I would like to convince you that the entire cosmos should be treated not as a sterile mathematical machine but as an active expression of Will of which we are part.
First, let us call into question the faith of our times. The dominant belief system holds that the Universe was once compressed into a grain the size of nothing. It exploded outward to create all that is, and it continues to expand outward. Those that practice this faith say that thermodynamics ensures that everything around us will once again turn to nothingness, a nothingness defined by vast, cold, and empty space. The Universe is viewed as having the same life cycle that individual organisms do. We could think of this graphically an arrow linearly proceeding from birth to death.
Now, Big Bang and Heat Death adherents largely operate under the view of a machine universe. Importantly, machines are artifacts whose operation may be faithfully described using mathematical formulae. As such, the mathematical descriptions of a mechanistic Universe are viewed as true objective descriptions of Reality. If you ask Big Bang Believers why they believe, they’ll tell you our collected data points fit the equations that the theory predicts. The cosmic background radiation level is such-and-such, and this equation yields that–what more could you want? Heat Death Cultists point to the redshift observed when measuring other stars, which to them says that these stars are accelerating outwards. it is true that objects accelerating outward become redshifted relative to their expected wavelength, and so this is one possible explanation.
When you look out and see the Universe accelerating away from you into the future, a natural inclination is to flip that tendency when looking into the past. If we are bigger in the future, then we were smaller in the past–all the way smaller, energy and matter packed into an infinitely small point. In the Beginning, everything was nothing.
Another possible explanation is that the energy of the photons from distant stars are being lost in transit. If this is the case, the Universe wouldn’t be expanding out into oblivion. If the size of the Universe is instead approximately the same in the future as it is now, a natural inclination is to assume it was approximately the same size in the past. Its contents may be in constant flux, but It Itself is eternal.
The Autocosmos patches the errors of the Machinic Universe. We begin not with the image of a linear arrow from beginning to end, but of a loop–the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. Even though each individual life begins and ends, capital-L Life recurs again and again. The active will of each individual life is towards re-production, towards higher forms of organization, and ultimately towards the propagation of life. Life has this intent! Humanity is not the product of chance, we are both expressions and expressors of this Vital Will, the spirit that suffuses the Universe! The Autocosmos are cyclical not because there are physical laws that form it so, but rather because it is filled with agents like us, active actors that seek reproduction. The Universe re-creates itself inside itself, destruction begetting creation as the snake chomps down.
Autocosmonauts are strictly opposed to the High Priests of Scientism, whom worship inhuman mathematical formulae. To them humans are a mere epiphenomena of Physical Law, a by-product of chance and combinatorics. Rubbish, I say. The symbols they render are said by humans and for humans. Referents to the material world are made with respect to the way it is exposed to us through phenomena. A second is about the way you measure time with a clock. A meter is about the way you measure distance with a straight-edge. As such, mathematical symbolic descriptions may be said to be true if and only if they render a way for humans to truly interact with the world. The active spirit that grasps the world, twists and turns it in its hands–this Will precedes mathematics. The Universe is not made up of a cold and uncaring symbolic machine calculating the trajectories of particles, it is composed of spirit!
A lifeless planet has just a tiny amount of this spirit. A planet with an ecosystem contains multitudes. To transform a planet from a rock to a living being would be the highest expression of the Autocosmos that we as humans could perform.
Our destiny is to spread life further in the Universe, to propagate this miracle given to us here at home, then here in our Solar System, and finally out among the stars. In fact, this is the same destiny that all lifeforms like us share. All of us have this same intent to reach beyond ourselves.
If this destiny is indeed prevalent, why is it that no aliens have come knocking? Well, it’s a matter of accounting. Highly complex organisms are incredibly energy and material intensive. Each of us cannot be plucked out of the world as islands unto ourselves. We require this vast and even more complex ecosystem to support ourselves. In order to journey through interstellar space and make it through to the other side we’d need an absolute massive starship. It would have to include farms, schools, orchards, bison herds, lakes, insects, nematodes, everything! To lift all this into space would require not only absolutely astonishing amounts of material and energy, but astonishing amounts of co-operation, much more than anything we see today. All this for something that may be torn to pieces by a single errant baseball-sized rock.
The economics of sending ourselves into space just don’t work. It’s too big a risk to invest that much in a single ship. We’d expect all other beings that operate on the same matter and energy scale as us to be subject to these same constraints.
What we can send, and what they have already sent, are probes. Vessels with solar sails carrying capsules of micro-organisms. The best ones we can find or engineer–extremophiles that can handle the freezing cold but still revive once the probe reaches its target. As it passes a planet, the probe lets loose these capsules, seeding it with life and continuing the cosmic cycle of reproduction. And if this is so… our own planet could have been seeded billions years ago by the same process.
There’s this amoeba that lives most of its life as a single cell. If it detects that there’s not enough food locally to sustain itself, these cells instead start to merge. They grab onto each other and stack upwards into the sky, building a stalk. On top it grows spores which are whisked away by the wind to greener pastures. Perhaps this is the way life is in the Universe. Probe spores flit from planet to planet, landing to evolve into the kind of higher order life that can send them on their way again.
Or perhaps there once was higher-order Life. A Life that, as it died, knit the cosmos tightly to ensure it would rise again. We light furnaces to sustain our family in the winter. Could it be that the stars were lit by beings beyond our comprehension? If so, it is not just that our destiny is to reproduce among the stars, but also to organize them, to act at a galactic scale and beyond to ensure the Universe’s active recurrence.
If it happened once it will happen again. It is all cyclical–there is nothing new under the sun.