Mother Pelican
A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability

Vol. 13, No. 9, September 2017
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
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Reflections and Chronicles From The End of Time:
The Ethical Universe

Carlos Cuellar Brown

This article was originally published as Chapter 6 of
In Search of Singularity, 20 January 2017


If I were to paint you an ethical universe it would not look like the gang infested streets and slums of Tegucigalpa, nor would it look like the children sacrifices in the Gaza Strip, nor the organ trafficking in the African blood gold markets. An ethical universe would not allow the horrible atrocities and loss of human dignity so prevalent in the annals of history. In an ethical universe, there would be no genocides or mass killings, there would be no gulags, no suffering, no degenerative diseases, no greed. In an ethical universe we would not be raping and poisoning the Earth and stratosphere, in an ethical universe, the pathology of self-destruction and conflict would be nonsensical and contradictory. In an ethical universe, nobody would feel mutilated, abandoned, deprived and mistreated.

It would seem then that this universe we live in or at least this corner of it is not a very ethical playground. If this universe were planned and designed by some creationist minds, the universal creators would be some sort of malevolent beings and we the expendable products of their nightmare. If this were true, we would definitively not live in an ethical universe and our makers would not be benevolent creatures. Perhaps we were put here purposefully on this prison planet until we learned to behave appropriately. Some people are reckoning with a day of rapture when a second coming alien will save them from their toils and snares.

But what if our creators only conjured the best possible universe and not a perfect one, where a lot would go wrong. This universe would be undetermined and probabilistic with error and a lot of room for improvement. Instead, the universal creators would be learning and grow through ourselves, through our experiences, changing in our own image for the better. Perhaps the universal creators made us responsible for our own actions. This moral compass suggests that we must collectively succeed in order to mature as a sentient species. Once there, out of our own awareness, we will create whatever universe we dream of, and not the other way around.

For the universe to be ethical it must be construed by an active observer or supreme subject dreaming this universe in the image of good. Like in lucid dreaming where the dreamer oversees what happens. But would the dreamer be omnipotent? What kind of omnipotent supreme dreamer allows so much tragedy and injustice? In such a dream this supreme subject could not be omnipotent without being malevolent. What kind of perverse and psychological dysfunction would compel the supreme entity to create this evil?

An alternative to a malevolent supreme subject would be one who is omnipresent but does not control all our actions, rather this supreme subject is like an arbiter to our moral dilemmas. Our creators would at large provide a benevolent blessing and then leave it up to us and our responsibility to tend this garden. In this scenario the finer details of what happens or does not happen are delegated, left to the interaction of its constituents; the supreme subject sits back and watches the universal creative force unreel. We could say that for the universe to be ethical it needed to allow free choice and volition. That puts us in the front seat, steering, completely responsible for what takes place, risking probable outcomes, not always making the right decisions. The ability of the universe to transform and create itself is the motor that keeps it from becoming static and dead. This universe can also assimilate the reset button and rebirth itself infinite times. But this is not an efficient strategy or outcome, especially if you consider it has taken 13.8 billion light years to get here. To the contrary, if the universe were compelled to create the unique physical conditions necessary for cognizant beings like us to emerge, it would have made sure we succeeded; it would make sure we found the way to cooperate in self-reliance. This universe in its own dramatic way would be full of purposeful design with a tendency for stability and lowered entropy. This universe would also be incredibly efficient and would not necessarily waste the rare resources of actualized matter. What’s the point in leading cognizance to a dead end where even the self-generating universe disappears? This self-actualizing universe would be interested in preservation as it keeps looking into the mirror of itself through us the conscious observers, in a dance for identity determining its shape and size with a taste for beauty and form. The material expression of the universe turns out to be a very rare and odd manifestation indeed and perhaps accounts for only 4 to 5% of the universal whole. The powerful nature of its reactivity is prevalent in the organic and inorganic matter, this reactivity can become volatile and explosive. The supreme subjects that created this universe made of this world the best possible scenario but not a perfect one. A perfect universe would remain very still and would have no challenges. Instead, our universe is full of challenges and this is what makes life so exciting. But why must this excitement lead us to a daunting picture?

Why is there so much mass insanity? How can we as individuals and as a society, filter all the noise that muds our vision? If we are here to maximize our individual self-aggrandizing self-interest, this universe looks more like a wasteful hellish stew of rotten possibilities.

The truth is that in most of our interactions, things have gone critically wrong. We face ever increasing environmental challenges product of our hedonistic way of life. We could say we have dug ourselves into a giant hole and are carrying ourselves to a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom. The multiple tipping points that presage humanities final approach toward the abyss, demand swift action and should send shivering alarm bells down everyone’s spine. For what is at stake could well represent the largest mass species extinction on Earth since the dinosaurs and this includes human kind too. Also at stake is the ability of Earth to self-regenerate. One example of how we are responsible for this derogation is that 90% or more of our nuclear power plants, leak dangerous radioactive fallout into the environment. Let alone Fukushima bathes the northern pacific waters with alarming levels of Strontium-90 and Caesium-137. This benevolent omnipresent supreme being that is imagining this universe and conspiring in our favor has taken us to reactor number 4 where workers of Tokyo Electric Power Co are single-handedly removing 4400 tons of highly radiated spent fuel in an unprecedented operation. If these spent fuel rods of reactor 4 would break or get exposed to air, they would explode and release radioactive nucleotides into the atmosphere 10 thousand times greater than the fallout from both Chernobyl and atmospheric nuclear weapons testing combined. This distinct scenario is our foremost urgent threat, severely compromising the northern hemisphere in what could be a global catastrophe. Proof of its severity is that the Japanese government has prepared a plan to evacuate the population of all northern provinces. May the universal creators bless all the TEPCO workers with the steady pulse of gods, in their grip lies our divine destiny.

The construction of nuclear power plants on seismic fault lines and tsunami-prone coasts has resulted in this mega-consequential incident. If this poor planning and moral monstrosity on the part of the short-sighted energy industries are not telling of humanity’s sloppiness, greed, and stupidity, I don’t know what is. I do know that the only ethical thing to do is to respond categorically and immediately, redefining humanity’s moral compass, holding responsible criminal groups in government, industry, and community, and setting principles of right conduct that make life worth living for everyone.

We have the capacity for both good and evil, whatever we do is only up to our own moral conscious. We have the responsibility to respond to this greatest of challenges and make of this graceful Earth experience the promised paradise of eternal Eden. This predicament is awaiting critical mass. Every moment that goes by we can aggregate and make the difference. The first step starts with each and every one of us, growing massively and changing undeniably, believing in our inner truth, understanding that we are fractals of our own divine creation. It would be clever to revise the rules and principles that govern our moral values and families, with the fundamental purpose of goodness and empathy. We can only save ourselves from our spoils. There are so many things that could go wrong and need correction, in the shortest term, humanity will begin to phase out and decommission all the leaking nuclear power plants worldwide.

Darkness always sets in just before dawn and if the universal creators are compelled for conscious beings like us to emerge and succeed, we are at the brink of global mass awakening. I sustain that the universal creators would not be interested in self-sacrifice, nor would they be jealous gods sacrificing the many for a grotesque chosen few. The ethical critical mass that I mention is blundered by the social engineering experiment that has turned us into consumer animals confined to a giant corral called the marketplace economy, obsessed with the decadent mindless materialistic culture of a lost society.

The conditions that are observed in the universe must allow for all observers to exist, the intentness of these observers will observe a universe that is consistent with the greater need to flourish and succeed together in peace. In the face of difficulty we always come back to the universal source of everything; if we allow this source to enlighten us, anything is possible. Our call is to transform these critical challenges into our greatest opportunity for a global ethical truce.



Carlos Cuellar Brown is a New York City media artist and essayist who has written on new media, social theory and metaphysics. His essays have been posted online by Opendemocracy, The Global Dispatches, The Pelican Web, Kosmos Journal, and STARDRIVE.

In 2013 his essay “Intermedial Being” was published by A Journal of Performance and Art PAJ #106 MIT Press Journals. In 2015 Mr. Brown was nominated for the TWOTY awards out of the Netherlands for his essay “Blueprint for Change”. He has been a regular columnist for Second Sight Magazine and Fullinsight.

His book, In Search of Singularity: Reflections and Chronicles from the End of Time, published 29 January 2017, is a series of reflections on the current cultural evolution from competition to cooperation, from patriarchy to reciprocity between humanity and the human habitat.

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