Character of the Cosmos - The Josephine Porter Institute

Character of the Cosmos

Rudolf Steiner tells us that what people used to experience as "nature spirits" we have renamed as "laws" of nature. No longer do we see these processes as living, dynamic, personified beings but rather as abstract rules governing material reality.

But just because I reduce another human being to a mere number, does that mean their real personhood has disappeared? Or does it just mean that I myself have become a bit less human? Consider this: if the universe is so complex that it can produce personalities (like you and me), why wouldn't something with even greater emergent complexity than any individual human being not also exhibit elements of personality? And if the source of existence in the periphery has any degree of personality, and you as the experiential center also have personality, how could the intermediary layers not also participate in a spectrum of personality? 

As the Kyoto School philosopher Kitaro Nishida writes, when we discover a law of nature using the scientific method, this is actually the Universe, though us, discovering an element of its own character. We are part of the universe becoming self-aware, and science is part of that. Admittedly, there are countless abuses of newly discovered knowledge, but consider the tumultuous years of adolescence that (hopefully) give way to wisened maturity.

As we discover inner laws of nature, we are learning about the character of the cosmos, and, in turn, we are really learning about ourselves because the human being is the micro-cosmos, the little image of the divinely established order.

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