Exploring Ontology

Ontology – the fundamental nature of being

Something exists. As sentient conscious beings, we each know this for certain.

Nothing cannot cause something. So something must have always existed, as must consciousness.

Big Bang theory models the creation of space-time out of nothing, which is ontologically suspect.

Materialist philosophy suggests that consciousness emerged from no-consciousness, which is ontologically miraculous.

At the heart of things is mystery, which leaves plenty of space for God.

Inspired by Christian de Quincey’s book Blindspots.

The mystery

Individual consciousness is undeniable.

The existence of other consciousnesses and the external world is the only sensible basis for living.

According to cosmologists, space-time began with a ‘big bang’ and things gradually evolved into increasing complexity. At some point life emerged, and eventually so did individual consciousness.

So what happened/ what was the cause of (or ‘before’) the ‘big bang’? Does the question have any meaning?

And it leads to the question what if life/ consciousness did not exist?And how could it have started?

At which point the brain hurts.

There is always a mystery at the heart of existence! Some call it God.

Featured image is a universal timeline from NASA, via Wikimedia Commons


What is it all about?

“I woke up early morning with this strange feeling.
I got up, walked over to the window, opened the curtains,
and looked out over the streets of Rochdale.
The sun was coming up over the hills, the sky ablaze with colour.
I was sort of entranced.
I thought: ‘What is it all about?’
Then I thought ‘It’s got bugger all to do with me!’
and I went back to bed.”

That’s my memory of a joke told in a gig by Lancashire comedian Mike Harding in the late 1970s or early 80s. It came to mind as I pondered on such things, as you do, while gardening – indeed as I have done from time to time since childhood.

It struck me that, even harder than imagining how the universe came about, which is guaranteed to give you brainache, is what it could have been like ‘before’, ie before space and time began in our universe, before the ‘big bang’.

How could the universe not exist? Methinks the answer does not lie in the realm of rational discourse.

Featured image shows sunrise over Failsworth, Oldham
courtesy of Martin Butler, via Wikimedia Commons