Martin LeFevre, TheCostaRicaNews.com

As the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Japan, as well as the upheavals in the Arab world attest, cosmic intelligence is upping the ante on humanity. Not out of some human-projected sense of punishment (there is no such thing beyond the mind of man), but because as a species we have run out of room to squander and time to waste.

Of course, one may rightly ask, what does cosmic intelligence have to do with it? The nuclear meltdown in Japan has more to do with poor design and safety features than the earthquake/tsunami, and the Arab uprisings reflect the pent-up rage of the Arab street after decades of suppression and misconduct by governments in the region.

Besides, even to suggest that the finger of some deity causes the earth to roll and the seas to roil seems absurd. And yet, one cannot escape the feeling that more is going on with these and other recent events than meets the eye, or lies in the mind of man. Can we find out what it is?

People around the world seem to be falling (or walking, as the case may be) into two camps: those who feel that humanity matters more than to ourselves, and that there is some kind of greater intelligence in the universe; and those who believe that man is the measure of all things, and that there is nothing else.

Both existential orientations have their arguments, but both also pose grave dangers for individuals and humanity. A religious feeling must remain tentative, or it ossifies into fundamentalism and absolutism. Atheism has to lean toward agnosticism, or it degenerates into solipsism and nihilism.

That said, my own feeling is that humankind is reaching a limit of the consciousness that made us ‘man,’ the builder and destroyer of worlds. If so, and without being apocalyptic, it stands to reason that global crises are going to increase and intensify until we radically change, and change course.

That puts a lot of pressure on us puny individuals.

All people live in the best and worse of times. The peculiar arrogance of our age is to believe it always will be so because it always has been so.

Maintaining contradictions is a core trait of what we call human nature. Millions of people, especially in the West, intellectually don’t believe in limits, especially for our species. Science and Technology have become God. If we plunder this planet, we can terraform Mars.

At the emotional level however, the same people believe, in their shrunken hearts, that the book on humankind has been closed. Hence the popularity of shows in the States like, “The Walking Dead.”

However, despite what the minions of the hopeless believe but rarely acknowledge, the fat lady hasn’t sung about humankind yet.

Another aspect of ‘human nature’ is that the worst brings out the best in us. So how many people does it require to make a breakthrough in a sentient species?

More than one, certainly, but not more than a few. The few always go first in any endeavor, and that applies to the transmutation of consciousness as well. Of course the many have to be ready to listen, and the hard-core have to stay in their columns.

It takes a while for the heart to absorb what the mind already knows. Man has pushed his consciousness to the limit of what the earth can take of our fragmenting ways. So there has to be a conscious transmutation. Without it, we will go the way of other failed sentient species, and pass from existence in this universe.

Hell is not a place of punishment, but a place out of reach, for the living and the dead. The amazing thing is that even for the dead, hell is not a permanent condition. But it requires an awful lot of the living to free the dead that have gone to hell.

The only time the living dead or the dead dead cannot be freed, is when it becomes too late for a sentient species. That’s the razor’s edge all of humankind is now walking.

Cosmic intelligence does not punish creatures that plunder their planets beyond recovery. Rather, the failed consciousnesses of sentient, potentially sapient species are like black holes at the centers of galaxies. Having consumed everything they can in their vicinity, they go quiet, slowly petering out and passing from existence.

Of course the dead can’t feel it, but there’s a great and growing urgency. Humankind stands on the threshold of either utter cosmic insignificance, or emergent harmony with nature and the universe.

It’s not darkest before the dawn; it’s darkest at the dawn.