Nurture is Nature

In this video Jiddu Krishnamurti is referring to the work of Argentinian doctor Rubén Feldman-González, who developed a branch of brain science known as Holokinetic Psychology, or Unitary Perception. This was developed out of a series of talks initiated in 1975 between Krishnamurti, physicist David Bohm, and Feldman-Gonzálaez.

Once the process of nature becomes self aware through its human faculty of contemplation, the nature and nurture debate begins to dissolve into itself. You cannot separate the two. The process of nurture is how nature is created. One time, I heard someone say, “there is no human nature, only human habit.” This works for me. People use the notion of “hard-wiring” to describe a multitude of belief structures regarding the why humans behave as we do: morally, ethically, sexually, and the rest. Some people will say humans are hard wired toward violence, it is in our nature. Others will say our nature is altruism.

The problem with using this metaphor of “hard-wiring” is that it makes nature into a fixed constant. But nature is totally and obviously a moving target. By the time we have made a well developed observation, the world has already created itself anew. We are quite literally creating our brain as we live. The connections we make, the conditioning we are subject to, all of this is creating our reality, both physically and mentally. Every seven years our body’s cells are completely new. So, to this extent our health is not primarily impacted by “bad cells,” but by the patterns with which we replicate ourselves.

There are a few phrases that stuck with me from high-school science, and one is Earnst Haeckel’s, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” This means that the development of the individual is mirrored by the evolutionary development of the species. In a psycho-physical sense, this implies that our brain’s “wiring” is conditioned by thousands of years of human behavior, and it’s physical structure is conditioned by hundreds of thousands of years of specie-al development, which is to say hundreds of thousands of years of “nurture.” And we continue this specie-al development through actions of humanity, collectively and individually. So, the establishment of awareness is not a small thing. It is not enough to say we create our reality by our thoughts and actions, however true it may be. But facing the immensity of our content, in such a way that has the potential of fundamentally transforming our consciousness, to the extent that this transformation brings about a physical mutation of the brain’s structure.

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Bruce Lee – “Be Water, My Friend.”

Bruce Lee shows us a practical application of the via negativa: The Way that is no way. Whether or not practicing the “combative arts,” we can see ourselves as vessels through which force is expressed. In here, we have the union of opposites: the vessel and the force, each giving expression to one another.

Many folks seem so quick to reduce the phenomena of life to a mechanical process and give up on becoming intimate with the incomprehensible. We understand how the body functions, but we still don’t know what life is. Materialism’s assumption is that all that is conscious relies on functioning organs and tissue to exist. However, when we observe a light bulb, we do not confuse the physical apparatus of the bulb with the force that is electricity.

In geometry the point is put into motion by force and becomes an endless straight line, which is curved into the spiral by the force’s opposite (inertia). This play of opposites complexifies and draws the spiral out into three-dimensional space and further transposes itself into time, giving itself it’s own causative reality in the conch shell and all patterns of nature. Expressing oneself authentically is artful living. It requires no prerequisites, and nobody and no circumstance can subtract from the potential to live authentically.

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Talking Heads – TRUE STORIES

Has anyone noticed how a circuit board looks just like an aerial view of suburban sprawl, I wonder why that is…really.

The land we live on top of has seen extraordinary changes since Europeans set their sights on what is now referred to as the Americas. This is sort of a pithy and obvious statement, but it is interesting to compare how much things have actually changed since the discovery of the the “New World,” with the typical contemporary view of what is possible to change. We already can’t see our way past roads and byways or dollars and cents, and iphones. There are a multitude of recent developments that we already see as impossible to live without. This is the state of our view of our role in specie-al development. We are only willing to see ourselves as the peak of evolution, not as a stepping stone for the will-to-life force to express itself.

If we are the peak of evolution, and we are attempting to maintain the assumptions that put us where we are, then there is only one direction to go, which is disintegration. Systems were not made to reach a comfortable plateau to maintain. They seem to be made to express greater and greater degrees of novelty, just as communities of microbes began to operate as and evolve into the cell, the entirety of of human enterprise is creating the next form of intelligent life: a living sphere of information which has its own existence and is interdependent with the biosphere of earth.

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Slavoj Zizek – First Tragedy, then Farce

You know, there is still part of me that would like for the ideals of “liberal democracy” and “cultural capitalism” to “work out.” I appreciate the privilege that is afforded to me by having relatability with the “leisure class.” I wish we could all just “get along” in the relative state of comfort that I enjoy. One of the conceits of the Status Quo is that there is a status quo. While, as Zizek points out, in the 2oth century there has been a larger part of the world population living in relative prosperity, this degree of general prosperity is made possible by the and socio-ecological devastation of large portions of the world. So, the status quo is not something to rebel against because it is boring and unimaginative, rather it is something that is dynamic, the maintenance of which is a violent process, a sort of entropy machine, in which we are implicated.  One of Zizeks major critiques of progressive groups in cultural capitalism is that there is no thinking past the capitalist assumption. So, the question becomes, “how can we use capital to give every one, including the earth, the rudiments of a ‘fair shot’ in our global-society?”

A couple years ago, when the “green movement” really got its legs with Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, there was this sense, like, “we can do this!  we just have to  turn off our lights and recycle and buy organic food when possible and ride bikes more and really start to look into alternate energy…and hey there’s a lot on $$$ to be made while we’re at it!” This was not long ago, but I think that we already view these sorts of measures with a great deal of cynicism.  Although, I do not agree with Zizek that true organic apples are the same as gmo apples, both in nutrition and overall interaction with the ecology, I do think that if the same apples were sold at grocery store and one was labeled organic and the other was not, the grocery store would sell more of the ones labeled organic.

Such practices have continued to take off, more than ever before, and not to imply that there isn’t a common sense to some of these easy answers, but as we approach the physical and conceptual limits of what-it-is that our society is based on, the half measures brought about by incremental institutional change seem like using a canoe paddle to stop an aircraft carrier that is careening out of control (to paraphrase Terrence McKenna). Zizek points out that communism is not a viable answer to capitalism either, rather he intimates that there is no practical application of throw back ideology can maintain the failing assumptions of our status quo. This puts us squarely in the human predicament of being literally, philosophically, and scientifically beyond the edge of certainty . So, what do we do, what’s next? There is nobody more well suited to ask and explore this question than you.

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Who is the Master who makes the grass green?

The Problem

The jack has sprung from the box; post-modern physics has made available a dynamic awareness that all matter in the universe is energy vibrating at varying frequencies. Atoms only collapse into particles with an observer, before the observer they have more to do with rhythm than quantifiable objects. We can also split an atom and destroy millions of human, plant and animal lives, and scorch the earth for generations to come. We have found the limits to certainty. Logic is stumbling over it’s logical boundaries. However, we are experiencing a lag between making these discoveries and understanding what the implication is for our daily living. Operationally, we are using a set of assumptions about ourselves, the world, and the universe, which, on some level, we already know to be obsolete. When and how we integrate these understandings into our daily living is where the true r/evolution is taking place. It is not enough to read the articles and the books, but to know first hand, in our cells, who we are and what is the substance of the universe, and how do these two questions relate to each other.

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Lynn Margulis – Gaia Theory

Margulis gets into Gaia Theory 4:00 minutes into this video. Below are a few quotes to emphasize.

“The Gaia concept is that the surface of the earth is regulated and modulated physiologically. That is, the temperature of the earth, the acidity, and the concentration of the gases like oxygen and methane are not here by chance alone! They are a product of the interactions of the organisms. So…we as people, in general, have considered…passive life is adapting to an the environment that’s changing. [That] is the wrong way of looking at it. The way you wanna look at it is: life is actively changing the environment, and then it is responding to that [change], but after responding it’s changing it more. So, it’s not a monologue it’s a dialogue”

“I am convinced that the cell is a microbial community, it is not bacteria grown large. It is the integration of formally…separate entities, whose living co-descendants we can still understand.”

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David Bohm – Implicate Order

The Individual

What we commonly refer to as an individual, is a totality of billions of living entities with an infinite variety of possibilities of behavior. As such, it is these billions-of-self-determining entities, which are the sovereign beings involved in what we refer to as the individual. To be an individual, it is necessary to be acting as an indivisible unity. The establishment of “individuality” has very little to do with physical appearances, or setting up preferences in contrast to our local reality.

As it is, we are completely divisible. We are, at any given moment, moving in a thousand different directions. How can we expect to bring about the good society, when we, in our selves, are deep in conflict? The individual is glorified to such an extent that people compete on the merits of their individual talents and aptitudes. This is inline with the human as machine metaphor put forth by Descartes. Whether the human is seen as remarkable machine or as merely a cog in the machine of industry, the machine metaphor applies equally in capitalist and communist industrial societies. In this model the human’s value to society is measured only in her or his ability to contribute to the accumulation of capital or to the state regulated “commons.” Mechanization’s assumption involves interchangeable parts. Each part separate and equal to others like it, so that it can be discarded and replaced to keep the gears turning. To apply this to humans in society is to imply that those who are not capable of producing are “broken” and must be discarded and replaced.

But change the metaphor, and create the world anew. The individual, as I am proposing, does not give way to Individualism or the setting up of the individual against the world. Rather, it is a self-governing unity of the billions of live beings that form each of us, which is inseparable from the larger system of society, world, and cosmos. In this way, we are a particular subset of the one individual or the unity that is all that there is. With such a concept of individuality we can abandon “survival of the fittest” in favor of total interdependence as the mode for human survival on earth.

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Gil Scott Heron – “Hey, this must be deep!”

This is from the 1982 concert film, Black Wax. Watch the whole thing, is good. I will try and keep Gil Scott Heron’s words in mind, as I plunk out these sentences on the Mercury Rising blog. I do, however, have a penchant for the confounding, but  I will make an ernest effort to use simple words  to dance around the unspeakable. Keeping in mind the words of David Foster Wallace on “genteelisms,” I will try and not waste the reader’s life reading unnecessary syllables, although, I confess, I already have.

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