The Universe is Not Wasteful!

The Universe is Not Wasteful
I have been thinking about transcendence and about consciousness lately.  What happens to the selves of the people around us after they die?  Do my loved ones that have passed on linger in some way?  When I feel the presence of my father (who first taught me the love of the outdoors) in those special wilderness moments, is this a result of some “actual” presence of something that was once my dad?  As I consider my own mortality, is there any value in continue to grow my own sense of self, pursuing my path to enlightenment — or does all this work simply vanish when my physical self is no more?
The mere possibility that years of work and experience on the self just goes away upon death, well, offends me.  It offends the sense of order that I’ve been taught exists in the Universe.  It offends the order and inherent goodness I experience over and over again, as I navigate this world.  In fact, it pisses me off to think of the waste of all these consciousnesses over history — if they just vanish upon death.

But this is more than an emotional reaction.  It goes against the understanding of the universe that my education as a scientist has provided.  From Newton’s Laws including Conservation of Momentum, to the Conservation of Energy principles that continue to be demonstrated experimentally, and provide the underpinnings of our models of the physical world — these all teach us that the Universe does not just “throw away” things.  Energy and matter, the fundamental building blocks of our physical world, certainly transform, change into each other, migrate and mutate.  But the sum total is conserved.  In spite of a lot of looking, scientists continue to see this Conversation Principle preserved.

I have come to the belief that Consciousness is also “conserved.” I do not see a wasteful universe around us. In fact, all my education points to an orderly universe where fundamental values are conserved. Why would Consciousness not be the same? Would a Conservative Universe be consistent with the HUGE waste of value, if Consciousness simply vanished with each passing life? I find such blatant and rampant waste inconsistent!

I do not have a precise definition of Consciousness, nor have the greatest philosophical minds come to agreement on such. I am not even convinced that Consciousness is even a uniquely human creation and attribute. (I am quite doubtful of this, in fact.) I certainly do not have a handle on what Conservation of Consciousness really means. But, I am increasingly convinced that our “essence”, whatever that is, is preserved — in some form, in some “real”, impactful way.