One of the truly fantastic discoveries of science in the last 100 years is that the universe assembles itself. It evolves with what science has termed self-organization. What had once been commonly considered a dead and static universe, is now seen as incredibly vibrant and creative. Self-organization is now witnessed in the largest of galaxies all the way down to the atomic level. These moments of self-organization are the results of direct influence by the Ultimate Mystery, and are categorized as Emergence. Another way to classify this power is by using the term “creative emergence”, or simply “creativity”.
Let’s examine some of the great birth moments (Emergence moments) of the Ultimate Mystery. The first would be the creation of the universe itself 13.7 billion years ago in a great “flaring forth”… or “primeval fireball”. This is followed closely by the first formation of atoms. First there were no atoms, just a superheated plasma racing through the universe. Think of it, atoms had never existed and all of the suddenly there were atoms! Billions of years later the universe created the galaxies and then the stars. It’s so radically creative…such incredible Emergence. There were no galaxies in the universe and then a wave of power swept threw the cosmos and gave birth to galaxies out of the atoms which formed shortly after the primeval fireball (the birth of the universe itself).
In the stars of these galaxies, billions of years were spent burning helium until the stars got hotter and hotter and denser and denser. Then, helium simply started fusing together. The stars themselves began at this point giving birth, creating the first instances of the carbon atom from the fused helium. Carbon is one of the most crucial atoms to the creation of life on our planet. That is why life on Earth is referred to as “carbon-based life forms”.
These carbon-birthing stars then proceeded to give birth to other kinds of atoms (Oxygen, Nitrogen, etc.) within their centers and eventually exploded in giant supernovae, spewing the carbon (and all the rest of the elements) throughout their galaxies so that solar systems with carbon-containing planets could now form. The fascinating thing to recognize, is how the universe arrives at these epochal moments of Emergence. Until the moments just described, there was no way in the universe for carbon to appear…it simply was not possible. You can see that the universe is constantly in the process of Emerging, it is always moving towards new domains of Emergence. It is actively working towards (seeking) new ways in which to express its need for creative emergence. This is Emergence or creativity on the level of the universe. We point this distinction out (“on the level of”) to show that we are not falling into the trap of anthropomorphism.
Thus, within the galaxies themselves certain stars gave rise to planets, at least one of which was conducive for the support of organic life. Imagine that, one of the planets simply “came alive” out of what started as a primordial ball of swirling lava (the early form of our planet). This is Emergence, or dynamic creativity, on the level of the solar system.
So, on planet Earth the initial cells of life needed hydrogen to survive. They accomplished this by pulling it from water and releasing oxygen into the air. Now, oxygen in high concentrations was fatal to these initial cells and eventually after too much oxygen accumulated in the atmosphere it started to dive into those cells and destroy them. It was a crisis on our planet of epic proportions.
This crisis required the Emergence of a new kind of life, one that could live in the newly formed oxygen-rich atmosphere surrounding the planet. Thus, on the planetary level, new waves of birth were required…a new form of creative Emergence was called into being, and out of this primal creativity emerged Eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus). It was an amazing moment! The cells found a way to engage with, and use, the oxygen that threatened the existence of the first types of life.
So, in the “oxygen crisis” certain cells that could deal effectively with the oxygen merged with other cells to form the cell-within-a-cell creature called the Eukaryotic Cell. All this creativity and intelligence was involved and the planet had not even developed hands, or eyes, or brains yet…incredible! So, imagine the millions of years of the first cells struggling to exist in a world of their own making, and then discovering that something new needed to be born. There was nobody around to engineer such a model…it simply emerged in a form of sacred creativity.
The list of Emergences after that are too numerous to discuss here in any great amount detail. The Eukaryotes gave rise to collections of cells, to small plants and animals, and then worms and fish…all the way up to humans. We’re talking about births of Emergence almost too amazingly numerous and complex for a single person to fully grasp.
So what kind of person would tend to align themselves with such a powerful and rich maelstrom of creative energy? Think of the emergence of the first cells…struggling to “make life work”. These first forms of life existed in a very long epoch filled with darkness and deep ignorance. The cells had no way to “think” about their plight, yet with groping and wandering and experimenting out comes the new form of life that could thrive in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. The kind of person who can align with such forces is the person who can thrive in deep ambiguity…a person with the ability to embrace confusing situations and keep moving ever forward with no clear destination available. They are the kind of person with many creative ideas and are willing to try and try and try and try until the correct combination of factors produces miracles of Emergence.
As we mentioned, the universal creativity did not have hands or brains to manifest solutions. It had something remarkably more effective… a deep and primal creativity to work with. So, a quality of a person who can align with this would be the ability to access this creative energy beyond words. Such a person allows the Ultimate Mystery to work through them (and use them) as the space for a creative birth that does not always require the mental additions of words, names, symbols and numbers.
Looking back again to the Emergence of the Eukaryote, we try to feel the deep tension on the planet as the atmosphere was filling up with the “poison” of oxygen. The Eukaryote arose as a result of an incredible situation of tension. A person who can align with such energies has a natural inclination for the resolution of tension with new ideas, new forms, and new insights. They have a natural tendency to fixate on their creative path and to never stray from it for long. They naturally allow themselves to be drawn into the creative maelstrom of universal Emergence, and then merge into it with every fiber of their being such that they find themselves serving the creative impulse of the Ultimate Mystery. They can sense the rhythm and timings and orders that are often hidden from the rest of humanity.
Creative people often have to forget about pleasing everyone. If they operate as the space for the Ultimate Mystery’s creative Emergence they are going against the status quo, against the state of equilibrium, in order to give birth to something new. They are bound to ruffle feathers of those who resist change. It is only in the “other than equilibrium” chaos that things can really HAPPEN…that new forms and structures and ideas can be truly given the opportunity to emerge. Thus, they tend to disturb the power centers since many structures have to be removed or destroyed in order for new and more beneficial forms to emerge.
The universe is never satisfied with where it’s gotten to…new levels are always sought. The established orders will resist many creative ideas and will often tempt the creative individual to “sell out” and become part of the established fame and wealth of the existing system…by bribery or by threat. But the creative person who is fully committed to aligning with the power of Emergence resists the easy temptation of conformity.
The Emergent individual senses what science has now confirmed, that the universe has been AIMING at vibrant life from the very beginning of the primeval fireball…it’s what the Ultimate Mystery is all about. We can now scientifically say (and verify) that the universe was somehow constructed, and is constructing itself, for life! And that energy manifests in the creative person (who has aligned fully with the power of Emergence) as a deeply rooted feeling of restlessness. The universe has SHAPED them to BE restless. To them it is OBVIOUS that their restlessness is their personal invitation from the Ultimate Mystery to become directly aligned with creative Emergence.
These Emergent individuals find themselves right in the middle of all the universal events, this continuous self-assembling event, this single energy that began 13.7 billion years ago and has swept through the whole of time. They’re directly witnessing a single energy, one single process, that operates on many levels and in infinite complexities. It is up to these creatively inclined individuals to align with this “dynamic Emergence of the Ultimate Mystery” so that they might be the vehicle through which new forms of useful magic can be born.
If you’d like to watch the “Emergence” video, simply click the video link at the top of this article. The next video in the “Powers of the Universe” series is titled “Homeostasis” whose page can be viewed by clicking here.
The “Powers of the Universe” videos are best watched sequentially, and you will see them numbered 1 through 11 in the links at the top-right of your screen.
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