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Paradise, science and the purpose of human life on this planet today.

July 11, 2012

Why are we here? Whats it all about?

It’s a good question, and it really depends on who you ask. One thing is for sure, its human nature to love.

When we look around us today we see a world in the midst of tremendous crisis, over two thousand million people, mainly children, live in slums. Rusted metal, mud and excrement that stretch as far as the eye can see. And these are growing day by day, slum by slum. These people are predominantly starving, disease is rampant, but the greatest cause of death for the under ten years of age, is murder.

We see today that to provide the needs and desires of the people of the world, using the understandings and technologies we employ, that the world is becoming a desert, both ocean and land. Where there were once vast seas teeming with life there are toxic puddles, antithetical to it. Where once vast forests, communities of great complexity and beauty, small saplings remain, acidifying soil. Continents are denuded, oceans exhausted.

Today the human population grows at an ever accelerating pace. A pace only projected to slow through the horizon of tremendous suffering, death, disease, starvation, and war that such growth, already into such vast numbers entails.

The vast majority of biodiversity of this planet, is already gone, the rest, often already sparse, is seen as a resource, when it is in fact our family. If this is the effect our population has today, pause, imagine in fifty years. Incomprehensible.

The human race has become a society of miners, hell-bent on creating poisons for money, we dig up all the poisons we can find, our crops mine the earth, our machines; the oceans and the sky. We take all we can, from anywhere we can find it, and turn it into a toxic form, poisoning the earth, the waters and the air. Today the average person carries the equivalent of a pound of plastic dissolved in their bodies, often thousands of chemicals that never existed in the genetic history of our cells. Many rivers do not have fish that are safe to eat, many places cannot grow safe food, even the air carries poison.

The world is more peaceful than in recorded history, and the population grows daily, despite the incomprehensible billions lost to violence and war in this century, it grows eclipsing all expectations, driven by our technology and the ever depleting top-soils and groundwater that petrochemicals have allowed us to so efficiently exploit. And, as our material possessions multiply, so do mental illness, neurological problems,- today effecting hundreds of millions, and the sense of disconnection and apathy. An ironically first-world problem.

As David Suzuki said: “we are driving a huge car towards a brick wall, and everyone aboard is arguing about where they should sit.”

Science does not speak of human values, it does not speak of the things of the heart or of the character that makes a man, woman or child, and makes a life worthwhile. But what science does tell us is that all life is one family, and that life seeks to adapt to challenges, to overcome adversity, to multiply in complication and diversity, to work together as one system to allow all life to thrive. Perhaps not with conscious intent, but certainly by effect of its very nature.

Each element in the system of life, provides for the needs of another, or of many others. Fungus, the great recycler, provides nutrients for plants, helps dissolve rocks, freeing minerals, holds moisture to create soil, communicates between plants in a forest to maintain health, and provides many essential and important needs allowing life to thrive. Destroy all fungi and the forest dies. Important relationships, fundamental to the tapestry of life, exist between each strand, each thread, and all those each effects and are effected by each other. It is one family, one system, one whole.

Trees and all photo-synthesisers help create energy, they use sunlight in the visible spectrum, to string together different molecular elements into forms that can support the great diversity of life on this planet, they take the energy of nuclear fusion inside our star, made possible by the quantum physics principle of neutron-tunneling, and use it to generate the energy and building blocks needed for the life present on this planet to take on the bio-mass, diversity and complexity it has.

These expressions of life, based on the chlorophyll from magnesium, theoretically help mediate the global temperature by helping affect the concentration of different gases in the atmosphere, after all the forests are made primarily of air. They are not individuals, but communities, composed of all life, supported by the super-structure of the biggest, the tree.

Aerobic life, life that uses oxygen to generate energy, (like us), based on the hemoglobin from iron, helps in many ways as an inherent part of this community, and like that based on magnesium instead of iron, mediates the atmosphere, stopping oxygen concentrations from getting too high, an event which would be toxic to all life, and inherent to its structure and function, possesses the power of movement,  spreading spores and seeds. You could say in a sense that Aerobic life exists to keep life safe, the atmosphere balanced, and to provide opportunities for life to move and spread effectively.

Humans are in no sense separate from nature, we are nature, our bodies speak the same chemical language, our cells possess the same ancestors, our atoms the same birthplace and destiny. The uniquely human notion of separation, pure delusion, we are all eating and being eaten by many different beings, both macroscopically and microscopically, inside and outside, from the smallest cell to the planet as a whole, we are all a system, a part, not the whole, and not sufficient in and of ourselves for life. The human form is less a being, and more a process, a part of the whole, the holo-movement.

Whilst safe-guarding and bringing life, humans also end it. At our best, historically human intelligence and capacity’s maintained homeostasis of ecological systems, preserving through wisdom, management and action, diversity, beauty and abundance, made important to us personally through the aesthetic, emotional and spiritual communication human awareness has with life; with mushrooms and plants and critters, indeed, all nature and all life. Along with the very practical importance ecological stability and abundance play in sustaining our own life, as a part of the whole. This personal emotion and meaning, shaping our future actions, and in turn geo-atmospheric-hydrological-bio system, and closer to home the biological characteristics of our children, through in-vitro (and after) tinkering with the potential offered by the raw templates of dna, via life experience of the ancestors and mother.

At our worst, we have killed all that lay before us, vaporised all life, and exterminated many branches of our ecological family, engineered vast mono-cultures of new organisms, carrying code poisonous to the language of life,  where there were once complex communities, and continents of floating plastic and dioxins, where there were once concentrations of fertility and abundance.

Today we are faced with a crisis, how do we acknowledge morally, ethically and intelligently.. realistically, these fundamental facts, in a world that sustains us but that cannot be sustained today, let alone with a growing population to which there is no simple and obvious solution, or at least not one we would wish upon ourselves or our children.

Many believe that the solution to these problems lies in our technology, in the transition from coal to pebble-bed nuclear, in the transition from petroleum driven cars to electric, and in the increasing power of high-end technology to generate engineering solutions to agricultural and hydrological problems. Not to mention the transition to an information based economy to create jobs for the billions.

These remain and only can be a transition solution, and are the agenda primarily driven by our leaders, by our corporations, and by science. This agenda seeks greater scientific progress, greater levels of education and technical proficiency, new kinds of economic systems and careful management of existing resources. But, as any child can tell you, we cannot fix the problems created by this paradigm, by adhering too closely to a path designed to maintain it, and increase its complexity.

More schooling does not fix the problems introduced by schooling,

More capitalism the problems of capitalism.

More war the problem of war.

Logically attractive as it is, this solution, using the paradigm alone, will currently only allow us to expand the carrying capacity of our artificial life-support systems, supporting and encourage further population ballooning,  which, within the current economic, social, political, military, industrial and academic infrastructure, in turn if unaddressed, will dictate ongoing ecological collapse, tremendous inherent inefficiencies, and mass human suffering, as well as the implicit  and the steady acceleration of the tremendous psychological, biological, neurological and spiritual alterations that this paradigm forces unexamined upon all children born into it. This transition solution, to maintain and expand the status quo,  only serves to perpetuate the fundamental issue, the structurally inherent lack of a cohesive determined higher purpose, an articulated higher vision or end aim, other than reliance on mechanisms of trade, which really, is not good enough. Humans need purpose, meaning, direction,.. the higher and nobler the better. Afterall, who wants a meaningless, aimless civilization.

We have changed our world, with no knowing what effect that would have on our souls. We are chasing paradise, but whose version? Can our existing power structures, economic paradigm and current path, ever hope to realise the destination we would hope for if we were free to dream? of are they in fact as many think, the fundamental source of many of our problems, effecting our awareness, motivations, emotions and meaning, in turn determining our actions,  including all those that are fundamentally incompatible with the ideal.

Perhaps instead of looking at the larger, the fundamental structural problems of our paradigm that appear to be impossible to address using more of the same, we need to examine the ideas of meaning and emotion, to articulate what are the deepest motivations of humans, to talk seriously about how humans find the deepest fulfilment. After all its all well and good to have a paradigm, but what about having a consciously chosen direction for it.

Fulfillment means many things to many people, and is central to all we do. One of, if not for all intents, our primary motivator. There is the fulfilment that we get based upon our experience of what we think will fulfil us, for example achieving a desire. There is the fulfillment that we get based upon our experience of our natural and biological inclinations, for example caring for others, having a child, falling in love, feeling safe and appreciated. There is the fulfillment inherent in our biology towards higher states of functioning, for example, the performance of a mastered skill, the experience of inspiration, and the expression of trans-personal and so-called spiritual states of awareness.

Essentially, stripped of all pretense, fulfillment is about emotion, and emotion is of two kinds, that generated by thinking and belief, and that arising spontaneously from biological triggers. Both of these, our beliefs, and our inherent mechanisms, we can understand and cultivate, in order to directly be fulfilled, instead of via the round-about, ass-backwards route.

It is our sense of meaning that gives the achievement of our desires the ability to provide fulfilment, and our wisdom and meaning that decide what we allow to fulfil us. It is love, expressed as the experience of connectedness and of the desire to participate in the growth, sustaining and creation of life that entail our natural urges, as determined by our biological triggers, and the tangible experience of love, utterly internal and unrelated to whatever trigger we have chosen, a chemical cascade within, that is the fulfilment our experience provides. And, ultimately, finally, it is the biological nature of the brain to seek out higher states of functioning, trans-personal states, spiritual states. We are hardwired to be addicted to and seek out these states. In essence, there is a “god-shaped” hole in our lives.

Our calling, biologically, is to seek meaning, to seek participation in the growth, sustenance and creation of life, and to seek trans-personal experiences and higher states. Our calling spiritually, as recorded by the greatest sages and mystics of every land and race, is to cultivate wisdom, to liberate our hearts from fear, into causeless, ceaseless love, and to still our mind from thought, for infinite radiant peace. Pure intelligence, not just intellect. Knowing, not just thinking. Living Soul.

Meaning is situative, and all situations are fundamentally gestalt, its impossible to remove the observer. The bigger, deeper and more complex our situative awareness, the bigger deeper and more complex our sense of self, and the bigger, deeper and more complex our sense of meaning, and thus fulfilment. To seek meaning through desire most intelligently, we must seek deeper, bigger and more complex life meanings and understandings, so that our desires stem from a deeper, bigger and more complex sense of self, and in turn provide bigger, deeper and more complex fulfilment. This requires that we each develop mature, down-to-earth and authentic relationships with all the complexity, breadth and depth of life and the world, a step which requires a wholehearted intelligence and wise compassion, after all, any relationship that lacks intelligent thought and mature emotion, authentic interaction, communication, action and the active experience, well, lacks all those things, and probably isn’t much of a relationship

The world includes many things that matter immensely, sexuality, spirituality, death, suffering, life, love, work, play, others, self, the universe, religion, poetry, mind-altering experiences, and so forth, so this process involves coming to terms maturely via genuine emotional and personal significance, with religion, with genocide, with economic paradigms, with ecological collapse, with beauty, suffering, death, and with love. In this sense, to be mature involves thinking and feeling for yourself, not allowing anyone else to do that for you, and not accepting apathy or ignorance as an appropriate response to the short, fleeting life we all share as one, intelligence is above all about aesthetics, and aesthetics are emotional and intuitive.

To participate in the growth, sustenance and creation of life, involves commitment, it involves mature feelings, and it involves an open heart. This requires us to choose to care about the things that need care, to choose to feel about the things that require feeling, to choose to participate in the world, to choose wisdom and compassion, passion and intelligence, to become truly human, and embrace what it is to be truly yourself, just as you are, not a thought. Whilst loosing that individual illusion in the service of the whole, of your child, of your community, of life.

To participate in opening the heart, and to committing, brings about changes in the brain and endocrinology that invite the trans-personal into our lives, and fundamentally alter our psychology and consciousness, in essence liberating us from the small stories about me, with its petty concerns, and revealing the altruistic will as an indomitable force of nature.

It is whole-hearted people, and whole-hearted people alone, who possess a deep and real sense of meaning, and who choose to participate in the growth sustenance and creation of life, and so possess the single-minded immersion, the access concentration, needed for the realisation of higher states of consciousness and functioning to arise in a human life, (that is, if without external or artificial support). These peak experiences are possible with the help of another, with technology, with the use of substances and through the practice of a skill to experience altered and trans-personal states, but it is only through whole-hearted single-minded immersion arising from deep personal meaning and connectedness, that the higher and trans-personal states of consciousness and functioning are realised as sober liberation from limitation and conditioning, without hesitation.

There are many things that can interfere with our ability to develop deep meaning, our desire to participate in the growth, sustenance and creation of life, and in our ability to achieve higher states of functioning. Not least our schooling systems, the poisons in our body, the effects of our media and culture, and the decisions we make in life, our beliefs and motivations, fears and addictions etc. However if we wish to pass beyond excuses, and accept responsibility for our lives and fulfilment, we must take these biological callings and approach them within the setting of our essential biological nature. As it is now, present within our current global and local paradigm. In life there is no way out, only a way in.

These experiences, higher and transcendent states, the development of meaning, the pursuit of desire, and fulfillment via participation in life with love and desire for life, are all evolutionary mechanisms installed to ensure the survival of our body, our family, our species, and inherently of the ecosystem, they are the means by which we surrender conditioning that does not serve the whole, and become truly human, whole-hearted, wise, uninhibited by fear and thus fulfilled by love, our essential addictive and moorish nature. In essence, meaning, participation for life, and transcendent experiences, fundamentally encourage humans to move beyond the ego-centric, and towards the other-centric, to be free of the suffering inherent in having to live in a world divided by the analytical conceptual mind employed in the service of an insubstantial idea of the self, and instead find fulfilment in compassion, truth, and free will, existence itself, and the neurobiological evolution, and the potential of human experience, as it is. Itself the product of billions of years of the evolution of matter inside stars and supernova, ecology and human history. Our actual condition and nature.

We are here to protect, cultivate, destroy, and begin life. To realise the universe in ourselves, and to protect its ongoing differentiation into sustainable complexity, as one family.

Since the beginning of time this has been the destiny of all life our shared journey, thus today we have a heritage, both genetic and cultural to draw upon. We are a part of the process, not charged with reinventing the wheel, but rather rediscovering our own identity as members of one family and as the child of our ancestors. As humans today, lost in the vagaries of post-modern apathy, we must ask ourselves seriously, what is this heritage? How can we best realise this destiny on this planet together? Both for our own fulfillment, and for the health of our souls, families and race.

Today, our heritage is this;

We have our stories, our mytho-poetics, the foundation of the imagination of the self and world, of morality, ethics, character. The spiritual imagination, for we are the imagination of ourselves.

Second, we have our languages, the encoders of our culture and paradigms, the method by which we enchant and spell-bind our consciousness, the source of magic, and the ability to communicate for peace, knowledge, wisdom, inspiration and love.

Third, we have our wisdom traditions, our religions and mystical writings, our ancient oral histories, the practices and insights by which we have come to understand and relate with our calling, historically cultivated and understood within different cultural contexts, different eras and different languages, different ecologies and different economies.

Forth we have our sciences and technologies, the priceless ability to think critically and clearly, to move understanding forward together as one in our understandings, incrementally like the systematic growth of a crystal, revealing at each stage more clearly the true colours of the light the universe is made from, and our true relationship with it. Along with all the power, accuracy in wisdom, and material physical capacity this allows. Science is utterly profound, and changes our world and perceptions afresh every day thanks to the inheritance science has gathered from so many lives, work, failures and minds.

Fifth we have our intuition, the faculty of knowing in other ways, our super-conscious and sub-conscious minds, the vast oceans of human intellectual, spiritual and physical potential, preempting mental activity, untapped in many lives, but central to all. The root of genius, prodigy, savant, mystic, saint, mother, father, child. Hard to study, impossible to deny.

Sixth we have our calling, the desire to experience deep fulfillment and happiness, the desire for a life and a world that feels good, that feels right. The natural love and compassion that we are biologically hardwired for and the world our intelligence suggests we should desire. Our addiction or invitation to choose; bliss, peace, love, grace, joy, laughter, friendship, sexuality, wisdom, health, kindness, and above all justice, to choose what is right.

Seventh we have our family, life, and all the relationships and interrelationships we have developed over our eons together. Life is relationship, it is the mirror of the soul and the one thing that matters most. Our family are our mother and father, brothers and sisters, children and the man or woman of our heart. Our family is also every living thing that moves or grows or dies. We share one ancestor, we have the same source, the energy the universe is composed of. The substrata, reality itself.

And finally we have our infrastructure and numbers, employed by radically different worldviews to any that can ever be sustained, and often structurally inherently destructive, but nevertheless a heritage to which we must attend.

We are here to realise and evolve all of this, it is all one. We do not need to discover more, create more, we have more tools and gifts that we could ever need, what we need is to fundamentally and forever alter our relationships with all life, as a race. To change our story, today.

We must stop surrendering our children to the state, that ideology and infrastructure,  focused on creating workers, consumers, voters, soldiers and society, or indeed to any ideology. We must end schooling, and bring back education. Stop teaching children to serve the economy, and start shaping our activities to serve life. For apart from that fundamental inescapable fact, we have already everything we need today already to end inequality, genocide, war, famine, environmental destruction, and mass human suffering, today, not in the future, not as a period of stabilisation after a collapse of all we know and hold dear, but as a sober recognition that the apocalypse is already upon us, we do not need to wait. The moral imperative we are faced with today, this very moment in every breath, overwhelms all other considerations.

Today it is no longer possible for us to live as hunters and gatherers, and no longer sensible for us to practice toxic mono-culture, if it ever was, the risks and dangers are simply too great. Genetically modified organisms are postulated as a solution to acidifying soils, desertification, and plagues, but will and can only intensify them. The more simple solution is to revisit our ancient history, and rediscover our true heritage, our historic partnerships with life.

From this heritage we can eco-engineer a new world, preserving the old with the aid our partner cultigens creating and maintaining an ecological system on which we can thrive, forever, in peace. We simply cannot keep mining the soil and oceans, we have to start giving something back, each personally. Personally care for the water, care for the air, care for the land and soil, and care for all life that depends on our sanity for its survival. Which means, we must start practicing our role in life, as members of the community of life. Today we have killed too much, allowing others to commit horrors we never see in our name, so we may purchase poisonous sludge our ancestors would not recognise as food from flourescent boxes, packaged in toxic waste, built on the ashes of a dying world, the blood of children and the labour of an enslaved race. Enough is enough, it is time for us to individually start bringing life instead of supporting death. Choose what is right, instead of venal apathy.

Our ancestors on every continent knew vast amounts, much lost today, about the ecological systems they lived in, they knew about the medicinal and nutritional values of plants, animals and fungi, and cultivated on every continent those that they knew to be most suited for the conditions and their needs, eating hundreds if not thousands of foods. Today instead of restricting our food supply to a shrinking handful for the sake of the profits of those that enslave us by controlling the food supply, we must embrace this diversity and expand it to encompass instead the greatest foods ever grown as gifted to us by thousands  and thousands of years of breeding and cultivation by ancient human society and civilizations, the living heritage of the people’s that made the great ancient monuments dotting sacred sites around the world, as well as those that left less physical trace. For the sake of health, longevity, happiness, fulfilment and life, ours, and all that in our care, for all life.

Instead of living year by year, mining the soil, we must start looking for the many generations to come, think globally and cultivate locally, and return the world to an old-growth garden paradise, an ecological system that can sustain life forever, after all paradise means a walled garden. Perhaps though, its time to end the walls, it is unethical and anti-life to restrict the fundamental necessities of life by commodifying them, there is not today and never has been the need for starvation and the brutalities that personal poverty the artificial construct, money, has wrought on the lives of billions. Nor for the economic slavery we have been forced to accept under the life-support systems that we are born into. We are living, but without radical self-reliance, as communities, thriving as our local environment, is it truly life?

Our gardening, our lives, and the planting of trees should be the plan for thousands of years, not one. Through intelligence, wisdom, respect and our choices, we can begin a new story, not for what we may achieve, but simply because there is no ethical alternative. Either we create and sustain life, beauty, health, or we allow death for billions, and extinction for many and the end of hopes for freedom from tyranny for our race.

We can end the population growth by scarcity, collapse, war, disease, poverty, genocide and suffering, or we can end it by education, abundance, wisdom, and a change in the dialogue of our religious and spiritual traditions and experiences.

Its our choice. No one elses. There is no one to blame, no they, only we. We are responsible, I would not be any friend to say otherwise.

I pray that in a thousand years, our descendents will walk in an old-growth forest again, live in housing that does not separate them from the life-force of the earth, interact consciously with ecological diversity into the tens of thousands, supported by trees as wide as cars, ancient and established, gardened, maintained, living tapestries, alive with all the diversity and beauty that imagination can create, liberated by the genius inherent in all humanity, our own superconsciousness, our own internet, not that of technological advances that hold the potential for dehumanization, and the elevation of the intellect over the real.

I pray that we will see the stars at night, our cosmic home, rather than pollution, and will be free and equipped to explore inner and outer space, forever, with wisdom, in peace. For this moment, just as it is, is precious beyond our ability to comprehend. It is itself, the deepest meaning and purpose there is, the root of all that will come, and the fruit of all that has been.

Some say not to worry, that human suffering is an illusion, that if we drive ourselves extinct the planet will survive. These ideas are both in a sense true, but the practical human and spiritual reality is this, suffering is real for everyone that suffers, and everyone suffers, deny this and embrace idiocy and destroy compassion. And though, despite humanity and its insanity, the planet will survive us. Mass extinctions that reduce bio-diversity at tens of thousands of times the natural rate, mean that the destiny of the planet is altered forever. Earth will outlive us all, but it, like the sun itself, will not live forever, its time is limited, each moment, and the richness we sustain, is the point from which the future of this planet emerges. It all really does matter.

That which passes away, is a loss the future can never recover. That which comes into being, is the heritage we leave behind as we pass through eternity, the reflection of our soul, the beauty of the spirit of the earth and of humankind and the fruit of each of our lives.

 

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3 Comments
  1. It is true, humanity can do a enough damage to the planet to put itself on the list of organisms that will go extinct. Nature will survive humanity as longs as at least microbes exist, then the cycle of evolution will begin again, humanity being cast off as a failed species.

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