The wrong reality we live in
By and large, the fundamental physical reality of Earth is fixed, by its physics and chemistry, caused to behave as it has done by virtue of being a planet in a solar system that is slowing and cooling down, in a universe that seems to be in the later stages of expansion following the Big Bang.
The biological reality of Earth is that those physical conditions allowed a subsidiary activity to come into being some 3,500 million years ago – life – and may enable it to continue for as many years into the future. The biological reality of life-forms, so far, is that they are compelled to seek continual survival by adapting to their environment as best they can, and they are urged to progress towards an optimum. This implies a purpose, and the evidence indicates that this purpose is to achieve intellect.
Life is a gathering of forces and substances into a self-acting entity whose properties are different and independent of those of its component forces and substances, though not of its fundamental influences. Growth, such as that of crystals, follows a pattern inherent in its constituents, and has no other purpose but to grow accordingly. Life, once animated, develops its own pattern as it advances. Herein lies one indication of its higher purpose. I repeat – why should not life grow in a simple form and multiply until it can go no further, then necessarily stop spreading and sustain itself in that position?
Why, when their original food supply became scarce, did Earth life forms diversify and turn to the apparently pointless habit of feeding on each other? The answer is that competitive struggle demands constant improvement in efficiency, which involves increasing complexity, which requires ever higher intelligence. In practical terms, nothing is achieved by this.
Life could be served just as well by a few types of bacteria and amoeba covering the world, the consumption and production of oxygen and carbon dioxide balancing each other. Intelligence, on the other hand, is achieved by great and continual effort, and its only discernable purpose is the eventual realization of truth. If this is the purpose of life, it must have come from some source.
I have already suggested that the source of the purpose of life was an influence to express energy to the ultimate, serving an overall influence on the realization of truth. The former influence explains the proliferation of life-forms on Earth, and the latter explains the concept of Gaia. The existence of Gaia, itself an influence on the biosphere to maintain conditions suitable for life, can only be due to an influential purpose to have life progress to the optimum.
That Gaia allowed the oxygenation of the atmosphere 3,000 million years ago, which was a major disaster for many creatures then living, yet has maintained it at a level of around 21% for the past 1,500 million years, supports the contention that Gaia is a party to the influence to realize the truth, for it is oxygen-burning life-forms which have dramatically advanced in intelligence.
The spearhead of that advance in intelligence is the human species. We have the most advanced neocortex on Earth, but we have not fulfilled its unique integrative and analytical functions so as to become truly intellectual – i.e., supraconscious. We have passed beyond adapting to our environment and now manipulate it, because we have failed to adapt to the most fundamental change of all which took place in ourselves when we became human – the acquirement of a postconscious faculty – a failure which now threatens not only our own species but Earth as a whole, and even the universe.
We have not yet realized our right reality. Human destructiveness would be, and no doubt has been or is being paralleled, on every other life-supporting planet by every other creature that also acquired potential intellect but remained driven by instinct and therefore locked into the wrong reality.
We look at instituted practices of the Machine which are familiarly accepted by our automated minds but quite unacceptable to fulfilled intellect. Take just one example – the use of pesticides, which was for some years indiscriminate though it is now controlled in many places. Rachel Carson (Silent Spring, Penguin Books) brought it to our attention that pesticide residues are present in all creatures on Earth, from penguins in Antarctica to human nursing mothers in the USA.
An overall survey of this planet would show that the human presence, whilst giving some of us new automatic interests and benefits, has produced many such detrimental results. The advent of higher intelligence, which surely ought to have enhanced the general quality of life, has, in a very short time, actually lowered it, and the process is continuing.
If we are to judge our reality, and ourselves as part of it, we have to look critically at the whole, taking nothing for granted. When we examine human history we tend to look at its events as having been inevitable, taking account of the circumstances at the time. We look at the present as a logical extension of the immediate past, according to circumstances inherited from the further past. In doing so we do take for granted those facts and concepts which came to pass and now exist.
Instead, we should consider that which we ought to have striven for in the past, and achieved so that it now existed as our reality. Only by judging in this way can we correctly condemn that which is false and determine how to change it. Because of the way in which all things interact, I believe we shall find that every part of the existing wrong reality is to some extent false, and that total change is needed.
We should look at ourselves just as we look at other creatures. We see that in almost all respects they fulfil their attributes according to their circumstances. This cannot be said of us because our chief attribute enables us to make our circumstances as we wish them to be. We also see that other creatures seldom do anything detrimental to their survival success.
The same is not true of ourselves, despite the fact that our numbers are still rapidly increasing, because we are laying up troubles which threaten our survival. We are no fools, neither is any of us born ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, but we are made fools of by our automatic wrong reality so that we do ‘bad’ and ‘evil’ things – in other words, we individually act in our own apparent, automated interests but against our real interests as an intelligent race.
Our competitive society has caused many bad qualities to be required for success and many good qualities to be associated with failure. Individuals who are successful in a bad or useless context may claim righteousness because they display good qualities in other contexts. If we mean to judge truly, we must honestly examine every facet of reality.
We spend a great deal of time in recalling past history and very little in planning the future. The former is easier because it is a matter of fact; the latter more difficult because it is obscure and controversial. Our irrevocable past is presently allowed to shape our unstoppable future.
We may cry over our past wrong-doing and the suffering that came of it, but we seldom fully recognise our present recklessness so as to foresee the suffering it will cause. Nor do we even allow present suffering to change our current ways, and if we learn at all it is normally years after the event and usually too late. So our history influences us more to continue as we are than to learn fundamentally better ways.
Yet it was not our true inner selves that made history. It was a sequence of events – the Machine directing, leaders reacting, and our outer shells obeying and following, laboring and enduring. We do not believe we can escape the present because it doesn’t signify change. But we can responsibly question the past and see it as irrelevant. We can then effectively remove its influence by ignoring it, clearly criticize the present wrong reality by standing back and viewing it super consciously, and so proceed to plan a human true future.
There is no doubt that many of the people of the world have materially gained from the advance of the money economy but it is equally certain that all have suffered by it. The happiness of the human race as a whole could have been increased intellectually, with comparatively little material progress. The Machine cannot make humanity happy because the more it progresses the less we can become humantruly fulfilled and the more we are likely to feel the lack of such fulfilment, whatever the material gains