Super tired, very late, but I want to get as much of this train of thought posted as I can manage for the moment.
In my previous post, I alluded to this question which has been kind of haunting me of late and challenging some parts of my current worldview. My train of thought on the matter has been: if the “Fall” represents the introduction of dualism, causing our Western belief that we are separate from Nature and from the Mind Inside Nature, and producing ecocidal insanity; then the basis of any sustainable, post-apocalypse, anthropocene society has to be either a return to monism, or the emergence of a new kind of monist cognition. Dualist cognition is simply unsustainable and will destroy itself and everything else along with it. Therefore whatever might go into a Third Testament needs to support a monist worldview and culture.
Science is the very epitome of a dualist worldview. There is no science without a dualist split between observer and observed. Everything science has delivered serves to further entrench the chasm between good/evil, self/other, haves/have-nots, living/dead, and so on. For example, the theory of evolution describes the way in which species separate from one another; the big bang theory describes the separation of matter and energy from each other; Kepler’s laws apply to a dead machinework.
I am all for science as a method of inquiry. In fact, I can’t imagine how some future anthropocene culture might rebuild itself without scientific inquiry into the new state of the global and local environments. But in its current state science has so much baggage I also can’t help but think it would do more harm than good. I think if science is to be preserved, it needs to be purged of its religiosity.
Referring again to Rupert Sheldrake’s talk, he describes this religiosity as: “The belief that science has already understood the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in.” Absolutely nothing could be farther from the truth. The nature of reality is entirely dependent upon the person (entity?) who’s reality one is talking about. Some objects and phenomena hold constant across a majority of peoples’ perceived realities, but never across everyone’s. I have learned, via much distress, that reality is rather quite pliable. And I think anyone who has any hope of surviving into the anthropocene has no choice but to reject certainty in favor of probabilities, that is to say, pliability.
Sheldrake lays out the 10 religious dogmas of science thus:
- The belief that nature is mechanical, or machine-like
- The total amount of matter and energy is always the same, except at the moment of the big bang when it all appeared from nowhere
- The laws of nature are fixed
- Matter is unconscious
- Nature is purposeless
- Biological inheritance is material
- Memories are stored as material traces inside the brain
- The mind is inside the head. Mental activity is brain activity.
- Psychic phenomena are illusory
- Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that works
All of this has to go in order to survive civilizational collapse and climate shift into its new homeostatic state.
I was planning to go thru these one by one describing the ways in which they are incompatible with a monist/sustainable society, but it is now 4:00 a.m. and I must sleep. Maybe I’ll make that exercise “part 2″ providing my health holds up. So stay tuned… I guess this is a good place to suggest that if you’d like to get email notifications of new posts, you can sign up for those in the right-hand column. I promise I won’t spam you. (Although to my great embarrassment I did accidentally spam everyone once when I was reorganizing my post categories, but I know now how to avoid that in the future.)