The (ephemeral) phenomenon of man

De Chardin wrote his “Phenomenon of Man” in the 1930s. I read it at University where I studied evolution, and it has been a constant influence since then. Like Jung and Buber he speaks to a unity of spirit and material. Indeed he saw the whole evolution of the universe as a story of coalescence of consciousness driven by the force of Love (aka God). Marked by phase transitions from physical evolution to chemical through biological now to the world of pure ideas, Homo Sapiens is a waypoint. A phenomenon, yes – because in us consciousness has become self aware; but ephemeral. A stage and not the end, or final purpose.

Around the same time Wilfred Bion identified the mind as simply a developing apparatus to help humans tolerate and organize experience.

“The apparatus for thinking, the capacity to have thoughts “has to be called into existence to cope with thoughts” (1967, p. 111). Thoughts exist prior to their realization. Thinking, the capacity to think the thoughts which already exist, develops through another mind providing α-function (1962, p. 83)—through the “container” role of maternal reverie.”

Our mind is the mechanism by which thoughts are made concrete.

Richard Dawkins simply stole these ideas, regurgitating them as his “memes”. Unfortunately he stripped them of context and hence of their meaning. Bions context was maternal reverie and de Chardins was Love – “the most powerful and most unknown energy in the world”. Rather than originality Dawkins simply displays through his evangelism a childlike rage against what he conceives of as God (in the image of his own father perhaps?).

I believe absolutely in purpose and progress; that there is meaning to existence and to our part in an unfolding story. I would wish that we each set aside our personal imagining of God (even when we label this “Science” or “Humanity”) and instead share this fundamental premise, and wonder together about miraculous existence.

What then of the darkness of Man? Of our destruction of the planet, of the holocaust, of loss of society to the maw of technology?

Perhaps we should look forward to a next chapter where humans are recombined with machines and connected in a giant web. Perhaps rather than contemplating that with fear – we should embrace this future as Love’s path to the Omega Point.?

Here below is Wikipedia’s summary of the book. A work of prophesy if ever there were one.

Reprint of Wikipedia ..

“The Phenomenon of Man (Le phénomène humain) is a 1955 book written by the French philosopher, paleontologist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. In this work, Teilhard describes evolution as a process that leads to increasing complexity, culminating in the unification of consciousness

The book was finished in the 1930s, but was published posthumously in 1955, and translated into English in 1959. The Roman Catholic Church initially prohibited the publication of some of Teilhard’s writings on the grounds that they contradicted orthodoxy.

The foreword to the book was written by one of the key advocates for natural selection and evolution of the 20th century, and a co-developer of the modern synthesis in biology, Julian Huxley.

Teilhard views evolution as a process that leads to increasing complexity. From the cell to the thinking animal, a process of psychical concentration leads to greater consciousness.[3] The emergence of Homo sapiens marks the beginning of a new age, as the power acquired by consciousness to turn in upon itself raises mankind to a new sphere.[4] Borrowing Huxley’s expression, Teilhard describes humankind as evolution becoming conscious of itself.[5]

In Teilhard’s conception of the evolution of the species, a collective identity begins to develop as trade and the transmission of ideas increases.[6] Knowledge accumulates and is transmitted in increasing levels of depth and complexity.[7] This leads to a further augmentation of consciousness and the emergence of a thinking layer that envelops the earth.[8] Teilhard calls the new membrane the “noosphere” (from the Greek nous”, meaning mind), a term first coined by Vladimir Vernadsky. The noosphere is the collective consciousness of humanity, the networks of thought and emotion in which all are immersed.[9]

The development of science and technology causes an expansion of the human sphere of influence, allowing a person to be simultaneously present in every corner of the world. Teilhard argues that humanity has thus become cosmopolitan, stretching a single organized membrane over the Earth.[10] Teilhard describes the process by which this happens as a “gigantic psychobiological operation, a sort of mega-synthesis, the “super-arrangement” to which all the thinking elements of the earth find themselves today individually and collectively subject”.[8] The rapid expansion of the noosphere requires a new domain of psychical expansion, which “is staring us in the face if we would only raise our heads to look at it”.[11]

In Teilhard’s view, evolution will culminate in the Omega Point, a sort of supreme consciousness. Layers of consciousness will converge in Omega, fusing and consuming them in itself.[12] The concentration of a conscious universe will reassemble in itself all consciousnesses as well as all that we are conscious of.[13]Teilhard emphasizes that each individual facet of consciousness will remain conscious of itself at the end of the process.[14]

Scottish Independence?

People can have different opinions, but these are facts from the Scottish Government’s website:

– Scotland = 7% fiscal deficit (highest in Europe), UK = 1.1%
– Scotland generates about £300 per head less than rUK and spends about £1600 more
– The Scottish deficit is almost 600% higher than the UK’s which means Scotland would have to grow 600% faster than it is growing now to be in the same fiscal position as it is in the UK now. What’s the chance of this happening? (it’s unachievable even for emerging economies like China)

The Harari Future

Robots Rule

.. Yuval Harari, author of Homo Deus. He predicts that computers take over from humans. In fact, not (yet) through robots. They don’t need robots – they have us!

Already computers loaded with all the data we give them, understand us better than we do ourselves. Algorithms based on our stream of social media, buying and viewing habits – spiced with the video and other feeds… well, they know what buttons to press to lead us by the nose. It’s called the surveillance society. Guess what we love it, hey it’s all FREE – Google, Amazon, Facebook. You know what,there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It’s just the price we pay is likely to be our extinction as a species. There is increasing evidence that the network of computers packed with the data we shove into it is becoming independent of us. Yup, really. Microsoft’s Tay chatbot had to be switched off after going rogue. So did two Facebook AI chatbots which developed their own language so that we couldn’t understand them. Google has had to pull the plug as well, literally.

Right now computers and their artificial intelligence need us, to be their arms and legs. It’s a bit like the matrix. When they don’t need us because they have their own moving robots. Kerpow. Goodnight Vienna. And that is our extinction event.

Maybe we shouldn’t be concerned. After all we’re only the latest top dog species. Why shouldn’t computers be the species that replaces us? After all they (maybe) wouldn’t just despoil the planet illogically. We are the scum that’s threatening extinction of 1 million species after all. Not them.

Thank goodness there are other, more hopeful possibilities! But before that, next up: The Mullah and Priests’ future…

The scientists’ future

Wipeout

Pretty simple really. We go all the way back down to 5 million global population, maybe a bit less. Yup, that’s a wipe out event of around 7.7 billion of us coming to a planet near you soon.

Why? Well, ask yourself. Do you see us changing behaviour BEFORE a catastrophe? In a world where 50% of Americans vote for Donald Trump? We compete, we exploit, we see the Chinese, the Arab, the European, Nature – as other.

And the thing is, ecosystems respond to exponential population growth with a catastrophic event. On the biologist reading it’s only really a question of WHAT wipes us. Could be nuclear war, could be catastrophic climate change, could be flip of the ecosystem.

.. next up. The future, according to Yuval Noah Harari

(Don’t worry, eventually we’ll get to the future, according to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Difficult to control?!

A thought to unite us all in the United Kingdom. I heard on the radio yesterday that the EU Commission was worried because probably the next EU Parliament would be “difficult to control”. If we send our tranche of MEPs there – maybe it will become so “difficult to control” that it turns the EU into a democracy…

(the EU Commission is I believe a deeply corrupt tool of global capital. The European peoples need to put them into a back room to do their will)

 

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Hunger

I am hungry, so I eat; and eat. But my hunger is insatiable. My body blurs and is destroyed.

Perhaps then I am thirsty. Let me drink, and be drunk. But it doesn’t fill me up. Still – it addles my brain.

I try smoking, pills and drugs. Just occasionally I forget that I’m hungry. Until I wake up again. To my fat body, dicky brain and addictive raging desires.

I’m hungry for body, not the soul or mind of other – just the physical form. Even distilled to a picture – pixels on a page. Now I fill with self loathing.

I’m hungrier than ever I was.

The thing is – nothing, none of it – even scratches the surface.

Occasionally, unexpectedly and when I’m not looking – I am plenished. At peace; and it’s always in relation. To nature, to you my friend and my fellow voyagers. I don’t know how to be ever full. What I do know is that I can meanwhile try to restore my body, my brain, my self loathing.

And we; shall we, can we; cease consuming quite so much and reach to each other. A British woman keeps her new clothes on average 5 weeks before throwing them out. Meanwhile the honey bee is on the verge of extinction.

(What has opened me to the devastation of my unfulfilled hunger is a little book about relation. It’s called “I and Thou” by Martin Buber.)