Monday, December 22, 2014

The Uniqueness of Life

I have been reflecting strongly recently on the utter improbability of the existence of each life here on Earth or indeed anywhere else in the Universe!

Even when we concede in the present context of our evolution the inevitably of new human life being born - seemingly at an ever increasing rate - this in no way lessens the enormous improbability of any one of us having come into existence.

For example without my parents having met I would not be in existence. And then when one looks at the chance sequence of events leading to their eventual meeting I am keenly aware that if any preceding event had unfolded in a different manner (where they did not meet) that I could not exist. Of course in different circumstances both could well have met other partners and had families. However these would represent other human beings (and not me).

And then in terms of conception if any other sperm had been involved fertilising the egg in my mother's womb, again a new baby infant would have resulted (but then again it would have represented a different person).

Looked at in this way the very fact that any one of us has come into the world is akin to having won a lottery (against impossible odds).

And then when goes further back in time, my own parents' existence and all the countless preceding generations (both human and pre-human) extending way back to the beginning of creation in turn represent repeated outcomes (against impossible odds).

Indeed ultimately, if any event had taken an alternative course since the universe came into existence (which may well entail countless cycles of universal existence preceding it) then none of us actually alive today would have come into existence (even if evolutionary conditions had evolved to permit the emergence of human life).

So when one reflects on the matter in this way, one can come to the realisation of how utterly unique, is the life of each one of us, which strictly makes no sense from a mathematical probability point of view.

Of course there are different ways of interpreting this! One can seek to maintain the cold scientific position that we are indeed the product of random improbability born into a world with no ultimate meaning.

Alternatively we can adopt a very distinctive spiritual perspective ultimately, entailing complete mystery, that each of us was destined by God from all eternity to come into existence; and that our ultimate purpose is to discover our very essence as that same God thus culminating in a loving union (of shared identity) .

 So life is from this perspective a precious free gift where we are all in a unique manner the special "chosen ones" of God ultimately sharing the same collective identity.

The same reasoning applies to each event in our lives.
Again the chance that what I am doing precisely now results from the accumulation of events over a lifetime (once again rendering it in statistical terms of extreme improbability).
And this applies also to  the activity of every one else in existence!

However, properly understood it is this improbability that renders each event its own characteristic uniqueness. So in the end one comes to the ever clearer realisation that it is only the present moment that truly exists with all phenomena in space and time of a merely relative - though unique - nature through this relationship to the present moment.

So in probing the ultimate nature of the physical universe, or - as I have been doing recently on my mathematical blogs - the ultimate nature of the number system, we are led to the same conclusion that they originate - not at some moment in the distant past (measured according to linear notions of time) but rather directly in the continual present moment, of which all phenomenal expressions in space and time represent but relative - and ultimately paradoxical - manifestations.