He likes to reflect on human transactions in many colors, each of them leading to a horde of imponderables, human or nonhuman.
Each form of life cultivate and follow a unique living style for itself, a complex set of wants, manners, and reactions that gels completely with the ambience. And it mixes well with whatever it does for a living. Whether friends, enemies, onlookers, or mates, none will be left in a state of want.
But, so far, humans have not picked up an optimum lifestyle for themselves, though there is none, free of wants. That too, when, effectively, each human lives in a world of one’s own, and also lives with all others, on one’s own terms. And in this, it is their lifestyle that is asking for moderation, whenever and wherever there is a need to get along well with whatever.
This is true for all circumstances, one may choose to be in, or may be forced on one. Whereas, as an intelligent being, human should have been boasting of a living style that not only meets beautifully, all the current needs, but also remains amenable to the changes, the environmental and other variations might augur.
Instead, they just copied others. And that has led to the current lifestyle, we all struggle to maintain in the midst of a constantly changing needs and priorities. Not to mention of the danger it poses to everything else, be it fellow beings, non-beings, or to the planet that houses all of those.
On top of this, not only that we remain aware of the dangers posed by our lifestyle, but also are instituting corrective steps in everything other than our lifestyle, to address those dangers.
The Road to the Issue
How did it happen, thus?
I think this happened much before humans took to abstraction. When, humans were yet to be familiar with the techniques of generalization, and confront issues in a structured manner. Rather than analyzing, classifying, or scrutinizing issues, instant reaction might have been the order of the day. Rational thinking, was yet to begin.
However, they would have been dealing with various issues, as and when those arose, and as guided or directed by their instincts, just as it is with other forms of life. In short, in problem-solving also, they were just copying others.
What is lifestyle, but a collection of steps, a form of life adopts to solve its problems of living? So, in lifestyle also, they ended up copying others.
An issue Faced by the Issue
Time flew. Perhaps life continued incident free, till they came across the first non-linearity in life, namely, the possibility of a two-legged style of living. I am sure, there would have been celebrations, since this was one area, where they could surpass all other forms of life, that too, fairly easily. Since every other form of life is better than us, at least in one area, like agility, speed, or ferocity, this would have acted as a wake-up call. Hence, our ancestors, who would have been comfortable as four-legged mammals and resorting to the computation-intensive two-legged state sparingly, took to it with great gusto.
Here, we need to think a bit about intellectual transactions. To put my idea briefly and clearly, think about two kinds of mathematics or logic.
One, the one we are used to. Which essentially is a play of symbols, few on the left side, and another few on the right side, of a unique symbol that occupies the center. The relationship between the LHS and the RHS, or its constituent parts is what is of interest. This, while varying the LHS and the RHS in a predetermined manner, and only one at a time, which mostly being the LHS.
Two, the one we would have been used to, and we still resort to, many a time. This also is a play of symbols, one, or a few, on the LHS as well as the RHS of a similar symbol, which, in this case may be real or imaginary. But there is a key difference. Here, both the LHS and the RHS can vary simultaneously, that too, in a manner that can vary at the will and pleasure of those resorting to it. This kind of logic continue to appear in our midst, subtly covered or dressed up as fictional creations.
In the beginning, all those transactions would have been of the second type. You see, because of the creative freedom it offers, anybody trying one’s hand in it shall find the experience greatly rewarding. Also, there is no need for a set of rules or steps to make sense out of it, unlike the first kind of logic or mathematics. In fact, such rules or other stipulations would have been on the making only.
Therefore, as we saw above, the latter style transactions would have been quite a bit, given that both the intellectual free time, and the freedom to use the same, were at the highest. In fact, the colorful and imaginative ambience hiding in the surviving products of the ancient days can easily vouch for this. Where, all forms of life, except for the microscopic ones that would not have been known, regularly appear, as characters of appeal and relevance.
And the Reaction to the Issue
But, our foray into two-legged living changed substantially, all of this. Processing time needed to be prioritized, since, even the basic activities of living, like perambulation, needed to be learned and done with care. We all know, doing something carelessly can land one in a soup, and our ancestors surely had a tough time, till they mastered concentration. This perhaps was the time, when the populace at large had to devote all their ‘processing time’ to motor movements, leaving nothing much for intellectual transactions. Sure, our ancestors happily took all the necessary efforts to make their future generations, do bipedal movements with ease, just as we have been making our future, comfortable to cycle, drive, or fly.
In some time, issues that are detrimental to life and living would have come to take precedence. People had to resort to transactions adhering to the first type of mathematics or logic, which only could deliver reliable results. However, it could not become popular, since, this style of transactions were not suiting to the will and pleasure of all, who already would have been relishing the challenges posed by the ‘bipedal regime’. Perhaps, great care and attention needed to be given to all the transactions, all the time. Or, it was not a good fit for our lifestyle. Rather than discarding the existing and deriving a totally new lifestyle, human race opted for a via-media.
Stick to the first style of logic or transactions, only where it is impossible to be otherwise. The material aspect of life fits here. Also, if we deal with this aspect of life in any manner other than this style of transactions, the least that can be expected is a horde of quite confusing results. However, everywhere else, freely resort to the second style of transactions that do not tax the brain. (Imagine about the difficulties our ancestors would have been facing in the first style of transactions. Compare it to what we face nowadays with mental processing activities, though we have a large collection of aids like calculators or computers. No wonder, the second style of transactions were of high demand, as the remnants of the past, show.)
This is a workable solution, as long as we overlook anything ill-fitting or protruding. But, such instances often arise and cause trouble, particularly due to the constant mingling of both the styles of logic. For this, we bring in new entities with contextual relevance that helps to make things smooth, or fill the gaps.
(In fact, this is what, human life is all about. Since those gap-filling entities are imaginatively named as theology, romance, and many other faculties of arts and science, we do not register at all, the primary function, those entities perform. Also, by now, most of these have come to acquire a good level of desirability, utility, and irreplaceable nature that overshadow completely, the primary function. And, rather than having limited, functional, relevance, these entities now dictate the fortunes of the whole race. Here, any correction will be a huge change, if it happens.
I also think, the day we stop mingling both the styles of logic or mathematics, the ‘unfathomable’ human also shall take its final rest.)
The issue with our Reaction
Yes, I think the current feeling is, this via-media is doing its share, well. And we are finding that the human race is on a non-stop path to progress, ever since. Is it? Can’t we see, things are not working out well, everywhere? Not only that we are very reluctant to overlook things from the past, but also are more than ready to discard anything new, unless it is impossible to do so. I think, as a result of this only, human society regularly erupts. Such eruptions turn our clocks back, more or less routinely. As a result, at any time, whatever happens will be appearing new to us, and we end up with a strong notion that we are progressing.
Because of this, we completely miss the contradictions. Why is that we are still going strong with a lifestyle of the ancient past, when all other aspects our of life have been keeping in step with the times? Also, when we observe something amiss, attempt to correct everything else, but our lifestyle? What essentially is our current lifestyle except for a bunch of housekeeping activities and functions? Or, instead of this style of living, had we given primary attention to future threats and opportunities, what better wouldn’t have been our condition?
A Reaction without an Issue
I think, now we are quite comfortable with abstraction, which is the reason for the phenomenal progress, the human race is making. Here, we are quite familiar with the techniques of generalization, and the art of confronting issues in a structured manner. Why not analyze, classify, or scrutinize, the elements that can make a good lifestyle and arrive at an appropriate one that is closest to an ideal one?
A good answer would be to evolve, or decide on, a lifestyle that can render redundant, the second kind of transactions, and make the via-media, unnecessary. Human race will continue to progress without the hiccups of the present. After some time, compare the path, we have traversed or the progress, we have achieved, for a specified period, with whatever we are charting now in our present trajectory of progress, for the same period. That result will show, whether we are better off, or not. Now, at least, we need to make a beginning.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 ROY T JAMES