universe, the converging consciousness of the species.  Please also excuse some antiquities in pc speaking as he wrote this while on a dig, in Peking, China, 1944.

He concludes:

It would seem, then, that the grand phenomenon which we are now witnessing represents a new and possibly final division of Mankind, based no longer on wealth but on belief in progress.

The old Marxist conflict between producers and exploiters becomes out-dated–at the best a misplaced approximation.  What finally divides men of today into two camps is not class but an attitude of mind — the spirit of movement.  On the one hand there are those who simply wish to make the world a comfortable dwelling-place; on the other hand, those who can only conceive of it as a machine for progress–or better, an organism that is progressing.  On the one hand the ‘bourgeois spirit’ in its essence, and on the other the true ‘toilers of the Earth’, those of whom we may safely predict that, without violence or hatred, simply by biological predominance, they will tomorrow constitute the human race.  On one hand the cast-offs; on the other, the agents and elements of planetisation.

         Teilhard de Chardin, “Cahiers du Monde Nouveau,” Peking 1946

Through our actions and developments humankind has brought itself to the very brink of annihilation. It is time to wake ourselves from our slumber and proclaim for all the world to hear:

We are moving, we are going forward.

Again, because so many dharmaniacs had such profound things to say, I recommend reading the comments on the original, which are linked above in the intro.

Thanks for reading or re-reading.  

 

22 comments

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  1. still reading…!

    • jamess on August 9, 2009 at 4:25 am


    Why Consciousness and Why Should It Evolve?

    Teilhard maintains that human awareness is unique: not only are humans aware, they are aware that they are aware. This “folding back” of awareness is the defining trait of true consciousness–the gift and burden of human existence. Man is aware not only of material reality, the space/time cosmos, but of himself as the one who is aware. Man knows that he knows. And he knows the manner of his knowing as well: whether his purposes are creative or destructive, lovingkind or vicious. Thus man has a choice. He possesses freedom. And with this freedom comes an awesome power and responsibility.

    http://geneticsevolution.suite

    If only we were more aware of the damage, we do.

    Where on that evolutionary walk towards becoming the “the spirit of the earth,”

    does the ever-more-common, 15-minute attention span, fit in?

  2. when you think about… evolution, and the advances in technology vis a vis “advances” (or lack thereof!) in social/political/psych realms. Scary.

    Husband was talking to Kid the other day, with the 40 Anniversary of the Moon landing, telling her that the computers they had then, when they achieved that, were just… you know, huge, physically, like a city block, and pathetic compared to what’s commonplace today, i.e. your cell phone or laptop. etc.  And then, if you look at all that generationally… my parents, WWII era… jeezuz.

    We tend to think in linear terms, though, and, mmm, Ill have to come back to this thought.

    • Robyn on August 9, 2009 at 6:11 am

    I barely have time to visit, but have a couple of prints on the easel and you can have them. 🙂

    More Complex:

    Quite Complex:



    (Click on image for larger view)

  3. Theres an interesting (and very long) piece by Devilstower: Of Mice & Mean over at the orange front page this morning. It may take me all day to read it, but its related.

  4. Took me back.  Your poetry strikes me today the same as when you first posted the original of this essay — “a sabre piercing through the heart.”

    Although I kinda’ agree with much of what de Chardin has to say, I’m wondering if part of what he has to says is, in part, wishful thinking on his part.  On the other hand, his “brand” of optimism is good in the sense that if we truly commenced thinking along those lines, we might actually work toward that end (maybe, too simplistically put)

    It is to this alarming course of psychic decomposition, and at the very moment when it seems to be reaching its crisis, that the prospect of a human planetary fulfillment brings the appropriate remedy. If … the social phenomenon is not merely a blind determinism but the portent, the inception of a second phase of human Reflection (this time not merely individual but collective), then it must mean that the phylum is reconstituting itself above our heads in a new form, a new ramification, no longer of divergence but of convergence; and thus is the Sense of Evolution which, suppressing the spirit of egoism, is of its own right springing to new life in our hearts, and in such a way as to counteract those elements in the forces of collectivisation which are poisonous to Life.

    I also have some disagreement.  I have pondered so much on the whole issue of civilization, as we know it.  Over and over and over again, throughout the ages, “evil” has lurked its ugly head, and “forces” came about to smite it down.  It is kind of a pendulum that swings back and forth, it seems.  And just when the “evil” seems quelled for a spell, another new “evil” lurks its “evil” head, and so on.  Now, with the advent of the “pale, sharp, silent light” (first tested on July 16, 1945, in northern New Mexico), “evil” has a strong ally — one that can be used over and over again as a “threat” to civilization and its use again.  And, in fact, smaller doses have been used, such as the depleted uranium that has been used on our warheads in Iraq and, probably, Afghanistan, as well.*/**

    Nature, with all its force, will be, perhaps, man’s “savior” this time.  The force of nature will demand of us, in turn, to turn away from the “evil” and devote ourselves, concertedly, to her needs, if civilization is to continue.

    *The dust of depleted uranium stays in the air ad infinitum, causes cancer and many diseases.  A slower form of a “bomb.”

    **Also, I think its interesting to note the date of de Chardin’s writing and the birth of the A-Bomb.

    You had to do this on a lazy Sunday morning, eh, dharmasyd?  Like, I mean, how “light” can you be?  😉

    Super job, syd!

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