(For a more detailed look at the principles of volitional evolution go to: Chapter 24: Resetting The Compass. For a look at thoughts about assessing the energy in our lives and the Big Rip instead of the Big Bang, go to: Chapter 55: The Best Answers Arise In The Space Between Thought And Deed.)
I find the rhythms of thinking and feeling pretty interesting. It is fascinating that we can feel one way with the appropriate supporting cast one day (or one minute), and quite another, with the same supporting cast, the next. This can pose some problems in the relationship web, both on an individual basis as well as in global ones. How do we know what’s actually going on?
Given this rhythm, given humankind’s limited sensory abilities (the eyes can only see so much, the ears only hear so much, etc.), given the interpretative quality of perception (we may see the color red, but how do we react to it–and that’s a concrete issue, what about something abstract like love?), how do we trust what we “know,” how do we trust our experience?
The search for truth and knowledge is not new, philosophers have been chasing this for centuries, psychologists for a little over a century. Religion has certainly tackled it, politics has been in the fray, but it appears to be something that is still giving us problems. Okay, that’s my take–even if there is a consensus agreement about what we know, we could still be off, so then what?
Let’s go back to energy and movement, the two (yet one) immutables. Now it can get tricky. But, we might observe, even with our limited sensory abilities and even with our instruments to enhance (?) those abilities, that the quality of energy and movement are not everywhere the same. This observation requires that we are seeing particulars (like individual snowflakes) and not just the general (like the snow).
How did a particular arise, was it always there or did it come into being? Now it gets really tricky. For this, we might need to come out of the inside of our heads and look around. I (is that act alone the creation of the particular?) observe that there are different energy signatures. I don’t have to know the why of that to see it. Now we have added the mutable to the immutable. Energy and movement are immutable (they just are), but appear to be mutable (they are manifested and/or observed differently).
A not-so-side note is the notion of individual consciousness (“I am”). This was part of Descartes’ famous dictum, “I think, therefore I am.” Is individual consciousness the birth of a particular energy differentiation?
Well, perhaps it is part of energy differentiation, but I don’t know about the birth part. We could speculate that a cockroach does not have consciousness, but can we accept that a cockroach isn’t a particular, or that it doesn’t exist without human observation, or that cockroaches can’t affect other cockroaches or the ecological fabric in general? That is, energy differentiation is not likely to be entirely dependent upon the quality of observation (though that observation can affect it). And, no disrespect to Descartes, but one doesn’t have to realize their beingness to exist. Besides, consciousness might also manifest itself as “we are” and not just “I am” (community consciousness and not just individual consciousness), or, of course, as both. That wouldn’t change the general idea about particular energy manifestations, but it might prove to be the birth of a different kind of particular, yet connected, awareness. Think about that on a global basis, especially if it were steeped in positive energy.
All right, what’s our truth test, how shall we navigate in this sea of energy and movement that seems to affect itself and everything else? We could just have a beer and let it do what it does (lots of that underway already), we could develop terminal angst and wax suicidal (lots of that going on as well), or we could turn righteous, don the armor of our righteousness, and wield about the template of our knowing to save the world (yep, lots of that too).
Not that it’s new, but what if we turned humble? As I have asked before, what if we strove to keep energy and movement unencumbered? We would certainly have to adapt a bit, or risk depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorders (I wonder if there’s some possible connection here?). Why do we feel like we must be consistent in our thoughts and feelings everyday? Why must I not wax and wane with the vagaries of my knowing. In short, why does the I/we attempt to straighten out the cycles and rhythms of the cosmos?
Let’s not get too simplistic here. If we only follow the rhythms of a given environment, we subject ourselves to that environment. Can we affect environs? It sure seems like it. Can we leave one and go to another? That appears to be a yes as well. So, it would appear that I/we are at least one of the selection agents of evolution (not that I agree with the notion that evolution is only a forward, whatever that means, process).
It is not that we cannot or should not influence ourselves and our surroundings, but we might want to note the cycles in which we make our decisions. And we might want to note that whenever we do create, we do not flatten out rhythms and cycles, we do not go from uncertainty to certainty, we go from one kind of cycle or rhythm, from one kind of uncertainty/certainty to yet another.
For all of our influence, it seems to me that we’ve not yet picked up on this. We keep repeating history. The “I” keeps repeating its history. We may have learned how to eat on a regular basis (even if we haven’t learned how to distribute that knowledge), how to make it cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold, and we may have learned to go from here to there faster, but we have not learned about rhythms and cycles, we still fight them like we can wrestle them to the ground and make them stop.
I don’t know why I keep using “we.” We are not. Even in communities, the we is an individual community, glued together by some ideology that is predicated on being separate from another “we.” This is a strange orientation. Perhaps we (and this I do mean collectively) are so unsure of our identity that we fight for it like it will be usurped by another identity. This is an example of a rhythm or a cycle that might need to be reviewed.
The value of an “I” is juxtaposed with the value of the “we.” If “I am” was a momentous evolutionary transformation, then the movement towards the consciousness of a “We are” will be infinitely more transformational. And I suspect that the “I” will not be usurped by the development of a consciousness of “We are.” In fact, if infused with positive energy (the good as it has been previously defined), it will be enhanced by it.
There is nothing that is not a relationship, but there can be the ignorance of it. Relationships are energy that create influence whether we know it or not. So is ignorance.
I wax and I wane in this journey of trying to understand relationships, mine to myself, mine to others, others to mine. Judging others relative to me is risky at best, and is probably outright presumptuous and dangerous. Judgment relative to myself, in creating and allowing what I want, is probably the best that I can do. And that involves rhythms as well as particulars. So, I guess I’ll have to be forgiving of a lot, even if I will only allow certain experiences for me.