Missing Axioms XV – Force Majeure
Existence possesses a force majeure over humanity, a get-out clause by which the great experiment can be wiped clean. Existence reserves the right to send an undetectable solar flare to wipe out all life or perhaps adjust the assumptively fixed laws of nature in such a way the ‘universe’ (as we have naively taken to calling it) simply goes pop.
This makes evident a fact of our nature, illusion defines the precariousness of the human condition. Our sense and perception systems have developed not to enhance the volume of information we process but to dull our wider vision heuristically against those parts of data infinitude which should be ignored. We focus on those things which are pleasing to the Darwinian fitness functions with no reason, beyond accidental mutation, for anything else to matter. I suspect that the tendency of our intellect to align along ideological simplifications and according to group-pressure is a downstream effect of this energy-saving algorithm. The conceptual ‘normal’ is the prime intellectual sin and a manifestation of our most base biological impetuses.
In Plato’s cave dialogue between prisoners serves to deepen their shared illusion through peer reinforcement. A fact of human cooperation is that it disinhibits anything that happens to self-reinforce in a distributed way among the collective. Illusion is necessarily connected to the tribe. This could explain why illusion-shattering experiences are psychologically crushing, when they should be liberating as we don’t approach them in a coldly epistemological manner. These experiences cause all manner of existential crisis, disorientation and missing axioms. We don’t merely lose sight of a binary piece of information or an assertive fact but all those relationships which happen to have their axiomatic foundations wielded to the collective illusion.
The introduction of observation has causal effect, there is a tension inherent in human experience between company and solitude. Without our fellow man the confinement within our own head strips us of something most human, this is why solitary confinement is the greatest non-violent punishment.
The epistemic nature of philosophy makes it inherently lonely, man contaminates the pristine intellect with the pressure of observation. Epistemologically speaking, we can only ever aspire to know our own experience. It is unimportant how strongly you might intuit the contrary fact with your fallible bio-caged cognition. You started by being torn from the safety of the womb unable to communicate and you will end by flickering away unable to connect. Inadequate and unresolved.
It requires a lack of intellect, wilful ignorance or common cowardice not to feel completely alone deep down. An experiential itch that you can’t scratch yourself and that others can’t reach. The wilful loner is an aberration to society, a madman transgressing the collective illusion that we are connected. To act exceptionally is to be treated at best with suspicion, and, at worst to be torn apart by the subconscious of the crowd.
In fact, due to our earthly nature as societal animals, only the exceptional have the need or the will to enter genuine loneliness. The real tragedy of these exceptions is rarely due to outright rejection but as a result of the arbitrarily allotted time to each of us within existence and the inevitable rationing of interaction as a response. The cause of the hermit is not a lack of opportunities to interact but a desire to be only with those who can caress their soul. To find such a thing is, unfortunately, an impossible task without some measure of tempered illusion.