Man's Station in the Universe:
A Scientist's Journey

By Mehrdad Ehsani

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #116
Bosch Bahá'í School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 30 – June 2, 2013
(see list of papers from #116)

Next presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #128
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Davison, MI
October 9–12, 2014
(see list of papers from #128)

    The Universe is very simple: mostly made of hydrogen, helium and energy. However, the earth contains amazing complexity that is nearly unique in the universe. Unique circumstances have made possible organic chemistry and life on earth, leading to the most complex structure in the universe: the human brain. For example, we can show that the energy consumption of the human brain per kilogram is 100,000 times the energy per kilogram that our sun can produce. The purpose of all this miraculous combination of events is human consciousness and spiritual awareness. We will explore this physical-spiritual phenomenon in this talk.

    This presentation is intended to show the nobility of man and his/her divine purpose. Quotes from Bahá'u'lláh will be referenced to show that this is the central teaching in his Writings. Further, it will be shown that keen observation of the world around us, all the way to the edge of the universe, will enlighten the sensitive observer to the same realization. Thus, we will see that one can progress from "faith" to "certitude", first through the intellect, then through the heart, and finally, through unconditioned consciousness (I bear witness O my God ...). This is what Bahá'u'lláh calls the state of "Absolute Nothingness", where "even love is a barrier between the lover and the Beloved".

    I will offer scientific and spiritual pointers to how evident, and yet subtle, the notion of Absolute Nothingness, the unity of one with all, is. Although the talk is intended to be simple, it is hoped that it will open a window to our true nature, or our essence. We will start with the notion of simplicity and complexity: how as we travel from the outer universe toward the planet earth and toward the human brain we go from simplicity to complexity. This will show that the human brain is at the apex of the very large pyramid of the manifest universe. The brain realizes human mind and spiritual awareness. All of this is to show how noble and sacred the world around us, and the station of man in it, is.

    The talk will briefly use the current scientific knowledge to illuminate the nature of the "physical reality". This is to show how mysterious this world really is. In fact, there is no gap between reality and nothingness (this is alluded to in the Book of Certitude). This will show us that what we see as the manifest reality is in fact dependent on our capacity to perceive. The finer and more sensitive our perception, the more we realize the nothingness that manifests itself as the real world and we are part of this dance of nothingness as form.

    The above talk will be given as the personal journey of this speaker who started as a Bahá'í and after spending a lifetime in search of deeper truths in science and spirituality, arrived at the ancient and simple insight that is "the most manifest of the manifest and the most hidden of the hidden". This insight melted his heart in the love of Bahá'u'lláh and his teachings.

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