Context: Early humans were sheltered from worst effects of volcanic supereruption
Human culture is in effect a shared memory and transient security blanket that rarely sees (or reflexively, defensively – chooses to see) very far past the half-mirrored, labyrinthine self-reflection that a dream-like consensus reality and the hyper-extended cognition of technology must always and ultimately at some level manifest or represent.
We inhabit the most diminutive slice and fragile hyper-plane of time and space, blinded somewhat by the successes we have measured quite foolishly by our own immediate experience. What has until now been a relatively peaceful geological and astronomical context is perhaps the exception and merely a calm interval between storms rather than any kind of normative fact or rule.
Beyond the plausible inevitability of some form of self-inflicted extinction event, these vast and terrible natural forces are so far beyond the symbolic world we comprehend as sensible and real that they remain, for the most part, entirely unintelligible. An obsession with superficiality and transient material culture might well unveil itself as the only way we can ever cope with the profound and enduring existential threats that we all at some level must acknowledge and fear.