Archive for April, 2017

171 – The Human Condition …

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

The overall behavior and perceptive capacity of homo sapiens, the sum total of the human race, are controlled in manifold degrees by a set of paradigms or belief systems that limit our ability to comprehend that we are on a self-destructive downward spiral.

Socio-political paradigms in which Intolerance, Division, and Conflict rule the decision-making of those who determine our destiny.

Economic paradigms in which Greed and Aggression are the fundamental forces driving the consumption and production of resources in the industrialized world.

Scientific paradigms in which the physical sciences shy away from the systematic inquiry on phenomena like our capacities to wonder or adjust primal emotions because these essential elements of our existence can neither be measured nor reduced to equations.

Learning paradigms – the most damaging of all – in which the overriding agendas of our dominant education systems are the standardization of human nature and the promotion of corporate hegemony.

Belief systems in which our darker characteristics – intolerance, cruelty, revenge, misogyny, hate – are anthropomorphized into idols or deities to vindicate our behavior.

It is obvious that under the dominance of these paradigms, we are inciting greed, irrationality, and conflict consuming and destroying natural resources faster than the environment can replenish them but are also altering the planet’s chemical equilibrium.

Although these paradigms were initially developed in our struggle to survive amid challenging environments, they should have been overcome long ago as we began to realize their destructive potential. Therefore, to perpetuate them instead, oftentimes with horrendous cruelty, is not only unforgivable but the cause of our self-destructive downward spiral.

There are no easy solutions for the state of the human condition, and although turning it around is a monumental task, it is our survival.

Revised January 2021

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170 – On Field Theory …

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

According to Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia, Field Theory was developed to study forces that result from the propagation of actions through the dimensions of space and time (electromagnetism, gravitation).

Although the theory is based on mathematical equations, its fundamental premise of action as a force that propagates through a medium can apply perfectly to animal interactions, the development of organisms, the inception of ideas that turn into action, the evolution of Life.

The propagation of action as a force can be described in two different yet complementary ways: 1- Action with contact, which is a force that can modify the medium without propagation, and 2- Action at a distance, which is a force that although propagating is nonetheless determined by external forces.

Galileo’s understanding of reality is an excellent example of the theory. His understanding of gravitation was a force that modified the Field of human knowledge without changing its physical environment [action with contact]. But even though the force of his understanding ultimately changed the way humankind perceives reality, it was almost obliterated by the Church’s dogmatic force [action at a distance].

These two forces, the force to affect and the forces that affect us, are complementary and together determine the extent and significance of our actions. For instance, when I initiate an action by focusing on a goal, I am the driving force – the ‘operator’ – who creates beliefs, ideas, or political factions that may turn into a force with the power to propagate through space and time, but its outcome will ultimately be determined by conducive or limiting forces acting upon me.

By describing a force in which the body is the ‘operator’, we have to designate it with the attribute, whether instinctive or self-determined, of Purpose, which implies that Field theory applies not only to forces like magnetism or gravitation but to those initiated with intent by a species or a human being. When we decide to affect or transform something with purpose, we become the driving force, the ‘operator’ of a field of action.

We are forces pregnant with the potential to unleash unimaginable transformations. And as demonstrated by individuals like Galileo, Einstein, Gandhi, Hitler, who, when directed by the force of their ideas or beliefs and limited or assisted by their environments, unleashed forces that, when measured by their significance, transcended into the way we think and act today.

This is what Erich Jantsch calls Self-transcendence, the reaching out beyond the boundaries of one’s own existence.

Our lives are Fields in the flow of Existence, and even though they might be determined by forces beyond our control, we do have, when given a chance, the potential to achieve feats that reach beyond our existence. This is the inherent power within us.

Revised December 2020   

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