Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Illusion of Individuality pt. 12


Somewhere between the problems we face and the cause I am attributing to them are two global institutions that aid in upholding the illusion of the individual. These institutions are the concept of ownership and dogmatic religion. Inseparably linked to the problematic illusion of the individual is the equally dangerous concept of ownership. The most direct self-delusion allowed by having the idea that one is an individual in this continuously transient and fluctuating existence is that the individual can claim possession of the concept of a thing.
This could be debated as the cause of the previous three “problems” facing humanity as equally as the concept of the individual. I would contend that the concept of the individual came first (much like the egg in the vs. chicken quandary) and that the concept of ownership in combination with that of the individual gave rise to those three previously discussed “problems.”
The concept of an individual and the subsequent theory of ownership are contingent upon believing that reality is somehow static in particular situations and thus defiant of the rest of the laws of physics that we understand to define and govern the rest of the cosmos. A thing that is neither fully understood in its existence and that is in constant molecular flux, thus fundamentally impossible to be the same thing from one moment to the next, would without the concept of the individual seem impossible to own. But the concept of ownership is not alone in maintaining this illusion; there is the divisive tool of justification that is dogmatic religions.
One of the last great hurdles before the shift to the next age of humanity is that of religion. The belief in a god and “his” divine word has historically led to the subsequent strife of warring over words written by humans yet attributed to deities. The majority of humanity believes in some form of religion, and ridiculously fights over something they all agree on, there is a higher power.[i] This competition among various faiths is extremely destructive to the biosphere we depend upon. Take monotheism for example, Christians, Jews, and Muslims all agree on several basic points; there is only one god, murder is frowned upon by this god, and that there is a very holy place that despite all these previous agreements cannot be shared and thus should be ground zero for killing each other.[ii] The materials consumed by armed conflict and the destruction it brings to humanity and the biosphere is a sacrilege regardless of any particular faith. If one is to believe in a god, then it follows that one would believe that this god created all of existence.
Now, picture looking down on yourself, from above, standing on a beach at night, looking up. As your view starts to pan out, you’re still standing on the beach but you’re getting smaller and smaller until you’re a speck, still going out until you see the whole planet earth, the solar system, the milky way galaxy, the hundreds of billions other galaxies, everything. Your god made that.[iii]

Now, one should realize that the average 70 odd years of being alive[iv] is an astronomically small amount of time, so small it can barely be measured in the 13.7 billion years since the last singularity.[v] And, to your knowledge, is there proof of life anywhere in the universe other than Earth? Nope. So, considering how small Earth is in the big picture, it would be accurate to label all of life on it truly unique, as one of a kind. 
It would also be accurate to make the general assumption that either for religious reasons or otherwise, life (the whole miracle of it) is special and should be preserved. Given that all of life on earth is so rare in the known universe it can be considered a single entity, and that in all its diversity it is all interconnected down to at least the molecular level, this egotistic notion of an individual human being it is a gross misconception, that is to think of yourself as somehow separate from the whole system. An individual human could hardly be a single bacterium in his/her stomach by scale to the whole biotic layer. Unless one is doing everything they can to integrate with the system it is part of, they are not participating in a symbiotic relationship and are then by default parasitic. And in the case of pollutants, that further hinder the engine of life, if so many are crated that life as a whole is imminently threatened, we could safely call that egoism akin to a cancer upon all life as we know it.
So, a god created this thing we call life and as far as we know it is unique, and this god in its capacity regards life as special, or at least good. Simply there is a choice to either be a cancer, or just a parasite (analogous to a “Zero Emissions” lifestyle - still plenty of solid waste), or strive for a symbiotic relationship that would be by its own nature 100% biodegradable. A society that is goal oriented instead of the current goods oriented one would be much more productive overall and much healthier.            

[i] “The World Factbook,” Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2122.html (accessed April 25, 2013)
[ii] “Holy Land,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Land (accessed April 25, 2013).
[iii] Opening sequence of film “Contact”
[iv] “Life Expectancy,” World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/gho/mortality_burden_disease/life_tables/situation_trends_text/en/index.html (accessed April 25, 2013).
[v] “Universe 101,” NASA, http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_age.html (accessed April 25, 2013)

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