One And All Out of Many Opposites

How I think emergence and entropy give rise to consciousness, and how transcendence gives form and meaning to everything.

Kev The Metaject
3 min readMar 23, 2023
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

We feel the passage of time from the marks of events left on our memories and the pull of our fantasies. As fantasies become realized they remind us we still exist in the present, but nothing is permanent. Entropy ensures constant change.

What are memories but neurons and synapses kept alive by entropy? Likewise, what are fantasies but merely the same neurons and synapses duplicated and rearranged? Past and present aren’t all that different when you think of it that way. One is what we hold on to while the other is what seems inevitable. Without the thoughts we create with our neurons and synapses there would be no past and future. There would be no such thing as time, as we know it.

It’s true. There is still entropy, space and time even without our conscious awareness. When a tree falls and there’s no one around it still causes vibrations in the air. There’s just no one to give that event meaning. Atoms and molecules do not experience the passage of time as we do. They do not remember childhoods or breakups. They do not dream of better futures or avoid losses. Atoms and molecules will be just as they always will be according to natural laws, no more and no less.

So, what are we? Are we conscious beings capable of being anchored in the past by significant pain and joy, and free to conjure the unimagined? Or are we simply an eddy of particles in a flow of entropy, temporary and fleeting?

I believe we are both and much more in between.

Once upon a time whether by miracle or simple chance convergence, something emerged with the rudimentary imperative to persist and grow. We decided to call this the first sign of life. We learn how we came to be from that through evolution. We also like to think that somewhere along the line we became conscious beings and after further evolution we became intelligent. However, we still carry that first sign of life with us. It lives as every single cell in our bodies.

We are atoms and molecules. We are also single-cell organisms. We are organs and limbs. We are also conscious mammals and human beings.

As infants, we first become aware of our unique imperatives through our senses. Our senses reveal boundaries that define our bodies and thus give rise to the beginnings of our consciousness. Perhaps the first glimmer of consciousness is the meaning of separateness created by the boundaries of our bodies.

I believe that sense of separateness remains with all of us. Even after we emerge as fully-grown conscious human beings, that first glimmer is embedded into the core of every thought and desire whether we are aware of it or not. Analogously, the sparks on some tinder cannot be differentiated from the flames of the bonfire it creates. What gives the illusion of difference is the meaning of time which is impossible without consciousness, the neurons and the synapses of our brains.

Consciousness gives us free will, the will to simulate futures never conceived. Consciousness can also tether us to the past. What we perceive as past and present can be folded into our awareness creating a singularity, not unlike the accumulation of matter into black holes. Neither are bound by space and time and thus can also allow transcendence beyond space-time.

We may be tempted to think we are simply atoms and molecules bound by the predictable laws of physics. However, willful transcendence can lift us from boundaries between the many and opposites into Being one and “sameness”. Thus it affords us the imagination and freedom to create whatever meaning we wish that’s beyond the predictable laws of physics, or does it?

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Kev The Metaject

A 9-5er, amateur photographer, writer, and sci-phi enthusiast seeking connections between the seemingly disconnected. (INTP, 9w1, he/him, cis, gay, geek)