The Doctrine of Life
An Appeal to Order
From a biological perspective, life itself arose in opposition to the laws of Nature, namely the Second Law of Thermodynamics, whereby any given system is inclined to disorder, or entropy, by which it is meant that the potential energy in the system becomes less than it was initially. The macromolecules which are necessary for facilitating life processes are synthesized against the Second Law serve but one purpose: to provide the organism with the proper means, on a micro-level, to employ this selfsame Law on behalf of existence, utilizing the downhill schema to create energy from decomposition reactions.
Sisyphus stands atop the Acrocorinthus laughing--for his duty lies not in the task which remains to be accomplished, but in the cycle which results from what is outwardly perceived to be his failure! On such grounds does Nature operate as well.
Similar patterns of deterministic "behavior" emerging from indeterminate (or nondeterministic) occurrences may be observed across a wide variety of disciplines. For example, the indeterminate behavior of quanta yields to the consistent results in predicting large-scale activity of Newtonian physics. A random mutation of a single gene in a single organism may potentially lead to widespread evolutionary changes in an ecosystem, provided that the mutation is beneficial. The Universe itself, the origins of which are still largely shrouded in mystery, has revealed to astronomers and astrophysicists the many intricacies that govern the movement of celestial bodies. Man himself, upon noting the relatively unstructured behavior of his fellow men, envisioned a cooperative existence defined by laws which could be appreciated and respected by his kinsfolk.
What we see here in an appeal to order; it is as if life strives against what appears to be the rule of deterioration, simplification?instead displaying complexity and systems of hierarchy which can only inspire awe in any contemplative human being. However, one must be wary in supposing that there is something altogether unattainable when considering the emergence of such phenomenon. Speculations about the origins of Life and of the Universe often eclipse the value of what is palpable. Furthermore, this document by no means intends to assay spirituality from a culturally relative perspective--the aim here is merely to reflect on what practical wisdom Nature has to offer in developing a framework for polity that lies in accordance with these observable functions of natural law.
Individual vs. Society
We can only speculate about the manner in which communities functioned during prehistory. A society that lacks any system of writing cannot shed light on its higher-level organization, its code of ethics and political foundations, once it ceases to exist or becomes assimilated by a neighboring civilization. Still, from what can be deduced from the smaller tribal societies that remained the majority as far as the first millennium, there is little doubt that the structure would be called "communitarian" in modern political sense--the term here, however, should not be wrongly associated with today's left-wing political schemata: such societies existed prior to any conception of the "State," and instead conceived of a duty limited to their own immediate surroundings. In essence, this ideology could be related to National Socialism, keeping in mind that while this comparison in not entirely congruent, the isomorphism lies in the proportionality with concern to the ideologies respect for spatial boundaries and its emphasis on fostering a sense of community and cultural solidarity.
By these examples and comparisons, one would proffer that there is a great divide between modern polity and what systems of antiquity it had subsequently usurped. Where once the community was held in higher esteem than the individual, an inversion of principles now exalts and is bound to the servitude of the isolated ego. Thus, from a relative perspective, the concept of de-individuation might convey the idea that a return to natural order would require the forfeiting of that which one is most afraid of losing, which is whatever one should hold to have the greatest value in one's life. This is simply not the case.
It is the misconception of duality, in this case the individual versus society that has resulted in the emergence of democratic and socialist systems. The notion that what is good for the society is good for the individual--and that these goods are neither mutually independent nor unilateral with regard to the flow of benefit!--has been lost to modern man. Further still, what has been lost is the sense of duty to oneself, which would ideally extend its scope of influence to pervade society as a whole. As this sense of duty could not arise forthwith without an existence which truly bears a purpose, it then follows that duty is neither uniform, and yet not tailored to the individual either. It is when skilled musicians act in concert, aware of not only the importance that rests upon their individual talent and precision, but that they must also be cognizant of the actions of their compatriots, lest their ensemble submit to discordance.
The Laws of Nature Revisited
If we choose to extend this analogy, we would also consider that the orchestra is led by a conductor, who serves as the focal point from which the actions of each individual musician is reflected back into the group. The conductor himself is by no means the source of the music; he is merely a spiritual leader who guides the energy of the movements a symphony. Further still, we could suppose that the conductor has arranged the piece with care to faithfully convey the original emotion that composer had projected through what are ultimately nothing more than mathematical and physical phenomena which, when placed in a certain pattern or series, results in aesthetic appeal.
What we see here, and what can be gleaned from this ideal, is an appeal to order. And, if we trace the hierarchy up through to its ultimate reality, we may find that each of us inherently participates in this appeal to order by placing our trust in something greater than us. If each of us were to submit a point of ignorance to a greater authority, which is the essential logic behind the structure of class or caste, then the chain will continue until it has reached its termination an appeal to Nature and all of its Laws. The defining principle of any ideal is to seek something with internal validity and consistency--what greater exemplar than the ineffable reliability of Nature!?
An exercise in example: the First Law of Thermodynamics states that "energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only transformed." If we project this fundamental reality onto human existence, then from a metaphysical perspective--which very much manifests itself in physical planes--it is apparent that power cannot be made greater by any alteration of economic or political function; it is only diluted. Whether the decision to wage war lies in the hands of a king or a body politic, the end result will be war alone--its essence is the same. As we increase our magnitude of scope from the individual to the governing body, their level of contentment and personal wellbeing does not become transferred when assessing its efficiency from an objective standpoint. Nor does the happiness of the individual rely on any physical manifestations; the social structure can only provide the minimal requirements which aid in its facilitation, which include: a sense of purpose, stable family and community, an aesthetically appealing environment, and spiritual satisfaction. These should serve as the foundations for constructing, and implementing, an ideal existence.
The Doctrine of Life
With these fundamental truths understood, it is then possible to derive a basic ideological system which would serve to govern our thoughts and actions; our social, ethical and our aesthetic judgments--in short, it seeks to provide a framework upon which we could realize a higher conception of our existence. This doctrine sees beyond the frailty of political and social contracts, or anything constrained to the realm of "human," and rests upon a much more stable--no, eternal construction, as it lies outside of our hands in function or manipulation, yet not without our grasp and applicability if we do in fact allow it to precipitate into human affairs.
The Doctrine of Life declares as its Three Pillars:
Thus it is: the Doctrine of Life wishes to revive in man the faculties which best serve his own interests, which are intimately related to the sum of all existence. While it offers no means, it does suggest a way; while it implies no ends, it suggests an ideal.
Let the dialogue begin.
March 26, 2006
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