A Red Admiral butterfly

A NON-LINEAR WORLD

Anyone on a path of personal growth or self-evolution is probably familiar with the experience of appearing to work really hard at a particular issue, to get nowhere and then, suddenly, everything’s changed.

Those aware of quantum physics might compare this to a quantum leap: how, for example, an electron, nicely progressing round one orbit jumps to another, perhaps emitting some light in the process.

Others, used to chaos theory or catastrophe theory, might be reminded of the butterfly effect; whereby a butterfly flapping its wings in Mexico might cause a hurricane the other side of the world.

Basically, the world, nature, is non-linear; it does not progress in a simple smooth path or logical fashion much of the time. How often, for example, have you been out for a walk on a mountain in glorious sunshine and then, just like that, you’re embraced by clouds . . .

It might be to do with probability (as in the quantum world) or it could be to do with various factors building up at a low, unobservable level and then suddenly all the small effects come together to create something which can be seen or felt.

Given that consciousness is often concerned with very small signals, very fine boundaries between one state and another, it would seem reasonable that quantum effects would come into play on an evolutionary journey.

Why should consciousness, the essence of life itself, obey logical rules or progress in a linear, predictable, fashion?

But what has all this got to do with conscious evolution? Much, because we are concerned not just with consciousness but the human mind: both of which are so complex as to defy description. For all the human belief in the power of logic and reason the reality is that so much about life, and ourselves, is illogical. How many people who you know would you say you really understand? And how many can you not fathom out?

If nature, including human-beings, and thus our world is illogical, then we have, on our conscious evolutionary path, to find an appropriate response to it. How about admitting . . .  that we don’t understand?

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