Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk. It is as when a conflagration has broken out in a great city, and no man knows what is safe, or where it will end. There is not a piece of science, but its flank may be turned to-morrow; there is not any literary reputation, not the so-called eternal names of fame, that may not be revised and condemned. The very hopes of man, the thoughts of his heart, the religion of nations, the manner and morals of mankind, are all at the mercy of a new generalization. Generalization is always a new influx of the divinity into the mind. Hence the thrill that attends it.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fear breeds superstition
— Baruch Spinoza

part three

The Clarity to Think and Discipline to Act at the Margin

Disease, Distractions, and the Cognitive Crisis Preventing Effective Responses to Existential Risk

Heal the thinker, heal the thinking.

The logic of this statement can only be properly perceived by one who has already healed from the Cartesian virus of dualism and ontological inversion.

I am not a mind, and a body — I am a mindbody.

My mind and my body are indistinguishable from one another. My mind emerges from my body, and my body from my mind. They are interdependent, inextricably linked — not separate entities, but a continuous energetic flow between the past and future conditions within the same entity, converging at the still point of the present.

I am, therefore I think.

As in the individual fractal, I am a mindbody, so the universe is the supra-mindbody. Matter and Consciousness are inseparable, as implied by the Nicene Creed:

“God from God, Light from Light, Begotten and Not Made, Being of One Substance…”

Existence cannot be reduced to consciousness alone anymore than it can be reduced to matter alone. We can only speak accurately of the material aspect of an entity, or the conscious aspect of an entity, and we can only speak abstractly or conceptually about “matter” and “consciousness” as distinctions. Wherever we find matter, we also find consciousness, and vice versa.

By consciousness, we do not mean human consciousness, or self-awareness, but non-randomness, patterns of organization, predictable conditions for change and transformation: encoded existence. The Proto Indo European root of our word consciousness is the verb meaning to split, and its evolution implies a meaning that closely resembles something like “to make distinctions.”

All of matter is in a constant process of negotiating “energetic distinctions”. Atoms form bonds by sharing electrons with other atoms, but not with any other kind of atoms, and always under particular conditions that depend upon their electronegativity and the nature of their valence electrons. While we humans have difficulty extracting our particular form of consciousness from the picture here, it is clear that atoms are making distinctions. They do not “know” it in a Cartesian sense, but nonetheless these distinctions are constantly being made at the atomic level, and reliably so.

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