Friday, April 29, 2011

What lies ahead ~ Philosophy of Desire

Fortune and fame are the two imposters that all humans aspire toward. It is a human predicate for survival. It is the DNA directive. It is us, the beings, that read and write and understand and comprehend. It is future. It is thought and action. It is life.

Yet as we go about this evangelical crusade we grow ever weary of our own dictates. Time and age have a tendency to modulate and carve out such reflections into guilt by association or by such other means as we are unable to completely understand. These modulating influences seem to arrive insidiously and in such crafty mechanistic leverage that they modify those inherent callings. Some alter their desires because they have achieved that mantle and having climbed to that loftiest of rarified peaks they cannot see further for the clouds that obscure their vision and others that have fallen short point fingers at those that have. It is a dance of such rhythm and feeling that music is not required. The ebb and flow of desires dictates the slow rhythmic undulating directed flow of the dancers that splinters into confusion, chaos and ultimately conflict and then coheres once again with time.

Such compelling events have writ themselves in history for millennia; from Pharos to Romans, from Ming to the Maoist and from Brits to the Americans. The trailing and leading links of this historical parchment of human existence always seem to collect and disperse like the ant colonies in search of food. 

So why must now be different? Why should this era be any worse or better? Why must man do anything different than he has done before? The answers may lie in shady nooks of numbers and mathematics, yet to be deciphered. But the overarching sense of urgency seems to rest on the rising numbers of mouths to feed and the bodies to clothe in a resource-limited world.  The demands and needs rise geometrically as we struggle to perceive and comprehend what is to come. Do we artificially limit the population (as in China ~ now coming back to haunt) or try inflating resource by integrating technology if that is possible or find new moons to inhabit, or use self-replicating robots of Von Neumann fame with our embedded DNA to drive to the far reaches of our Milky Way Galaxy and populate new worlds?

On this planet, the poor are oppressed by the dictatorial regimes that usurp wealth and control with animalistic brutality. In the land of freedom the achievers are drowned in a sea of regulatory, stifling measures that handcuff them into inaction. And there but for such calumny the pitch and moment of any great enterprise is lost. Both peoples are subjugated into a land of apathy.  The powerful wrest control over both domains; the valleys and the mountaintops. It is all in the manner and the mode.

All previous dynasties and empires have risen and fallen by the swords of their own making. Yet as each fell a new one was ready to replace. There were lands to conquer and wealth to be accumulated, peoples to be subjugated and the all-consuming power to be used for accomplishing such ends. The world has been harvested and each ragged edge of its existence mapped. There are no new discoveries left to the Christopher Columbus of today, save other heavenly bodies. The firewall limits of mechanical discovery for inhabitation on this planet are at a finite end. Yet we must move on. Keep discovering where the eyes cannot see and the mind cannot reach. Salvation to this riddle might lie in that thought that has yet to be born in a child that has yet to be conceived.
Human follies may never end and we may never achieve the ultimate goal of a contended existence, but we must try for we all share the DNA and we are all destined to exist together.

The mountaintop is clouded over to blind, while those in the valleys with the acuity of vision, live and strive to gain that rarified access.  It is the abject desire that controls the future. Those that reside in the valleys become blind to the beauties of their vistas, while those that reside on the mountaintop are blinded by their achievement and the gales of disdain. The valley eyes are focused on the mountaintop enshrouded in the clouds that can only fuel the flames of their imagination because they cannot see the travails of those above. Those above can feel and hear the complaints below but cannot express, while the guilt of achievement in them grows and wanders into and against the very fabric of their own survival. It is only through the actual climb to that mountaintop reality that one becomes aware of these limitations. What both sometime forget is that achievement does need a place of residence –be it valley or mountaintop, to succeed.

So what then must this focal viewpoint of desire to do? Abdicate its universal calling? Deny itself the call of its DNA?  Forgo achievement? Live in the nebulous thought of mediocrity?

The key to success and the answers to all these questions lie within each of us. To aspire for a better future is a healthy and desirous thought, and to imagine the means to create it is its vaunted outcome. Wealth alone does not deem success. Out of poverty has risen many a great minds and many an enterprise of great accomplishment. The juice of success is not squeezed by the free flow of entitlements, but by the raw desire and hard work. It is not in the guilt nor in the blame that success will be breached.  Fortunes come and go just as fame is momentary and fleeting. The human predicate for survival and betterment trumps all else. It is in that ancient of things called intellectual providence where rise and fall is conceived and where life is destined to live with the full knowledge that “If it be not now, yet it will come.”

And so, the show must go on.

It matters not how strait the gate, 
  How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate:
  I am the captain of my soul... William Ernest Henley (Invictus)

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