Does the Universe have a Purpose? (cont.)

​​With this key point in mind regarding “levels” of conscious awareness, let us now look at Dr. Tyson’s response and see what we might learn from it. 

Dr. Tyson: “I’m not sure, but anyone who expresses a more definitive response to this question is claiming access to knowledge not based in empirical foundations.” 

JCT response: Note that Dr. Tyson refers to “knowledge NOT based in empirical foundations.” I would say that ALL knowledge is empirical, and more importantly, ALL knowledge is conceptual. Realizations in Pure Awareness, however, are NOT conceptual. Therefore, it might be said that Dr. Tyson is partially correct in that someone claiming a more “definitive” answer (definitive in the sense of one’s assuredness that it is so) is NOT basing that assuredness on “empirical knowledge” because the ‘answer’ to the question is not found there; is not conceivable from a conceptual point of view. The incorrect supposition implied here, however, is that Dr. Tyson assumes that the answer to the question MUST be rooted in empirical knowledge, as conceived within the mind of self in man, or it can’t be so. It assumes, quite frankly, that “thought” is all there is and all that matters in the universe. I, along with a growing number of others, however, point to an Awareness that is beyond thought, beyond the conceptual, that is just now arising within humankind. And in this NEW “level” of Awareness – Pure Awareness – true “answers” to the so-called mysteries of the universe are found. 

Dr. Tyson: … further states that the idea of purpose “common to most religions and some branches of philosophy have failed badly in past efforts to understand and thereby predict the operations of the universe and our place within it.” 

JCT Response: This statement is for the most part, correct. Correct in the sense that “religions” and “philosophies” are rooted in thought, in fixed concepts about the nature of man and the universe and are therefore limited in their ability to understand, let alone predict the underlying purpose of the universe, as a whole. In the case of religions, they fail to understand (or realize) the truth of the teachings of the people they claim to represent. That failing is precisely because their understanding is rooted in thought, thus they create a conceptualized hereafter, for instance, in which those who believe in their doctrines will go to heaven after they die, instead of hell, which has nothing to do with the true nature of life or the universe, let alone the teachings of enlightened sages from ancient times. Nor does it have anything to do with enlightened teachings today. 

What is erroneously implied in this statement, however, is that if one looks to ancient religions and man-made philosophies, which are rooted in thought, to discover an underlying purpose of the universe, they MIGHT possibly find answers there. But religions and philosophies are not the place where the living Truth of what is can be found – whether one is a highly trained scientist or not. Consequently, if one looks to institutionalized disciplines for answers to the “mysteries” of the universe, I agree with Dr. Tyson they won’t find them there. 

Dr. Tyson: “To assert that the universe has a purpose implies a desired outcome, but who would do the desiring and what would the desired outcome be?” 

JCT Response: This commentary/question arises solely out of the egocentric mind of self that conceptualizes EVERY THING in the universe, for that’s all it can do. The egocentric mind cannot go beyond thought. It can only think, or in other words conceptualize, compare, and analyze ‘knowledge,’ which is likewise conceptual. ALL KNOWLEDGE IS CONCEPTUAL. The difference between knowledge, which can be passed on conceptually, one to another, and a “knowing” that is non-conceptual is exactly that: it’s non-conceptual. Knowing in the present moment the movement of Life itself (or knowing in the NOW) cannot be passed on conceptually, one to another, for it can only be realized NOW from within. It’s a different “level” of knowing that is just now beginning to flower in humankind, whereas conceptual thinking has been in development, evolutionarily speaking, for a much longer time. 

The universe doesn’t “desire” anything. It just moves and acts according to its designed purpose. The plant doesn’t “desire” to grow and flower, it just grows and flowers according to its designed purpose. The animal doesn’t “desire” to rule the world or to “know” why it’s here, it just lives and functions according to its designed purpose. Only humans “desire,” and that desiring is directly related to the arising of the ego-centric mind of self that, among all other species, has evolved and developed within man and man alone. 

Desiring is not about purpose or the universe, as a whole, but about the mind of self specifically. So we might say that the act of desiring is one tiny aspect of Consciousness, as it plays out the dance of life throughout the universe (not just here on Earth), but it has little to do with the purpose of the universe, as a whole. To only see the universe in terms of “desiring” is to only see the universe from the perspective of egoic mind, which is not to see it (or realize it) holistically. 

Similarly, the Source of the universe out of which all ‘things’ arise, including thoughts – what the ancients called God – is not a “who,” as if a separate being or entity creates anything in the universe. God is not an entity separate from the universe. Separateness is an illusion of mind, and is clearly where Dr. Tyson is coming from when he makes these statements. If it were otherwise, he would not ask the question, “who?” because God as a “who” is a figment of the imagination of self. It might have been the best the ancients could do to conceptualize God, but is a non-starter today. 

Dr. Tyson: … further states that “humans were not around for 99.999% of cosmic history, so if the purpose of the universe was to create humans the cosmos was embarrassingly inefficient about it.” 

JCT Response: This again is evidence of an egocentric view of the universe, as if the universe intended from the beginning to create humans, but it took a long time to do so. I would say that the purpose of the universe has never been about creating any particular species, including humans, but about Consciousness evolving through evolutionary time with an intended purpose or goal to become increasingly Aware of Itself. And it just so happens that humans are currently in the vanguard of that development at this time, but not necessarily for all time. 

As is pointed out in a video-short on the website, species come and go because the evolution of Consciousness is not about species, but about Consciousness coming into a greater Awareness of Itself. Species that contribute to that end remain. Those that are no longer needed, fail or fall away. And this includes humans, as well as all other species born to Earth, regardless of the time in which they appear. When and if humans are no longer needed, or stand in the way of continued development, they will fall away, too. 

Dr. Tyson: … further states that if the purpose of the universe was about creating life on earth, than over the 3.5 billion years that life has been “persistently assaulted by natural sources of mayhem, death, and destruction…. leaving extinct 99.9% of all species who have ever lived here.” 

He further states that “whenever events are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as other events that would just as soon kill us then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert.” 

JCT Response: Are we beginning to see Dr. Tyson’s “point of view,” based on his responses here? He is speaking from the egoic mind of self, as if the development of humans, as a species, might be the underlying purpose for all Creation (which he argues is not likely the case because humans arrived so late in the process, yet are being killed off in droves), or if not, he implies, then there can’t be a purpose for the universe (which he tends to support, even though he says he doesn’t “know.”) The mayhem, death, and destruction he speaks of is seen from the eyes of the ego-centric self, as mayhem against “me” or destruction of “species” like me, as if the purpose of the universe is about the survival of “objects,” “things,” or “species” that Consciousness creates. 

What if the essential purpose of Creation is NOT about species themselves or humans in particular? What if it’s primarily about AWARENESS evolving within that which Consciousness creates? If so, then species can come and go, but Consciousness continues to evolve unabated by the vagaries of time. Consciousness does NOT die, is NOT killed, is NOT affected by the apparent “mayhem” of ‘things.’ In fact, it can be said that death and destruction in the material universe is a necessary fact of life for Consciousness, along with conscious Awareness to evolve. The ego might not like this fact, but the continuation of ego is not what Consciousness is ultimately about.

Dr. Tyson: “While I cannot claim to know for sure whether or not the universe has a purpose, the case against it is strong and visible to anyone who sees the universe as it is, rather than as they wish it to be. 

JCT Response: The underlined portion of Dr. Tyson’s conclusion above is a statement made out of gross ignorance – especially for a physicist. It assumes that what is “visible” to the eye, and “conceivable” or “provable” to the ego-centric mind of self is the only reality there is. Therefore, absent that reality, nothing IS, or nothing is “true.” There has not been ONE enlightened teacher that I’m personally aware of who has or would make such a statement, as far as I know – going back 2600 years. Illusions created by the egoic mind of self, as regards life and the universe are well documented, not to mention well known, even among physicists today. The limitations of human perceptions are similarly well documented and well known, especially among physicists today. The universe doesn’t answer to the mind of man, but the mind of man must at some point become aligned with the purpose of the whole – or if not, fall away in favor of something radically new, which might well be the ultimate destiny of humankind. 

The intention of our documentary series that’s currently in development is to cover in considerable detail the nature of mind, specifically regarding the limitations of perceptions and concepts of mind, and how the illusion created by mind corrupts and distorts the living Truth of what actually is so. Absent this corruption, the light of Pure Awareness shines through, and in that light one becomes increasingly Aware that the universe has evolved from the Big Bang to now with an intended goal, and that overarching goal is the evolution of Consciousness, coupled with the evolution of conscious Awareness in that which Consciousness creates.

Dr. Tyson: Further on, when asked if he believed in a higher power, Dr. Tyson responded: "Every account of a higher power that I've seen described, of all religions that I've seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence." 

JCT Response: Again, Dr. Tyson describes the universe from an ego-centric point of view. He sees the universe and the power of the universe as separate from himself and personal to his own existence. He, like many others, spekas from the illusion of self, the illusion that the universe is all about the evolution of objects and organisms in space and of species here on Earth over time, particularly the specie of humankind. He falls prey to the false assumption of the sixteenth century philosopher, Renés Descartes, who declared, “I think, therefore I am.” To accept this statement as true, one must also accept that everything else other than humankind that does NOT “think” (such as planets, water, fish, plants, animals, and the stars) do NOT exist for any purpose because it’s not “I AM.” In other words, absent thought, nothing IS. Or again, what I think is what I am – neither of which, I submit, is true.

To further elaborate, the following are quotes redacted from the book, "The Christ is NOT a Person: The Evolution of Consciousness and the Destiny of Man" that likewise speak to some of the points made here. (Salient points underlined)

“Today’s widespread, global disorder that originates with Man is indicative of at least two additional facts. First, something is grossly amiss with respect to Man’s understanding of his true purpose in life. And second, it remains to be seen whether Man, as a species, will ultimately survive, let alone realize his full potential, as regards the evolution of Consciousness.” 

“What follows is my best attempt at describing the very complex issue of the nature of evolving Consciousness as simply as I can. The ‘blindness’ or ‘darkness’ (to use the Biblical terms) that we experience in reference to conscious awareness can be partially attributed to the complexity and newness of certain mechanisms and faculties embodied within us. Our very existence bridges multiple worlds of manifested Creation, which explains, in part, why we are often bewildered and perplexed when considering the urges and impulses that drive us in so many ways. It also explains, in part, why most of us have yet to realize our true purpose in life, even though such a realization is possible.” 

“The problem with thought is not thought itself, but the fact that we identify with thought to the exclusion of Truth. In so doing, we focus the Power of Life for the purpose of enriching and expanding self, thus we use this Power in inordinate and unintended ways. This is why Jesus said ‘a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven’ because the accumulation of riches, whether rich in knowledge or rich in possessions, is the outcome of highly charged self-centered activityThe Power of Life is not generated by self, but generated out of the Source of Creation and then used by self. Consequently, how this Power is used is the question that matters most.” 

“Taken as a whole, the message in the Upanishads is similar to New Testament scripture, particularly in reference to the fact that the Kingdom of Heaven is found within and that Man’s true purpose is to discover Oneness with God. The following verse is a representative example.” 

(From Hindu scripture) "Sages say that there are two kinds of wisdom, the higher and the lower. The lower wisdom is in the four Vedas, and in the six kinds of knowledge that help to know, to sing, and to use the Vedas: definition and grammar, pronunciation and poetry, ritual and the signs of heaven. (In other words, conceptual awareness) But the higher wisdom is that which leads to the Eternal. He is beyond thought and invisible, beyond family and color. He has neither eyes nor ears; he has neither hands nor feet. He is everlasting and omnipresentinfinite in the great and infinite in the small. He is the Eternal whom the sages see as the source of all creation."  (“See” in the sense of realizing Pure Awareness within) 
(Parentheses in red are mine)                                                                                          (Mundaka Upanishad, Part I, Chapter 1)

To give another perspective besides my own, pasted below are few pertinent quotes from the book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” by Eckhart Tolle, one of the leading spiritual teachers of our time. The title itself speaks to the underlying theme of the entire book - “life’s purpose” - which, as he also points out, is directly aligned with the purpose of the universe, as a whole. Life does not exist separate from the universe. It is a natural outgrowth of the universe. Not even scientists dispute that.

Quoting from “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle (Underlines and parentheses in red are mine)

“This book’s main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness, that is to say, to awaken.” 

“Neither concepts nor mathematical formula can explain the infinite. No thought can encapsulate the vastness of the totalityReality is a unified whole, but thought cuts it up into fragments. This gives rise to fundamental misperceptions, for example, that there are separate things and events, or that this is the cause of that. Every thought implies a perspective, and every perspective, by its very nature, implies limitation, which ultimately means that it is not true, at least not absolutely. Only the whole is true, but the whole cannot be spoken or thought.”

“Is humanity ready for a transformation of consciousness, an inner flowering so radical and profound that compared to it the flowering of plants, no matter how beautiful, is only a pale reflection? Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones … transparent to the light of consciousness? Can they defy the gravitational pull of materialism and … rise above identification with form that keeps the ego in place and condemns them to imprisonment within their own personality?”

The possibility of such a transformation has been the central message of the great wisdom teachings of humankind. The messengers – Buddha, Jesus, and others … were humanities early flowers. They were precursors, rare and precious beings. A widespread flowering was not yet possible at that time, and their message became largely misunderstood and often greatly distorted.”

“The ultimate purpose of human existence … is to bring that power (the transcendent power of Pure Awareness) into this world.” (Similar to the purpose of the universe, as a whole)

“What is spiritual realization? The belief that you are spirit? No, that’s a thought…. Spiritual realization is to see clearly that what I perceive, experience, think, or feel is ultimately not who I am….”

“The Buddha was probably the first human being to see this clearly, and so anata (no self) became one of the central points of his teaching”

“When Jesus said, “Deny thyself,” what he meant was: Negate (and thus undo) the illusion of self. If the self – ego – were truly who I am, it would be absurd to “deny” it.”

“Although the fullness of consciousness is already there as the un-manifested, we are here to bring consciousness (or Pure Awareness) into this dimension.”

“… [the] primary purpose of your life cannot be found on the outer level. It does not concern what you do (or what the universe does)but what you are – that is to say, your state of consciousness.” 

“Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that…. It is the purpose of humanity. Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole, the universe and its emerging intelligence.”

Speaking about “levels” of conscious awareness Eckhart writes:

Awakening is a shift in consciousness in which thinking and awareness separate. For most people it’s not an event, but a process they undergo. Even those rare beings who experience a sudden, dramatic and seemingly irreversible awakening will still go through a process in which the new state of consciousness gradually flows into and transforms everything they do and so becomes integrated into their lives.”

“Instead of being lost in your thinking, when you are awake you recognize yourself as the awareness behind it.”

“Awareness takes over from thinking…. Thinking (then) becomes the servant of awareness. Awareness is conscious connection with universal intelligence. Another word for it is Presence: consciousness without thought.”

“The whole is made up of existence and Being, the manifested and the un-manifested, the world and God. So when you become aligned with the whole, you become a conscious part of the interconnectedness of the whole and its purpose: the emergence of consciousness into the world.”

Nature exists in a state of unconscious oneness with the whole. This, for example, is why virtually no wild animals were killed in the tsunami disaster of 2004. Being more in touch with the totality than humans, they could sense the tsunami’s approach long before it could be seen or heard and so had time to withdraw to higher terrain.” (When we no longer look at what happens to humans in natural disasters from the perspective of ego [what happens to ‘me’), we not only discover a different perspective, but also a different set of facts.)

​“There are two reasons we don’t see this unity, why we see things as separate. One’s perception, which reduces reality to what is accessible to us through the small range of our senses: what we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. But when we perceive without interpreting or mental labeling, which means without adding thought to our perceptions, we can actually … sense the deeper connectedness underneath our perception of seemingly separate things.”

The other more serious reason for the illusion of separateness is compulsive thinking. It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness (as well as purpose) of all that exists. Thinking cuts reality up into lifeless fragments. Extremely unintelligent and destructive action arises out of such a fragmented view of reality.”

“If you look within rather than without, however, you discover that you have an inner and outer purpose, and since you are a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosm, it follows that the universe too has an inner and outer purpose inseparable from yoursThe outer purpose of the universe is to create form and experience the interaction of forms – the play, the dream, the drama, or whatever you choose to call it. Its inner purpose is to awaken to its formless essence. Then comes the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose: to bring the essence – consciousness – into the world of form and thereby transform the world. The ultimate purpose of that transformation goes far beyond anything the human mind can imagine or comprehend…. That is the reconciliation of outer and inner purpose, the reconciliation of the world and God.”

Consequently, regardless of what’s been written here, the ultimate “answer” to the underlying purpose of the universe is not found in books or through the study of any discipline, whether scientific, philosophic, or religious in nature, but is only found as one awakens to the arising of Pure, holistic, non-conceptual Awareness within, which, as of now, appears to be the ultimate destiny of humankind. 

                                                                                                                                                                  JC Tefft

Article #3

Pure Consciousness: The Last Frontier