Existential Existentialist Crisis
What meaning does a meaningful live have if the civilization we inhabit is meaningless?
Or, if the civilization has meaning, what meaning does being one of a sequence of civilizations on a planet in a galaxy, and so on organized on up through existence itself?
So, either things exist or they don’t.
Existence then is meaning, as things that do not exist, have no meaning.
Or at least, cannot have meaning, unless something exists to give them meaning.
Hence, existence is meaning.
So what can have meaning within the meaning of existence?
What has meaning for each of us – and how can we tell what meaning is meaningful?
Only by sorting through everything and nothing.
Everything has meaning, then nothing has meaning.
So, meaning must be relative – and that means value.
Values determine meaning, and meaning and value can only occur when things are not equally valuable and meaningful.
So it is diversity and scarcity that gives relative value to ensure that everything and nothing are not balanced and thus canceling each other out.
Some things exist, other things do not exist
What importance or value depends on what they mean by every measure possible.
What I have learned and understood from my EEC so far:
We are connected from the atomic to the universal wavelength, and when we are in tune or in sync, our circadian rhythms – that background energy that our bodies sync to, connects to the rhythms of the earth from the molten core to the atmospheric winds, to the currents of solar flares to the expansion of the universe.
The universe is not expanding at an even rate, and like a glacier, may be expanding and contracting at the same time, at different rates, depending on what the butterflies are doing – it’s chaos because there is rhythm and discord and silence at once.
I think that there have been many people who have experienced EECs, for what the terrible and beautiful truths are cliches – and a cliches is just a truth that we’re tired of hearing and resist - and the knowledge that they have freely given have been used by people who do not understand for their own selfish gain.
The mechanism of exploiting a universal truth for personal or class gain is religion.
Religion controls the masses and it is the promise of the reward later for being obedient sheep now that largely prevents uprisings.
Masses of people are adaptive to any condition for generations even, as long as what they perceive or accept as fair is in sync with what society says is fair and matches the perception.
This is why all efforts to occupy Afghanistan have failed, why dictatorships that pretend to be democratic fall, and why cultures that claim to diversify but do not, also fail.
The only way to successfully occupy a nation is a multi-generational plan – hence the British left India after generations and India is a stable nation, albeit with some serious social inequities to work out.
Why the middle east dictators are falling, because the population is tired of casting ballots for the one name on it or be shot – better to be a dictator or a democracy, but you can’t be both – eventually the population’s cognitive dissonance snaps.
This is why the US has never finished it’s own civil war – the battle was between those with economic power and those without. Slavery was an issue for it gave the South an economic advantage and the slaves were freed to reduce the South’s economic might and to raise an army in their midst.
An EEC allows you to understand in a scalable way how there is only one story, not seven. The 7 stories are:
1 - [wo]man vs. nature 2 - [wo]man vs. man 3 - [wo]man vs. the environment 4 - [wo]man vs. machines/technology 5 - [wo]man vs. the supernatural 6 - [wo]man vs. self 7 - [wo]man vs. god/religion
There is to my EEC mind, only one story – the being vs everything or else nothing.
This is why in storytelling, that whatever the protagonists sets out to do, they find that their task is a small part of a greater plot, or what they thought they wanted was not what they needed.
Ensemble stories allow not for a single protagonist, but rather for a multitude of protagonists held together by a shallow group goal – to win something or escape something – but each is in relationship to each other member with one shared value and one in opposition, that is a shared value with another character.
With a cast of four characters, any two with will one each characteristic in common and one in opposition with the 4th character in total opposition to the 1st.
In this way, the values that each embody are resolved. so that the balanced or resolved state of values is the end of the esitential crisis to determine what has meaning.
This is why it is better to be either the tin soldier riding away or the one who gets away while watching the hero die – if it is life above all else – then other values matter nothing.
If it is the group survival over the individual survival, then be the one that allows the others to continue on. If leaving no one one behind means you die trying to rescue the injured, so be it.
The journey is a solo ride, when when you are in a group, for each member of the group is the hero of their own story.
We tell each other stories to share our values and we must not allow some stories to be elevated to divine revelations, for the stories in old texts are solutions and values from bygone eras – we must not cling to them as if they are solutions or answers for the modern and future worlds.
They were never intended as answers, but rather, as guides, in the same way that all stories are now, guides to behaviour, guides to determining value.
If anyone insists that there is a god, let them be there own god, for the answers are inside of each of us – and only by recognizing that meaning and value stems from us, so does the authority for that assigning value and meaning.
I am not a believer in external gods, I am not a believer in things or claims for which there is no logic, no evidence and no truth.
I define myself in terms of what I do beleive and that is to be a naturalist.
I used to consider myself an atheist, but I do not need to define myself in terms of other things that I do not beleive – and I not an a-unicornist or a-bigfootest – and yes, there’s certainly more evidence for Big Foot than any deity.
Wondering what is out there in the world lets us discover that the monsters are pretty much unfamiliar animals, but animals they are.
So to would anything that is non-corporeality that may exist – have a natural explanation.
If things like ghosts to gods exist, then thy would be part of the natural world that we will eventually understand when we have the right theories and the right technologies to test and communicate.
If they don’t exist, then nothing that we learn or build will make them so.
This is the essence of the battle between the framework of change and the framework of tradition – and why there is no compromise between science and religion.
Science is a process to build knowledge and understanding.
Religion is an answer and a plea to ancient authority.
Proponents of science/change need uncertainty because it is the process of understanding that uncertainty that is the goal of science.
Proponents of religion/tradition need certainty because an answer that explains everything cannot be if there is any pockets of uncertainty unanswered.
That the world is changing all the time, is the best evidence that religion is not only not the answer, but it’s not even a possible answer, it’s a dead end and false comfort and hope.
If we do not change, we do not learn and we will never have any answers.
I beleive that this is the foundation of the conflict between people of different ethnicity.
Humans were one of several Homo species that arose in Africa – and 75,000 years ago, a super-volcano reduced the global population of humans to approximately 10,000 individuals.
Many of those who were left behind remained in Africa and it is in these populations where we have the greatest diversity of mitochondrial DNA.
The migration waves show that the first wave left Africa and turned right and followed the land – which there was more of because of the massive ice at the pole ends of the globe and these people populated India and into Australia.
A second wave went more northerly into Eurasia – with some migrating over the Bering Strait to North America and down south – and as recently as 5000 years ago from China across the Pacific.
As humans settled in a place, they acclimated and over time, minor changes – less than 1% in genetic terms appeared to make us separate in skin tone, eye colours and shape and hair.
We are less threatened by those who most resemble us – because at our cores we see to which group we belong – the ones who remained or the ones we left behind or the ones who abandoned us along the way.
The surface of the earth is known to us – the inhabitable parts are overrun with people – more people live in urban areas than rural ones – but we continue to live on pre-industrial clocks and workweeks, despite having no need to, when we are globally and instantly connected in a way that people even 100 years ago could not imagine where the telephone would lead.
Individually, we are the same as our 75,000 year ago ancestor – the same hormones, the same survival needs.
What makes us different is that we are the domesticated version – smaller brained, less aggressive and our more complex social structures needing more cooperation and ignoring our differences in order for us to collective survive.
It may well have been critical for religion to be the social glue to hold groups together and be the basis for our interactions – but we are well beyond the childish antics of my god can beat up your god, so behave as I tell you that god wants you to behave. We all have the ability to now how to interact within ourselves and with each other. We just chose not to more often than not.
The challenges we face, what we have been technologically preparing for is now ensuring survival as a species – and we are largely choosing not to – often because we simply cannot imagine the earth turning on us – despite the evidence of earthquakes and other natural disasters.
We are choosing not to resolve our petty inter-nation, inter-ethnic, inter-religious and every other way we figure out how to divide between us.
If we cannot put our differences aside, then we are declaring in a united voice that we don’t matter enough to survive. In this world that we know we have – corporal and the here and now.
This is what religion would have us do – destroy ourselves on the promise that there’s an afterlife and leave behind those who failed to comply with all the rules – especially the ones about genitals – to be taken to this paradise and leave the mess of the earth for lesser people.
So, there is only one story – played out at all levels.
The only thing for each of us is to decide which side of sides that we are on.
I have, through the EEC, which cannot be explained in a book or sold to you, there is no money, no personal gain, because everyone can only understand the meaning by doing the work themselves – and you have to really have the crisis to see how high the stakes are and conversely how low when devoid of meaning -
You don’t have to be crazy to live in this universe, but it helps.