Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Are You A Fatalist?

With the way things are going now you could be forgiven to have "fatalist" be a default setting. When people ask me this question, though, I always tell them: Only in part.

I have to say that of course because I also often say: It just wasn't meant to be.

So what I am alluding to here when I certainly suggest fatalism outright, but claim only to be partly associated with it? It's something I am pretty sure you've heard already, in one form or another, but with some, hopefully, helpful embellishments.

The idea is that, as far as change is concerned, everything is a matter of inertia; applying to social systems, and human affairs just as surely as to the physical world. So, to invoke change is to apply a delta V of some sort to the current vector of what you want to change is now on. The bigger the thing is, naturally, as in the more things it affects, which also affect it, and the weight we give to its constituent components (their importance, meaning, etc.), the more delta V, applied at the right point of contact, with its own sense of where it is coming from pushing for the correct counter vector, that is required.

When you lay it out like this you can see why change is so fundamentally difficult no matter what the scale of meaning space, or physical space, you might be talking about. This is especially so when one also considers just how imperfect of sensory input receivers, and interpreters, we are. Imperfect, though, precisely because filtered, quick assumed objectifications of a situation make for very high survivability, and thus adaptability. The upshot, however, being that this imperfection leaves so much of what actually affects everything, interactively across complexities of feedback we are only starting to fully appreciate, hidden (which is why we have to look past boundaries, even as we keep them in mind). Which leaves us with the paradoxical situation where everything is important to what's going to happen next, but where "everything" is also completely unknowable; most assuredly for any meaning processor subsumed within at least one reality; one vector of experience association we call a Cosmos, but for which itself is not so improbably only one of many such vectors of association; perhaps branching off of each other at each new decision point, or quantum moment of probability realization.

In this situation one could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that: If everything matters, than nothing matters because there's no way I can process strategies to take in everything. You can say nothing matters in the sense that all of the factors involved have virtual equal ignorance for us so trying to distinguish between important and not important is absurd. As actually living a life with this attitude doesn't usually work very well, practically speaking, so we put as much effort as we can in eliminating as much ignorance as we can so as to make the best informed guess we can; counting on gained experience, as we proceed, to update our best informed guesses so as to increase our odds of success; which, happily does occur sometimes. But therein, as they always say, lies the rub: Making our best informed choices usually improves our odds of beneficial outcomes, but we can never know exactly by how much, and however much it actually is, the outcome is still only so many chances out of another total we cannot know exactly.

This is why it is actually quite logical to say "shit happens." Shit happens is only another way of stating Murphy's law; that anything that can happen, will happen eventually. That it might be "shit" is a subjective reference certainly, but as we have evolved from a beginning steeped in scarcity, and supreme ignorance, ill formed choices would be an assured result, giving ample fertility for the development of situations where the "shit" of a bad outcome would likely surpass mere subjective assessment. And, unfortunately, that sort of thing can build its own kind of social inertia, with whole societies rising up from a continuing heritage of bad outcomes insuring more of same.

The question then becomes one of how a person integrates the understanding of this realization with an approach to life that provides some sense of hope. And that is where philosophies always come in.

In mine the idea is to take some comfort first in the fact that we are a fundamental part of it all. That we are as necessary as physical laws themselves because there must be meaning processors involved. There must be such because that is one half of the basic process of objectification in the first place. Therefore there must be mind, and the need for structure to not only persist, but to also grow. And the only way for such structure to grow is if it has meaning, and can interact with other structures that have meaning.

Mind, by itself, though, isn't enough. There must also be what is the most fundamental aspect of potential (I define the Entirety as "an unbounded singularity of infinite potential) in the first place: the need to come together and exchange at all. The basic requirement for process to be not only possible, but mandatory.

Meaning processors are essential to the realities they reside in because they are what everything is relative to. They are the go betweens for the mediation of physical space with meaning space, and thus a crucial aspect of what keeps a reality going. Keeps it meaningful to itself and thus tracing further, sustained as a ray of potential realized for the unimaginable, matrix gestalt of the Entirety as it does its endless, question answer dance for an ultimate that may simply be the just the process itself.

That there is so much, at any given moment, that we cannot objectively know, there must also be a willingness to embrace faith. Faith not necessarily in a deity, but in the very process for the search for meaning, knowing that it will always be something subject to change. And the best way to foster that faith is to internalize the idea that striving for thoughtful, loving structure, is the best way to increase the odds for everyone to make better, informed, best guesses on what the next choice should be. With that can there be the hope that better choices, built upon themselves, over and over again, in greater amalgamations of cooperative action, can move us from the negative focus of "what can happen," to the positive focus of what could happen, with a lot greater surety because we've grown in wisdom, and the ability to perceive more effectively, and meaningfully.

So yes, I am something of a fatalist, but with exceptions. I keep trying precisely because I have faith in the idea that an entirety made of of Love and Mind makes sense to me intellectually, and spiritually. That there is something there of the rational, and of the heart and soul; where the latter two represent what we feel physically, and emotionally. And in that, perhaps, is an important reason why we do well to keep a good balance with the animal, as well as the meaning processor that lives with it.

Everything is semi permeable so who knows, ultimately, what organizing forms allow for which kinds of sympathetic translation, or transmission, across what only seems like boundaries because of a particular frame of reference. Who knows, for instance, what limit on the kinds of reactions there might be when we instigate action for what we believe will be positive outcomes; especially if they are also amplified by the chosen interactions of others in support of what is essentially a shared vision. Do all of the energy interactions, whether from the movement of things, or collective agreement of what is actually achieved, end only with things in this reality? And if these are indeed reality variations, branching out everywhere, that permeate the Entirety, in infinite profusion, might they not also get a wiggle here, or a bump there, from each other? Infinitely subtle of course, but still enough to tickle the right receptor, however infinitesimal it also might be.

As such faith for me as always been another way of talking about magic; especially if you think of magic as the "so sufficiently advanced technology" we haven't had the chance to objectify it yet. Not the magic that an idiot sits there wishing for while his boat is sinking. The magic that's involved in hope, and wonder, and curiosity, and having the gall to take big chances even when you know the odds might not favor you. Choosing to take that chance because you are ready to sacrifice a great deal for something that thoughtful, loving structure lead you to believe in.

Good people will still die. Bad people will still prosper. Pain will still have to be born, along with the joy. It just seems easier to bear when you think that you are participating in the completion of a virtuous circle: Creation, order and continual interaction for new creation, with matter and meaning working away together to give infinite potential its endless process. And in all of that meaning processors making choices.

It works for me. I can only hope that there are at least parts of this that work for you.

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