The same way we woke up from verbal oblivion as children into a ongoing story, we also did so as a species. We drape our abstract symbols in the form of words and stories over an already ongoing story expressed through nature. Nature is a meaningful communication. As natural expressions of nature we are also expressions of this meaning and we also express meaning. In other words; we are made in the image of nature. Completely amazing perhaps, yet rather mundane at the same time.
As I understand it, the common thread running through all coherent structures in nature is built on the necessary operating principle of behaviors that nourish and defend the integrity of the structure in the context of a variable environment that has both nourishing and antagonistic aspects to it. In other words; there is a necessity of purposeful behaviors that must serve to proportionally nourish and defend coherence in order for a coherent object to exist in nature. This theme is what defines our nature by necessity. Our nature is built on a “nourish and defend in the context of the environment” theme, otherwise we would not exist.
We had to negotiate remaining coherent in the context of a variable environment which contained intermittent nourishment and various antagonists. This is our history, and the story of every coherent entity in nature. This “nourishing and defending” behavioral trait is the essence on which we build our meaning architecture. It is what our verbal language is built on. We build low resolution abstract maps that stand in for what is expressed through nature the same way we use the arbitrary word “stone” as an abstract stand in for a class of objects that could have any name. Various languages have different symbols, but our common object source – nature – is the same. This is where the transcendent theme of meaning infuses all linguistic forms. Even though we use different superficial symbols, we have a common source from which we build our abstract meaning architecture.
Loosely speaking, we translate what is communicated through the object “nature” into subject form. We see this expressed in the form of the various words, stories and rituals we act out that become cyclic parts of our individual and cultural identity. Like the spherical cells that build our organs of various form, our ideas form the abstract monuments to this necessary nourish and defend theme that is communicated through nature. Verbal language is the way we frame nature in an symbolic map form. Our maps of meaning represent the territory we must negotiate in order to nourish and defend ourselves over time. This map – this story representing nature – was formed on the object “nature” which was already an encoded form of an ongoing story long before we began decoding it into verbal abstract maps.
Nature communicates meaning by way of objects in relationship with each other. We are in a discovery process of this undercurrent of meaning expressed through nature, even if we are unaware of it because we’re lost in our maps – lost in our own little words. We are a reflected image of the inherent value propositions expressed by nature – the proposition of nourish and defend coherency that exists by necessity and defines every coherent collection of relationships – This proposition is; relationships that exist over time are those that contribute some nourishment and-or defensive value to serve the coherency of the whole object in the context of the larger variable environment. Atoms, planets, stars and galaxies are expressions of this nourish and-or defend necessity, as are organisms.
One of the expressions of this necessary devotion to coherency we see in ourselves is that we must now cultivate the garden that feeds us, otherwise we starve. Natures uncultivated carrying capacity can not support our current population levels. As a result, we must become active participants in cultivating this thing that sustains us. Our values and behaviors must support “fruitful” activities. The necessity of behavior and organizational structure varies by context, but must follow this common root theme. “Nourish and defend coherency” is the grammar on which all language is built.
Our human sociality and various other biological drives, along with language and other forms of memorizing the map of the territory we must negotiate all exist in service of coherence. Breathing, hunger, digestion, our innate reactions to things and all other biologically expressed drives are aligned around this central theme. What we call meaning is an intuitive capacity to capture the ongoing story already expressed by nature in the form of an abstract map. We then nourish and defend our map as part of the same natural inclination to nourish and defend.
The things we are attracted to and repulsed by, and all behavioral expressions we act out are either directly or indirectly are variations on this nourish and defend theme – we are players in the story as long as we attend to this nourish and defend theme in the context of the environment. If we lose our way – if we lose our capacity to nourish and defend coherency in the context of the environment, we are swallowed by something else that does it better. Nature is on a relentless path toward greater coherency. Whether our biological form is transitory or whether it will continue to develop over time as part of the ongoing story depends on whether we are organized around the necessity to proportionally nourish and defend our coherency in the context of the variables of the environment.
Nature’s range of propositions about how to contend with the realities of remaining coherent exist on spectrum between bloody and bloodier. Nature is not a spectrum of propositions that exist between perfect and imperfect. All acts in service of coherence have a “sacrifice” component to them. We must sacrifice ourselves to the next generation as the next generation must sacrifice itself to the community and so on. Coherent entities must act in specific ways to negotiate any antagonistic pulls toward chaos with proportional behaviors or properties in order to continue.
For us as individuals, finding some nourishing and or protective value to contribute to the larger relationship economy that we live in and depend on is what our biological drives are all about. If we align ourselves with this we will have a meaningful life. If we do not, we will live dissatisfied no matter how many trinkets we acquire.
We are expressions of biological and social systems oriented around nourishment and defense, but we also see this expressed in many various forms throughout nature, including microorganisms, which contend with the same propositions on a micro scale that we do on a macro scale. It is a nested architecture built on a common theme with an infinite variety of possible variations – just like every language is a finite set of symbols that can form an infinite variety of meaning – that can call order from chaos. We appear to be expressions of this common theme.
I could be missing something(s)
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