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Under A Falling Sky -- As Above, So Below. Only More So.

In the beginning was no thing, but The One -- a singularity of infinite density -- agitated by quantum fluctuations fomenting a Big Bang of cosmic expansion inflating into inconsistent differentiations of The Many -- pockets of energetic matter -- activating an ocean of gravitational waves whose tides and eddies roiled the flotsam and jetsam into stellar furnaces, contracting, transforming what was into what is through nucleosynthesis, colliding, exploding into ever distending space, populating it with new elements and endless variations of planetary concretions, galaxy upon galaxy, for 13 billion Earth orbits worth of traveling light, till The One that became The Many spanned 46 billion, so far as can be seen. And still, it rockets on, and out, swelling itself from itself with epic violence.

All this, and much more, is speculated by mortal sentience peering back in time from the thin veil of atmosphere clinging to a blue-green spec held in thrall by a minor star in an average barred galactic spiral churning its 100 plus billion blazing alchemical furnaces around an ordinary black hole of light-devouring gravitational compression, reminiscent of that originating infinite density.

However it came to be, this Cosmos that is our Earthly sky is ever rending and stretching, devouring and regurgitating, continually ordering itself out of its own disordering. Yet, on the time scale of our effervescent lives, even that of our species' entire existence, the vast celestial panoply appears to stand still. That familiar night canopy of twinkling dots is always tearing at itself, roiling, falling in and away, raining its star dust fragments down upon us as photons, microwaves, meteors, ghostly neutrinos that pass right through our pulsing bodies, even this solid-seeming planet.

So it is above. But how below? Truth be told, the science that reveals such cosmology tracks even greater complexity, more astonishing order emerging from disorder, within this thin organic film of biology where the same dissipation of potential energy that impels the cosmic creativity also fuels the emergence of purposeful agency. Systems science takes us on a fantastical journey into a maze of interdependent interactions jangling and agitating each other, like quantum fluctuations in the Big Bang, but from which continually emerge the unpredictably self-organizing behaviors of cells and bodies, brains and minds, cities and societies, moment by moment, all dependent upon a background cacophony of chaotically simultaneous activity that has no sequentially specifiable chronology, in which feedback ricochets off itself within and between systems like clouds of colliding cosmic debris.

We are that falling sky, condensed and amplified both in chaos and the ordering it begets, becoming creaturely systems far beyond prediction or control, for all our clinging to semblances of normality, addicted to habits and rational certainty, while within and all around us change is constant, disruption inherent, uncertainty intrinsic to the novel forms and functions emerging continually, bootstrapping the actual complexity of ordering within our wispy atmospheric envelope, thus the entire cosmos. Normality is not a routine, the ordinary not predictably ordered, disruption not simply destructive of our capacity to self-regulate and self-direct but actually essential to the mysterious manifestations of that agency. Futures are unknowable because these are continually emerging from the jittering fluctuations of each frothing instant. The only sense of security there is . . . is a false sense of security.

This ordering out of disorder which governs and guides itself with relative self-similarity over time, persisting both in spite and because of instability within and all around it, is astonishingly resilient while also being adaptive, yet has limits beyond which its crazy choreography of feedback synchronizations suddenly collapses, evaporates from the system it has maintained, overwhelmed by a little too much disruption, or a suffocating seizure of crippling continuity, like some stellar supernova that can not longer contain the forces within it, or a black hole of gravitational density that sucks the interplay of parts into a stifled singularity.

Under a falling sky, round and round, back and forth it goes as Life's myriad variations play out their self-asserting parts, interacting to animate the whole, that biospheric meta-system which, in turn, enables all those lesser actors' constantly shifting negotiations with each other -- individual microbes, plants, animals, whole species, ecologies, societies -- that, in turn, make the whole. There is no beginning, middle, or end, no single causal sequence, no central controller nor predetermining program here, nothing to reliably control, though much to be distorted where one component gains too much advantage over others. Complex ordering on the level of our biosphere is miraculous in so far as our powers of analytic reduction and causal prediction can go, arising from a fundamental mystery of self-organizing agency thatsystems science can demonstrate the existence of, but not fully explain.

Yes, yes, obviously there are causes and effects, deterministic laws of physics holding baseline continuities in the underlying realms of matter, material processes that can be, within narrow boundaries of time and space, manipulated with predictive confidence, the likes of which bewitch our attention by enabling us to manipulate our environments through stunning technological maneuvers, whetting our boundless appetites for ultimate knowledge and control of everything, everywhere, forever. But the same quantitative, mathematical scientific methods that give us such awesome powers of manifold manipulation reveal that there are, also, believe it or not, "acausal" events emerging in the self-organizing agency of complex adaptive systems, where semi-chaotic feedback network interactions suddenly synchronize unpredictably to generate adaptive behaviors that functionally promote a systems continued operations in response to changes within itself or its environment.

Under a falling sky, we manifest as physical matter bound to deterministic constraints yet also as the emergent property of self-directing psychic agency, which can only exist because it does not arise from predetermining factors, which enables us to be such master manipulators, which gives us the intelligence to create the science that reveals to us this seeming contradiction in 'how the world actually works,' that we dwell in and as a 'bi-dynamical' realm of causal and acausal events, where instability fosters ordering, which shows how limited our capacities for ultimate knowledge and control are, which lays before us the basis for a naturalistic concept of 'spiritual agency.'

Walk in wonder. Die in delight.

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