From an I to a WE culture, we will have to see far beyond our comfort zones; we will have to reach understanding outside our boundaries of individuality. The law of upward causation promotes complexity and basically states that complex organisms will develop from simpler forms. Our bodies are a complex community of 50 trillion cells. Every single cell in our bodies is a self-contained identity, with an intelligence, DNA, and life of its own. Take a cell out of a living organism, say some healthy bacteria from our saliva and cultivate it in a petri dish. This cell likely will be independent, survive and possibly duplicate exponentially. We have evolved from single cells into incredible complex organisms capable of amazing sense experience and performance. At some moment in the evolution of life on this planet, unicellular creatures decided to promote reciprocal behavior so they could increase their inner and outer membranes. To accomplish such emergent behavior they had to cooperate to form larger structures. This way the perception of reality was broadened. The larger surface area gave the new organisms different forms in which to detect environmental signals. This innovation allowed for a fuller experience of the world and led to the pivotal moment when eukaryotes developed elaborate, interconnected membrane-bound compartments. Through these accomplishments, measurements of reality increased, on and on.
The mechanistic model of grids and square parts fails to interpret this evolutionary mystery. Understanding fractal design in natural systems may provide a better mathematical model by which to describe biological growth. Like tree branches and the way they unwind into repetitions of themselves, nature builds on fractal intent, creating from unicellular to multicellular organisms, simple to complex.
DNA has fractal design. This grain has the blueprint of life, but it alone cannot get the job done; it must entangle with a downward causation arrow that does not obey the laws of causality; the hand of God, maybe. If upward causation alone explained the invisible presence of the subject in the room that pretends to be me, computers might one day be sentient beings.
If I am only a bag of skin and bones, a bunch of objects put together like a machine, I could never observe or collapse the probability wave function. Objects cannot intend more objects by simple observation, and a eukaryotic cell is not an object.
Cells are composed of molecules which are complex arrangements of atoms. Fire breaks loose inside the atoms of these molecules, as the universe begins to unfold into nothingness. We have discovered that elementary particles exist only when being measured, otherwise they are smeared in a sea of possibilities. From this point of view, we are made up of the same stuff that rocks are. If we are objects randomly being shoved around by the environment, the odds of new complex life formations are equivalent to the sudden emergence of a mint condition jumbo 747 out of a scrap metal junk yard.
Only subjects can collapse probability into coherence. The subject messages the cell when and how to divide. Like all emergent behavior, something else animates spontaneous growth.
We are co-creators in the soup of space-time, more than the sum of our parts, or shall I say cell parts. Something else devoid of physicality beats the kettles in the soul of humankind.
So if 50 trillion cells can get together as this marvelous and miraculous organism we call human beings, why can’t we 6.9 billion people learn how to get along?
The next unwinding of this fractal spiral would be a collective mind composed of all of us. This is the following step in our evolution, beyond our current version of progress and who we think we are, living in cooperative empathy with a communal soul at the center and an economy in far orbit. We must recognize our self-serving behaviors: spending our lives in the future or in the past; telling and defending stories about ourselves; and passing judgment on others. These stories promote separateness. Words are only descriptions, a dog does not know he is a dog. We learn to repeat symbols and from then on we identify and pretend to be this or that. Personal stories set barricades and won’t allow the collective experience.
If we stopped defending who we think we are, we might witness another miracle. Language is only true by agreement, out of faith, we have invested powers in these symbols. The worst thing that happens to you in your life is not actually what happens but what you tell yourself has happened.
Agreements belong to the past. The power of change is in the now in complete allowing. Why would anybody want to live in any place other than the present? But the ego perpetuates continuity with past representations of object sense-data. It imposes these fixed engrams on the present. For one to change one needs to be fully here in the now, aware of our collective abilities. Letting go of thought, consciousness arises in this moment. Only there do You and Me become WE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.