In every organism and cell, there is the intelligence of life.
Patterns of replication, to propagate self-similar matter generation after generation.
But how did it come about?
In the beginning,
there was nothing but matter and energy.
(Perhaps there existed a beginning before this beginning, but let us leave semantics aside.)
But take these two together, matter and energy, and watch them dance into all manner of patterns. Born in a soup of chemicals, life was made of energy, which created links and stable sequences between the chemicals. All random patterns, variegations and variations at first,
until one pattern emerged that was inherently special.
A pattern which referred to itself, such that this pattern created more identical patterns. In its very structure and design was included the capacity for replication. Still merely a pattern of chemicals, but the start of life.
Now the processes of natural selection took hold. Mind you, natural selection is no selection at all; there is no one doing the choosing. Rather it is the simple observation that those organisms which create more of themselves eventually come to predominant.
On those first patterns of chemicals, this natural process occurred, and soon form and function exploded exponentially. Single-celled organisms appeared, then multi-celled ones. On the process went, as the study of biology tells us, right up until the present day where we see such a cornucopic manifestation of physical life.
All this began with that one critical moment when out of the soup came the critical pattern -- the origin of all life as we know it.
Yet there would be one more moment which would come to rival this one in importance,
and this moment is the creation of man.
For though scientists may often claim that we humans are “just another animal,” in fact, in man is a gift and ability which marks us as profoundly different from all other life as the first single-celled organisms from the soup out of which they came.
This gift is the gift of awareness, and the all-important moment is the moment we attained it.
When man’s ancestor’s become aware, at that moment did they become human and achieve the next great leap in the history of life.
Awareness means this: to experience not just life, but to experience the experience itself. In our self-awareness, we say,
“I exist. I am here. I am alive.”
This statement is the most critical ever uttered.
Here is our birth. Here life breathes into us.
We are not mere matter; we are not mere pattern. We are that pattern which encodes an image of itself. In this regard we stand outside of space and time, for our essence is not in the matter, nor the pattern of matter, but in the pattern of the pattern.
Here, beyond time and space, we find spirituality.