The Economy would have us understand it to be the highest kind of organisation and that its rules are unquestionable. It claims the authority of being indispensable and unassailable. It is the strongest particle in the matrix of our global civilisation, It is like the atomic nucleus, holding civilisation together with incredible force and if it should be torn apart, like a split atom, a devastating explosion of global catastrophe would be brought about.
The argument wielded by the political economist to justify his or her ultimate power, is that he or she alone possesses adequate knowledge of the economy’s intricacies in order to be able understand and manipulate it in our favour. The political economist is like a high-priest and his or her powers are full of an occult knowledge of the deepest mysteries. Our well-being depends on this economic charlatan-shaman’s intimate relationship with the divine forces that constitute the Economy.
Wealth, that which truly benefits from the economists’ decisions, has spent millennia ensuring that the Economy becomes the highest kind of organisation. An investment that has created all the great golden lies of the economic reality and turned those fictions into an irrefutable, dogmatic paradigm of apparent truths. But now, as the global climate patterns ever more rapidly evolve into chaos, the consequences of that unquestionable paradigm are becoming obvious, and the enormous lie that is embedded in the economy’s truths is poking out of Wealth’s once beautiful, now grotesque, mantle. Like a volcanic magma these lies are being blasted out with the same destructive force that any river of lava will have on those who lie in its wake. The problem is that all of us lie on the slopes of these Wealth-formed slopes.
But there is hope, a hope that rests in the realisation that the Economy is all a big lie. We can assail it, pull it down and erect something in its place that is more functional, certainly more sustainable. It is time to change the paradigm.
One of the slowest evolutions of human reasoning has to be found in the field of justice. Whenever a crime is committed the guilty are hopefully found, given a trial, and their crimes are accounted for by some kind of process of punishment that will range from fines and imprisonments to execution.
This is our system of accountability in a nutshell, and it has been more or less the same in the Western World since civilisation began.
Accountability always falls completely on the shoulders of the offenders, and this seems like a logically correct stance. If a crime is committed, the criminal must be expected to pay. However, the problem with this system is the narrow range of accountability that it has.
With every criminal sentence, there is an accountability that is left unregistered, and that is the accountability of the network of society that created the offender and all the factors in that network that were involved in the process that inspired the idea of the crime and aided and abetted in allowing the illicit decision to be followed through and committed. In other words, crimes are committed because we live in a system which invites crime to be committed. In any system of winners and losers there will be perpetual victors and chronic failures. The persistent losers will eventually be enticed into cheating in order to survive, while the winners will also develop mechanisms that guarantee that they will always come out on top.
Of course, our simplistic justice systems are slow enough when making convictions, so complicating the process even more by looking for the real guilt lying at the very systemic heart of the offence seems a priori like an impractical idea. Nevertheless, in the long run, a more complex idea of accountability would also have an alleviating effect on the justice system, for it would demand a modification of the system – changing the social conditions in which crime festers to such an extent that much less crime would be perpetrated. By holding society accountable for the unfairness of its own structure, an enormous self-awareness and need for self-improvement would create radical, revolutionary social reforms which would create a more just form of civilisation itself.
Most social improvement is slow and scarce precisely because there are no immediate motives to make improvements, but a society that judges its own architects for all its flaws would create such an incentive. It would certainly foster a very different type of political class.
A justice system, once it is opened up, cannot stop at any certain level. As Kropotkin said: “Hygiene is the best of all medicines.” But of course, hygiene used in a political sense is an awkward term to swallow now as it comes with a basket full of nasty right-wing connotations of racial purity and ethnic cleansing. What we (and Kropotkin) are proposing, however, is an anti-corruption hygiene and a systemic sanitation that creates a moral consciousness of unfair decision making and a policing of the bad judgement that lies in the very architecture of the political and economic system that controls our lives. Hygiene is about understanding the conditions in which disease can develop in order to maintain our living spaces clean so that fundamental corruption and injustice cannot cultivate itself. Universal accountability would be one way of ensuring that the trouble spots where corrupt cheating can develop and spread are located and kept hygienically free of infectious elements. We are not talking about a witch-hunt here, but rather a general soul-searching into the part we all play for every crime. For society to take a good look at what it itself fosters, a necessary self-examination if we want to allow social evolution to ever move freely in the ultimately desired direction of fairness for all.
The Big Bang began the creation of our universe, but what happened before? Of course, we do not know … but does that mean that we will never know? Or, could it be that perhaps we do know?
The Big Bang itself is not a logical beginning, so it probably means that it was not the beginning. In the beginning there would have been nothing but space. Or, not space as such, because space with absolutely nothing in it is not really what we conceive space to be, but a potential for space. Let us define space as that which can enclose a thing or things, allowing room for things to become manifest. Space also offers the potential for movement in it, and because of such a potential for motion, also a possibility of time. But in an absolutely empty space there is no time, because there is no motion in this absolutely empty void. Time can only be born in any meaningful way via movement. So, for time to be able to exist there needs to be a space in which movement is possible. From this reasoning it can be deduced that space is eternal: it has always existed and will always exist. But remember that when we talk about this eternal space we are not just referring to space as we know it, but also to an absolutely empty void, which is absolutely nothing except something with the potential to contain something.
So, in the beginning (and before the beginning) there was nothing, and there was potential.
Now, let potential lie around in absolute nothingness for an eternity and it will eventually come up with something. If it did not, it would not be a very potent potential, would it? But let us not expect it to come up with anything too complex at first. It would be absurd to imagine that the first thing to come out of this potential was something as miraculously complex as God, for example. Even a very simple egg would be far too much to be expected in a first try. In truth, even the most basic element, imagine a tiny subatomic particle, will be an absolute miracle. Something has come out of nothing … isn’t that incredible?
This idea is similar to that proposed by Peter W. Atkins, in his book Creation Revisted where he suggest we contemplate a universe fashioned by an infinitely lethargic creator (one so lazy he would not even have to make any exertion at all).[i] Well, our idea of an eternally empty space with potential is a pretty lazy conceptualisation of the prime mover or first cause.
SO, WHAT HAPPENED?
Theoretical quantum physic posits that the smallest and most elementary particles in our universe, like quarks or preons, are invisible, indivisible ghostlike bits of matter without mass that are ungenerated and indivisible. This could also be a physical description of God. They are eternal – ungenerated and indestructible – and they are not even really in space for they have no size (they are invisible and indivisible). Of course, if these particle-points are eternal and measureless, they have been around even before there was any space. So perhaps the first thing was not the void of space, but the indivisible and invisible particle-point. In either case, the idea of an infinitely simple creation seems a lot more feasible than one fabricated by a complex, eternal demiurge.
So, now we can affirm that before the beginning there was an empty void and some particle-points. Quite a few of them actually, for if they are eternal then they have all always been there, and there are a lot of them. One calculation puts it at the 1 x 1080[ii] which is a 10 followed by eighty zeroes.
This is hard to imagine. How can we get a mental picture of something that is there but is not in space? Can we say that it is there and not there at the same time? It is there because it is there, and it is not there because in the beginning there was no place for it to be. And, because it is eternal (ungenerated and indestructible) it also exists outside of time. And we are not trying to be mystical here, this is all from well opinionated physics, not from something dreamed up by a charlatan prophet. These particle-points are the fundamentals of the Universe, and they were fundamentals even before time existed, which is before the Universe came into existence, and they will still be fundamentals even after it has gone.
We know, therefore, that these fundamental particles have potential, enough potential at least to create everything that is and has been and will be in the Universe that we inhabit. And, potential for a lot more as well. We could perhaps say that in these fundamental particles lies the potential for everything.
But how is this potential realised? How does something that is a mere potential actually become something? A particle on its own, even in eternity, probably could not achieve very much, but when two or more particle-points get together, things could start to happen. So, the first questions we need to ask regarding the evolutionary events that took place before the Big Bang, have to be concerned with the interactions of particle-points.
If we take the example of quarks, they have the four fundamental interactions of the fundamental forces of the Universe, i.e., electromagnetic interaction, gravitation, strong interaction and weak interaction[iii]. At the time of the Big Bang (or just after it), these forces were unified into one fundamental force and one of the effects of the Big Bang was the separation of this force into the four fundamental ones we experience today.[iv]
What we see here is that interaction itself is a force-creating-force. If the first potential were to create time, therefore, that potential needs at least one pre-requisite, some kind of force to create an interaction that could build an accumulation into something that could bring about an ever forward moving reality in space – i.e., time.
So, once we have space, even though it is but a void, and fundamental particles existing within that no-space which carry force that has a potential for interaction, then the eventual fulfilment of that potential (which is immense) will create movement – i. e., the logical result of an interaction between the forces of those particles.
And now we are getting a cause-and-effect styled picture of the Universe in which the eternal qualities of space (albeit the void) and a vast amount of eternal invisible, ungenerated and indestructible particles that all possess forces of interaction create movement within that space, a movement that allows the particles to come together. In this way the no-space of the void is able to realise its potential for a space imbued with time and movements which carve out a dimensionality.
So, it seems feasible to us, that the first interaction between fundamental particle-points, via their force, would have created the first instance of dimensional space, giving them the power of movement and the creation of time that would subsequently allow all of this primitive particle stuff to eventually evolve into the Universe as we know it today.
However, the first interaction between these primitive particle-points would have been attraction. In this Alpha moment of existence all particle points would have gravitated towards each other, creating a tremendously compact point that would contain all the energy of the forces of all the 1 x 1080 particle-points combined (the same energy that is still in the Universe today and will always be in the Universe) and which ultimately exploded outward in the phenomenon we now refer to as the Big Bang.
[i] See P. W. Atkins, CREATION REVISITED, W. H. Freedman and Company, Oxford, 1992
When Spinoza announced his One Substance, he submerged God into the fabric of the Universe and by so doing made God more intelligible from a scientific point of view. This idea was found so repulsive to his contemporary theologians because it rid their Subject of Its most interesting feature – Its mystery.
The mysteriousness is also God’s greatest power for manipulation. Religions manipulate the faithful not through what has been ‘revealed’ about God, but rather through what cannot be revealed.
Religious sentiments display a love of believing in that which cannot be not-proven, even though that which cannot be not-proven is also that which cannot be proven. You cannot prove that God does not exist, but neither can you prove It does. This profound lack of either certainty or uncertainty makes the Subject perfectly malleable. God can be imagined any way you want to, for It has no form and all forms.
Seen in this way, Spinoza is not theologically wrong he has just fallen into the trap of limitation. God can be the Universe, or It can be anything else. God can be in Christian scripture or It can be in the Koran. Like Spinoza’s concept, all religious doctrines are also doctrines on the unlimited, and the truth is A=a, and that is the blandest tautology imaginable. The fact that the monotheistic religions have been able to survive so long is quite incredible and displays an utter naivety that has been preserved in humanity even through the scientifically complex era of modernity. Much of the reason that this great human stupidity has been allowed to persist despite the enlightening era of scientific progress demonstrates the tremendous, conservative power of civilisation.
Hegel regarded his Absolute as ‘the organically articulated system, a self-contained structure of notions’. In our concept of the interactive-objectifying relationship between knowing, self-conscious beings and the unknowing universe we see an interaction of notions within that structure. In Hegel’s terms, a notion is a ‘supreme achievement of thought’. Of course, the problem here is the mechanical process that would be needed to refine the immense, almost infinite amount of information, the greater part of it innocuous, in order to come to this supreme achievement of thought. How can an unknowing universe decipher and/or separate the important ideas from the unimportant?
If we think of this in terms of cybernetics, we can posit the problem as one of a hard disk in need of software. In this way, we can imagine the physical essence of the universe-as-computer (UaC) as a hard disk that stores all information that is generated by the workings of the mechanism of the computer itself. But our UaC receives no input from outside of itself; it is a completely self-sufficient apparatus, depending only on its own mechanisms and the organisation of those mechanics for its self-maintenance. But for this to happen the hard drive needs to be programmed firstly with a self-evolving operating system and later with additional software that can deal with the incredible amount of information that this infinitely complex system needs to purposively decipher and interpret, sifting through the irrelevant and unnecessary information it contains and by so doing make it functional in a persevering way.
Seen in this way, we would have to assume that our own UaC possesses an operating system that allowed not only its basic start up procedure but also an evolutionary process that has created conditions within itself that has allowed a software to be developed within it. A software that can perceive and interpret the mechanical processes of the operating system and develop other software from that understanding which in turn develops the UaC in a meaningful direction, in which complexity unfolds toward order and further creativity rather than meaningless chaos. We call this software ‘life’.
The problem now becomes stickier: How can we imagine the UaC as a hard disk with an OS without a notion of a programmer, the one who created the OS for the UaC in the first place, i.e., God. But if the programmer/God existed, why would the UaC need to create its own software (complex sapiens organisms) to interpret and creatively develop its own version of existence within the basic OS driven mechanisms of the hard drive? The logical answer is that it wouldn’t. If a programmer that was an eternal being existed, that eternal creator would logically want to have control of the processes and fashion and operate the software itself (just as we would not want to lose control of the software on our own PCs).
We are left with two possibilities. Either:
The supreme programmer (God) exists and the software that the Operating System has evolved (sapient organisms like humanity) are superfluous and unnecessary … or
The supreme programmer does not exist, and the Operating System is somehow able to programme itself to create what it lacks … or even:
The supreme programmer existed, but not in an eternal form. The first creator has perished but has programmed the Operating System with an ability to programme itself and create what it lacks.
Option (a) is an absolute pessimistic view for humanity and it would be absurd for human beings to accept such a fatalistic and anti-human vision of existence. However, even if we accept either (b) or (c) we are still faced with the initial conundrum: How does the hard disk (inanimate universe) process the information it receives from the creative mechanism of the software (sapient beings)? Or, in other words: How does the inanimate and unconscious universe meaningfully process and understand the information it receives from the consciousness of the sapient organisms within it? To find the answer to this we need to understand the idea that at the quantum level, the Universe is basically information, and quantum particles carry simple bytes of information in the same way that information is shared and stored in a computer. How this information becomes meaningful therefore, depends on the software that is installed. By seeing humanity as a meaning-making-software withing the hardware of the Universe, we can imagine the importance of this humanity in the process of the Universe’s own purposive development. An importance so great in its magnitude, and so abysmal in its lack of perception by humanity itself. Perhaps what is needed is a software that programmes the software (us) and makes it (us) aware of its (our) own great importance.
 J.B. Baillie in the Translator’s Introduction of G.W.F. Hegel THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF MIND, Dover, New York, 2003, p. xx
In the words of Schelling: “We comprehend something through reason, when we see it as a whole.” Likewise, the negative form of this statement is also true: when we stop looking at something as a whole, our reason fails to comprehend it. In order to be able to answer the question of what an authentic purpose for humanity could be, we must understand the interrogative always from the point of view of the whole, i.e., the point of view of humanity.
For a human morality to be comprehensible it has to be measured against that which is good for the whole of humanity. Moralities that work against the good of the whole and subsequently degrade or damage the whole must be considered anti-human.
Once we start seeing reality from the perspective of the whole, most human behaviour today becomes hardly comprehensible, because it is irrational according to the whole. War, economies that create and perpetuate poverty and human misery, our slavery to money, lack of resources for scientific research or artistic experimentation, just do not make sense when we consider things from the point of view of humanity. The fact that all these incomprehensible elements all now seem chronic to our civilisation only implies the lack of humanity in civilisation and it implies that our System is anti-human.
From his earlier proposition, Schelling deduced that: “The task of philosophical construction is then to grasp the identity of each particular with the whole.” This thinking contains a totally radical seed. Firstly, it condemns the whole of human history as an anti-historical process, as that which has done nothing to ignite and unify the interests of the whole of humanity, while doing so much to segregate it. The creation of tribes and nation-states have to be condemned as anti-human operations and any human future-dream would have to desire the dismantling of all these separations. Subjective identities within the whole must never be antagonistic to the whole. If they are, they must be defined as immoral.
We are fully aware of how frightening this sounds: it may seem as if we were proposing a human state totalitarianism. Nevertheless, the human is in such a state of degradation that the idea of a human-whole radicalism has become necessary, in order to place humanity in a position of contention as a possible reference for the creation of a purposeful human society capable of overcoming the enormous challenges ahead of us in a way that will ensure an enduring relationship between humanity and this world of ours. The fact that we have to be apologetic about it, reinforces the absurdity: Why should human beings feel they need to apologise for affirming their own humanity?
Humanity needs to find a synthesis between the whole and its individual parts, but in such a synthesis no single individual can be allowed to demand special treatment, superiority, or sovereignty over the project, except when we are talking about leadership in favour of the whole. For humanity to be humanity, it may only maintain relationships through our differences by ensuring that the favourable solutions of those differences are always profitable for humanity itself. This cannot be possible without humanity becoming an unquestionable identity for all the individual parts of humanity, to which all other identities are mere subsets. The interest of a nation or a corporation can, therefore, never take precedence over the interests of humanity; profit is only feasible when the benefactor of that profit is humanity and the world we live in.
Human history, what we call the anti-human historical process, has been usurped by a process of individualisation. It has been a constant movement away from humanity, not because humanity represents a kind of totalitarianism or tyranny, but because individualism needs separation in order for it to gain its individualistic desires.
From the individualistic perspective, freedom is achieved when the individual is able to develop him or herself to the fullest. The more individualistic and less humanistic this becomes, the more materialistic are the human ambitions and, subsequently, the more likely they are to concentrate on the acquisitions of wealth.
From a human perspective, freedom is achieved through the freedom of the whole to develop their full potential, and by so doing, create authentic and purposive human-progress. The more humanistic and less individualistic a society is, the more concern it will have for the welfare of all and for the development of technologies and artistic creation in order to develop human potential to the fullest. To understand what humanity is we have to concentrate on it as a whole. Humanity should never be seen as a puppet in the service of individuals or organisations of wealth, whether they be commonwealths, nation states, corporate organisations, or religious groups. To maintain its integrity, humanity must demand that these humanity-rupturing bodies work for humanity itself. In order to make this a feasible reality, the humanity-rupturing system of our economics must also be judged for its degradation, not only of the planet, but of humanity itself.
In our last post, the third part of “The Universe and Us”, we affirmed that:
The Universe is vitalistic, but at a simple basic level that is non-conscious nature.
Vitalism has a natural tendency to try and create what it lacks (and assumed in this is … B.2 – a faculty of vitalism is that it knows what it lacks, despite being non-conscious, or that the Universe has always had an intuition of what it lacks).
Life is created by the Universe because it lacks self-consciousness and any ability to perceive itself, know itself and through understanding improve itself.
Knowing organisms communicate information quantumly to the Universe itself, which, because this information and self-consciousness belongs to the same Universe an evolution towards a fully conscious Universe is taking place.
If this is true then it means that what we call prayer is almost always badly used, at least in the Christian context of prayer. Instead of asking for forgiveness or help, one should be instructing via prayer, or at least when we know we have the proper intellectual authority to instruct.
Not only does the information-sharing relationship between the Universe and its knowing, sapiens consciousness allow the Universe to achieve self-consciousness itself, it may also be able to attain self-improvement through the same relationship – an improvement which would be fuelled by a loving desire for an eternally existing kind of Universe. A Universe becoming via the purposive desire to always be.
The German philosopher Fichte believed that the only kind of knowledge that needed the demanding conditions of subject-object identity is self-knowledge. The Universe in itself has no self-knowledge, but through complex living organisms (and especially self-conscious or sapient organisms) it could be able to achieve an intersubjective-objectifying capacity that would give it a kind of self-knowledge that is far more objective than anything that human beings are capable of achieving or understanding.
In order for this theory to be correct, first of all we have to admit that the precisions we see in cosmological fine-tuning indicate a deliberate will in the Universe that has created the conditions making life possible. Then, we need to ask ourselves: Why would the Universe want to develop life forms in it?
Our answer to this question is: In order to exist.
We define existence as: That which is known to be, and that which is perdurable.
From this we deduce that the Universe does not simply have a will to be known, it also desires permanence (for without permanence existence is inauthentic). Through information received from a human knowledge it can know that its own permanent existence is threatened, which, because it must be permanent to be authentic, means its own existence is threatened.
From what the Universe learns about itself through sapient knowledge of itself, the Universe may be able to adjust its own mechanical development in a way that allows it to be less destructive and life-threatening; more capable of producing more intelligent life, and capable of enduring and evolving into a permanent entity that is permanently fine-tuned for the creation and preservation of life. Cosmologists have already observed certain positive changes in the physics of stars which is making younger stars heavier and, therefore, less prone to evolving into the violent, gamma-ray producing death stars that older stars can become. The question here is: Is this just a positive accident of nature, or is there a deliberate fine-tuning of the Universe going on to improve itself and improve its chances of eternal existence?
If the Universe is fine-tuning itself in accord with the knowledge it has of itself, this places an enormous responsibility on sapient organisms like humanity, because it is we sentient, sapient beings who are, through our own scientific discoveries, informing the Universe about what needs to be done.
Perhaps we have now overstepped the mark: How can we assume that we are able to communicate with the Universe? How would the Universe ever be able to understand us? For the Universe to be capable of understanding the information we communicate to it, it would need to have some sort of mind processing capacity like a consciousness which in turn would need to have a kind of mind. So, does the Universe have a brain? Or is the Universe itself a kind of enormous mind? If so, how does it work?
To answer this question, we would need to think more deeply about what information is and how it is shared. The Universe itself is full of information: How else can there be natural laws? What we have to do now, if we want to continue with this line of thought, is direct our enquiry into finding answers that tell us how order can come into existence and why certain inanimate bodies are able to be replicated over and over again throughout the supposedly inanimate Universe.
For now, let us be content in affirming that:
The Universe is vitalistic, but at a simple basic level that is non-conscious nature.
Vitalism has a natural tendency to try and create what it lacks (and assumed in this is … B.2 – a faculty of vitalism is that it knows what it lacks, despite being non-conscious, or that the Universe has always had an intuition of what it lacks).
Life is created by the Universe because it lacks self-consciousness and any ability to perceive itself, know itself and, through understanding, improve itself.
Knowing organisms communicate information quantumly to the Universe itself, which, because this information and self-consciousness belongs to the same Universe, an evolution towards a fully conscious Universe is taking place.
In order for the information to be more than mere tautological information about its own mechanics, the sapient organisms transmitting information are also imbued with a creative capacity, that in turn infuses the Universe itself with its own creative power.
Life as an Intersubjective Objectifying Input for an Unconscious Universe (PARTS ONE AND TWO)
PART ONE – THE ALLEGORY OF THE REVITALISING OF THE DAMAGED BRAIN
The Universe is devoid of the power to think. It has no consciousness … Is this true?
Imagine an individual in a coma with a damaged and defective brain. The brain of the individual is able to keep body parts functioning, but it is incapable of perception or thought. It is absolutely unconscious although its life-supporting organs work perfectly.
In order to stimulate the consciousness of the individual which now seems to be lost, a technology is developed that inserts tiny nano sensors into the brain. This stimulation, however, is not effective: yes, the brain can process what is perceived but it lacks cognitive processing skills that make it possible to analyse and learn from that perception.
So, the scientists go back to the drawing board and create another kind of nano sensor connected wirelessly to a powerful computer with artificial intelligence capacity that can analyse the information received, rationalise it through a language that makes it capable of learning and storing memories of experience in order for it to form its own personal conclusions about the stimulus it is receiving via the neural implants. These conclusions are then retransmitted back into the mind, providing a new, computer-processed consciousness to replace the awareness it lacks.
Now, imagine that scientists, seeing their success with this creation of artificial consciousness, decide to take the experiment to a further degree and, before the subject has been able to develop a sense of identity with his or her new consciousness, a new AI machine is attached to the supercomputer giving it a second autonomous input that uses a different language and receives information from a different part of the world.
The supercomputer is programmed to filter and analyse the information in such a way that the two different languages are translated into a third language and the experiences received are sifted, selected and categorised by the central computer according to interest and relevance, the most irrelevant material being trashed.
In this way, our brain damaged individual will have the sensation that he or she can shift between one experience and another whenever he or she wants. Or, the individual can simply surf between the two in order enrich his or her own knowledge about the world outside. At first this is a disorientating experience for the individual as it starts to develop its new identity. The scientists involved in the project, however, are intrigued by the process, especially as the individual, now lacking the prejudices imposed through normal individualisation and socialisation, begins to assimilate its own bipolar reality developing a hunger for more and more subjective experiences.
When the scientists discover the amazing potentials in gathering and centring different subjective experiences into one enormous intersubjective mind, they increase the number of sensors by millions by relaying the information of thousands of personal computers interconnected via the internet and accessed through the intricate wireless set up of nano sensors in the individuals now super-sensorial brain.
PART TWO: THE ALLEGORY MADE MORE REAL
What we have in this narrative is an attempt at an allegorical description of our relationship with the cosmos, in which each one of us along with each of all the sentient organisms in the Universe, are sensorial supercomputers, and the consciousness-absent body is the actual Universe.
Of course, the allegory is not an accurate description of reality: in our narrative the information is projected from outside the individual, whereas in reality we are in the Universe, even our minds, and the Universe is in us. From the position of quantum theory, everything is information, and the Universe receives information about itself from our perception and understanding of it. To make it more realistic in this sense we would have to imagine nano-sized, self-conscious supercomputers with their own sensorial systems being injected into the blood and body of the individual in order to give the individual not only a picture of its own corporeality, but a deep and rich amalgam of information derived from each nano-chip-computer’s individual experiences with the world in which it is immersed. All information would depend on the experience gathered from being in the individual’s body, and because of this basically tautological relationship with reality the nano-chips themselves need to be imbued with the power to think creatively and produce its own world within the world it inhabits, although with this power also comes a need for such a creative power to be conscious of the need to develop its own habitats in harmony with the delicate metabolism it occupies.
Seen in this way, we can apprehend how the Universe can learn about itself and its problems, and even, perhaps correct its problems, by observing and listening to itself via what the conscious and self-conscious elements in it can perceive and understand about it.
We can also see why self-conscious organisms exist, and that they need to exist, not only to make the Universe itself exist through self-consciousness, but also to satisfy the desire we believe any existence intrinsically must have for endurance and ultimately permanence. Without permanence existence is not authentic. There is no authenticity in the ephemeral.
The human individual does things for itself and for the other. In a qualitative sense, our lives differ according to the kind of experiences we can enjoy and suffer between these two experiential blocks. In other words, our lives are an amalgam of the time dedicated to ourselves and the life devoted to others, and the good life must be found through some kind of harmonious relationship between the two pillars of this duality.
It would be difficult to imagine a person who only did things for him or herself, and likewise hard to conceive of a person who only did things for others. Nevertheless, some do more for themselves than others, and others do more for others than themselves. On the surface what we are saying here seems obvious and simple enough, or at least until we start defining the protagonist elements of the duality itself: In any individual case we know what the person itself is because it is the one we are concerned with, but who or what is the other?
The answer to this question has deep, qualitative significance in our lives. Most individuals will have an enormous amount of different others passing through their lives making the answer seem too complicated to warrant a reply, but if we group the separate others into common groups and make Venn diagrams of them we should be able to draw up a workable picture of the Big Others that we all do things for. For example, in almost all cases there will be one circle in the diagram to represent the people that are close to us (our friends and family), another to represent the thing called money (to which we can attach the subset of the work-place), another circle will represent the society, which will in part be both within the other circles and out of them, and these will all be enclosed by the greater sets representing culture and country, God or religion, and these will all be enclosed partly or fully by the greater subset we call civilisation.
In rare instances there will be other others that are more difficult to place in our Venn diagram. The others of the arts and sciences, which could be either in or out of civilisation; and also the other of humanity, which in most cases will be the smallest subset of all, for only a very small minority of humanity dedicate any time to humanity.
Logic would suggest that humanity should envelope all those other different fields for we are talking about collectives of human beings or collectives of things that are human creations. Nevertheless, this would not make sense in our diagram, because we are trying to represent what human beings are concerned with in their lives and what is the influence of the others that we do things for.
Seen in this way humanity presents two problems: Firstly, where should we situate humanity in our Venn diagram? And secondly, why do human beings dedicate so little of their lives to humanity itself? When we do things to make money or to help our family or friends it very rarely would be of any benefit at all for humanity. Humanity in our Venn diagram, may touch on all the other sets, but only slightly. In reality, most human beings would hardly dedicate any of their time to humanity at all, and this is symptom of the state that humanity finds itself in. If the parts do next to nothing for the whole, then the abandoned whole will soon find itself to be infirm and dying. Perhaps, in fact, humanity is already long dead. Those who are dedicated to humanitarian causes are alike to students of Latin, or a life-support machine maintaining the vital signs of a patient in a deep coma: They keep the dead thing alive, but barely.
Dead, but not completely. Might there still be a chance that we can resurrect it?