The Backdrop of Life

Spirituality isn’t an escape from this life. It’s about how we engage with it.

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In the coming weeks, I will start a series of newsletter articles about my one big idea "The Law of Maximum Entropy Production. One Law to Rule them All." where I will explore using first principle reasoning how one law could explain everything from physics to sociology and what it means for the future of humankind.

For starters, in the beginning, as they say, there was nothing and then, a very short while later, there were apes. It went something like that.

In the hundreds of millions of years in between other lifeforms existed. Some flourished. Some died. But, with the ape, the difference was consciousness. There was a moment where the simian became self-aware.

When the first questions formed in its mind about who it was, where it was and why it was. This is the moment it became human. Logically and technically, this is the only history we can possibly know. Every other theory is untrue. Any other writings, any other teachings you are told are spurious, until proven. We needn’t invent more than is verified. Within our spectrum of knowledge, this is our understanding of how human’s came into being.

But, in that moment, self-importance, the side effect of consciousness, was also born. In those first days, as we looked to the skies, our minds trying to understand stars, trying to understand the darkness of the night, the colours of the day, questioning our own reflections in the water, we became spiritual beings.

Spiritualism came first. Religion followed. This is obvious but, it seems, we have forgotten this fact. Spiritualism was the driving force of human accomplishment, the true core of our being. We asked then who are we and what is this place we live in? The questions forced us to explore the world, consider the universe, to want to grow, to want to know more, to reach out further and further, both physically and metaphysically.

Religion, a bi-product of spiritualism, a set of codes created to provide easier access to spiritualism for all of mankind, tends to have the opposite evolutionary effect. Rarely has religion directly benefited us. It’s been something we turn to. Something that allows us to stop asking questions, to stop really considering. A religious person will often claim they are spiritual beings whilst the humanists, the atheists, are not. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

We are always impressed by and in awe of great architectural feats. We are chilled by flickering shadows, by echoing whispers, by intense silence, by fractured light through vast, ominously designed stain glass windows. Who wouldn’t be. The cathedral was forceful in its attempt to heighten the power of its chosen god.

At some point, between those first simian humans and this cathedral, spiritualism had been swamped and caged by brick and glass. The questions we have for the world should be integrated into everyday life, we should be asking them all the time. Who are we? Why are we? There are hundreds of religions in existence, but, really, there should be seven billion.

We are no greater and no less than the smallest molecule or the brightest sun. We are all a result of the very first nothingness. All that has changed is that we are aware of it. We should never remain satisfied. We should always question. Always explore further. Always try and see the answers for ourselves. Be always like the first man.

Recommended Reading

Twelve Virtues of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Jan 2006). One of my all time favorite.

The first virtue is curiosity. A burning itch to know is higher than a solemn vow to pursue truth. To feel the burning itch of curiosity requires both that you be ignorant, and that you desire to relinquish your ignorance. If in your heart you believe you already know, or if in your heart you do not wish to know, then your questioning will be purposeless and your skills without direction.

Surrender to the truth as quickly as you can. Be faithless to your cause and betray it to a stronger enemy.

The part of yourself that distorts what you say to others also distorts your own thoughts.

The more errors you correct in yourself, the more you notice. As your mind becomes more silent, you hear more noise. When you notice an error in yourself, this signals your readiness to seek advancement to the next level. If you tolerate the error rather than correcting it, you will not advance to the next level and you will not gain the skill to notice new errors.

Study many sciences and absorb their power as your own. Each field that you consume makes you larger. If you swallow enough sciences the gaps between them will diminish and your knowledge will become a unified whole.

Communication Breakdown by Keith Walkiewicz (Apr 2016). Great guidelines for proper communication.

  1. Don't care for winning, you want harmony.

  2. Don't aim for power, you want respect & understanding.

  3. Don't be interested in coercion, you want mutually confident agreement.

  4. If it can't stand on truth or trust, then it shouldn't stand. Be willing to walk away.

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