How many times have you heard teachers use analogies to try to bring home a point? For example the common image of the self being like a wave in the ocean –experienced as separate, but where does the ocean end and the self begin. So “it’s all one.” But in many ways we actually use analogies to separate us from reality –to create the illusion that we “know” something mentally when it really needs to be fathomed much more deeply –with all of the senses.
Take for instance the experience of going outside on a clear night and looking at the stars. We can identify the moon, which is supposedly “close” and then begin to drift out, discovering a planet perhaps and a constellation, and then? Remember the Hubble Deep Field experiment which trained the supertelescope on a supposedly empty part of space, and discovered billions of galaxies –not stars, but galaxies?
Our first impulse is to use a word to “explain” what we’re seeing or experiencing.
Oh, it’s “infinite.”
Words are the first level of metaphor, after all, since they seem to be the brain’s “filter” for comprehending reality. But what does that word really tell us? We’re standing “here,” somewhere in the “universe,” and looking “out there,” but every time we think, what’s beyond that, we come up with… another WORD.
If we consider what truly IS, it goes beyond our cognitive mind. It clenches us in our gut. There is NO explanation.
In terms of actually comprehending what could possibly be that vast, or exist out “there,” we have no real clue or idea. Our sense of “scale” simply does not extend that far with respect to our physical existence—our body. It is literally unimaginable. Only a word –a metaphor –can provide a pointer.
But suddenly, for an instant, you “know” this from the neck down — with every cell of your existence.
I had lived with the “infinity” explanation for most of my life, only deeply experiencing the night sky intermittently, when I encountered a deeper experience. It was when I watched the TED video of geneticist Juan Enriquez saying that an apple is a computer application—that it receives energy from the sun and when the input is sufficient it “executes” its DNA code and falls from the tree that it hit me in the gut.
In the video Enriquez shows the “code” for the Ebola virus –its’ DNA –which is a sequence of four letters A, C, T and G which represent chemicals in our bodies, and all of organic life, that the strands of DNA containing this code instruct to animate our bodily -and perhaps even mental -functions. (Bear in mind that what we deem mental or physical is a description we have come up with; in nature there is no distinction—everything simply exists as it is)
As someone who had worked a bit with computer software, or code, this hit me deeply. Why? Because ALL computer code is written by humans—intentionally created for a purpose. And here was something “similar” operating within our own complex organisms in the same way.
Similar as in simile –or metaphor? No! That is what struck me. IT IS NOT A METAPHOR. Again – I “got” this from the neck down.
This level of intelligence IS actively at work right now, animating my breath, digestion, circulation, immune system and every part of what I metaphorically refer to as “my life.”
Eckhart Tolle says repeatedly that the intelligence that runs your breathing is infinitely more intelligent than your thoughts, or your Ego. Again, I had always simply accepted this metaphorically.
But now, as someone who works every day with coded software like Microsoft Word—software that “runs” on a sequence of worded commands “written” by software engineers—I realized that something INTELLIGENT must be operating in me—and in all of Life. It is not a metaphor. It IS how reality and life “work.” Life IS Intelligent.
Here is a poignant example:
The ducklings are compelled to follow the mother, and “learn” how to negotiate the stairs, through an intelligence that is beyond words, but can be “sequenced” from their genetic code. Oh sure, we can “call” it “instinct.” We can call it many things – metaphorically. But what it IS is life operating intelligently “through” the ducks. In the same way that life evolved intelligently (and not randomly) in Eckhart Tolle’s famous example at the beginning of A New Earth of the very first lotus that “flowered” instead of remaining a plant.
It seems apparent that when we finally “get” that it’s not a metaphor –that intelligence of a much vaster scale actually exists beyond our limited comprehension, that our minds will literally expand, and we may actually evolve consciously.
Juan Enriquez, in another subsequent video, suggests that man may in fact be the creature that changes its genetic code consciously to morph into another species.
But to me the key is the need to move beyond the asbstractions of reducing what is to, for example, “science” and “philosophy” –or similar “metaphors” –and dealing with it directly as it IS. When it is apparent that it is conscious to address that obvious element.
Another example is the CERN Hadron Collider where scientists are at work creating a massive experimental structure to “prove” there is a particle that is infinitely small –no mass –that permeates everything. When they “discovered” it, and it is called the Higgs Boson, the media called it the “God Particle.”
But really it is the Consciousness Particle –because like all of Quantum Physics it only “exists” when there is a subjective intelligence to notice it.
To scientists at CERN this served to “prove” the Big Bang. And of course, how intelligent they, and we humans are. But what it signifies to me is the incredible scale of Existence itself. As there is in the night sky always something bigger, there is also always something smaller. As there is always something outside, there is always something inside. All of these words, of course, are more metaphors, pointers and abstractions.
The one thing we actually know for sure is that right now, in this moment, existence is happening—but we can’t really account for it. Certainly not with science, which files these sorts of questions under “philosophy” and ignores them –unless it thinks it has an “answer” like the Higgs Boson and it suddenly says, “Ah, Big Bang” – as though that explains anything.
But now, when we look at one of our metaphors –DNA –we can see that it is NOT a metaphor at all. Life truly is intentional – and life is Intelligent.
Maybe each birth is THE Big Bang. Each time one of “us” pops up, everything begins anew. Because Mind-Consciousness-Intelligence of infinite vastness is not “metaphorically” ALL.
It is All. And all means everything –including infinite Intelligence. Not intelligence that’s “personal,” as in expressing as “you” or “me” or one of those little ducks –but simply IS infinite Mind.
And it is NOT a metaphor. Take it in.