Bare Bones Biology 292 – There Are Rules

Last week I pointed out that religion and science teach us, at the top levels of their understandings, one big message. The message is that there are rules and we are far better off in the real world if we follow these rules than if we do not. I think that’s why humans evolved both religion and science – because the more we know about the rules, the better able we are survive and flourish in a real world of rules.

 

160119-TurkeyWe all live in the same world, more or less comfortably, and therefore our wisdom traditions, including both science and religion, as studied by for example Prof. Huston Smith and by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Prof. Joseph Campbell, Karen Armstrong, and others – if they do a good job of studying the higher-level information, that is the wisdom that is illuminated for us by the various religions and by basic science (not politically useful technologies, but the basic science that attempts to learn what the rules are and how they function) — that higher level information should be the same or similar in all the wisdom traditions, because we are, indeed, one world. Not a different world for science and then a collection of different worlds for the various religious expressions.

 

What do I mean by higher-level information? I mean the actual rules, the laws of nature, stripped of their various metaphorical interpretations. Every religion and also basic science abound with metaphorical elaborations of the rules for safe conduct in the world, and they vary from culture to culture, but the message is similar, and in that similarity are the truths that describe the rules of nature/God that are necessary to the proper function of the universe, the Biosystem, and humans within the Biosystem.

 

There are at least three levels of understanding in every wisdom tradition. First we grow to understand the culture into which we are born, all the things we automatically learn, that tie our instincts to our particular culture of birth — such as language and our interpersonal relationships and our relationships with our immediate environment.

The second level is our education, including the vivid metaphors of our religion that function to align our behaviors with our instinct for survival. Third, beyond the metaphor, is the highest level of understanding the facts of history and the laws of God and nature.

 

160118-cabin-ASC_1370sFor example, all the major religions encourage compassion, preferably “wise compassion,” or “pure compassion,” that is not entangled with negative motivation, because compassion, like any human emotion, can be used for self-aggrandizement (that is, pride), and these same major religions (and the basic science) also carry the message that: “Pride goeth before a fall.”

 

In my lifetime I have seen this meme actualized at every level of human endeavor, yet I have never seen a culture so prideful as are we in this world right now, and yes, we are mining compassion for all it is worth, both for money and self-aggrandizement. We actually believe we only need to think of a thing and it is do-able without any down side or blowback – just because it was we who thought of it. Scary it is. Where is our religion when we need it? And our basic science?

 

At the peak of human understanding, where the teachings agree, there lies wisdom, and that wisdom tells us there is an “unseen order” that drives reality. We only need to listen.

 

 

 

This is Bare Bones Biology a production of https://FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com

The podcast of this blog can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_292_-_There_Are_Rules.mp3

 

 

Huston Smith. 2005. The Soul of Christianity. Harper, San Francisco.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama. 2010. Toward a True Kinship of Faiths. Doubleday     Religion.

Joseph Campbell. 1972. Myths to Live By. The Penguin Group

E. O. Wilson.  Sociobiology.

Karen Armstrong. A History of God.

Diary 131109 – Holly Trucker

“Now the view was obscured by clouds and sleet, but on the usual day Chee knew the (window) glass overlooked immense space – across the Laguna and Acoma Indian reservations to the south and east, southward across the forty-mile sea of cooled lava called the Malpais toward the Zuni mountains, and eastward toward the Canoncito reservation to the great blue hump of the Sandia mountains behind Albuquerque.”

Tony Hillerman published that in 1980, in People of Darkness.  I remember then; Iused to love driving these roads.

131109-TruckerHolly-ASC_7076RSsAll that’s behind me today, but I spent most of yesterday driving along from Albuquerque, just slightly south of the area he described.  On a normal day in 2013.  There were no clouds, no dust storm, no wind, visibility only about five miles, mostly obscured by a yellow chemical haze.  The sun shines through it at lunchtime with the amber glow of  late afternoon, and the glowing health that my body grew breathing the clean air of the canyon is melting around me like a the muddy air itself.  My ears are ringing, sinuses filled up, the floaters are back in my eyes and I’m working up to a nosebleed for the first time since leaving Bryan.  But worst for driving, is the difficulty of focusing on what I’m doing.  The contrast, from two days ago, is enough to inform a large number of decisions.

Anyhow – this time the brakes are really fixed.

And it was fun meeting Holly, who actually believes she is personally in charge of this monster semi.

Most likely tomorrow I’ll make it to California.

Faith, Hope and Love

Is There Hope?

No.

Not if we use hope as an instrument of our cowardice.

Not if we use hope as a tool to deprive others of information, therefore the freedom to make wise life choices.

Not if we use hope as an excuse to avoid the hard work and responsibility of survival.

Shall we hope that God will change the way the body of the earth functions? And for the silliest of reasons – just because we don’t like it? After He spent a few billion years growing it up to work the way it does work? Why are we hoping for magic and miracles, when we know what the problem is and how to solve it all by ourselves? If God did miraculously change the processes that maintain life, then Earth could no longer function in our universe, because the miracle is that it functions at all. Shall we hope for a miracle that will destroy it? We can do that, all by ourselves, and we are.

No, we cannot hope for a miracle, and I’m really sorry God. I know you spelled out the rules from the very beginning, and it’s not very hard to understand — neither Your rules nor the functions of your Earth — but it’s not my fault. If I could, I would have stopped the destruction 50 years ago. I’m not a coward; I’m not depriving anyone of necessary information; and I’m not afraid of hard work or responsibility. But I can’t do it by myself, and I can’t control what other people do. They like what they are doing. They chose it. I suppose that is a part of how Your law functions. I don’t like it much, but is is the miracle we’ve got.

Kurt Vonnegut Shall we hope for a Singularity? Fun game to play, but the whole idea is based on the theory that humans are intelligent – in fact that the human brain can function better than the biology of which it is a fairly minor subunit.

No, we cannot hope for a “singularity” that will save us from experiencing the physiological (karmic, cause and effect, physical) results of our own behaviors.  We chose our karma; it is our creation and our responsibility. If we don’t even understand that – then there is no way we can rationally hope to survive into the future.

And if the A.I. singularity DOES occur, then it will: a) not be able to invent a world that functions better than the one we already have because, while it may be immensely more intelligent than humans, it cannot be nearly as intelligent as the entire billions of years of evolved wisdom of the universe of which it is a part, and b) if it is more intelligent than we are, it will immediately recognize that the easiest quickest and least painful way to save the Earth would be to dispose of the humans. We don’t need a singularity to do that; we not only are doing it, but we also know that we are — and we know how we are.  We have probably already done it. Probably that IS the singularity. The nearly certain occurrence of Homo sapiens’ genomic bottleneck – or decease – during the first half of this century.

Only one rational hope remains conceivable, because it arises out of the only rationally conceivable way that we could resolve our physical plight.  We can hope that humans will wake up and decide that we don’t like the future we have built for our grandchildren, and that we will sit down together to learn what the biosystem requires for its well being – not what we believe it should require, and not what we hope will fix it, but what it/she really does physically need to balance the millions of organisms and billions of processes of which her body is composed – so that we can begin to work together to give the mother Earth what she needs to survive.

I can wish — but I have no real hope that this will happen. Mostly because most people would rather hope and pray than work to understand what is needed. And partly because I have finally come to understand that the miracle of Life, and the beauty of how it functions to exist as a vital (formerly) green rock in space, is more significant, elegant, beautiful and desirable than the human enterprise.

There is no other viable reason for hope.

There can be no Life without death.

It is done.

And so be it.

Communities and Evolution

Happy Days Folks,

This week I will refer you to a blog post from last year at about this time. It is even more relevant today.

https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/

Bare Bones Biology 088 – Evolution and Creation
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download is available at the below link.

122012-Xmas-ASC_1523LSs

Sunrise and Sunset on the North Llano River

As Bitsy and I viewed the devastation, a local farmer chanced by with his little tractor and said that until last year I would have been standing with my head under water in this river. Last year and this year — it never happened before in 50 years. I asked the cause and he said the farmers up the river are taking more than their allotment. What I didn’t say — the farmers up the river have always taken more than their allotment, only now there are more farmers up the river and a lot more people people for them to feed than the earth, water, air can support.

Bare Bones Biology 124 – Education

Last week I said: “We begin by taking the responsibility to educate ourselves about all the many sides of the population issue.”

I said this because one of the favorite corposystem power ploys is to distract us from our goal and occupy us with fake debates that do not interfere with corposystem desire to do whatever it wants to do. This is just another version of the old “divide and conquer” ploy. People who are fighting with each other cannot solve problems, for at least two reasons. One reason is that the solution to any problem is many sided.

Debates are two-sided sound bites and fun games, if we think life is nothing more than a game of winners and losers (that is not, by the way, how evolution functions (Bare Bones Biology 088 to 091) but debates do not resolve problems. Instead they prevent people from even evaluating and discussing problems — even problems that threaten their own futures — which is the second reason that debates don’t solve problems.

So what are the many sides of this overpopulation problem? I could begin by making a huge list of human opinions about overpopulation, but, human opinions cannot change the natural laws that permit our biosystem to survive. God the creator made the biosystem to function the way it does function, and that IS how nature works. Life feeds death and death feeds life.

God’s very breath is the breath of life and lifein the biosystem, whether we like it or not, and I think that’s why we don’t like it. We want what we want for ourselves – we want to use the earth for our own selves, and we don’t really care how many other species we kill off, and we don’t want to hear about it.

The trouble is, those species ARE the biosystem. They are what God breathed into the biosystem to make our air, water, fire (energy) and earth. That is how life on earth, the biosystem, functions to stay alive. God is Life – or God created Life.

That’s why I mention levels of organizationlevels of function of the biosystem) every chance I get. Individual level, population level, and all of life, the biosystem. If we are to make wise decisions, we must consider how the other levels affect us. If we could once realize that ONLY solving human problems is NOT the solution to human problems we would be far better off. Because humans cannot HAVE everything they want without causing irreparable damage to the biosystem. And anything that damages the biosystem is harmful to human individuals and human populations and even to the corposystem.

Every person on earth, except the most isolated, the sociopathic, or the super-spoiled, knows that we must have a balance between the wants and needs of individual humans and the requirements for community welfare. Individual humans cannot have everything they want if whatever they want causes harm to the community. Society is a constant readjustment between individuals, families and populations, in which nobody ever gets everything they want. We could paraphrase Mitt Romney’s recent “joke.” Obama wants to help the biosystem; I want to help you.

This is ignorance generating ignorance, because right now the biosystem is (check the facts, please) maxed out of earth, air, energy and water that we need to stay alive. Therefore, nobody can help anyone unless we all help the biosystem. The best way to learn how the biosystem stays alive and healthy is to read widely, and discuss the issues, and then check the facts. I’m talking about everyone – especially those who believe they already understand the biosystem. Most of us don’t. And then come back to the political arena and help to change our own behavior.

Debates do not solve problems; they only result in everyone trying to prove they are better than everyone else.

They aren’t.

And while we are playing ego games, the bottom line is we cannot continue to live in the biosystem unless we also reduce the numbers of people who are draining away the breath of life from the biosystem.

LynnLamoreux@Yahoo.com

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References

Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook Download
https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

(First blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/01
(Second blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/

Population
Bare Bones Biology 020, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/05
Bare Bones Biology 021, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/11
Bare Bones Biology 022, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/19

Power Ploys
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/bare-bones-biology 066, corposystem-power/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/3677bbb072/

Evolution
Bare Bones Biology 009 to 019 and 088 to 091

Life
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/bare-bones-bio…cript-011-life/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/bare-bones-bio…58-–-happiness

Levels of Organization
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/bare-bones-bio…d-population-i
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/bare-bones-bio…-population-ii/

Don’t go Away – Dog Park Diary 120911

In a far off time we learned to understand “I-Thou” relationships. This sounds to me very much like Buddhist enlightenment. An experience that is available to humans and very likely represents a relationship with whatever we see as our God. Cheri Maples explains the implications of that kind of relationship with life in Buddhist terms: “It’s not about me, but I can make a difference.” In fact, everything that we do all day every day does make a difference, whether or not we are aware of it. So i think the most important point of human life is to understand what we are doing and what difference it is likely to make. We cannot do this by following only our emotions or only our opinions. It requires study. Study of how we affect people, and also study of how we affect the whole giant biosystem/ecosystem, because — we do. The Dalai Lama calls that “wise compassion,” and everyone can do it. It is so very much more important than a life spent only playing in the dog park — I mean human park. I think Bitsy probably doesn’t understand this, but a human life spent in wise compassion is almost like a human gift to God.