Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Golden Era

Man's history is a record of the neural overcoming the genetic.  Good neural patterns get established as "social" patterns.

Man does not live by instinct alone.  And that is the prime reason for his alienation and his feeling that he has been evicted from the Garden of Eden.

The Mind, as contrasted to the Heart, is the fundamental cause of man always feeling like he is not home.

The Heart is predominant in infancy, and that is the only golden era.  In that though there might be pain but there is no suffering, since there is no conflict and contradiction.

There is unity and holism in feeling and instinct.  There is division and opposition in thought.

But man is thought.  Without his brain, man is not more than an animal or an infant.

To rail against thought and the mind in order to achieve lasting bliss is a wish to be back in infancy, to be back in the womb, to be back in Eden, to be back with God.

If the 21st century man thinks that socialized, digital, cosmopolitan life is unnatural, so did the 20th century man think that the industrial, mechanized, time-governed life was unnatural, and so did the men in earlier centuries feel unnatural about science, agriculture, and the written word.

So did the caveman think about living in a cave as against under the sky.  So did the hunter gatherer think about saving for winter instead of living in the "present".

If the modern, nuclear family with a possibility of divorce is felt as unnatural today, so did community life feel unnatural to the wandering tribes, so did monogamy feel unnatural to the hunter, so did long-term cohabitation feel unnatural to the neanderthal, ...

To want to go back to the way one's parents and grandparents lived ("what stability! what a feeling of being rooted!") is understandable, but they too felt un-rooted and alienated throughout life.  Perhaps less so than us, but they were also not home.

The feeling of not being home is the inescapable consequence of having a developed mind.

The mind manipulates nature, that is its essence.  The mind is part of nature, but it is obvious that its learning, training and effectiveness can be developed orders of magnitude faster than evolution in nature.  This difference in velocity of change, and an accelerated subjugation of entropy, is the central distinction between mind and the rest of nature.

Nostalgia is also part of man.  But if you go to your childhood home, the home is there, but you are not a child anymore.  You can connect to your childhood friends, but it is no longer childhood.  You can look wistfully at your toys that your mother and your father gave you, but those toys will not engage you today.

Nostalgia is the awareness of conflict and a wish to go back to feeling whole.

Just like man was an infant, mankind had its infancy when as a species its brain was not developed.

The golden era was millions of years ago.

A feeling of not being truly home was always there, that is why thousands of years ago the Buddha and the other mystics sought their "true" abode, the final resting place.

But in the last hundred years, there is another order of velocity now threatening man.  If the Genetic was honed over millions of years, the Social was developed over centuries, and the Mind is shaped over decades, the pace of change is now annual.  The way of living is being ripped apart every few years.

It's not just that life is governed by norms instead of instincts.  But those "norms" are changing every few years.  That has never happened.

In no other era have humans migrated and traveled so much at such pace and such frequency.  In no other era the essential tools to navigate life have changed every few years.  In no other era has the rate of divorce been so tragically high.  In no other era were psychotropic medicines so heavily prescribed.

Man was already uprooted, now he is being blown around by the hot, unpredictable winds of an arid earth.

The golden era never existed, but the pace of change today is probably more than what as a species we can handle.

The common man has already surrendered his autonomy to the information-global-industrial economy and lives in fear of change.

This stress of constant change is what will finally lead to a global surrender to Artificial Intelligence.

Unable to cope, billions of humans will regress to fast food and mindless entertainment and porn and myriad other addictions while the elites and the "big data" digital infrastructure optimize every consumption pattern, every click, and every last bitcoin of monetization from them.

"... and blew the suffering of ... naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years." (Howl, Allen Ginsberg)