Saturday, 17 March 2012

Gazing Eternity from a Momentary Porthole

The ridiculous mortality in human aspirations

How long does it last eternity? Well, a lot. Finally you'll have time to do everything. Finally the sardonic grin of death won't be able to laugh at you. Finally you'll be happy. Right? Well, apart from the fact your jellyfish brain has been washed away long ago, a bunch of monkeys is having breakfast with your high cognitive functions and a dysfunctional family of pagurus bernhardus has been relocated in your skull by a housing project, yes, you smartly understood the essence of temporality.

It's better to admit it: we human beings have a problem with mortality. Especially in the Western we completely forgot the meaning of dying. We spend our life, day to day, doing something else pretending we have time, only to realize we are running out of it. It reminds me of the story about oil, that we are consuming like jerks, only to realize it is finished. Guys, honestly I think that we as a race have done something remarkable, but we are really out of touch we it comes to consumerism.

Anyway, back to temporality. How long is eternity? I mean, a lot of dudes are really convinced that after you're smashed by a truck and your internal organs are a soft jam, you open again your eyes and you live forever. Ok, let's talk about this forever. Do you think that you wake up, have a coffee (or maybe a pint of sulfuric acid if you are in hell), and start to hang up with our mate? (well of course to hang out in hell is slightly different) And do you think you'll do this forever? I mean forever WITHIN a temporal duration, it is a hell of period.

It does sound a bit childish: Ok I have a body and a day to day life and forever is simply the extension of this condition till, well , as the word says, “forever”.

Apart the most trivial cognitive and psychological objections: I.e. after one million years you are so fed up with your neighbours that your enternal activity is actually to kille them. But most of all you are bored to death by yourself: you'll start to forget things about you, precisely to avoid the unbearable presence of that bloody idiot it is your consciousness after one million years. In fact I presume we will pretend to be geranium flowers. Our cognitive system cannot be entertained healthily for such a long period of time.

But the real problem is that eternity is not even close to this. Eternity is a concept to discipline your consciousness and to liberate her. Precisely: your consciousness is embodied to a physical entity with a limited temporal span. When you are talking of eternity you are liberating the attachment of your consciousness. Be careful not to liberate the embodiment: typical mistake. Without your body, your consciousness is an hallucination: if you take away your body, what do you think it will stay? Your credit record???

So liberation from attachment. The biggest attachment is to time. Temporality is our definition of being focused on yourselves. So it is quite refreshing to entertain yourself in a detached attitude. And bang, here we are. Eternity.

Yes guys, eternity is timeless, not full of time. The universe is bloody old, not eternal. There is no eternity in physics (that we can make sense of). Eternity is just in consciousness. And guess how long does it last?

Take a seat.

The closest example of lack of duration our cognitive system can picture is: the instant!

All right, now stop behaving like an hysteric 20th century woman who has just knew about Freudian theories and doesn't understand she's actually realizing the theory by her own acting. Calm down. Don't be angry with me, but with the lack of appropriate theological depth in your business administration studies.

We make experience of the lack of duration in very short periods of time. It's not a coincidence that Mohammed trip in heaven lasts only a second. Even a catholic theologists, Ulrich Von Balthasar describe heaven and hell as the projection of your inner spirituality in day to day life: don't hold your breath to see if you fall in the lines of the morons Halloweenianly dressed as angels or devils. It is here. What is your eternity? Let's go backward. Think at the instant of your death. That's a good example: the moment you pass away, that is a big moment and it's not that long. So when it will come, enjoy it. But in general, everytime you concedes your consciousness the time of being out of time, you can enjoy the lack of duration.

Good if you take time to observe the moon/ sunrise/ your sleeping beloved. Perfect, a bit chewed Mac poetry, but it's a beginning.

An instant is an instant. On the tube when you see the sliding doors closing on your station, when you drink the very first sip of alcohol of the day, when you throw pasta in the boiling water, every one of this is an experience of instantaneous duration. It's not joy or sadness per se. But if you start to learn how catch the instant without reasons, then you are closer to live on the edge of eternity. And God bless the last drag of cigarette. Oh damn, I've quit. Hell.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Birth of Consciousness from the Spirit of Representation

The mark of consciousness is its own being there.

I'm here and only here, I'm the unique focus of awareness of my very presence. I can think that I could be someone else, like someone else. But I'm myself. There are reasons for that. Self consciousness is the deploy of awareness of being there. It's an act of representation. The cognitive activity of self monitoring in the process of representing that very activity, generates the observable by the means of the activity. We observe a phenomenon created by observation. But how could such observation start before the creation of the phenomenon itself??

It's easy. Your mind is the acceleration of the brain you are associated with. The developmental environment,in which you have been raised, infrastructured your mind and little by little your brain acted more and more like a mind. Pieces of representation, dates, places, characters.

They told you stories, they told of princesses and dragons, of Homer, they told you that people traveled to the moon, they told you that the moon is very big and very far. They told you a lot of things. Many screwed their brain to verify the truth of what has been told. But truth is within the horizon opened by the stories. It's like the big bang: law of physics start at a certain point after the beginning. So truth came after the horizon of awareness have been born. And you need to build the horizon, you need the scaffolding of stories to drag out a mind from the brain.

When the stream of narrations accelerate the brain in to a mind, here we are, awareness of being there appears. Self consciousness wakes up and truth and fiction can make sense. When your brain becomes capable of narrations, when it's finally able to tell the story of its consciousness, then we have the observer of the representation. We are the sons of our own representation, through the belief in our narrations.

A child is believed to be a consciousness, everyone tells him that he is a consciousness. Little by little the small man acts his own representation. And when enough narrative can be deployed in front, then the sense of a consciousness can be traced back down the representation.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The unbearable Reproducibility of Life

Songs from an illiterate design

Rocks and planets, acids and proteins are quite placid. They don't do much; everything happened to them but they don't care. A planet is just there. A star burns, it shines and one day will day. Sad? No! Nobody really dies. Because stars, planets, rocks, acids, proteins are not alive. They just hang up. Living beings, not matter how simple they are, are in restless activity. This is to be alive. Now, organisms must keep a dynamic equilibrium to counterbalance a tendency of decay. In fact without constant reconfiguration a living being is deemed to die. First, feed. Energy. The guy who said that money makes the world goes round, forgot plants. They eat light! And they sweat oxygen. If you don't think it's amazing, you deserve to work for a central bank. But living organisms without descendants are pretty much screwed. Well, not really. But the class of living organisms without offspring are pretty much dead, finish, kaput. Nothing moral in this. It's life darling!

Difficult to say whether first conglomerate of proteins arranged a metabolism and then at random one deranged function of that metabolism fucked up, say digestion and came out with reproduction or the contrary. Well, some guys are studying precisely this, but it's not the cake of this talk.

When conglomerates of proteins started to replicate themselves, they ignited reproduction. The first representation was there. And fiction was borne. Yes, fiction. DNA it's like a manuscript. And generation by generation, unintentional mistakes, typos, malevolent demons shuffling amino-acid sentences, produced the vast nonsense of genetic pool. Some of the fake replica became originals of a something else. Try to image this fish: it blows in its bladder, it doesn't give birth to its eggs and stands on its fin. In the league of fish, it definitely sucks. Oh, it's a mammal!

Crazy replicators recombine at random their code and in an orgy of chaos and mistakes, here evolution takes place. Someone had to be quite illiterate to think that his replication system was intentional...