Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0141, October 3, 2017


  Work Play Adapt Evolve Repeat


Copyright 2017 by S.W. Paul Wyszkowski

     Item 1 on the human agenda: survive. Work is necessary to continue to survive in a world that, while not hostile, can be challenging and potentially dangerous. (We ourselves probably constitute the greatest danger facing us.) Play is necessary to generate new ideas to make our work more effective, but first and foremost play is the very reason why we are motivated to survive - we enjoy it. Because we live in a constantly changing world we must keep adapting to ever new circumstances. And as we work, play and adapt, we inevitably evolve - change irreversibly, for better or worse. (We can now also modify ourselves genetically to suit our fancy but that's another story.)

     And that's about it: a one paragraph summary of the human condition for the last few hundred thousand years. The rest is in the details. I leave those to Prickles, our resident anthropologist, detail superintendent, and a valiant hedgehog. As for me, armed with a general framework of the human condition as a guide, I improvise as I go not sweating the small stuff. It's worked for me so far. I'm enjoying the ride and I may actually die before my sins catch up with me.

     "I don't know," says Prickles,"there are some who believe you can't escape your karma by merely dying." Perhaps. My hypothesis is that death disorganizes consciousness without annihilating it. I believe consciousness, like energy, is indestructible at the elemental level. But when it is organized as a complex property of an individual organism, that organization is vulnerable to destructive external influences or corrosive internal structural flaws. Even with its built-in self-repairing capabilities, organized consciousness inevitably deteriorates as the supporting organism ages. But the impulse to self-organize inherent in elemental consciousness assures that given a chance it will eventually re-organize and carry on working, playing, adapting and evolving in some other guise, as circumstances allow. Call it reincarnation. But rebuilding a complex structure would take much too long by the normal evolutionary route. There has to be a quicker way.

     "There is," says Prickles, "with all the evolved, up-to-date DNA floating about we've got ready-made road maps and templates to follow. These days, on this planet at least, unorganized elementary consciousness can take an evolutionary express to a high level of organization without having to reinvent the wheel. After all, isn't that what happens every time a baby is conceived?" Indeed it is.