Stepping out of the lab and into your life; a rational argument for the irrational and of the nature of awareness.
First and foremost this article is by no means an argument against the use or practicality of science. It is merely a concise description of the nature of our world and the function of human awareness within it. It is also a strong rational argument for irrational action. A rational argument for the irrational is most certainly a paradox or dichotomy and weeds out a particular kind of reader from the get go. Others, if they are willing to see the process all the way through might find as I did, the process is a most worthwhile endeavor.
My mentor, who pushed me relentlessly to amass vast inventories of rational arguments always reminded me, until one arrives at a paradox or dichotomy there is still much more work and thought to be done. He insisted that the work and thought must be completed in its entirety despite the guarantee of where one would end up. It took me a long time to understand this is what each of us does with our entire lives. We will all die, this is true, but dying is never and excuse for trying to make sense of this world, all beings must to this.
Every person must develop their own personal philosophy but the key is in the word itself. “Philos,” love, must be applied to a person’s wisdom or “sophy.” It is those who do not accept their fate and try or take themselves too seriously thinking they have the final answer who suffer the most. Some work to make themselves miserable and others work to make themselves happy, the amount of work is the same. So without further due, let us suffer no more and get to work.
Second, we must describe the nature of science and how it came to be. Science is what we use to prove things, it is the meticulous use and development of rationality itself. Without science, there is no proof, and without reason, there is no methodological process to approach science. Science most certainly works and I can agree with most when they say, “Where would we be without science?” To answer this question we need look no further than where we have been.
Where we were before science in the time of the ancients can be referred to as a time when humans had a direct connecting link to the environment manifesting itself in a kind of “silent knowledge.” Silent, because humans knew what they were doing and what to do, if they did not we certainly all would have perished, however, we had no way of expressing this knowledge. Much in the same way a child most certainly knows where their limbs are and can move them out of harm’s way long before the child is able to express or replicate circumstances to prove the fact.
In course of human history, something significant happened much in the same way something significant happens in the life of almost every child. We decided that knowing was not enough, we needed to know that we knew. Initially, during this time period those who first found rationality came to rule over some of those who were still in direct connection with the earth and were able to produce fantastic monuments as testaments to their control over their fellow humans harnessing the tremendous strength of the irrational. These irrational humans had tremendous strength and could perform magnificent deeds since little of their awareness was tied up in self-reflection.
Those who had forsaken direct knowledge for self-reflection were revered as Gods capable of understanding rationality and science when few at the time could. The cognitive development during this period is referred to by many as “eating of the tree of knowledge,” and they could “see what God sees.” Others slowly began to dissolve their direct connecting link with the world in order to reflect on it until the majority of humans became rational beings.
The development of rationality also gave way to the use language and writing so when we performed great deeds we didn’t have to let them slip by unnoticed, we could tell the others all about it. Unfortunately, the more efforts we went through to show our magnificent deeds, the less magnificent they became. The resulting consciousness shift gave rise to self-reflection, rationality and eventually the development of the sciences while at the same time direct knowledge and the magical acts produced by it drifted into the realm of myth.
Third, we must take a close look at what we have both lost and gained from science. My mentor also helped me come to grips with the hard to swallow principle, “there is no such thing as pure gain.” The principle of there being no pure gain can be best elucidated by my college career. While tucked away in the corridors of a college campus I most certainly learned all kinds of facts about the scientific method while much to my detriment I lost years of real world experience. The scientist who carefully calculates most certainly knows a great deal, but at what cost to the awareness of immediate surroundings and what could be learned along the path of life just paying attention to what comes one’s way?
If we take a careful look at our lives and human nature we realize the chaos, emotionality, randomness and the inexplicable nature of the events which dictate the course of our lives follow. The successful scientist or businessman is miserable for no tangible reason, the rebellious individual leaves the safety of a secure home for a shot at the unknown. Despite our best intentions to be reasonable our anger jealousy and love pull us off the rationally plotted course we had in mind. Time and time again we are shown that while science can most certainly prove effective in some instances it utterly fails in others.
The reason is science is always one step behind. It is the reflection of what has happened, not what is happening itself. The harder we look at it, the more the present reality of our situations evade us. My personal training career has proven this point to me time and time again as the scientifically proven protocol for identical injuries will work in one instance and utterly fail in another.
Many of us so desperately want to believe we are reasonable only to succumb to random emotion and chaos time and time again. In fact, many of us defend our reasonableness with a stark and ironic anger. We need another option, one that considers the human being as more than an object which obeys certain laws but as a living breathing organism that has patterns that perpetuate themselves.
Fourth, what makes up a human was described to me by my mentor as being comprised of 4 fundamental elements in constant motion and in interaction with each other, the spiritual, the emotional, the mental and the physical. These four elements were then grouped into two fundamental sides of a human, the spiritual and the emotional belonging to the irrational, unknown, or left side and the mental and the physical belonging to the rational, known, or right side. It was then described to me the restoring of function and the integration of each of these four elements was key to unlocking the perceptive potential of human beings.
Four attributes, each corresponding to each of the four elements provided a means reintegrate to restore functionality. Discipline corresponded to the spiritual nature of humans and challenged the individual to sustain a high morale, faith, positivity and a genuine affection for this world no matter the circumstances. Forbearance corresponded to the emotional element and challenged and individual to have the capacity to sustain any length of time under suffering with limitless patience and compassion for fellow beings. Together, these two attributes would restore functionality to the left side, the irrational or unknown side of humans.
Control corresponded to the mental element challenging the individual to continue learning under any circumstances without expectation of reward but merely out of the understanding that it was a human’s lot in life to learn. It was stressed to me a person should not develop a sense of righteousness or self-importance from the development of control or the mind for this would lead to a loss of humility affecting the spiritual side. Humility was described as the cornerstone of control which allows a person to develop the mind without delving into self-absorption making a person excessively rational and therefore unnecessarily fragile when it came to the effects of the unknown. I have witnessed this effect in myself and others on many occasions when theoretical explanation serves little help in emergency situations. Excessive rationality and self-importance can also be self-sabotaging when we hurt a loved one’s feelings holding fast to a point to be proved when we care little about the point in light of communicating care or seeking affection from the loved one.
Lastly there is timing, the attribute corresponding to the physical. Practicing timing challenges the individual to keenly observe one’s surrounding and act in it with calculating precision for maximal effect allowing for the greatest efficiency in the conversion of force into power. The possibilities of humans and their perceptual power is only limited in the capacity of any one of these elements. Fully functioning and integrated as a whole human, I can testify there are no such limits.
Truly awesome and inexplicable moments have fully convinced me not only of the veracity, but also the effectiveness of pursuing a path developing these four attributes. Further guidance from my mentor allowed me to elucidate the four qualities embodied as a sensation one feels when all four elements are integrated and functioning impeccably. I refer to these four qualities as the 4 E’s of impeccability giving a person a sense of ease, examination, equanimity and efficiency.
You can see this is by no means and argument against the sciences. If anything, it is and encouragement to develop the rationality to its greatest potential, then at the right moment abandon it for the sake of developing the rest of yourself. To know when to use rationality and when to disregard it is one of the greatest challenges facing human beings today. We are on a journey back to a feeling, a feeling that will never be the same after all that has happened, like uncovering a memory that was never made, what a privilege!
A new paradigm is unfolding before our very eyes and if we are going to not only survive in it, but thrive in it we must engage every facet of our beings. We must act and reflect judiciously with streamlined intelligence and compassion. Reflect on your life and review it carefully so you can get on with it, know when it is time to step out of the lab and into your life. Find the joy in what it means to be a human. I, for one am eternally grateful for the opportunities I have had standing next to these marvelous beings in this wildly mysterious, complex, and beautiful world.
The instagram post that inspired this piece:
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Ganoderma group mushrooms. Appalatum, lucidum, oregonense, tsuge and whatever other species you care to rattle off. Me, I’m not concerned. For many years ganoderma mushrooms and I have symbiotically developed together and I care not to segregate, judge or waste time in rational thought, I eat em all. Why? Because our relationship is not rooted in rationality nor science. What? But Andre, why did you spend ten years in college to earn 3 degrees if you were just going to turn your back on science? No doubt science has its place, but merely as a jumping off platform, a robust inventory built in order to be discarded. If not, it serves only as a prison to hold those who worship it. The problem with science is that it can only prove what has worked, not what is working. So while your thumbing through your phone and id books, I have learned to trust my body and when the mushroom speaks directly to me I waste no time in it’s consumption and move on with my life. There is a direct pathway to knowledge many humans lost long ago, it is not the product of reflection but rather a type of silent knowledge emanating from a persons direct link to the environment. Take for example the riddle of matter and antimatter or dark matter. We know the universe is comprised primarily of dark matter, but why can we not detect it? What we refer to as matter is merely our own rationality reflecting on what we have observed, not the real deal. It is not what is happening right now. Since we can only reflect on a small portion of the universe at large as it unfolds, the amount of matter to antimatter remains relatively small. There is no way to prove what is happening as it happens due to the tautological fact that it IS happening. Once it happens you can perform all the tests and experiments you like…if you would like to stay one step behind. I say let the dead bury the dead and who is to be fed be fed, I’m a living man and I’ve got work to do. #rootsfiness #silentknowledge #goodluckscience #mushrooms