Maybe it is true after all, maybe it isn’t. This world a vast Simulator, we the programs of some edgy or stupid modeling software repeating the nightmares of a child gone lucidly bunkos. Even after a 1001 scenarios the game goes on and on and on… to no purpose, only whim and sardonic laughter.
Baubles of a mindless god…
Sometimes I scare myself… then I remember that even nightmares are illusions and delusions luring us into despair. Even the worst image of life or death is but a mental construct, a fake apprehension of that which is no image. We have no image for the unknown, only apprehensions. We do not fear what we can see, as much as we are in terror of the unknown we cannot. Fear is not an image one can simulate, nor terror a product of the mind’s vast repertoire of image making power. Humans are ultimately tied to their affections, not their intellect. Feelings, not intelligence drives us anxiously to exist: Survive! Even the urge to procreate, the sensual lure of sex is a driveness of deep-seated feelings and needs to continue, rather than some mental or intelligent decision on our part. At the core is this inhuman need to continue, to survive, to reproduce, to go on. Our enemy, time and death. Immortal drives seeking the endless circle and labyrinth to stave off the inevitable zero point of oblivion. It moves, the void: it is the blank in the eye, the blind spot in every theory.
Or, should we reverse this? Maybe it is intelligence that has for so long used the apprehensions and feelings of affective beings toward its own goals, sought through the labors of endless repetition and cycles within cycles of organic life forms the cunning road out of organicity? Maybe after all the dreams of Reason are but the graspings of this unknown in us seeking a path into immortal form? Then the driveness would seem but the chrysalis of the worm seeking the beauty of the butterfly. The dreamer and the dream, Old Chuang Tzu wondering if he is the dream or the butterfly dreaming he is a man. Between form and formlessness, the adamantine body and the body of wind lies the central point of a truth we have as yet not perceived.
Dropping the metaphors we could use any of the man made linguistic vocabularies: science, poetic, rhetorical, philosophical, musical, mathematical, etc. All that would gain is the snobbery of the specific, and egoistic apprehension of our ignorance. Even as the great physicists construct their mathematical cathedrals of theory: from quantum gravity to string theory it is still bound to those subtle effects that transpire outside the range of human limitation. We gain insight only into that which we cannot perceive (i.e., the unknown surrounding us on all sides.). We give it nice metaphors such as Dark Matter and Dark Energy to fill in the gaps of our non-knowledge with mathematical models of that missing stuff which will not expose itself to our organic senses and sciences, our filters, our appendages, our tools and apparatuses. So that even the sciences come to darkness in the end, probing the void for answers much as astrologers once probed the heavens for signs. Complexity for complexity’s sake? Or, to put an end to the questioning?
And if we discovered the end of things, the last particle, the ultimate reason and cause of things: What then? Would this be the end? Or, a beginning?
Philosophers for millennia have drifted between hope and despair of wisdom. Is there no end? Has Wisdom been found, yet? Are we the never ending unsatisfied animal? The one that cannot be at home in the universe? The squanderers of meaning, who no longer believe in meaning of value? Is it so? Or, have we discovered that meaning is not fixed, that there is not one unique and defined meaning, no literal world or universe of meaning, but as many meanings as there are stars strewn through the abyss? For two hundred years we’ve questioned the meanings of our ancestors and found them lacking (or some have!). Some speak of de-programming the mind of Western Civilization, of the great demythologization of our inheritance, of stripping it of its last anthropomorphic blight. So what has this gotten us? A world without us, some say. The non-human or inhuman turn away from the human, etc. As if being human were now a disease from which we must recover? But then they say Nature is no more, that that too was but a construct of the human – a flight of anthropomorphic poetry and imaginal embellishment that must be stripped away revealing the stuff ‘out there’. That, too, sadly, may be illusion and delusion, too.
Some say that philosophy itself is at an end, the road to Wisdom is defunct, no more wisdom to be found. True? Untrue? Some say its all mute anyway, because the human is the last myth to go, that in an age of transition such as ours, and as the sciences of genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, and AI converge we will no longer remain even the physical creatures to which the name ‘human’ has attached itself for so many thousands of generations. We shall become something else? Transhuman? Machinic? What? Again that old question arises: is intelligence piggy-backing on the organic to emerge from its chrysalis into some other form? Or, is, this too but a false dream of reason? A nightmare scenario rather than a truth?
Some envision the Universe itself as already being a great machinic entity, not a god with some grand scheme, but a mindless indifference dreaming its own dreams in an unknowing endless repetition of blindness and insight without end. Stripping an form of personality from this endless process to realize it, too, is but an impersonal and immortal circle and labyrinth. As our earth cannibalizes the Continents in its endless churning and folding and unfolding and eruptions: a process that will continue till the engine at the core goes dead and silent. The vast cosmos is this cannibalistic process of endless creation and destruction: a thought that the psychomythologists of ancient India were the first to surmise eons ago.
Maybe in the end even our thought is circling back on itself again and again, repeating under other forms and gestures age old mythologies; maybe, even our sciences are caught in this trap of thinking purified of its entrapments in myth, but discovering that the patterns of the underlying form that produced the myths and images are and have always been there in the mind from which they did and still do arise. Are the patterns in our mind, or out there in the world? The age old battle of the realist and idealist enacted in some comic parade of endless repetitions?
For me there are no definitive answers or conclusions, the Universe is open and incomplete, unfinished. I cannot answer if we’ve been through this circle before, no one can; if we are but the mental constructs of some sadistic child, or if we are the singular and unique forms that seem to see and thing as we do now, once, and never again; differences that are absolutely singular and unrepeatable. We are here, now. Only this I can affirm, all else is the drift of thought, endless thought. I feel, I think: both seem a part of what it is I Am. This too may be illusion, delusion. Yet, I’ll work with that: What else is there? Impure and restless I churn in the organic seeking neither outlet nor some prolonged agony, only the curiosity of my kind at being here in this place, this time.
That is enough… there need be no definitive answer from the cosmos, only our curiosity and surprise at being here, now, alive.