The 4th Humour
uninfluential words from an uninfluenced man
Bile humour Apathetic hemetic Fluent indifferent Emetic Phlegmatic
Monday, November 03, 2003
To quote The Guide, "In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." I shall now explain why this is, and hopefully clear up any apparent inconsistencies in my recent posts.
Without going too much into the cosmology of the Big Bang, the initial conditions of the universe--being it was very small--were quite uniform across space. Generically-speaking, energy levels and matter density didn't vary much. This was as perfect and simple as the Universe could ever be and still deserve the name Universe.
Why perfect? Because all was one; nothing in it could be distinguished from anything else, and thus everything was the same. However, over time, the Universe expanded and a host of "things" differentiated themselves. Waves, particles, strings...whatever. That we can call them particles or strings already implies that they were separate and isolated from the rest of the Universe. And so cosmic evolution began.
As time continued, we arrived, the result of the same process on the genetic and (later on) memetic levels. We are the "result" (in quotes because there is never a finished product) of their (genes and memes) attempts to build survival machines. As a host, we are equipped to defend our genes and our memes, to keep them safe. Our genes and memes want to keep their identities. Our own sense of identity is a nifty trick they use to help ensure that.
So why is this bad? We are here because the Universe allowed itself to dissolve into entities that distinguish between self and non-self. If this were not so, we wouldn't be here to ask these questions. So it can't be all bad, right? That's true, but it's bad because it means that evolution, being based on competition and self-preserverence, is therefore based on pride!
This is entirely consistent with what I said before about a system based on pride and defection being doomed to fail. It will fail because it will evolve. When I say "fail", I mean it will not persist forever. Ironically, this selfish desire to persist is what causes evolution in the first place. "I want to persist, therefore I will evolve." How bizarre this seems at the macroscopic scale! And yet it makes sense at the replicator level.
The very "pride" that created us is the cause of all our strife. It is the constant evaluation of the world we experience in terms of "I" and "not-I" that cause all human conflict. In other words, our egos get in the way of everything. Only by dissolution of our egos is it possible to act with complete honor and cooperation. In such a scenario, it is the ego-lessness that persists. "Not-I wants to persist." That is all. It doesn't need to evolve, and doesn't care whether it does.
So how does one go about abolishing the ego? One must Awaken from the Meme Dream. I daresay this is equivalent to attaining enlightenment in Zen. Both involve the personal experience (not the same as intellectual understanding) that there is no self, that everything in the Universe is the same.
If people ceased to think of themselves as people, the creation of the Universe wouldn't make them angry.