Stages are also Complete

Insight  4/5/2007  and continuation.

That we 21st century humans are but one of many stages in the evolution of our species doesn’t mean we are incomplete or somehow inferior to a later stage – or a completed state.

This was motivated by my recently viewing a tweet by a dear friend, Michael Gentry, where he described himself thus:

“I follow the dharma,
but I don’t call myself a Buddhist.
I’m concerned about the future of the planet,
but I’m not an environmentalist.”

I, Larry, am a whole being,
at each stage in my life
from conception to death.

Yet, my being gains meaning
from stages before and those to follow.

The same applies to Michael’s concept of dharma.
He is both “whole” now, and “forever”,
whatever “forms” may manifest.

I have long been conflicted with ideas of eternal, endless, blissful longevity and a “soul”. “If this exists”, it can have nothing to do with the specifics of this life; almost all which are contingent upon the settings for this life. There is very few, if any, traits or characteristics that are not contingent. All of my DNA is contingent on the circumstances of my mother and father, and their genealogies.

Recently, I discovered that the concept of “a true self” to which many a person hopes to make manifest or achieve, may be another myth. Not that we don’t have inherited determinants (even beyond DNA). Yet:

who we become is very highly determined by our ever present and changing environment. Nature/Nurture is an inseparable mix, each being dominant about some features. Yet, many’s belief in their “true nature” is linked to their belief in an afterlife or a soul.

Must “the part” always be as significant as “the whole”?

Many alternative variations in my life
wouldn’t change the basics of our Cosmos.

Each leaf isn’t as “significant” as the tree.

What do we mean by “SIGNIFICANT”?
Without specifics or reference,
such implied ranking is inappropriate.

There are many human
thoughts and statements
that are meaningless;
yet, we often experience
“significance”
in association with them.

Association
doesn’t imply
Attribution.

Any yet,
we have no justification of applying the concepts of
importance or significance – in ranking
entities or stages.

RANKING
is not a process
that can be applied
to everything.

My Personal Peeve:
Human tend to rank multi-dimensional entities,
even when ranking is “objective”
only ONE dimension at a time.

Multi-dimensional ranking must involve
arbitrary “weighing” of relative
importance or significance
of each dimension.

Example:
Plot Weight and Height of persons on a graph.
The points form a distribution,
they don’t fall on a curve.
Many curves drawn among the points
could be defined as
BIGGER.

This propensity is almost universal,
having its origins to ensure survival
when quick decisions on insufficient information
must be made.

This intuitive action
should NEVER be applied,
EXCEPT in EMERGENCIES.

***************

I don’t feel I achieved above what I intended.

We often tend to give greater significance
to pair of “things” or “ideas”
for which such ranking
is inappropriate.
It only exists in the confusion of language,
where all statements don’t have meaning.

 

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

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