Humans and the Universe

3 Nov

Whatever one thinks of philosophy, one thing is clear:  human beings persist in a chronically subordinate position in the Universe.

We are subject to ridiculous confrontations with hyperbolic skepticism, and even our inner being appears mysterious to the more honest fellow travelers.  Our best answer to this is a highly defensive common sense, which is supposed to serve as a replacement for a more intimate connection to the source of our being.  This only appears acceptable because it can’t be helped.  Furthermore, the conditioning parameters of the situation are not encouraging.  There are big fish, little fish, and all that.  One can look at bad events and blame concrete local situations and individuals, but the overall conditioning profile ought to be the real target.  It’s not clear how much control human beings even have, or can have, over these processes.

Whatever the human role in the Universe is — if any — it’s probably a role in which we’re doing something for an entity which vastly exceeds us.  Nothing like organized religion imagines, tho.  I have no hope of a heaven or anything like that.  If there is something transcending human reality, it’s not necessarily friendly to human beings!  It’d probably be a real drain on profit margins…all of this eternal life business.

But humans have incredible mental compartmentalization.  They can walk into the little grocery store with the precious soft rock playing and everything seems serene and certain.  I can’t necessarily knock the indulgence, either.  Philosophy is probably just another delusion of control over the situation.  I have my grocery store and soft rock as well.  It’s just a little fancier and includes some nice rippin’ solos.

I hold out some hope for the study of the brain and consciousness(I have educated suspicions that Humean-style skepticism will be partly dissolved by these studies), but it’s also possible that such studies will only result in a whole ‘nother gear of crazy.  Overall, one can only make the cynical best of a psychotic situation.  The strategies for doing so are well-established by now and depend a great deal on personal characteristics.  An extremely advanced philosopher could probably generate a successful formula for writing great literature and such(Shakespeare?).  Enjoy the sweepstakes!

At least there’s humor.  Maybe humor is a sign that there’s a little compassion in the situation.  Humor and fannies will turn the tide, God dimmit!

There’s a lot to be said for making the most of the warm and playful little things, too.  It might be all we have.  I also find a lot of beauty in mathematics — maybe it’s a partial taste of the deep real.  In other news, philosophy’s getting homelier by the day.

 

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