It is the strangest thing that all of this exists. The unlikely arrival in the Cosmos of any of this human world is profound. Our world, our cultures and all of our myriad differences and similarities – it is a wonder and peculiarity in all of the vast immensity and silent, unknowing turbulence and mindless emptiness of deep space and time. We find ourselves fascinated, spell-bound by the richly-layered matrix of words, symbols and concepts within which we find ourselves entangled. Cocooned as we are in this dense web of abstractions, we hardly notice that it is all completely transient and superficial – so much smoke and so many mirrors and all of our own invention.
As with many things, it is when you turn one mirror into another, into itself, when the most mystifying revelations are invoked. Having emerged from the primordial chemical soup of Archaean fire and water, this self-propagating logical function of self-replication has chased its own tail, consumed itself, redefined and restructured itself for billions of years. It’s latest iterations are these vainglorious aggregates of sense and insensitivity – these human spectacles and uncertain organisms; as individuals – struggling to adapt and survive; as a Global civilisation – failing to cultivate the circumstances or conditions most likely to allow its own plausible continuity.
So what is this thing? This sparkling, effervescing pattern of matter, energy, information and (now) sentience of which we are embodied manifestations. What madness is this that has led this uncommon fluctuation of self-awareness to fail so dramatically in generating itself? It is clearly not enough that we materially self-replicate; overpopulation is intractable. It is not sufficient that our systems of thought and self-organisation are autonomously oriented to assume the forms that bias their own most probable self-propagation; politics and bureaucracy in every flavour of ideological system is a self-validating disaster.
The web of symbols and meanings through which we understand our lives is fundamentally of this world but abstracted above and beyond it. Our mental, psychological, cognitive maps and abstractions have developed their own self-sustaining rationale, like cascading shockwaves that grew out of the facts of the world but now create abstract cartographies of meaning and significance where in fact there are none. While our world of symbols endlessly, narcissistically flatters itself regarding symbolic self-importance and selfish desires, the material world and its beautiful tapestry of life – it is in mortal peril.
How strange this world is. We do not see the truth that there is (in fact) no ultimate or unquestionable truth because to do so would be to cease to exist, as we are so reflexively dependent upon our shared illusion and tribal self-identities. So we continue to fail, as living logic, to reproduce the optimal means of our collective self-propagation. We reproduce the means by which our own symbolic worlds might optimally replicate themselves at the cost of the material foundations of the continuity of life and civilisation. Strange indeed.