EVOLUTION AND THE END OF THE ICE AGE
(photo courtesy Greenpeace)
We live in a time of rapid evolutionary change, with man greatly speeding the demise of our hospitable environment through pollution and greenhouse gas production, accelerating the rate of bionics and machine integration at all levels, from particle to cell to tissue, organ, organism, and society.
The melting of the ice is something that has been occurring on a geological time scale, over tens of thousands of years. Over the course of an average human lifetime, or a century perhaps, the warming trend would be barely noticeable, or it was prior to the mid 20th Century. The more rapid warming likely began with the coinciding of thousands of atomic bomb explosions conduced mostly by the US and USSR, but also by many other countries, with an exponential increase in the number of oil and gas burning motor vehicles, rapid growth in population, number of coal burning power plants, and many other related factors.
Homo sapiens has quite a knack for disrupting the environment, slowly during periods of economic expansion and commercial development, and quickly during nuclear and world wars. This deliberate damaging of the ecosystem can be easily observed and noted objectivity, deliberately hastening our extinction as a species.
The only exception that might be noted would come from a subjective and biased opinion, either based on the commentator owning stock in a company such as Exxon or Northrup Grumman, or the commentator being a politican receiving large campaign contributions from such a company. There are some disturbing things that emerge from the excessive sway that large corporations have in US politics, to the point where there are likely no more than 5,000 very wealthy people (perhaps 50,000 at the most) who determine the policies and actions of a country of 300,000,000 people.
The race is on now to exploit Greenland and other arctic lands, as global warming and the loss of the ice pack permit easier drilling for oil and gas, and mining of minerals. Best sell any stock you have now in the Panama Canal!
It would save quite a bit of wear and tear on the mind, and be more transparent and honest, to simply put whoever has received the most bribes into office, and throw the rhetoric, ballot boxes, flag waving and apple pie on the rubble pile of history. Perhaps I am getting off topic here, but it is related, indirectly or directly, to our peace of mind, and to the quality of our life in both waking and sleeping modes. And perhaps this page will permit some soap boxing, as a release valve and so keep it out of the pages more properly dedicated to the topic of Dream Dharma.
Is it possible that the rate of machine integration will continue past the point where factors such as human ethics and moral considerations can control that growth? Not only possible, but likely. Can the machines save us? The programmers of those machines feel that this trend will at least preserve their jobs for awhile, and that has been the way of computer science and information technology since the beginning of those fields. You are either involved with automation, or you are automated.
To some extent, we wander into the realm of science fiction, and mention Phillip K. Dick’s writings, such as “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Even the programmers and hardware techs are out of luck in the scenario where machines not only self replicate, but are able to maintain and operate without human controllers. Then, perhaps a few humans will be kept around for entertainment, or in a zoo, in case machines may think there might be a future need for us (e.g. as a battery source material, as in Matrix).
How does all of this align with the science of our mind? It’s well being, our happiness, our potential to dream in a positive and life affirming way? To some extent, this may consist of shoving negative thoughts out of our mind before sleep, and hope we don’t drift into thinking of them. Or, we go with the flow?
We can imagine the world a flourishing, tropical garden of Eden, where all our cosmetic problems are fixed, we have no need for clothes, and machines do all of the uninteresting work, freeing us to swim in a warm ocean, exercise and eat healthy food, write and read books, make and watch movies, music, art, and generally just enjoy life.
Dreams may allow this luxury, which may be just a tad more difficult in the waking world. Buddhadharma offers ways to develop calm abiding in a meditative state, and then with enough practice, we are able to carry this relaxed state of peace and mind into our entire waking, and dreaming world. In the Yogas of Sleep and Dreams, we explore methods of using our sleeptime to develop a better life awake.
copyright 2013-2015 by Talmage Carawan
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