From the perspective of Jyoti Morningstar, 36, a fashion designer from New Zealand
Do you believe people arrived in their present form on Earth?
I think we’re part of an awe-inspiring evolution. I like the thumbs part a lot; it makes texting so much faster.
Do you think a supernatural force has been guiding our evolution?
I think we are supernatural.
Does it trouble you that we descended from apes?
No, I like apes. They are cute and loving and remind us of what we are, i.e. the next step and the solution the world is waiting for.
What does it mean to you to be human?
To love and practice compassion, to consciously create our own evolution, to eat popcorn at the cinema and wear cute shoes, to cry over beautiful novels and dissolve in beautiful music.
Philosophers say that human suffering proves the existence of God, that some people must endure enormous tragedy and sadness in order to find their path to God. What do you think?
I don’t subscribe to this … but I have witnessed that both adversity and positive experiences can be potent teachers for individuals who are ‘awake’ and hungry to learn and develop power, compassion and depth.
What about the Asian tsunami of 2004 that killed around 250,000 people? In your opinion, where is a god in such a biblical natural disaster?
I think there is action and reaction. Lifestyle choices that upset natural balance in our whole earth system will cause effects. We are experiencing this now as a species. It’s challenging that, as so often is the case, the benefits of these lifestyle choices are mostly reaped by the wealthy in developed nations, whilst the consequences are felt most intensely by subsistence living communities in developing nations. This speaks of political power, corruption and manipulation more than it speaks of god or religion to me.
Do you think the chaos and trouble caused by people, including wars, is the product of a Devil-derived evil or purely free will?
Free will is a complex topic because we are all indoctrinated into cultures that determine both our perception and behaviour to a much larger degree than most of us can comprehend. The point of potency however, to evolve beyond this state is in each of our hands (and hearts). Taking more time to observe with equanimity reveals truth between cultures and people. It reveals the source of both our positive and negative passions, and as we understand this we become softer, stronger and deeper. We need to train ourselves and, as communities, train our leaders for better and more peaceful decision making that considers broader time lines and higher ideals.
Why do you think the Universe is such a gigantic place, yet the only apparent intelligent life as far as we’ve been able to detect is on Earth?
Maybe that’s as far as our intelligence to perceive reaches at the moment.
Scientists say the Universe began life as an incomprehensibly dense dot of matter, then exploded and is expanding. In your imagination, what has the cosmos become and what do you think is our meaning within it?
A play in which we all dance. We want to know, experience, and feel.
Although impossible now, if a probe could reach the furthest parts of space, at the point where matter was still expanding, and if that probe could jump ahead of the matter, where would it be?
Perhaps in my consciousness.
Atheists maintain that religion is nothing more than a fairytale and that adherents are deluding themselves. They say there’s no proof of the existence of any controlling entity or creator and that it’s foolish to believe in one. Are they deluding themselves?
One of my professors used to crack jokes about “homo symbolicus” – as a species we seem to need meaning in order to understand the world. Religion fulfils this for many, while the scientific method, politics or art does for others. Choose your own adventure – it’s your life!
Does it worry you that your presence on Earth might be nothing more than a chance alignment of primordial amino acids and that we are totally alone and when you die, that’s the end of your consciousness?
I don’t feel like that, so it doesn’t bother me but if it is like that then it is no bother to me because by the time I realize it, there will be no me to realize and therefore no bother to be felt.
What’s the wonder of being alive?
Giving and receiving love, revelling in the senses, perceiving perfection, and contentment.
If you could say something directly to a god and get a direct answer, what would it be?