Ever since people have become aware of their own awareness philosophers have entertained opposing views as to what is more important: matter or soul.
The materialists point out that everything, including us, is made of matter and, hence, nothing would be possible without it while the idealists maintain that everything that exists is nothing but a projection of our own thoughts.
As an engineer who had designed (material) objects before actually building them I find it strangely rewarding that both these fiercely opposing sides are, simultaneously, right.
Just as we are simultaneously made of flesh and animated by souls.
If you disagree, just pinch yourself.
Now tell me, ‘did it hurt?’.
Who felt it? Your flesh or your soul?
And who’s able to meditate about the whole experience? How come are we not only able to feel things but also to think about them? Then to communicate, efficiently, among ourselves about our relatively different experiences?
Surely, there must be something shared amongst us, something that constitutes not only a medium for our communication but also a common base for our experiences.
I’m going to use ‘reality’ to designate that commonality, irrespective of the fact that reality is a two tiered thing.
A material reality, something that exists per se – according to its own, natural, set of laws, and a social reality, something that we, the people, have agreed upon – either willingly or by omission to protest, efficiently, against it.
These two tiers of reality are no longer independent.
In fact they have never been. The social reality has grown, as a bud, ‘on top’ of the material reality. And this has happened according to an opportunity enshrined in the natural laws that govern the very existence of the material reality.
Now, after its birth, social reality has started to alter the material one.
In two ways.
By developing an ever more sophisticated understanding of the inner workings we gradually discover inside the material realm and, subsequently, by using various aspects of that (inherently limited) understanding in order to effect voluntary change.
I’m going to make a brief pause here.
Social reality is a human construct, one that came to life fueled by our own volition and shaped by the sum of the choices we’ve made during our entire history.
The mere fact that we are also ‘animals’ – and have changed the world around us by our mere, and long time unwitting, existence, is something else. Related to our social existence but nevertheless different from it.
What I’m trying to say is that by coming of age – by becoming aware of our own awareness, we are currently adding a third dimension to that Ouroboros thing.
The ‘serpent’ has been ‘eating its tail’ from the very beginning of the world. New stars have been born from the dust left after the older ones have exploded and decaying organic matter is what used to feed our crops until a few short years ago – and still does for the organic farmers.
But now, that we’ve become aware of the entire process – and of our contribution to it, we are in a position to influence its direction.
We can turn it into a vicious or a virtuous circle.
Which will it be?
And please, please, don’t make this confusion.
People do, as for now at least, need ‘nature’ in order to lead what we call/feel to be a normal life.
But nature also somehow needs us. Otherwise it wouldn’t have allowed us to become what we are today.
Until now, during our development, we haven’t broken, not significantly at least, any natural laws. Otherwise we wouldn’t have reached this stage – according to Ernst Mayr’s interpretation of Darwin’s teachings, anyway.
‘Evolution is not about the survival of the fittest but about the demise of the unfit.‘
We’re not dead yet, are we?
Let’s keep it that way, lest we’re gonna be replaced.