Bare Bones Biology 196 – Why do we Need to Change?

(sorry to be late folks, he evil flu bug has damaged my system)

140228-Upaya-ASC_8170RSsWhy do we want to build a human society (system) that is sustainable and reasonably comfortable for humans? I mean aside from being comfortable the most important reason is sustainability. That means that we as a human society can pass on our values and skills to the next generation, unto the seventh generation as we pointed out last week. The job of this generation is to build a social framework that is sustainable – not to destroy the resources that supply our social system.

Our corposystem has exactly the opposite driving property. That in itself is a reason to work for change.

Unfortunately for us as individuals, our social framework that we inherited from seven earlier generations – that system is flawed. And it is a system. Systems are characterized by two properties that individual humans can’t change.

1. Systems are self-perpetuating. Or as someone once told me, the function of a system is to maintain itself.

Every little part of a system works to maintain the system itself. This is automatic and you or I as individuals cannot change it. Believe me, I have tried, and I know that countless others have as well because they ask and keep asking “What can we Do?” I have answered: “Do not participate in the system.” And at the same time: “Discussion, discussion, discussion.” So far nobody seems to have been happy with this answer, probably because when we try – people turn their backs on us, or shun us, or worse. That is because – the function of a system is to maintain itself, and we are trying to consider ideas that are not permitted or understood by the majority of people in our modern corposystem.

Another example of a biological system is an individual cell. If you were to diagram that system, the feedback loops and the interactions that maintain the life of a cell – you will find diagrams in any cell biology book – it is not different in principle from a diagram of a social system. This is how a system maintains itself. All or nearly all of the functions of a system are cyclic within the system, not open ended, and so the system itself does not change its core properties; in fact, in favorable environment it becomes more extremely like itself. For example the core property of a cell system is to maintain Life. The reductionist details do change, constantly, but the guiding properties of the system remain for as long as the system survives.

2. A system – every system – grows or is created around a core set of properties that is “successful.” It has become very clear that the core properties of our corposystem are violence used to maintain growth for profit. The result of this is that our corposystem growth is destroying the Biosystem that provides all our food, air and water.

Thus we must add to our goal the necessity to reduce suffering of the Biosystem – because that is where we live and is the only place we can live – and as we reduce suffering OF the Biosystem, by providing what it needs to be healthy — we reduce the suffering of all sentient beings.

Obviously, our corposystem is not serving our goal, which is to build a sustainable future for the seventh generation to come while reducing suffering of the Biosystem. We spend a lot of energy spinning our wheels trying to change the toxic system we are in. That is not bad, but it also is not working. What to do?

I suggest we should consider giving at least as much of our energy to nurturing a different system that does represent our interests. In fact there is a parallel human system that has already begun more than 2500 years ago, and is represented occasionally by heroes such as Jesus, Gandhi – you can name them. Protect that system, nurture it, don’t let it die.

But at the same time, we must never forget out basic goal, which is to build a sustainable future for the seventh generation to come, within a healthy Biosystem, because if we forget that again we will just end up back where we are – co-opted by the corposystem.

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