Will and Arial Durant, two historians who wrote The Lessons of History noted that as astronomers took photographs of the Earth from space, it became clear just how overshadowed the Earth was relative to everything else. For the first time the threat of a belief in a god was so personal that people reinforced their belief in religion more than ever. The contrast between outer space and a personal god became so clear, it put into motion elements of the psyche that, given a few generations, had people claw at each other for life they desperately felt they deserved. Society then, turned inward. Just as scientists abandoned the world of the very large (planets, gravity) society scolded at the large centers of authority, institution, government, monopolies. They prefered smaller, individual packets of authority spread over the city. Scientists preferred to study the very small. Atoms! “Somewhere, in the absolute limit of space-time, should lie meaning,” they reasoned. So, focusing their microscopes, splitting the atom, and then the protons, what did they find? What they came up against with? The quanta world was too mysterious but at the same time, promising. As technology also became smaller, narrower, and intrusive with the discovery of the quantam realm, society confined and micromanaged it self so that every single joint, and articulation was invaded. But pay attention to the verbs physicists associate with quantum mechanics: “probability, chance, luck, uncertainty. These are the words nihilists have to work with to come up with any meaning. Society is now hitting a crisis of meaning at an intensity never before experienced. At least in observing the very big, one could fall enamoured with harmony in the orderliness of planets and their perfect ellipses, eclipses, and geometries. But it is now clear that beneath these perfect shapes a foundational disparity.
Lovecraftian horrers are hard to come to peace with
Reality comes to enphenominate with disparity or discrepancy. For example think of the age of the universe; we have deep-time, the time that is so uncomfortable for us to think about with ease. Deep-time is the time that moves continents, destroys mountains, allows species to evolve, stars to shift and move, suns created and destroyed. We are but a fraction of a fraction of a second compared to the timeline of deep-time. All this time needed to form a habitable planet to sustain and maintain an infinitesimal portion of life. I call this property vitalism, the need for dependent forces to represent a disparity in quantity and quality to enphenomenate existence. Reactive forces rests as a base and loses identity to, or incorporates either part of itself to or entirely to, active forces to enphenominate.
When I think about how vitalism affect us, I think about A Clockwork Orange, the film by Stanley Kubrick. Our minds are infinite, it can ponder about atoms and asteroids, time travel to the dinosaurs or to the beginning of life itself, but it is constrained by the limits of biological physiology, of which obeys the laws and properties of the universe. So when biology is stuffed into mechanical orderliness, the parasympathetic nerves wakes up like a loud alarm. When these elements manifests itself disfavorable to us, probability, chaos, exponentials, compounding, luck, chance, unequalness, uneven-ness, displacement, skewed, and uncertainty, feels so unfair . But when we fall favorable to it, it’s the status quo. If Schopenhauer lived today, he’d ascribe these experiences painful if they would manifest negatively but when manifested positively, the experience would not match the same intensity of the negative.
This is where I talk about vitalism at every level of the physical reductionism “ladder.” There exists a harmony, a purgatory, where Dionysian limbs rests on reactive forces. Think of the “wetness” that emerges from an uncountable number of water molecules to make a cup of water. Or the homeostasis of a body of which the physical molecules must obey without fail so the body could counteract the extremes of elements. Or the economic systems by which each individual must operate faithfully, like organs to a body, for vitalism to create an economic system with life of its own. A large component of reactive forces supply autonomy at the base to a small component of active forces. This is the dogmatic image of thought scientists injected into its sciences, public relations speak to its press, businessmen pay into their business, and politicians into its laws, that accelerates the slave individual. If you ponder population economics, the vast number of people that need to be at the bottom, “lower/ working class,” in order for the small elites to “find themselves” and “self-actualize” is normally acceptable.
Think about the environmental condition needed for our neolithic or paleolithic ancestors to procreate and raise offspring. All predators left at bay after becoming apex predator in the food chain is still there. Now, our survival energy is mitigated in such a way that the necessary violence between simpler-evolved organisms are still engaging in the battle for life. It’s just that we crossed a threshold that we have all these vitals working for us. In quantum mechanics most elementary particle exists to only be destroyed immediately. A ridiculous amount of self-decaying elementary particles are disproportionately sacrificed constantly, giving the necessary condition for a more fundamental particle to live a little more than that. Something like 8×10^-12 seconds is the lifespan for a mueon to exist in the cosmos. The abundance of these elementary particles needed to be sacrificed constantly must be insane. As we climb the ladder of physicalism to form quarks, chromodynamics lets us see how energy of these elementary particles engage in quantum fields similar to thermodynamics when gasses and atoms exists in a system. And on and on we find the same engagement mirror the scale as we size up.
What to do when autonomy becomes distributed?
Think about population economics where a large portion of the populations needed to obey ecological rules, for a subset of species to be “free-er”. In society, it is expensive for a lower status man to “find himself” than it is for a higher status person. Like mentioned above, we scale down every aspect of sovereign space to be micromanaged and owned. The consequences are that every interaction between two or more people is a stand off of life-force. We are invited to behave like atoms or else we’d be insulted. Soon, society will behave like elementary particles, 90% of the population consistently loose life-force to the 10% of those who “self-actualize.” It’s not like these 10% of high-status people wake up one day as say “I’m going to find my true purpose… but it happens necessarily. At a hypothetical city, a large portion of people would work intensive blue-collar labor for the higher-status people to sit in chair to get paid for thinking really hard. At the turn of the century, these intensive labour jobs got shipped oversees where the population lies in the billions, like china, India, and soon Africa. So now the new lower-status people of our city, will be service level jobs. Capitalism praises this altruistic move to vitalize. Better living conditions is the “new” lower class. While in fact, all the necessary hard labour is mitigated into this microscale micromanaged society where spaces are invaded. Now, our souls do all the fighting. All the strangers are subject for life-force life prey are in the jungle. Its survival of the fittest soul. And the faintest glance at a person, as people become isolated, becomes animosity. Every space is now fair game for the soul to conduct an inception.