Cosmic Anthropology: Bearer of Torch and Compassion
by Allan C. Leus
Contrary to the thinking of most scientists, biologist Rupert Sheldrake asserts that the laws of nature aren't rigid, fixed, and set in stone. Instead, he proposes that what we call "laws" are actually repeating patterns or habits that have adapted and evolved over time. Sheldrake and Cohen apply this idea to human consciousness, stressing that one "habit of thought" we'd all do well to break is our deeply ingrained belief that consciousness is somehow limited to our skulls—rather than being, as Cohen suggests, the interior depth dimension of the entire universe (Source: Youtube: Changing Kosmic Habits).
In the discussion “Changing Kosmic Habits,” we can observe similar patterns in the internal realities of the cosmos. There is an apparent similarity in the internal realities of the cosmos, like its natural laws, and the structure of human consciousness. The physical component of the cosmos cannot but follow the forces that govern it. But the human being can go either ways, s/he can be caring or destructive.
The evolutionary process have been going through a lot of trials and errors towards complexity and development as it is being propelled by an unidentifiable impulse or force that determines its (cosmos) journey towards something. However, in the emergence of human being who is now capable of understanding his/her own process can choose to be productive or destructive. But this freedom to choose is dependent on the depth of one’s enlightenment. Enlightenment here means the realization of one’s true identity: for Jesus Christ, it’s the kingdom of God within the human person; for Buddhist, it’s the Buddha nature; for Descartes, it’s the doubter that cannot be doubted; for others, it’s the intelligent design or the creative impulse.
Cosmic anthropology then as a discipline should be concerned about the drawing out of the wisdom revealed by the various disciplines (physical, social and human sciences, religion and mystical traditions, etc.) in recognizing the ultimate reality and at the same time it should be concerned in creating ways to develop compassion (deepest sense of care and responsibility) that embraces all sentient beings in the cosmos and the cosmos itself.
In the cosmic perspective, human being is set to a journey within oneself to realize his/her true identity - one's transcendental identity. It means anchoring oneself to the Spirit who is the ground of all manifestations. And only in being able to do so (to anchor oneself to his/her ultimate identity, to the Spirit) that one can freely decide and commit him/herself to work enormously hard to respond in freeing all sentient beings (humans and non-humans) from the bondage of suffering.
I am personally inspired by what my friend (Ken Wilber) says that one has to realize both sides of reality: one is the absolute side of the street where everything is perfect and that there is nothing to be done because everything is just fine (Wisdom/Transcendence) and on the other side of the street is to recognize that things are truly a nightmare because of the hungry, sick, homeless people and the environmental devastation that is going on, so that one has to work so hard to help others and to protect the environment (Compassion/Immanence).