Wednesday, 14 January 2009

My Question

Strictly by coincidence, The article I’d planned to post today related in many ways to the one Crushed posted below. But fortunately - or unfortunately, I decided, last-minute, to put it off in favour of this: I have a question on my mind and I’m eager for an intelligent audience to consider it. I could use some constructive feedback.

A brief prologue:

I’ve abandoned a very satisfying career and am currently dispersing most of my possessions as I begin transitioning into a mobile, charitable existence; not out of any heroics or nobility, but out of selfish interest. I just wish to follow my instincts and further intensify the joyful liberation that I’ve been blessed with of late. I wish to expand on the qualities of harmony that I’ve been tuning in to and to help manifest more harmony in the lives of anyone who is open to my help - wherever the road shall lead.

That said - I must begin with Side B of The Question:

There is a sort of paradox at play here. My instincts, understandings, perspectives, talents, desires and goals are, by neither chance or design, most wonderfully consolidated at this stage, which fills me with a clarity of purpose. Just purpose, mind you. The route to get there is largely unknown to me still. But such a perfect symmetry is inspiring and lends a strong flavour of validity to the whole package of components; the understandings, goals, etc.

But the utopian outcome from following said purpose, would nullify said purpose because in theory, by becoming a person of pure harmony and by coaching to that same end the entire human population, the task would be complete and the purpose nullified. Hence new purposes must be then devised and the total unifying symmetry, that initial motivator, would no longer exist.

Which leads to Side A of The Question:

It concerns a possible reason why we have developed into a society that is so utterly failing according to the yardstick of any popular philosophy or religion;

Why the core teachings of said structures (learned in detail by the faithful and in essence by the surrounding populations) are so universally accepted as the norm, so universally displayed as façade toward the public and ‘the other’ and yet so universally contradicted in private;

Why all of our primary endeavours are so besieged by illusion:

Is it because we’re just too smart?

Would the utopian human evolution; an existence of global unconditional kindness just be too boring for such intricate minds to endure?

Do we accept these lives of intricate and unending duplicity and game-playing out of desperate need for recreation?

Is the human evolution of intelligence an insane extravagance just as the peacock’s tail - all at once a brilliant arena for the mating game and a lethal liability? I’m far from the first to wonder if the human brain is too powerful for our own good; that we may use it ultimately to destroy ourselves.

I would really like to think that the global evolution of truly unconditional love is inevitable; that eventually the real miracles that separate the human from the animals - imagination, creativity - will win out and every human will be an artist, poet and musician, and be at peace; that a truly global community will provide enough work - valid joyful work - as the rich in resources labour for the poor out of dedication to loving equality; that we’ll have enough to keep us busy without resorting to this current ever-spiralling charade of wealth-and-reputation-mongering;

Where politicians would serve out of duty, not personal interest and drug companies would forgo the staggering profit from illness and find cures and individuals would live such beautifully simple lives that there were no need to calculate their every word and reduce human interaction to the meaningless interaction of puppets - and so on and so on and so on.

So I head out into the world with two initial objectives.

One - to find people of common interest so to learn what methods; what vehicles of this evolutionary change are out there. To discern what 'prophets', if any, have merit and what I can learn from them. I think India is the place for that.

And two - to test a theory: If I embark on a simple existence, requiring only shelter from the elements and food in my belly while I devote my time to the giving of kindness - would I glean perhaps ten per cent of such kindness in return, and would that be enough to sustain me? North America shall be the place for that.

But I head out with this question: Besides, hopefully, the enrichment of whatever lives I’m able to positively touch, will I really make a difference in the world? Will I really budge the world - even an inch - along a path to that utopian evolution?

Or am I just an inevitable human variation - as that ultimate do-gooder, Neo, at the close of The Matrix Reloaded, was revealed as simply the ninth (or so) version of a repeating irregularity?

Will there always be people - priests, poets, songwriters, hippies, whatever, trying to make a difference without ever manifesting actual migration?

Am I only part of an inevitable balance in a society that likes itself just as it is, for all its complaining otherwise?


Sue said...

You're talking of utopia. I remember one of "The Next Generations" startrek episodes where several twentieth century cryogenically frozen people were rescued and defrosted :)

One of the party wanted to watch TV whereupon he was informed that there was no TV anymore.

He asked what everyone did with their spare time.

The answer Picard gave him was that, material want was a thing of the past and that their whole lives were spent on self improvement.

Even in their utopian ideal there are aliens bent on greed and destruction.

I think the world will always have both sides, good and evil. It will always have the "peace & love" groups and conversely will always have groups bent on "murder & hatred".

It's the balance that's found in everything.

Sometimes we don't realise the good in ourselves until we are faced with evil.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm not sure the question matters as to whether you will affect the world or not. It matters whether you will affect you.

vicariousrising said...

These are interesting questions. I'm not sure it's inevitable that humans will evolve to unconditional love. There appears to much competitiveness in not just us, but all species. Because things tend to continually evolve - never ceasing the process - this means certain characteristics are always winning out over others, becoming more attractive or adaptive, to what conditions we can hardly predict as it will involve evolution of everything else in the universe. I just don't see competitiveness being bred out.

That said, creativity is an offshoot of competitveness. A positive. But things will usually be evaluated as good or worthwhile or not. Maybe that won't happen, that all things will be seen as beautiful, all creations by any artisan equal. But that seems.... Pointless. Would anyone know what to strive for? Do we need to have an idea if greatness (and therefore a concept of inferiority) to have something to strive for?

Sorry. Now I just have more questions. I find the older I get, the more I learn, the more I realize I do not know and the more that I will likely never know. But I am also getting more comfortable in the abstract.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Hello Fantasy Writer Guy!
My, you boys are wordy on this blog. :)
What you wrote is food for thought. Firstly, if you are really discarding all you possess and throwing your fate to the kindness of strangers...then...WOW! Good for you. To even entertain an idea like that is astounding to me - given this day and age of cushiness. Western civilizations seem to be based on self centered gratification. The mentality being - How can I feel really good with the least amount of discomfort and effort while using the least amount of resources possible? I think what you are about to do will be an excellent experience. Even if you end up deciding it was a mistake...think of what you'll see! I do worry for your safety should have some sort of emergency plan in place-yes?

As for the rest, I think you will positively touch individuals. And at the same time someone else is negatively working against you - forever keeping the world in a state of conflict. Man's existence is a farce. This world is full of idiots. I think it is luck that has kept us from extinction, and everybody's luck runs out sometime.

I did enjoy reading what you wrote though. I really thought about the things you I thank you for that, and it is a pleasure to meet you. :)

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

I figure you don't need to live a simple monk-like existence to do good or be kind to people and spread goodness.

Check it out with the charities, but generally you need money to do many types of good works.

Better just to measure how you behave towards people than wear sack cloth and ashes, That's a bit like saying "Look at me! I am so much better than the rest of you lot."

Crushed said...

You are right in your assessment of art and creativity having evolved a bit like the peacock's tail, in some respects.

The current theory is that they evolved because they prove the possessor of such traits is so viable, he can AFFORD to be artistic.

In a sense, certain character types ARE 'repeating irregularities'. But in different circumstances differing irregularities become favoured. The development of the human mind seems to be driven by irregularities which allow the possessor to greater comprehend and cobceptualise in a way that ultimately allows for more efficient living.

I think 'love' so called will evol;ve to be stronger, because it follows our evolving development towards a collective species. and evolution favours collectivity as more efficient.

X. Dell said...

Sue, I remember that episode. If memory serves, they wanted to watch Gilligan's Island.

Fantasy Writer Guy, Utopia literally means "nowhere." I don't think it's possible to build a utopian society because people have different needs and desires. What's paradise for one, is worse than hell for another. What's worse, a lot of societies esigned as utopias turned into horrific totalitarian states (e.g. the Soviet Union).

Perhaps the social goal isn't to make things perfect, but rather to make things livable. Failing that, perhaps the goal should be Failing more slowly, or more comfortably for as many people as you can make it so.