The Sapiens Superman versus Nietzsche

Superman vs Nietzsche

When Nietzsche proclaimed that ´Life is Will to Power’ he was both right and wrong. Life as we perceive it is the life enslaved by the Will to Power, but he was wrong to deduce from this that such an apparent reality was the essence of life itself.

‘Life is Will to Power’ can be seen as a lucid evaluation of the way things are, but it should not be interpreted metaphysically or as a definitive statement on human nature.

Nietzsche’s sharp mind was able to see the dangers in and undermine the teachings of Christ and Plato, but he was unable to make the Superman (Übermensch) leap over the monkey himself and see how Power, in the human-society sense, had absorbed knowledge – and hence Plato and Christ – into itself, for its own egotistical enhancement and preservation.

Instead of being a liberating force, Power, which in our civilisation has always been Wealth-as-power, is a selfishly conservative force that is constantly moulding reality into the forms and architectures of its own interests. Interests that are often contrary to the cosmological-will itself. A universal, physical-metaphysical drive that is geared towards the creation of knowledge in what is otherwise a predominantly unconscious space.

One of the greatest leaps in the history of thought has been the need to either divorce ourselves or reclaim our marriage vows with our nature. Both ways have done little to enhance our knowledge, or enhance our lives through knowledge. The great divorce between the body and spirit is just as knowledge-numbing as the hedonistic quest of the sensualist. But even more deadly to the essential Sapiens values of the enhancement[i], are those ideas that claim their justification in nature.

Thus, Nietzsche raged against the ‘Denaturalisation of values,’[ii] and came to defend Aristocratic Power as an example of natural rank. What Nietzsche ignored was that the evolution of the Sapiens brain was an enhancing step in which life went beyond its own limitations by fine-tuning the ability to determine what its own limitations should be. The essence of physics and nature is a logical process and in this way, we see that an intuitively logical procedure is ultimately responsible for the creation of logic.

The dead-rock and all-consuming fireball universe, made up of particles of space and light, has evolved into life-creating conditions: but how? And why? By an accident; or the work of some time and space transcending creator – God? Or, why not consider evolution to be a self-evolving evolution of itself into the natural evolutionary realm of complexity – until the complexity itself finds itself willing an unravelling of itself.

An unravelling which can only take place through perception and knowing. Some millions of years after the Big Bang an intuitive mechanics has evolved in the universe. What we call the laws of physics, accidentally created but now imbued with their own tremendously creative potential and intuitively striving to Be – which is to be known – which needs a new kind of physical nature, the creation of biological organisms – life. A new complexity capable of evolving into a form which is both complex and efficient enough to comprehend the logic behind this whole incredible process that is unravelling – the Sapiens brain.

Through the evolution of the Sapiens brain, we see that life is not Will to Power, but a will to know and a desire to preserve that knowledge.

The Superman (Übermensch) doesn’t evolve through an evolution of power, but through a liberation of knowledge.

[i] For an explanation of the idea of “enhancement” see the articles WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? (parts one and two) https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/what-is-the-meaning-of-life-part-one/

https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/what-is-the-meaning-of-life-part-two-why-there-is-no-authentic-meaning-in-our-lives/

[ii] Nietzsche, THE WILL TO POWER, #37

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Cosmic Will (science versus religion)

The growing process, from the single fertilised cell to the adult form of a biological entity with all its necessary parts, internal organs and external limbs and sensors, is developed with such incredible attention to detail and accuracy that one cannot help but feel such a process is being directed: that is seems to have been willed.

“Willed by God,” insist the religious. But what would God will such a thing for? “Ah, the Lord works in mysterious ways that we are capable of understanding.” Yet, that conclusion only turns the problem back to the start again. If we want to escape nihilism we have to understand purposiveness, and to appreciate authentic and universal purpose we must tackle the purposiveness inherent in the Universe itself.

If we surrender to a belief that we live in a Universe that has a purpose, but one that we are incapable of ever understanding, then that is just as nihilistic an attitude as the belief in a Universe that has no purpose at all.

Fortunately, for understanding purposiveness, life displays purposeful organisation. In fact, everything about life seems to be directed toward some purpose. Not only that, the inanimate universe has its own purposeful direction as well, the extremely complicated process of the creation of life and its evolution into sentient beings; beings that are capable of asking what the ultimate purpose of the creation of intelligent life can possibly be.

This is the key question of all metaphysics – and subsequently it is inherent in all philosophy and science as well; and all religions, of course. Nevertheless, in the case of religion, once God with a capital G has been found, it gives up the chase and sinks into the nihilism buried in the idea of “God’s mysterious will”. An end-point to all argument that protects its power through unquestionable dogmas. Religious power depends on maintaining its mystery.

THE WHEREABOUTS OF THE COSMIC WILL

However, if a cosmic will exists, where is it? If something is organising the Universe, where is it?

Once candidate could be gravity. Gravity has a very peculiar way of organising things: it makes things clump together, although that same homogenising process also enhances chaotic perturbations and creates another ordered kind of heterogeneity. Gravity is also a correcting agent against the destructive laws of thermodynamics; instead of disintegrating matter it creates structures that grow with time. While most hot objects become cooler if they lose energy, self-gravitating systems grow hotter. So, without gravity the Universe could never have created conditions for intelligence life in the Universe, but does that mean that it itself is the force that actually directs its own purposiveness?

If we were to mythologise this, we could resurrect the old concepts of the good and evil forces that rule over us and determine our lives: Thermodynamics is therefore a kind of Loki, bent on the nihilistic disintegration of his unloved father’s creation; whilst Gravity is like Thor, trying to preserve it. In this Asgard of cosmic will, Electro-magnetism becomes a kind of demi-god. Its power is short-ranged and local whilst Gravity has an influence on astronomical dimensions.

Gravity is the great organiser of the Cosmos: and to create life and subsequently sentient, sapiens beings, the Universe needs to be organised.

THE SEARCH FOR PURPOSE: SCIENCE VERSUS RELIGION

The deeper we go in our scientific understanding of the Universe’s creation and self-organisation, the closer science and mythology, and even religion, seem to be. But there is an enormous difference. Science takes nothing for granted, whereas religion takes everything for granted. Science, like philosophy, insists on a need for constant questioning, whereas in religion the questioning is retarded and manipulated in order to suit its own dictatorial needs and desires.

In other words: if we truly desire to understand God or the Cosmic Will, then it is imperative that one does so through scientific or philosophical processes rather than religious ones. Through experiment and calculus rather than prayer. The Alchemists were, and the cosmologists and sub-atomic physicists are, much closer to knowing God than any Pope.

Binary Metaphysics and the World Will

Beautiful-images-of-the-universe-astrophyiscs-and-cosmology-31264132-1280-6881

If the Information Age is to be remembered, it may very well be for its affirmation of the binary nature of the cosmos – that the essence of everything is a 0I0II0 process of information accumulation. The forms that have grown out of this amazingly simple, Either/Or, quantum reality are perceived by us as the immensely complex thing that is the universe, and from the perspective of the Information Age we are able to understand the mechanics involved in this process. It is a mechanics that had been deemed metaphysical or esoteric and spiritual by earlier ages, but now we see reality very differently. So much of our new perception is reflected in our computers and the other digital apparatus that have become so important to our daily lives – virtual realities exist on our desktop and in our pockets and they point to the virtual reality that is our own. Like the microcosm so is the macrocosm. Our computers operate with the most basic language possible, and so does the cosmos.

From the void comes form, from the inanimate comes life – and by sharing information these forms, inanimate or otherwise, are able to reproduce themselves. The foundation of the universe is a process of reading and interpreting information. It is an enormous factory of evolution and creativity.

SCIENCE’S ESCHATOLOGICAL APOCALYPSE

According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, not only humanity but also the entire universe is destined to suffer an unconditional final mega death when it reaches a state of high entropy. Nevertheless, whilst entropy pushes everything towards chaos, the tendency of life is to become less and less chaotic and more ordered.[i]  Here there are two dynamic forces at work – a dialectic of physics between nothing and anything, life and death, the positive and the negative, the yin and the yang. For life to win this battle, it needs to do more than just go on living and propagating more life as it always has done – it needs to understand the universe in a complete way. Only by understanding the fundamental error in its own system of creation, propagation and self-reproduction, will the universe be able to reprogram itself and tilt its evolution away from finality and a return to the void, unto eternity and perpetual creation.

THE WORLD WILL

It is in life’s nature to have a drive for continual creation and permanence. The same drive is inherent in the very building blocks of the physical world. We call this drive the World Will.

If it can be conceived that, through knowledge and technology, a conscious entity will be able to act like God and redesign the universe, pushing it away from finality towards the direction of eternity, then should that not be adopted as a primary motivation for such an entity. As humanity, homo sapiens, is a conscious entity, should it not become our priority to work toward the fulfilment of guaranteeing an eternal universe.

THE ETERNAL UNIVERSE AS A POINT OF INSPIRATION

Of course, there are more pressing problems, and to become God would take thousands of millennia to achieve. So why bother?

Cosmological reality is our reality. Life and death is our reality. Our motivations, what gets us up in the morning as well as that which inspires us to work, are driven by our perception of the purposefulness or purposelessness of life. The cosmological lesson derived from the second law of thermodynamics and the promise of the mega death is “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!” Our cosmological reality is pessimistic and in order to be able to truly think positively, without sliding into the trap of religious nihilisms and their promise of something better beyond this world, we need to have an antidote to the poison of cosmological pessimisms.

What we are proposing is the consumption of positive, purposive vitamins and their immediate effect is a positive enhancing of our perception of humanity itself, with all its positive ramifications. Its secondary effects will be in the solving of so many of our dire ecological problems. This is why we should bother about eternity.

[i] See Vlatko Vedral, DECODING REALITY, OUP, New York, 2010, p.67

THE IMPORTANCE OF METAPHYSICS

Multiverse

We’ve had a century in which philosophy and its life-long partner, metaphysics, have been divorced. The result has been an abandoning of the big questions and the age of nihilism that had to be a necessary consequence of such a rupture. In fact we could define nihilism as a condition in which the big questions are not allowed to be asked. What we gain from this separation is a certain liberation from theological speculations and so many of the absurd dogmas and superstitions that religions propagate, but- what we lose is a serious vision of existence and our direction forward. In short, we lose our meaningfulness in the deep sense. “Vanity of vanities” was the great nihilistic statement.

Nevertheless, metaphysical thinking hasn’t ceased, in fact it’s healthier than ever in what are the most unlikely places: in the halls of science. It is the scientists – the quantum physicists and cosmologists – who are now speculating on the origin of things and all the multiplicity that has grown from that origin like never before. An example of this can be seen in this TED talk by Brian Greene:

 

or this other by Martin Rees:

It is this scientific community now who are obsessed with the big questions: what are we?; where have we come from?; where are we going? Ideas of fine tuning in the universe, or multiverse, leave fertile ground for religious thought, but the new ideas are usually coming forward from atheists who see no real, scientific reason for wavering from their godless universe conceptions. A multiverse idea implies that if there have been endless amounts of universes, eventually one of them will have to work. In an infinity, our existence is a mathematically certainty.

But this reduction, or expansion, of our necessary reality created by the mathematical necessities of infinity doesn’t have to diminish the meaningfulness of our existence. Even if purpose is accidentally formed, when we find it we must not only acknowledge it, but embrace it and rejoice in it.

Real purpose may lie in something as simple as: Being is in our perception of it. Philosophy has always hovered around this point: a point that became quickly confused and obfuscated by the idea of God.

For philosophy to be able to think metaphysically again God had to be removed from the equation. Metaphysics had to be separated from God not annihilated along with God’s elimination.

However, it seems that metaphysics is a stronger element than 20th century philosophy credited it to be and new metaphysical and teleological theories are being born in quantum and cosmological discoveries. This metaphysical renaissance of meaning into the fabric of science must bring about a return to the idea of philosophy in its purest form… the pre-Socratic purity of the big questions.