Live Long Enough to Learn

Live Long Enough to Learn

I had to live seventy years and apply all my powers to gain an understanding of people and human society that has now began to shed some light instead of a hope confounded by bewilderment and futility. I have been obsessed with it for the past fifty years. I can’t even guess the number of books I have read, and the number of other things I have read dwarf the number of books. Knowing that printed material receives more forethought than spoken material has not been enough to deter decades of talking with people as an anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist, brother, and earnest seeker. The myriad areas of human activity defy all attempts to know everything. Seventy years could not be enough time, but two hundred would not be enough either. Specialization has given mankind so much information all possibility of an individual attaining comprehensive knowledge and understanding about most things is impossible. When added to the long history of mankind, the possibility is even smaller. Over the past decade or so, study of old material and current thought regarding the beginnings have given me epiphanies that keep on coming.  Insights are bursting in my mind like bolts of lightning. Sometimes it feels like I am going to break through again.

We are human beings. There are billions of us. Our history has been unfolding for at least many thousands of years. We have accumulated knowledge, materials, infrastructure, power, social systems, and history. Information lost due to mortality has been bridged by language, writing, artifact, art, music, legacy, and the simple love of family. When humans pass on, they leave influences behind. Each generation receives something of a stamp on the next. Tradition is passed on with a small element of rebellion. Little changed for thousands of years until about two hundred years ago, arguably. It all brought us to today and will bring us to tomorrow. When things began to change in the recent centuries, the lack of knowledge and understanding we all exemplify became both dangerous and promising.

It appears to me that humans have changed little. They evolve some. They have more complex experiences and greater power, but basically, they are still the same as they were during the days of Socrates. One could make a case for some degeneration of development, but not enough to change the assessment much. People remain the same. This has many implications and ramifications. One can deduce all sorts of things by understanding the unchanging character of people. Some of those things have hit me like a ton of light.

Knowing and understanding people is a circulation that goes nowhere and does nothing if it does not bring helpful insights that result in positive changes. It is like pumping fluid from a container back into the same container. Yes. It is work, but it is silly. People have been trying every conceivable method to live. Individuals have lived alone in the wilderness and throngs of people have lived in association.  The knowledge and understanding, which are distinct things, that is available in the simple comparison between the two might be infinite. Infinite or not, they are sorely needed right now.

There is absolutely no such thing as freedom. Not as a human. A life form cannot be totally free. All life is subject to the laws of the universe, or whatever you would call the forces that act on us whether we know them or not. The forces we cannot escape negate freedom. All the noise human create regarding freedom, liberty, are fictions understood only in vernacular givens. It is a huge source of human suffering. When understood more comprehensively, mankind’s quest for freedom is an effort to stop other people from imposing their wills on others. If that effort ever succeeds, it will not negate or relieve the limits that identity defines nor the laws of the universe that bind us. Living is identity within the vastness of the universe. Identity is a limit to freedom. This fact is vastly overlooked. The entire everything would be a soup of undifferentiated nothing without identity. When something or someone defines an identity and attempts to sustain it, liberty becomes relative. Relativity is a limit. To be without limit is impossible. Creation means definition. Definition means limits and limits mean loss of freedom, or liberty, if you please. Even if a human has an immortal soul, even if heaven is real, even if God is real, there can be no true liberty because identity is limits. We are limited to being who and what we are where we are and when we are. God’s existence is no different. God is a limit. Maybe you can imagine a primordial nothing from which all came.

The primordial noting was something. It was nothing. Nothingness is something. Before there were stars and planets, before there were laws of physics, before there was God, there was the something that had no definition. When the nothing began to define, all began. This is funny to write, but it is vital to comprehend. I hope you can realize that there had to be a beginning of everything including what we think of as the astral plane, heaven, and countless other words. If the universe was the defining of the something that had no definition, it was already something that had no definition. See how circular it goes. Comprehension of the undefined nothing may be beyond human ability to know and understand but knowing something of the beginning of the reality that binds us is not.

As much as I enjoy contemplating the beginning of the universe I am trapped in, the conditions that now presents are expedients that compel me to sit here typing my thoughts. Instead of sharing the seemingly endless thoughts I have about the beginnings and the before, I want to use the same method of thought to analyze current conditions and develop methods to benefit us all. So, where does that take us? To human beings living in the wilderness and in associations. Society is an association. But when there is more than one human in the universe, there is no possibility of being free of the association. Living in the wilderness while another lives in the wilderness on a distant planet is by definition a human association. Everything each does makes the universe a little different, as does the mere existence of the other. This may seem esoteric circulation, but it is not. It is vital to our lives right now and tomorrow. It is imperative that more people realize that we are unable to live free or die independently of others. Nothing can negate the interconnection. So, if we are forced by the laws of the universe to live together, maybe we should devise ways to do it.

I think humans have yet to think of ways to live together. Sure, thoughts abound. So does fiction. In fact, fiction is the only thing that can be infinite, in my opinion. The word “if“ implies infinite possibilities. We, the humans, have tried so many ways to live together it may not be possible to remember all of them. We have been at it so long our planet bears many scars. Peace has still not been attained. In fact, war is still more common. You see? Even with thousands of years of association, people have changed very little. What happened to learning from experience?

Though experience is said to be a wonderful teacher, it is also a conditioner. This is a fact. It is not something that is relative or that can be applied to one case and not another. Experiences does more conditioning than teaching. I think this is obvious. When one of my men introduced me, he told the person I taught him everything he knows about trees. I objected and said I taught him a lot more than he knows. It was funny, but true. We cannot expect another to learn all we teach. We cannot expect a person to learn all that experience teaches. Indeed, experiences teaches fiction far too often. This is an easily observable human phenomenon. I don’t think it is necessary to attempt to prove it here. The examples already analyzed to death should make it unnecessary. Learning is a difficult thing to do. It is fraught with pitfalls. People learn things that are not true. They learn things that are detrimental. They believe things that are fiction. People still lack the ability to pass something along successfully. Even experiences become distorted by the effort to communicate them. Communication is a faulty system at best. It works some. Now that we can write, it has improved some, but not enough for one can write fiction. Learning and communication are hardly reliable. This has shown in all human association methods as far back as I can see. I will say it goes further back than the universe. That is because I think there is a history that preceded the formation of the physical universe, but that is not what this effort is designed to address. There seems to me to be one thing that outranks all others. How can we live together in peace and prosperity? How can we live utopically?

One of the things that love does to a human, and any other life form, is it compels them to empathize with loved ones. Degrees do not negate the fact. Some empathize more, some less. Some love this way, others another. Love is one thing to one and another to another. But love makes me want to see an end to suffering and death. I want to see people frolic in bliss fulfilled and robust. I cannot lie down and let the universe roll over me or us. Death is not acceptable, and all the suffering of life isn’t either. That may sound strange to you, and that is the problem as I see it. Experience has conditioned people to accept things they have no desire to accept. When I challenge the acceptance, I see the same limited set of reactions. People don’t change much. They never have. This means the problems are old and persistent. So what? It only means we have nearly exhausted all methods to deal with them. Maybe when we all learn at the same time that we have tried everything but the right thing, we will finally solve it. Unfortunately, experience doesn’t prevent trying the same things over and over. Even in a single life, trying the same wrong things again is all too common. In mortal beings, how can learning from experience fix the problems? The answer is simple, love.

My intention here is to address some issues that plague us while love remains in the future. I think there are several problems that are holding love in abeyance. At this time in my life, many things appear to be simple enough to understand well enough to help present solutions and realizations. Survival, for instance. War. Suffering. Controversy. Hate. Evil. God. Society. Government. Thought. Many things seem to me now to be within my reach. If I die without affecting a step toward the light, I will come right back and try again. The drive is that strong. I feel your pain and sorrow. I want all the good and best for all of you. The potential you have is beyond my ability to communicate. It is beyond my ability to conceive. It is beyond yours, too. I have had a glimpse, though. Let me liken it to paradise. But it is better than my best conception of paradise. I know that much.

I will post this now. Stay tuned.

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