The planet is in an acute emerging climate, habitat and biological sustainability crisis caused by global human impact, which is seriously threatening the survival of biological diversity and the future of the human species:
A Real Time Research Documentary on Mass Extinction and an urgent Call for Action on Climate, Habitat and Biodiversity
Resplendence is the comprehensive antidote to existential planetary biocrisis. Resplendence is both a revolutionary, world-transforming concept and a nascent social movement to reflower the planet. If you like this presentation, you are invited to make contact or the e-mail address.
Resplendence complements the knowledge of nature and the universe provided by science and the powers provided by advanced technology with the wisdom of what to do for the future, so that all the living generations of humanity and the diversity of life can continue to prosper, and in the process we will discover our true calling as guardians of all conscious life in the universe.
The discoveries of science have unveiled a story of our origin and futue far more challenging and exicting than any archaic tales of God's creation. We know the universe is vastly more inscrutable and confounding than simple ideas of creation by God's breath, manufacture, or verbal command. We also know the universe is capable of supporting stars and planets and that the gas clouds around young solar systems contain the very molecules of life that we find have spawned life on our planet. We now know beyond all doubt from molecular genetics that life has evolved from single celled organisms to bootstrap itself into conscious organisms, who in our case can ponder our fates and wonder at the enormity and sheer depth in complexity of the universe of which we are a part.
Science deals with the discovery process of how nature and the universe work, resplendence provides the wisdom to enable us to creatively express this knowledge, in reflowering paradise on Earth - the ultimate manifestation of wisdom in action. Resplendence is both an attitude of mind and a social dynamic attuned to bringing Earth back to a state of full and abundant resplendence, sustainable and resilient over evolutionary time scales, to ensure our own survival and the survival of the diversity of life.
Since the dawn of history, we have needed to develop both practical knowledge of the natural world - which plants are safe to eat, or medicinal and which are poisonous, how to make arrow poisons, to master fire and toolmaking. We also have a deep need to make sense of our conscious existence to give us the confidence to approach the world with a sense of meaning and purpose - a sense of "having to believe".
The practical knowedge, which we have to treat sceptically, to make sure we get it right and survive, became science. Traditional religion has sought to complement our practical knowledge in human history with a sense of meaning and moral purpose, but has done so at the cost of a heritage of enforced doctrines, moral imperatives, subjugation of women and scorched-Earth attitudes, in which nature can be discarded for the false promises of celestial realms, amid dire threats of hellfire for disobediance to the religious path. Subjective conscious experiences, both of the world around us, and of the inner realities of dreaming and visionary states. are integral to the spiritual quest of who and what we are as sentient beings, but religion has tended to distort this discovery process, by asserting fearful and incorrect descriptions of our existential condition, designed to make us subject to the religious imperative.
Resplendence transcends religion, by providing untramelled direct first-person avenues towards enlightenment, complementing the objective science of the physical world with the subjective science of consciousness reasearch - a true discovery process of conscious meaning and existence, so that human society can discover the deeper inner dimensions of consious experience, fully exploring the conscious realms that religions aspire to in a way we can verify in the first person, through our own discoveries, engaging meditative and contemplative vigils and the agency of entheogenic species to make a voyage of discovery together, complementing scientific discovery of the physical world, with a living account of our evolving collective expereince, without depending on second or third-hand religious doctrines to distort the nature and integrity of the first-person contemplative condition.
In this process we shall come to fulfill the central hope of the true religious quest, in the flowering and deepening of sentient consciousness in the universe. Just as the scientific world view has shown us a vastly more complex and challenging view of the universe than religious creaton myths, so the collective exploration of the conscious condition unfettered by social taboo is likely to lead to conscious experiences, utterly different from, and vastly transcending, those of traditional religious doctrines.
The word resplendence means many things. We usually think of it as a state of glorious natural splendour, but its root meaning re-splendere is to "shine brightly" or "shine again". It is thus both the overflowing abundance of paradise shining forth in splendour, and as a global consciousness, it is the illumination of our conscious discoveries into an enlightenment gained in the regeneration of the living world.
But it has a deeper meaning, as the immortal condition of humanity and is hence the natural paradigm successor to religion, whose name re-ligio means to bind together, thus inducing social compliance with bondage to the established order and its obediance to doctrine.
Instead of leading to the social dominion and physically unrealizable imaginary scenarios of religions, such as heaven, hell and a triage in the the day of judgment, resplendence leads to a real and positively awesome outcome - the reflowering of Earth in natural abundance, through a democratic culture empowered by climax technology, medicine and science based on principles of ecosystemic diversity.
We all want to find meaning in life and want it to have a meaning that extends beyond our own lifetime. We also want the security that we are living in a world that has a viable future for our offspring and the future generations. The critical source of our angst that many of us turn to religion to alleviate, is that we are living in a world which is not only teeming with injustice, violent conflicts and weapons of mass destruction, but is lurching towards an uncertain future as a result of human impacts on the world's living habitats, climate and resources which could take us to an irreversible tipping point, undermining the future of unborn generations. These are problems we need to deal with and heal in this life to have a sense of fulfillment, not just pass them on to future generations, or to an imagined afterlife.
We already have a good understanding of how the universe comes into being, of how the forces of nature are shaped, how they can produce atoms and molecules and the complex structures making up cell organelles and the tissues of living organisms. We are discovering the neuroscience of consciousness. But this is not the end of the road. We urgently need to act as good guardians of the planet, so that consciousness can continue to flower and new horizons can be discovered by future generations, so that the consciousness of human culture becomes a great tapestry - a living brocade over space time.
The Central Enigma of Life, the Universe and Everything
How the brain gives rise to subjective consciousness remains the deepest and most confounding enigma in the scientific description of reality and our existential quest. The sentient universe is a fundamental complementarity between objective and subjective aspects, with our subjective consciousness and our physical world description forming our own intimate representation of this complementation. Although we depend on the physical world for our survival as an organism, all our experiences of it come exclusively through our subjective experience. This complementarity has a multi-fold manifestation in the world too - wave-particle, boson-fermion, ovum-sperm, female-male, etc. as the molecular fractal complexity of life explodes, and abstractly in chaos-order, calculus-algebra, discrete-continuous and defection vs cooperation in the prisoners' dilemma -- all forming a Tao, or Tantra, as the Eastern traditions describe it.
This means that even trying to think of the "hard problem" of consciousness research -- how the brain gives rise to the subjective mind -- as such, is a misrepresentation of a complementarity which can be understood only in terms of cosmological panpsychism. The scientific description of the physical universe, for all its astounding discoveries, is purely a model of the behaviour of physical entities, such as photons and molecules and the structures they form. This means we think of consciousness as associated only with the physical brain and with higher brain functions which we don't fully understand, but imagine can somehow bridge this gap in terms of collective neural oscillations. The trouble is that subjective experiences are so different from the physical description that no conceivable brain function model can bridge the gap.
By contrast, panpsychism proposes that the fundamental constituents of the universe -- i.e. quanta -- have both a subjective existence and objective behaviour. We can't see this existence or "isness" directly, just as we have difficulty seeing one another's consciousness directly, so objective behaviour becomes the default core description. However we know that the quantum wave function shapes where each particle ends up in a way which remains unpredictable for a single quantum and only becomes determined in the average, in terms of the probability (amplitude squared) of the wave function. We have also discovered that quantum entanglement between particles is both critical and universal to how the universe works.
The brain inherited the dynamics to make our form of subjective consciousness possible long before multi-celled organisms evolved. LECA the founding single-celled eucaryote already possessed the G-protein linked receptors found in the brain, and going even deeper -- LUCA the last common ancestor of all life, possessed a chemi-osmotic excitable membrane, enabling chaotic sensitivity in the butterfly effect during bursting and beating. In the context of animal brains, these in turn, lead to phase-front processing, which forms a representation of the same dynamics involved in quantum measurement, bringing in quantum entanglement into the dynamics, driven by self-organized criticality at tipping points running from individual ion channels to whole brain dynamics.
This means that the universe is a sentient cosmos, evolving to make possible a fully intimate connection between subjective and objective aspects of reality, in which existential "isness" and objective behaviour reach a consummation in the sentient brain in conscious perception and intentional will. Consciousness can then intentionally affect the physical universe, just as we experience it to do, by collapsing the wave function of the "multiverse" of quantum probabilities into the line of cosmic history we experience, through Schrodinger's cat paradox. This is what we experience as conscious decision-making, affecting the world around us, for better or worse.
This in turn means that, as a consummating manifestation of cosmic sentience, we have a personal and collective responsibility to fulfil this emergent quest and to preserve and unfold the diversity of life in the universe and this is what the meaning and purpose of life is all about. It is we ourselves, the universe's sentient beings, who form the consummating manifestation of the interactive catastrophe set off by symmetry-breaking in the cosmic origin and it is we who must needs protect and unfold the diversity of life so that the process can reach ultimate fulfillment. The buck stops with us and the fate of the universe and life within it becomes our personal responsibility to protect, rather than exploit.
Religious notions of deity in the form of an all-powerful God are an imaginary externalisation of this emergent cosmic principle personalised in the form of an anthropomorphic agent, with all-too-human emotions of jealousy, wrath and compassion, giving form to tohu-va-vohu -- chaos without form or void. This leads to an abandonment of personal responsibility for the preservation of life and a root confusion between subjective and objective manifestations, in which personality, moral judgment and legislative manufacture, are perceived to have shaped a lifeless world, thus deprecating the intrinsic fecundity of the natural universe to manifest in space-time in the emergence and evolving diversity of sentient life, invoking instead the edict "let there be light" and the false notion of creationism by manufacture, or in its metamorphosis, intelligent design. At the same time, religion lays false claim to present a final account of our conscious destiny in the life hereafter beyond the mortal coil in a way which dislocates us from the natural world and its protection.
The danger is that religion disregards the very principles of evolutionary emergence of the sentient universe that are key to avoiding a critical tipping point, causing climate and ecological crisis, threatening our survival in the enclosing biosphere of planet Earth in an apocalyptic end of days. We likewise face a parallel danger from rampant objective materialism, which denies any cosmological role for consciousness, and in which any exploitative outcome is a win for the perpetrator, allowing business as usual to become predatory and personal gain to become destructive to the survival of the diversity of life.
Hence the situation is extremely urgent and a revolution of understanding of what subjective consciousness is and its role in the natural universe is essential for our survival. Among the diversity of mental states, dreaming and visionary and psychedelic experiences give us further understanding of the intrinsic nature of the subjective, to help humanity make this transition, without which it becomes all too easy for us to confuse consciousness with merely being a ghost in the machine of objective reality.
The key meaningful contribution we can make to the future comes through several avenues - the good life we bequest to our offspring, our own first-person vision quest into the mystical depths of the conscious condition, our contributions to deeper understanding in culture and society, in the humanities, science, technology, art and music, through innovations we bring to society which produce lasting benefit, though compassionate social justice, and through actually protecting the living planet through our actions to guard the diversity of life. This way we become a true perennial expression of intelligent planetary life, which over time can reach to the stars and find our place in the consciousness life permeating the galaxies.
You can find a more detailed explanation of the whole inspiration and thrust of resplendence as a game-changing world view in the keynote articles below. "The Diamond Oracle - Verifiable Trust and Planetary Survival sets out the "acid test" for us all to regain autonomy over the world process, to protect the planet. "The Great Dying is a Wake-Up Call: A Personal Statement" is a declaration of where I stand in terms of avoiding lethal misadventure. "Conscious Existence and the Fate of the Universe" provides an explanation of how resplendence fulfils the existential quest in a primary exploration of the conscious condition that transcends religion and complements scientific discovery. "The Origin of Sex" shows how evolution has given rise firstly to sex, then multicelled organisms and conscious brains, explaining why female reproductive choice is key to the emergence of our super-intelligence. "Planetary Ecocrisis" is a real time research reference overview of damage being done to biodiversity and the biosphere as a direct evidential call to action. It speaks for itself. Science, Resplendence and Existence gives the previous overview, with a poster and video introduction. Together these articles account how and why consciousness, sexuality and biodiversity are the three keys to the survival of the living planet. "Resplendence: A Cosmological Theory of Knowing" looks at resplendence as a subjective theory and method complementing objective science.
The Great Dying is a Wake-Up Call: A Personal Statement
The Diamond Oracle - Verifiable Trust and Planetary Survival
Conscious Existence and the Fate of the Universe
The Origin of Sex
Planetary Ecocrisis: A Real Time Call for Action
Science, Resplendence and Existence
Resplendence: A Cosmological Theory of Knowing
The Resplendence Codex
Natty Dread and Planetary Resplendence Christianity's Apocalyptic Tragedy and the Immortal Tree of Life
Tree of Life: Tangled Roots and Sexy Shoots
Entheogens, the Conscious Brain and Existential Reality
Space, Time and Consciousness
The Cosmology of Conscious Mental States