So I’ve been thinking about that video I posted yesterday. I think the reason I liked it so much is because that video basically shows all the reasons why I believe in hylozoism. Something so incredibly vast and beyond comprehension like our universe cannot, in my opinion, be devoid of life itself. It doesn’t just contain bits of life like us and trees and turtles and dogs. It is life. Every infinitesimal bit of the universe holds “life” in my opinion. It may not be life in the way we’re able to see it like we’re able to see the life of a person or the life of an elephant, but I think that in order for atoms and electrical impulses and chemical reactions to come together to every so often create life as we define it, there must be something that’s present in all matter that holds some form of life on its own. It seems too implausible that only very specific combinations of the universe’s material can attain life and can only do so when amassed with just the right selections of other materials.
When the narrator talks about us “answering” the universe with respect to knowing what the universe is, in my opinion that’s a very potent expression of this idea. We are the universe. We are clumps of it that, for a VERY brief time, happen to take on an existence that is aware of itself, that is aware of the ridiculous distances between everything, even down to the relatively extreme distance between a nucleus of an atom and its cloud of electrons, but is also able to bridge this distance by acknowledging it. We know that our own little galaxy is vast beyond the human mind’s capability of understanding distance. We know that the relative distance between the nucleus of an oxygen atom and the inner most electrons is incredible. And yet we still function within the universe, a universe that allows for such extremes to exist but yet also allows for everything on all scales to work as a cohesive, living, thriving unit.
I see it as evidence that everything in the universe contains life when I see such extremes—the very large and the very small and the distance at both levels—working as one. How can we deny the universe a life of its own when we witness the effect of the smallest building blocks of our universe, quarks and leptons and whatnot, on the grandest events we’ve had privilege to witness: super novas and black holes and stars consuming one another? How can we say that the individual components of our universe exist as lifeless “things” when things so seemingly different have such a great effect on one another and the culmination of all these effects is existence itself?
That is how I define this “life.” The fact that things exist and the fact that they keep on existing shows that every component of our universe is responsive to every other component. And again, I don’t mean “responsive” necessarily in the way that humans respond to one another or the way a bee responds to pollen. The response could be chemical, it could be electrical, it could be in ways we can’t even witness because we don’t know what we’re looking for.
And we’re part of this! It’s common to look up at the vastness that is our universe and think of how insignificant we are. But we ARE significant! We are but for a brief moment a mass of “universe stuff” that happens to take the form of “human.” But in the blink of an eye, in the smallest fraction of a second on the time scale of the universe, we won’t be anymore! Maybe in 30 million years a part of me will be a part of a newly forming star. Maybe in 23 billion years a part of me will be a part of a meteor that splits a planet into fragments. Maybe in 80 billion centuries a part of me will be part of another thing that is also aware of the ridiculous distances between everything, from the galaxies to the components of an atom, and is able to bridge this distance by acknowledging it, just as I am as a human today. But regardless of what my parts become, they will retain this “life” that, in my opinion, is present in everything everywhere, always.
And that’s COOL.