Forces of Selection
Earlier we explored the idea that Existence functions as a mirror for Being, so that Being might Become, and know itself from reflections it makes in the pool of matter. That is, patterns found in matter represent patterns found in a resonant Being.
Now this reflection is incomplete unless reality also reflects back the actions of Being. That is to say, the reflection is not meant to be static, but fully active and dynamic for it to be useful. This is because we are discussing experience and Becoming, not simply observation of a pattern. The knowledge Being seeks is experiential. Therefore patterns of cause and effect are also reflected back by manifestation. Being thus meets itself in the fullest possible sense.
This “meeting oneself” is what the Principle of Reflection is all about. It turns out that this reflection is not on a one-on-one basis, but is in fact magnified or accelerated many times over so that the resulting patterns are made truly stark. This magnification is yet another important function of reflection, so that nothing is missed in its detail. This means that if the inner picture is negative, the outer circumstances will eventually become even more so. And if an action with intent resulted in a positive consequence, then the mirror reaction from manifestation, in time, will result in even more positive consequences.
The end result is that man’s thoughts, emotions, words and actions all reflect back on to him, resulting in a picture that conforms perfectly with those natures and actions. The environment that surrounds a Being, in time, becomes such a composite picture which the inner eye may observe and understand. Combined with the living history that we introduced in the previous section, this reaction forms the basis of many religious notions of retribution, sowing and reaping, karma, sin, and so on. All of these notions have a reality behind them.
We may now begin to see that the forces of selection we talked about are simply the dynamics of this active reflection, the mechanics of meeting oneself, but stretched out in time. By experiencing a reflected composite pattern consisting of both its natures and actions, Being is able to understand itself better and choose a path of exploration based on that reflection. This process in itself results in selection, which is an essential ingredient to evolution.
It is important to note that these forces of selection are part of the automatic functioning of reality (its mirroring mechanism) and does not require any Being or intermediary to define the response or reaction, or decree laws of such and such nature. That is, there is no requirement that an ‘overzealous God’ look over every aspect of the nature and actions of a Being and decide what should be its so-called ‘reward’ or ‘punishment’. Such notions are humanistic versions of this deeper principle. The latter has nothing to do with concepts of reward or punishment. The whole process is automatic reflection of both natures and actions, so that Being may see itself fully with the resulting picture magnified before the inner eye. Thus these laws of selection are simply a manifestation of the Principle of Reflection.
At this point we should also mention how this automatic reflection process comes about. Let’s take a simple physical effect known as static electricity. Rub a comb vigorously over your hair and then hold the comb next to a trickle of water flowing from a faucet or tap. You will see that the flow of water bends when the comb nears it. This is due to the setting up of positive and negative charges (electrostatic potential) on the comb and the hair, due to friction dislodging electrons. The resulting charges result in attractive or repulsive forces. The electrostatic potential can be released as a force that results in attracting and bending a trickle of water.
Reminiscent of such friction, any action in thought, emotion, word or deed by one fragment of Being on another creates a potential between the two entities. The potential may be discharged in many ways, such as through a compensating action applied on the entities. The entities may also draw to themselves a reaction from the environment, and which has a compensating effect. Like a conservative energy field, the potential remains non-zero until the overall work done is compensated and nullified to zero. As an aside, it may be noted that the term used for ‘work’ in some of the Eastern languages is ‘karma’.
When applied to multiple entities, the potentials and the interchanges between them become arbitrarily complex. Like the N-body problem, much of these interactions is well beyond easy analysis, yet quite a lot may be understood through empirical observation.
In upcoming sections we will look again, this time more closely, at Diversity, the return to Unity, Truth, the Separative Principle, and the nature of what human beings call as Evil.