Mother Pelican
A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability

Vol. 14, No. 3, March 2018
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
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Reflections and Chronicles From The End of Time:
Zero Degrees of Separation

Carlos Cuellar Brown

This article was originally published as Chapter 12 of
In Search of Singularity, 20 January 2017

In a singularity, you are one with the whole, able to pull yourself together into infinite density and maximum entanglement.


Dangerous situations can be avoided through learned behavior. This learned behavior is created when perception samples experience. In this case, a previous experience with the quality of “dangerous” has been recorded for future retrieval. When this dangerous situation reoccurs we make an association and match it with a past experience. This association produces a warning signal that alerts us to make due corrections. We are constantly sorting out sense data; this is basically done by contrasting one thing against the other. The contrasting nature of perception is there to guide us along the path of least resistance; this path guarantees more life. The ability to make crucial distinctions allows life to prevail and flourish. The ability to detect contrasting experiences formalizes all behavior of living creatures and creates patterns of habit. We learn what to eat and what not to eat and how to avoid situations where we might be eaten. When we are able to contrast this from that, we begin to assemble a memory bank of situations that can be recalled and threaded meaningfully. Examples of such contrasting experiences are day and night, hot and cold, big and small, friend and foe.

Life threatening situations are avoided through behavior recall. As a result of such contrast, rods in the eye can follow lines and perceive two-dimensional maps of reality. This simple mechanism of understanding is the seed of complex behavior and thought. Thinking is executed by contrasting things put logically together. Logic reveals that things either have or do not have particular properties. Our current technology has been constructed with this principle. Software uses conditional algorithms, such as “if not this then that” statements and binary code that is based on contrasting representations of ones and zeros.

These off and on switches are like the cell membranes learned ability to open and close minute channels. When these channels open, radical ions seep and interlock with key molecules inside the cytoplasm and nucleus. This neat little trick allowed the first Eukaryote cells to flourish on Earth.

This behavior was not a result of aggregate complexity. There was something other than causal serendipity randomly playing the arrow of upward causation. Perhaps behind this formidable act was a ripple of the divine hand in the form of emergent behavior. Perhaps resonating “morphic” fields from beyond, briefing fine instructions to the cell lab.

There is a substantial difference between the properties of a granite rock that passively weathers environmental entropy randomly over time and the subject quality like of the unicellular structures that actively composes life. The latter quantifies and measures reality with a purpose. That purpose is to observe the universe appearing and disappearing. Contrasting experiences categorize and freeze frame reality, allowing life to plot points along the arrow of time.

Each snapshot formalizes reality, creating the illusion of separation. When we are comparing this from that, we are measuring the level of contrast, the properties of contrast, the hue of contrast, and the intensity of contrast. When life forms engage in contrasting, however simple an organism, a measurement is made. Quantum physics tells us that when a measurement takes place the material world pops into existence.

We could say that contrasting experiences make sense of perceived reality as it coalesces the wave-particle duality, virtually freezing all things that surround us. We become so marveled by this magic that glues the fabric of space-time that we tend to take the universe and its laws for granted. This appreciation is so persuasive that we consider ourselves and everything around us as discreetly separate. Separation allows life forms to navigate this universal surface without collisions. However, this surface of navigation is only 4 dimensions deep.

In objective materialism, we are taught to think of this universe as a hostile place full of obstacles and discreet things. Although this manifestation can be very real, all other possible scenarios of the imaginary, are distinct possibilities as well, including a content full of blessings. The role life plays in shaping the possible universes is directly related to the subject’s influence in the quantum measurement paradox. The picture of surface reality fails to account the intentionality of the subjective experience. On this surface, we all appear to be objects and different. On a deeper level, there is a fundamental connection between everything. At that level, the granite rock reverberates with our quantum particles and light emitting properties.

Do not feel surprised if we can be influencing and intending the reality we attend to. In this lucid dream, the universe can be our best friend. Good evidence of this relationship is the fact that we have been manifested in spite of the incredible odds at winning the lottery of life. The miracle that we are can only be explained because the universe conspired in our favor.

All the nuclear particles that comprise us were already there at the time of your conception. They have been there in an interconnected field of possibilities since the beginning of time. The miracle within is the mysterious force that made them all dance together when we became alive.

The uniqueness of our point of view is our contribution to the sum of all. This uniqueness flows in an engine that experiences novelty all the time. Novelty is recognized as such when nothing we have already experienced resembles the moment we are experiencing now. Creativity is novel observation channeled through the downward arrow of causation. In creative insight, organisms do and see new things suddenly. When the experience is novel a never before property of space is registered. This increases the field of form and structures. However, no two experiences are ever alike so every experience is novel and multidimensional. Even as passive observers we are never in the same fabric of space bubbling along the surface of time. When we contrast the past with the perception of now-ness, we disallow new possibilities and replace what we discover with the 2-dimensional paint coat of past experiences. The simplification of reality into parts of a linear program is a gross misrepresentation of the realness of reality.

Borrowed messages from culture and other people, intentionally suppress our honest present moment experience full of newness. Out of habit, thinking can deceive us to relive beliefs and stories that become who we are. Thoughts have a monopoly over us, and they will defend this control. We are accumulated layers of contrasting experiences, fitted tightly into a box constantly reassuring themselves as a fingerprint. But are we really that? When we become aware of this distinction, we are able to remove ourselves from past contrasting thoughts and meet the eagle’s point of view soaring above the convoluting surface witnessing the universe at zero degrees of separation.


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.

"If the fire in our heart is strong enough, it will
burn away any obstacles that come our way."

Suzy Kassem (b. 1975)


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