This is Part 2 of a two-part exploration of EVERYTHING.
Last week, I posed the question:
How is it that there is a non-physical component to our physical being that is unrestrained by the limitations of space, time, and matter; that allows us to be self-aware, and to which we can connect?
Here, then is the essential paradox that is at the foundation of all paradoxes: How can Consciousness know and be known when It is all that is, and there is no possibility for anything else, since something else would be just a subdivision, or a fractal of the whole, simply looking back at Itself? The only solution was to create something that is "other" - that is different, but accessible to the whole. Yet, how can something else possibly exist, since pure Consciousness is all there is, and anything else would contain elements that it does not possess? Where would this new element come from? The "other" can not exist outside of Consciousness since, at this point in our imagining, before the Big Bang, there is no "there", and no "thing".
Somehow, the infinite Desire to Become overcame this irreconcilable paradox (we're here after all!), and Consciousness "contracted" Itself to allow for the possibility of something "other" to be born - something that It could enter in to a relationship with - and an infinitely small "point" was created to allow for the potential of space, time, and matter to appear. But since this situation is impossible (how can anything exist that is not part of, and connected to, the whole?), during an infinitely small time Consciousness flooded back in to the point, imbuing physicality with the eternal element of Consciousness, triggering the first event, the Big Bang - an ejection of endless consciousness through finite space. And that original orgasmic scream of creation still reverberates throughout the Universe. (In1964, the accidental discovery of this reverberation as cosmic radiation earned Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson Nobel Prizes)
Because physicality is animated by Consciousness, everything that exists contains the capacity to be, and the desire to grow. We have seen this process take place, as inanimate clouds of elemental gasses slowly evolved in to stars and human beings. But, how can pure Consciousness - timeless and formless - interact with physicality - limited and organic? The transient can not be mixed directly with the Eternal because the physical would then be instantly destroyed; or better expressed, instantly returned to its Source. Some system must have been created to allow for this paradox to happen in order for physicality to even be possible, because physicality without consciousness is inanimate and mute.
We can, then, imagine layers of increasing dense "filters" that slowly "dim" pure Consciousness so that the physical can partake of it and be part of it, while remaining physical. This process is like slowly diminishing the power supply from the electrical substation to your house to allow your toaster oven to operate without frying its hardware. Unlike the toaster, however, we can consciously ascend these "filters" to higher and higher realms where there is more pure Consciousness, and bring glimpses of these realms back to physicality, thereby raising the level of our existence closer to our Source, and bringing more consciousness in to the world. This is how Consciousness can know and be known by physical creatures.
The desire and purpose of creation is for physical matter to evolve in to self-awareness, and this can only happen through the choice to struggle to grow beyond the limitation of physicality. If we automatically connected to the Source of our consciousness there could be no growth and no relationship, since there would be no choice. There can be no meaningful relationship with an automaton that has no free will. There can also be no obvious system of reward and punishment. Imagine a system in which whenever someone does "wrong" they are struck by a lightening bolt, and whenever we do "good" gold coins float down from heaven? Then there would be no choice; only coercion and fear of punishment. Love has no meaning if it is not freely given. You can not love someone who you fear, and love can not develop when one panders to authority in order to receive desired rewards. We want our children, for example, to do the right thing not because they fear punishment, or hope for reward, but because they choose to do so in spite of temptations to do otherwise, and in acceptance of the consequences that may delay personal gratification. Only then are they truly adults, and only then can they enter in to healthy relationships of love.
Embedded in physicality, then, is the possibility of, and attraction to, unconsciousness - the temptation to choose to reject the inherent desire toward growth and relationship. Because pure pre-physicality Consciousness could not know of limitation and imperfection that is inherent to physicality, (matter being less than Consciousness Itself), It "assumed" that conscious physical creatures would automatically be drawn to It, since It is the very Source of existence, and the only Reality: Why, It "wondered" would anything choose stagnation and decay over growth, or hatred and death over love and life? The appeal to unconsciousness, therefore, was made very strong. Perhaps too strong... This may be the only "flaw" in the perfection of creation, requiring Consciousness to periodically intervene and provide guidance. These are moments of grace and revelation, documented by sages and mystics, and experienced by human beings since the dawn of our species.
We can now make this essential statement:
The purpose of creation is the desire of Consciousness for relationship. The only way to fill this desire is through our choice to nurture and expand our own consciousness to higher levels of awareness, thereby increasing the relationship.
The final cosmic paradox, then, is this: We are something that pure Consciousness, our Creator - what religious systems often refer to as God - is not: we are physical. And, we can actually do something that our Creator can not; we can grow and evolve by adding more awareness to the realm of physicality through our own choices. And by doing so, we literally sanctify creation, elevating our existence, and growing ever stronger and clearer in our connection to Consciousness, as we journey together toward an unimaginably glorious future when we live in undiluted awareness of our true nature and great purpose.