On the Need to Question Things
We advanced, modern, progressive super-humans appear to suffer from a unique form of myopia, a collective blindness distinguishable by the simple fact that we rarely, if ever, question things. And I don’t mean in terms of our trivial, day-to-day doings, our little comings and goings. I meant in terms of the more fundamental aspects of our fleeting and tenuous existence here on Planet Earth. Like tiny machine-parts lost somewhere within the complexities of a much larger system, we are born into, will live and then die never once questioning that mechanism or the ethics which underpins it. For the purposes of this essay, that larger system can be identified as western civilization and its many components as the institutions and organs of government, justice, education, commerce and trade, the military, agriculture, organized religion, etc. We advanced modern humans exist in an ‘Ideological Epoch’, an ‘age of ideas’. Western civilization was in fact founded upon ideology… its evolution has been nurtured and fuelled by ideas since the early days of the agricultural revolution right up to the present day. The institutions and organs that manage and maintain western societies are essentially ideological constructs. And, more significantly, the ethics, morals, values and laws which guide and inform those institutions are ideological constructs (man-made) as well.
Therein lies the danger of a collective acceptance, a blanket acquiescence of institutions and organs which have been constructed entirely from ‘ideas’. Whether considering the larger system itself or its many components, it is vital that we question their validity in relation to and in comparison with the laws of nature and the underlying principles that govern our universe. I think we can all agree that natural and universal laws set the gold standard in terms of validity and veracity… they are the ultimate reality and hold the ultimate truth. So, in the context of nature’s validity and veracity where do the arbitrary ideations of a super-primate with an aberrant, over-sized brain fit in? And the uncomfortable truth is… they don’t. One has to dissect the structure of an idea to understand this.
The 300% explosion (350 cc to 1350 cc) in the growth of the hominoid brain in only a few million years (the bulk of that growth occurring post-H. habilis) unleashed a new kind of animal on the planet…an animal who could synthesize or manufacture ideas exclusively and independently (from nature) within the complex synaptic circuitry of its newly minted super-brain. To place this phenomenon in a larger biological and historical contest, in the one-hundred-and-fifty million year history of placental mammalians there has never been an instance where a mammal’s brain grew by more than 10-15% (in relation to body mass) in the same time frame. That 300% statistic easily qualifies the super-human sub-species (Homo sapiens) as a biological aberration… a ‘freak’ of nature. Correction…it qualifies our super-brain as a freak of nature.
“Our ‘wafer thin’ understanding of things is attributable to a limited (and temporary) computer processing limited (and temporary) data coming in from a limited (and temporary) world via our limited (and temporary) senses. The human mind is fraught with limitations due to the fact that it is, after all and without prejudice, nothing more than a computer…it lacks a ‘heart’, a soul and the necessary means by which to interface with any reality that exists beyond ideas”.
– Excerpt from essay titled ‘The Ability (Disability) to Arbitrarily Manufacture Ideas’
To repeat, an idea is essentially a matrix of electrically-charged images synthesized within the synaptic circuitry of the human super-brain. Its creation relies largely on memory data coming in (and then stored) from our finite three-dimensional world via the five senses and processed by the human’s on-board computer. Thus it can only synthesize ideas that are based on what it already ‘knows’ of an extremely limited realm…via memory. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, the understanding of an idea always comes back to the fact that it is wholly based upon images and imagination. And, as everyone knows, images are not real. They are facsimiles, conjurations, concepts, beliefs, fantasies and reflections, as in a ‘mirrored’ image. An idea is therefore a negation…just as darkness is the negation of light or absence is the negation of presence. Simply put, in the realm of what is real and what is true, a manufactured idea has no substance, no relevance and no validity. Being confined to the unreality of images and estranged from the fundamental laws which govern the universe, the human super-mind had no other option than to function as a vacuum where synthesized ideations could be conjured separately and independently from nature’s laws.
Needless to say, a mammalian brain with the capacity to synthesized ideas independently from the laws of nature was a ‘game changer’, an extremely dangerous turn of events which would trigger the most chaotic and tumultuous period in human or natural history. Just think about it…a brain which had the ability to manufacture ideas in a vacuum, the ideas of which did not need to abide by or conform with universal law….ideas which could be anything the super-humans wanted them to be. That’s what ‘arbitrary’ means. And that is why it is essential to question the validity of any institution or organ which is based, in whole or in part, upon ideas.
Take agriculture for example. There is no other institution or practice that is more universally accepted – without question – than agriculture. In fact, in some circles and in some regions of the planet, to question the ancient practice of farming and raising livestock would be tantamount to blasphemy. ‘How dare you question farming and the raising of livestock!! Farmers feed the world…they provide the meat, the vegetables and the grains that keep humanity alive. You should get down on your knees and thank God for the farmers instead of questioning and criticizing them’. These are typical of the tongue-lashings I have received and I completely understand where these folks are coming from…they have been born into, now live and will most certainly die embedded within a 7000 year old collective mind-set that nobody questions. Nobody.
There are two ways of looking at this somewhat incendiary issue. One is from an ‘up close’, parochial view of the daily unfolding of events and situations in an average person’s life in average cities or rural areas spread around the planet. In an average person’s daily routines, which include trying to survive and make ends meet, questioning long-established institutions and the ethical foundation they were built upon isn’t even on the radar. Besides, why would anyone question a system that appears to be working just fine anyway. Again, I understand where these sentiments are coming from and it certainly isn’t my intention to antagonize anyone. But let’s continue. The other way of looking at this subject is from a wide-angle, ‘big picture’ view of not only western civilization but of human and natural history as well. That is a really, really ‘big picture’. That is the only viewpoint from which we can clearly ‘see’ and understand how long-established institutions and organs of society were given birth and what exactly were the motives and ethical precepts which influenced their genesis and growth. Just because no one questions an institution in its present-day configuration doesn’t mean that the ethical base upon which the institution was founded isn’t… well… questionable.
The most recent batch of related essays are all predicated upon a very specific, precise and seminal moment in history when the element of interference, human interference was first introduced into the natural order of biological life on Planet Earth. The element of interference was arguably the most poisonous and insidious development in all of natural history. Imagine for a moment a road map through that history with two strategically-placed markers a short distance from each other. These two markers act like book-ends to a global disaster…one is the introduction of human interference (i.e., the invention of agriculture) and the other is the currently unfolding train wreck. That says it all. Just connect the dots between these two markers and filter them through the unflinching laws of consequence and causality and voila!, the train wreck and its history all of a sudden make perfect sense.
‘So, no train wreck and then Poof!… a train wreck…
in only seven thousand years’.
(From prologue of essay titled ‘The Ideological
Epoch and the Dynamics of a Train Wreck’)
Some will and some won’t be open to this unique and somewhat radical approach to these divisive issues. But whatever your inclination, one incontestable fact remains. Seven thousand years is a micro-second in universal terms. And yet, in that infinitesimally brief time frame, we super-humans managed to transform a veritable paradise (with a manageable and sustainable population of 5-6 million human hunter-gatherers) into a social and environmental train wreck with a population topping out at around 11 billion by this century’s end. Unfathomable…in only 7000 years. Think about it…something caused that violent transformation to occur. Coincidentally, there is a raft of exponential processes that are currently ‘hockey-sticking’ off the graph that can all be traced back to that period around which the agricultural revolution got up and began to walk around on its own…7-8 thousand years ago. The only significant change in the course of human evolution around that same time frame was the (paradigm) shift from millions of years of hunting and gathering to sedentary agrarianism. The only significant change around that same time frame was the introduction of human interference into the natural order of the Earth’s plant and animal species, i.e., the invention of agriculture.
October 24, 2019