August 22, 2020 The State of Nature
As an 11-year-old human, I bit the pieces out of a Peanut-butter and Jelly sandwich to make a handgun. My dad laughed uproariously while my mother smiled with resignation. A year or so later, he gave me a .410 shotgun. He pulled over to the side of the road and pulled it out of the trunk to surprise me. I had accrued 12 years to my existence when this happened.
At the time, I was happy. Happy to be a part, happy to see him happy, wonderous at the notion of what was in the trunk of the car. British human beings call a car an auto and an auto's trunk a boot. It's all so confusing.
The upgrade to a .410 is a .20 gauge, then you get the proper .12 gauge then what my dad called an elephant gun, the .10 gauge. The first time I shot a .20 gauge (a double-barrel) I fell on my rear-end, having accidentally pulled the triggers for both barrels at once. At the time, we were standing next to a pond, a small, steady body of water.
Puddles, ponds, lakes and oceans. This is what defines civilizations - distinction and growth. Trunk, boot, car, auto - for civilization to work, humans need these types of agreed-upon classifications.
The world feels very dark right now. It isn't just my own circumstances, there's a dark pall encasing humanity; where there once was hope, despair now dominates. Still, we all have agency.
We all have the ability to impact the systems within which we exist. Soldiers marching across a bridge will break stride as the potential for in-stride steps to cause the bridge to break apart exists. It has actually happened.
Generally, I consider the evil-vs-good dichotomy false - a choice between two impractical abstractions. In the state of nature, abstractions don't exist. There is no purity, good, evil nor perfect; there's only what survives and succeeds.
Prior to humanity's discovery of agriculture, there was only nature. Our ancestors hid in caves during the night and ran long distances to conquer prey during the day; said prey typically became exhausted long before our upright-forefathers.
It is argued that humanity's upright disposition allowed for better heat-dissipation such that we were able to travel further distances with limited resources; we were better able to maximize the use of energy or power across our biological system. As such, we could chase prey a distance that would cause it to collapse, then kill it and drag it back to our social unit.
We aren't ancient, fierce predators due to our capacity to fight or kill. We are the apex because fortune smiled upon us; we adapted in specific ways such that a semi-intelligent being became possible. In the group-smoothing of a rock to weapon, rhythm was found, begetting music, dance, language, philosophy, and the impossibly difficult abstractions of "something" and "nothing".
The state of nature will always reign. Given humanity's collective arrogance, nature has the capacity to replace our grace and beauty with it's own. And in fairness, nature's grace and beauty is pretty significant, mountains, valleys, oceans, beaches and all.
Still, the abstraction of the state of nature (chaos) against human intellect's goal (order) is worthy of defense. Ideally in the end, humanity chooses order over chaos.