Towards Evolutionary Reality (TER)- How to act.
1. We are the center of the Universe. We are all important and all-responsible for it.
2. We are interdependent and interrelated. The relationships: friendships and love are our only chance to survive.
3. It is up to us, to create happy and meaningful life.
4. We live inside our evolutionary system. The story is all that is. Our meaning and fun is to listen and understand it.
6. Be tolerant to other worldviews
It should be so simple. But the brain tricks us all the time. Piotrus, my brother, after letting me talk for an hour about the evolution and perception and the fish, asked me
So, what? or “ translate your TEO principles into a blueprint for living or the meaning of life”.
Everybody knows what is the right thing to do, to feel, to think, to say.
How to stop eating and share, when eating feels so good?
How to send money to Africa , when you need new i-phone?
And how to smile to your wife, when she blames you unfairly?
Can evolutionary reality help?
1. We are the center of the Universe. Mankind is the most complex system ever created by the thermodynamics and the evolution, a showcase, the best of the best. No excuse for sceptics, we are not “an insignificant speck in the one backward , one of a trillions galaxies”. We are the most important , only chance, for all the people we care for… and for ourselves.
And yes, as I said, “the only chance”- because we are alone (every evolutionary system is). No help (or an apocalyptic excuse!) from demons, gods, dragons, ghosts or werewolves.
No mysteries, magical origins or elusives justifying uncertainties about us. We are well built by the evolution mechanism, and we are trying to get to know ourselves/Universe as much as we can. And we will know more and more of incredibly fantastic and horrible things about us.
2. The friendship and the love.
I said we are alone, but actually we are not. Also, the presence, existence and messing with us by the above mentioned demons, gods, etc would not affect our solitude.
So, we are alone as an evolutionary system, but within this system we are interdependent.
I am not sure whether there is a consensus regarding the origins and mechanism, but have this thing called empathy and altruism.
It seems something happened during early hominids period 5 to 2 million years ago. Some weird feedback loop: the complexity of breeding (seen already in bonobos in the crude form) increased intelligence. This increased intensity of childhood learning which was making social system even more complex. Our mirror neurons went bezerk: for one it pushed us into hypersocial dance, on the top of that they got mixed with consciousness related neural pathways and puff! we can see a little bit of ourselves in the bird with broken wing.
That is great news that we have other beings to be with. To me this is the greatest achievement of modernity ( and postmodernity?) : the beauty, the variety and the diversity of the relationships modern humans can create.
Jane Goodall, sure, but not only, take such a diverse elements as symphonies, gay marriage, FaceBook, DNA mapping, Big Mind Meditation, Little Mermaid- it is all about relationships!
And loving our pets, and Izrael problem, and “I the Vortex”, etc etc…
And I am not saying it is easy, but it is crucial: friendships and loves and co-workers and artists..We are one big, big family, really.
Going bravely across the kinship and society and nations and religions.
Going across cultures is almost like going across the times and perception systems. We have and we need more relationship with the whole future generation!
We need to realize how strong is our relationship with our parents teachers and the ancestors.
As we reach further and further in our capacity to relate and care, across physical and emotional dimensions, including time- the evolution teaches us about our origins. The evolution connect us to the animals in much harder way than” I missed my pretty kitty”. We see the world in the same way, or, in other words, the world is as animals see it. It is possible to develop the mirror neurons, compassion and reflective thinking ( the consciousness). But you can’t develop the dualism, can’t develop the double reality, Plato’s cave can’t be real. Why? Because , while you can upgrade the wiring of the brain, you can not mess with what’s already in there. You can change an acuity of perception,
and the interpretation but the evolution can not change what is perceived (ontologically).
Like medieval dungeon and the modern correctional facility. They are both prisons, serving the same function. Or the shaman and the surgeon with computer guided laser- still doing the same thing. And the same argument goes through the comparison of every tiny level of the evolutionary change- from seeing just purple to seeing purple and magenta. Still the same sunset. The only way for survival is to be able to repeat that improved action ( like better recognition of the ripe fruit- for the animal, millions years ago it felt like “more good eat”- for the researcher- it would manifest like “more retinal discrimination”)
The animal’ brain is full of behaviors. Learned and inherited behaviors, the behaviors of the animal itself and its ancestors and the ancestors’ ancestors. Evolutionary , nothing else is worth knowing, and if it is not worth -the animal doesn’t know it. We do not know it either.
Well, we need to work on the behaviors, i.e. on relationships.
The Behavior – compassion and gratitude. one directed towards the future, other towards the past. Both types related and attached to the person. Me and you.
3. You are all important.
Other problem with the modernism is that the modern culture shows us as an insignificant one- of the 7 billions. The God says : you are my child, you are special, but we do not hear it. Whatever are the moral rules , I am so small, I am below the radar, I can do anything because actually I can not do anything which matters ( except for serial killing , which is not for everybody).
Not so according to TER. Not only we are the center of the Universe , but the only world there is ( is real for you) is your world. And for me is mine.
We share many elements so it looks( and it works like) like it is our world , but it is just practical simplification and a shortcut. You bring it to the existence by looking, perceiving, there is nothing behind you, you are all important to do good.
From the birth to death you create your world , you learn and you live it and you die -accordingly. So, there is nothing more important to know what you doing and why.
You, as an individual, not a part of a mob. You are responsible and you have to train your reflective and critical thinking to know inside and outside of you.
It is why the development of the personal and unique explicit worldview is so important.
4.TEO dispense with spirituality.
The spirituality is this wishy- washy term, the back door exit , “ we are too evolved to believe in the angels and devils, but the Universe is permeated with the divine , the oneness, the suchness…”
The mind is made by the evolution, and the details are coming in as we speak.
We are developing the language shared by evolutionary neuroscience and evolutionary philosophy.
The sooner we demystify mind’s elements and the building process (after saying bye to ego, soul, shadow and the likes) the sooner we stop barking at the wrong tree!
Our moral enemy is social materialism, not the atheism.
And the fundamentalists feel so holy, that the materialism is justified.
It looks to me that the church and synagogue and mosque going folks are the greediest, the most cruel and lazy bunch (the quintessence of materialism). Many of them are violent , intolerant , xenophobic, bigotic and self assured buffoons.
And the last but not the least:
No.5. The practice.
The task to understand , to deepen the wisdom takes work and mindfulness practice. We need to work with artists and musicians and philosophers and scientists and listen to the simple folks and to the ancient cultures.
We need to listen to the animals and to the forests. We need to walk the mountains and swim in oceans.
When we meditate we listen to ourselves, to our bodies and our memories from far, far away. Listen to the story, the story between me and you.
As I said , according to TER the only real world is your world. It makes subjective experience all important, it invites you to learn about yourself, be individual.
There is no “we” as opposed to “them”. Leave we to royal pluralis majestatis.
I have known a man-a buffoon- who loves to use “we”- it is not the pretty sight.
The beauty of learning about yourself is opening for the real relation with “you”.
Getting to know “me” through the meditative practice, beyond autobiography, beyond the judgment and the projects opens possibility to know in the same way- you.
And you and you and you. One by one. Beyond the time, to know past you’s and the present and future ones. To know your lover, your mom and dad, your child, the teacher, maybe God or Buddha.
This is the crux of the matter. This is our chance, for us humans to cooperate, be friends, love and maybe survive.
6. All human actions and theories are just attempts to understand and we value them if they bring good to the humanity. The science will select itself from non science by more understanding and research.
We dismiss “turtles, all the way down” because it is blind alley concept. We question Big Bang theory because it doesn’t say” what was before”. If god (this or that) is unexplained – by definition- we say it is unscientific- again the argument of the blind alley.
Teo tells us that the deepest structure/material the Universe is made of is our understanding. My understanding built from the infancy and through eons of the evolution ,shows the Universe like… well, the normal, beautiful world. And I am trying to understand that it is also the content of the mind of each of us, shared to the degree. It consists of the units of behaviors evolutionary beneficial, inherited or preserved otherwise.
This means that “blind alley concept” extends to all laws and all thinking.
Is it a relativism “all the way down?”
Yes and no.
We need to be humble ( yes) and practical :it is better to built on the rock than on the sand, even if we know that there is lava underneath both of them(no).
We need to try to understand how we understand the World rather than try to understand how the World really is, because it’s how it really is.