Thoughts on “Cosmic Evolutionary Philosophy and a Dialectical Approach to Technological Singularity” by Dr. Cadell Last
What does pursuing Singularity mean for a subject structured triadically?
The work of Dr. Cadell Last is hard to beat, and I’ve learned more from him than I could ever repay. In 2018, Dr. Last published a paper in Information on the coming Technological Singularity and the need to consider “how” we define and seek that Singularity, in light of the fact that human subjectivity is structured triadically by the Real, Symbolic, and Imagined. This brief work will be a very general attempt to sketch some of the ideas with which Dr. Last’s paper gifted me, and if there is anything of value in it, it is thanks to Dr. Last. Please do not assume that this paper accurately represents Dr. Last’s views, and I might be entirely wrong in my understanding, so please read the original paper for yourself. Also, I cannot promise that this paper you are reading now will make much sense if you don’t read the original source material, so again, please consult the original, which contains far more than I could do justice here.
Currently, our talk of the Singularity is reminiscent of a Freudian desire to “return to the womb” or “return to Eden,” both of which are basically a “wish-fulfillment” to escape feelings of incompleteness, lack, and frustrated desire. The topic of “lack” is expanded on “The Philosophy of Lack” series, but here it is enough to know that “lack” is that feeling that “something is missing.” It is a result of the split in the subject between what is wanted and what is, the Imagined and the Real, and we live and manage that “split” through our Symbolic order (as manifest in our daily lives and in our societies). Now, these categories overlap, for we tend to define “The Real” according to what we Imagine, and we like to believe the Symbolic likewise reflects and participates in the Real, all while we try to avoid experiencing the Real in a manner that forces us to accept that the Imagined and Symbolic diverge from the Real (perhaps radically so). We are strange and paradoxical creatures.
Other works explore the dynamics of “lack” and interplay of the Real, Imagined, and Symbolic in more specific detail, while here we will aim for a broader overview of individual and cosmic development. We will discuss RSIs, which is enough for our purposes, and, to cut to the chase, the argument is that we need to seek a Technological Harmony which doesn’t efface RSIs, but instead helps RSIs “harmonize” by accepting the necessity of “lack” (thus “leaving Singularization behind”). Technological Singularity would erase “lack,” thus (unintentionally) effacing RSIs, subjects, and us. It is very possible that “harmony” without technology is impossible, so this work is not arguing against or demonizing technology. Rather, we need to use technology according to different metrics than metrics which define success as “removing lack.” There is good reason to think RSIs are essential to human subjectivity and that subjectivity is essential for the universe reaching “highest being.” If RSI are somehow necessary for there to be “observers,” and if “observers” (or mind) actively contribute to the formation and realization of the universe, then removing RSIs will bring about the loss of the “observers” the universe needs to realize its highest becoming.
Moving forward, please note that Dr. Last makes distinctions between “The Singularity,” “The Technological Singularity,” and “Global Brain Singularity,” while this work will mostly just be discussing “The Technological Singularity” and use “Singularity” less strictly (for elaborations on those distinctions, please see “O.G. Rose Conversation #60”) Additionally, what I say about “observers actively contributing to the formation of the universe” can be associated with the “Ontological Design” discussed by Daniel Fraga, whose work I find enthralling.
RSIs create a feeling of “lack” which drives the subject’s development and formation of the RSI. It is “natural” for us to seek to “fill” and “satisfy” this “lack,” and yet the “lack” is what seems to make possible the RSI. There is good reason to think that if we “fulfilled” the “lack,” we would efface ourselves and our subjectivities (versus negate/sublimate them, a distinction expanded on in “Negation Versus Effacement” by O.G. Rose). Why exactly requires a deeper examination into the field of psychoanalysis (for which I point you again to Dr. Cadell’s work), but here I will ask that you just take my word for it that the interplay between the Real, Imagined, and Symbolic are essential to the formation of the subject. Unless subjects can somehow exist without RSIs (which we don’t have much reason to think is possible, at least for the majority), then the removal of “lacks” would be the termination of the RSIs which subjectivities need to be structured (even people who achieve the Absolute Knowing of Hegel still arguably exist in and with RSI, though they are consciously aware of the paradoxes, limits, and problems of RSI).
Why do we feel the “lack” of some “Ultimate Wholeness?” That’s a hard question, but if we allow extreme speculation, perhaps it is because we are part of a universe which emerged out of a radical point of “Original Singularity” before the Big Bang? Perhaps, and Figure 5 on page 9 of Dr. Last’s paper depicts the movement from “Primordial Order” (Origin) to heterogenous matter, multi-local order (stars, galaxes, planets), and eventually to “The Black Hole Era” of total decay. “Moving away” from Primordial Order perhaps subconsciously feels like an entropic movement toward “total decay,” and so we are subconsciously primed to desire a return to some supra-unity, some “Original Singularity.” Hard to say, but we seem naturally inclined to desire “a return to Wholeness,” perhaps mainly because we were born in a womb where “we were One” with our mothers, but perhaps also because there is something about being “part of the universe” which inclines us in a similar way. Again, this is all speculation, but it indeed seems natural for us to seek a Technological Singularity which is “like” our (perhaps imagined) “Original Singularity.”
We can discuss our “instincts” to suggest that there are drives in humans which are tied to a deep animalistic nature which we cannot ever escape and that reasoning and thinking often come to serve without our realizing it. Our “biological natures” are leftovers of Evolution; similarly, perhaps we also have “cosmic instincts” which are leftovers of the Big Bang. Perhaps our “cosmic instincts” make us seek a way to avoid “Total Decay” and “The Age of Black Holes” by “curving the development of the universe on itself” back toward our “Original Singularity.” The universe seems incapable of “continuing forward” without further entropy, as we perhaps subconsciously realize and so seek to “reverse course” and head back to our origin. No, we can’t actually return to our “Original Singularity,” as we can never actually “return to the Womb,” but that has never stopped us from trying subconsciously (even if logic and facticity make it clear that what we desire is impossible, our subconscious minds won’t go down without a fight).¹ Ultimately, this all suggests that if we think we’ve “intellectually matured” by deconstructing Eden and seeking Technological Singularity, we might ironically be self-deceived.
Thinkers from Freud to Lacan have examined how the RSI structure of the human subject incorporates instinctual drives and Evolution, and it wouldn’t be farfetched to suggest that Evolution couldn’t have arisen to human subjects without also arising to RSIs. The RSI is the price we paid for becoming subjects, and though perhaps we might have days where we wish we were animals instead of desk workers (a theme in Kafka, as described in The Breaking of the Day), overall, I would say the costs of RSI are worth it. There is goodness and beauty which we can enjoy as subjects which otherwise we would never know, which would suggest that Evolution and the cosmos arising to subjects is a net positive, especially if subjects are somehow essential for higher universal development.
Though we can understand ways RSI is biologically beneficial, what about cosmically? Is the benefit of RSI the possibility of avoiding “Total Decay” by “curving universal development” back toward the “Original Singularity?” That seems to be what we are subconsciously assuming, perhaps not coming to terms with our subconscious minds or doing the work to rightly cultivate it, and this subconscious assumption is being transferred into our efforts for a Technological Singularity, which entails an effort to remove “lack” from the RSI (for if RSI had no “lack,” it would not be missing anything, and thus would be “Singular” and “Whole,” like the “Original Singularity”).
Is this the right way to think about RSI? Is it wise to perhaps subconsciously interpret the RSI as evidence that we need to return before the Big Bang (like some cosmic effort “to return to the Womb”)? It’s “natural” to interpret the RSI as something to be corrected, for at the heart of it is a “lack,” but our “natural tendency” to view “lack” as something to be “fulfilled” and done away with could be a mistake. What if the “lack” that bothers us is simultaneously necessary for the existence and development of the subject? What if the universe wouldn’t have “observers” without the RSI which emerges thanks to “lack?” If all this follows, perhaps our goal shouldn’t be a Singularity but a Harmony.
Is the Technological Singularity an event where we keep the good of RSI but not the bad? Well, not if “lack” is essential to RSI (which is a possibility we don’t even seem to consider): then, doing away with “lack” in hopes of “keeping the good while getting rid of the bad” will do away with all of it, which in turn means we will do away with ourselves. Consider the following:
The above depicts how we “feel like” we “came from” or “lost” some Whole or Completion, as depicted by the broken line which curves into a solid circular outline. The outline represents our lives, which consistent of complicated negotiations between the Imagined, Symbolic, and the Real. These negotiations “circle” the “lack” of something we feel like we lost and need to regain. However, there’s actually nothing in the circle (and never way), just “negative space,” and the broken line suggests we never actually came from a Wholeness to which we long to return. Still, the human subject is structured according to the RSI, which “naturally” leads us to seek this:
To make a Singularity our goal just “naturally follows” from “the design” of RSI (even if we should really seek “Harmony,” as will be explored): it “walks around” the circle of a “negative space,” per se, and so it “just makes sense” that we need a “solid circle” to fill it and connect all the parts of the circular outline together (this suggests why “doing what is rational” is not always best, as discussed throughout The True Isn’t the Rational). Thus, it is “natural” to conclude from our experience of RSI that we should seek a Singularity.
Again, it is “rational” from the phenomenological experience of RSI to seek a Singularity which removes the “lack” around which RSI (essentially) operates (suggesting that rationality can be self-destructive). Thus, we “rationally” approach technology as a way to deal with this problem (after all, what does technology exist for other than to ultimately make our lives better?), and so we seek a Technological Singularity as a way to efface “lack.” It’s only rational. Unfortunately, “what’s rational” is not always “best,” for what is “rational” is relative to what we think is “true,” and it is possible for us to ne wrong about “the truth.”² If we are indeed wrong in our understanding of RSI, the following could occur:
1. We live our lives experiencing RSI:
2. We interpret the RSI as meaning we should seek Singularity:
3. We fail because the Singularity is fundamentally unreachable by RSIs which exist because they “lack” Singularization:
4. Faced with this failure, we could become pathological and keep trying, bringing about what I call “effacement”:
“The Philosophy of Lack” series can generally be seen as an elaboration of 4 in terms of an individual life and subject. If we never come to terms with “lack,” we never integrate and harmonize ourselves with RSI, and as a result we continue seeking to “fulfill” and erase “lack,” failing to realize it is essential to the structuring of our subjectivity. The effort is thus self-effacing.
Now, thinking on a species and ideological level, Dr. Last noted how approaching Singularity could cause a multiplication of RSIs. Dr. Last traces out and explores that development of new RSIs through history, from religions to Deconstructionist narratives to present talks on Technological Singularities. The response to RSI by seeking God lasted for centuries, while seeking the deconstruction of “oppressive institutions” and “technological salvation” are relatively new and “quicker” developments. This would suggest that as we move through history, the developments of RSI narratives or “worlds” multiplies and accelerates, perhaps precisely in response to our failure to achieve Singularization. As the options we believe and hope in fail, we try new and increasingly more options (an effort of “diversification,” perhaps). Deconstructionist RSIs, Technological RSI, and Religious RSIs (all efforts to “get at” the same Singularity) now all exist simultaneously in our world today, and there’s little reason to assume that many more RSIs couldn’t likewise emerge and multiply.
Let us resume on 4 above in terms of “the species as a whole,” which I will designate with an “S”:
4S. Our efforts as a species to reach Singularization causes a multiplication of RSIs, for new “ideas of the Real and ‘reaching it’ (in a manner that overcomes ‘lack’)” are created as we approach the Singularization (thanks to that very effort). Increasingly more RSIs emerge through time (there is an acceleration of the “historic process”).
Now, this is when we face a very critical and important question: How does the multiplication of RSIs occur, and is it inherently bad? It seems natural for us to view such multiplication as bad; after all, it’s arguably the opposite of the Singularization we “naturally” seek. And yet multiplication and diversification seem part of the very development and nature of the universe — why? Well, what if multiplicity is essential for the universe’s realization of highest being? If it is true, as some scientists suppose, say in the realm of Quantum Physics, that “observers” play an active role in the formation of reality, then perhaps many observers are needed for the universe to develop in certain new and “higher ways” (perhaps a multiplicity of observers is needed for an “emergent network effect” that cannot occur without many observers, but I don’t know).
Generally, RSIs can end up pathological or harmonized (“at peace with itself and others”). Pathological RSIs end up like this:
If “Collectively,” as Dr. Last describes, in approaching the Singularity, there could be a vast multiplication of RSIs resulting from the necessary failures of that approach (looking for “new ways in,” per se), which would mean that as we approach the Singularity (according to the wrong “metric of success”), we will see reason to think we are failing in our effort, and thus we might try harder, ever-worsening the situation. As depicted, the following could occur, creating ever worsening pathologies and ever-great likelihood of effacement:
*The Xs represent where “effacements” occurred before the RSIs could multiply, whereas the arrow “through” an RSI represents a conflict between RSIs where one prevailed “over” the other.”
**The different sizes of the circles is not meant to necessarily represent anything, but arguably the “large circle” represents Monotheist Religion,” which was notably enduring and influential on humanity. That circle has now “broken off” into smaller RSIs like deconstruction, transhumanism, etc.
3S is meant to show how a continual effort to reach Singularity as RSIs multiply will cause greater multiplication, and thus greater likelihood for effacement, conflict, and overall pathology — a “pathological multiplication” which will not end until the effort to reach Singularity itself stops. 3S is a collective multiplication of RSIs, which is a recipe for effacement, pathology, and conflict, for RSIs that are “in the way” of one another will fight to get to the Singularity which RSIs block one another from reaching. Unfortunately, we are “naturally” orientated by RSIs to never stop seeking Singularity, an effort which today is manifested in our desire for Technological Singularity. The Technological Singularity, a moment which is thought to potentially prove the triumph of humanity, might hence precisely be the moment which proves our greatest terror.
Dr. Last beautiful explains RSIs, their movement toward Singularity, and the dangers that may come with this “natural” tendency. What is to be done? If it is true that erasing RSIs by erasing “lack” will efface us, doesn’t that mean we must live with the desire for Singularity? Yes, but this desire for Singularity might make possible desire at all, and would life really be better if we lived without desire? Perhaps, but I think there is reason to think otherwise, and thus it would be best for us to instead realize that the desire for Singularity is easily a “hangover” from the Big Bang and/or the Womb, both of which are necessary tensions and temptations if we are to have being as subjects (the only alternative could be nonexistence). This being the case, the desire for Singularity could be a “death drive” in disguise, and we need to change our goal and metrics of success before it’s too late.
The multiplication of RSIs is not a bad thing if we expect this multiplication and understand it is a necessary feature of history and subjectivity; in fact, the multiplication could be essential for the universe realizing its highest development (a critical thought if we are to avoid an ever-worsening collective pathology). The multiplication of RSIs would entail the multiplication of different observers, each of whom could contribute to the creation and realization of the universe in ways that would otherwise be impossible. No, not necessarily because observers can turn rocks into birds or transform the physical composition of the universe, but because different people see and experience different things, act accordingly, and thus bring about possible futures and “worlds” which otherwise would never come into existence (perhaps with aid from Quantum Computing, as Dr. Last and I discussed in O.G. Rose Conversation #60). Not necessarily for the best, no, but the likelihood of this “cosmic evolution” occurring smoothly and without pathological conflict is much less if we seek Singularity, not only because Singularity is impossible for RSIs without effacement, but because the Singularity would only be able to manifest a single RSI and corresponding vision (all other RSIs and visions would have to be erased). Totalization necessitates “violence.”
In his paper, Dr. Last explained how history entails the multiplication of RSIs, perhaps at an ever-faster rate. To stop this would require stopping the emergence of RSIs, and that would require force, totalitarianism, and the like (as maintaining “givens” always does, as described in Belonging Again by O.G. Rose). This is not optimal, so instead we must seek a harmony between RSIs, not only to keep Pluralism from self-destructing and to avoid the possible pathologies of the Singularity, but also because a Technological Harmony might be the next step in cosmic evolution. It is not the Technological Singularity which is our next step in “higher being” (a subtle and disguised desire to return to the Womb or Original Singularity), but “Technological Harmony,” a “cosmic symphony” only possible thanks to multiplicity and “observational” diversity.
Note how there is no arrow “toward’ the Singularity, but instead there is a resistance to the temptation to seek it. As a result, new RSIs develop away from the Singularity, and we also don’t see “conflict” or “effacement” like we did in 3S. Through time, this leads to a multiplication of RSIs which themselves grow and operate “harmoniously”:
*Please note the similarity of “The Harmony” with Hegel’s Dialectic, as described and depicted in “ ‘Hegelian Dialectics’ Are Not ‘Discussion Dialectics’ ” by O.G. Rose.
**Also, though the Harmony and Singularity are depicted “idealistically” and “purely” in this paper, they could actually mix, which is to say some RSIs could “harmonize” while others continue to (self-effacingly) seek Singularity.
Though the temptation for Singularity is always present in RSIs (due to the very structure of RSIs), in Harmony, the Singularity is “practically” gone (as in it is not a factor “in practice” and thus “might as well” not be there). Hence, “practically speaking,” the Singularity “vanishes,” and instead there is a multiplication of RSIs which do not conflict and at the same time avoids effacement. This allows the universe to develop and realize “higher possibilities” which are only possible thanks to “observers” who create RSIs and yet don’t let the essential “lacks” of RSIs drive them into pathologies.
Every RSI is like “its own dimension,” specifying the unique space of an “observer” (or group of similar observers) who contribute to the realization of the universe in ways that would have never occurred, had those observers never existed. No, each RSI is not literally its own dimension, but each is potentially participating in the formation of the cosmos in ways more profound than we appreciate. Hard to say, and perhaps this is all mistaken, but right now in our discussion of Technological Singularity, it doesn’t even seem like we even consider this possibility. If “lack” is indeed essential to RSI, and if there cannot be subjects or “observers” without RSIs, then in the name of what we’ve always sought, we may seek what will efface what the universe needs to further develop. In the name of evolution, we can devolve.
There is no possibility of “returning to Eden” in the Bible: the idea is entirely cultural. We seem to desire a “return to the Womb” and have projected that onto Christianity, in the same way we seem to project onto the universe a desire to “return to Original Singularity.” Rather, the Bible heads toward “New Jerusalem” in Revelation, a state where “heaven comes down to earth” and the two forever combine. The world and finite are not left behind and distinction effaced, but rather they are elevated into something divine and “higher.” Similarly, perhaps the cosmos and universe have split, multiplied, and arisen to observers, subjects, and RSIs not “by mistake” in its effort to regain Singularity, but because the cosmos doesn’t find “higher development” in any kind of Singularity at all. “Something new” is needed, possible because we left our origin and hope only to find something “like it” (for, indeed, “The Harmony” is “like” “The Singularity,” but also not the same).
The Bible doesn’t teach that humanity achieves “higher development” by “returning to Eden,” but instead in “New Creation.” Again, “returning to Eden” is entirely cultural, in the same way that seeking Singularity seems entirely “human,” though we might claim we are participating in an effort of the universe “to return to its Origin” (not letting the universe speak).³ We might think we are helping the universe achieve what is best for it, but really we are listening to our own subconscious and primordial desires “over” the cosmos. The universe shows us a movement into multiplicity and greater ontological complexity, and so perhaps that’s what we should embrace versus try to correct. Revelation 2:17 is relevant here, and describes something that I have always found interesting:
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
Those who dwell with God are given “a new name,” a designation only known by that person. God knows everything, so I think it’s safe to assume God knows this name as well, which suggests that every person will “know something” that no one else in the universe will know. In every person will be a fragment of knowledge and understanding of God’s overall creation which will exclusively reside in them: each and every person will be the same in having a fragment of knowledge that no one else will have. In this way, everyone will be radically essential, and the sum of everything which makes creation itself will not even possibly be isolated in a single person. That totality will exist because of a multitude of people who cannot know the exclusive knowledge that everyone else possesses, and yet every piece of exclusive knowledge will be essential for the overall understanding of the cosmos. And this is what the Bible tells us is the cosmos at its highest state, a “harmony” between the one and the many, the unique and the shared.
If RSIs didn’t exist, a Harmony wouldn’t be possible, for there would be no individualization, as there certainly wouldn’t be “observers” who could participate in the very realization of the universe into new, different, and higher possibilities. There can be as many RSIs as there are subjects, and if there is something about “observers” which participate in the formation, manifestation, and intelligibility of the universe, then a multiplicity of RSIs is good and necessarily for the universe to reach higher planes of becoming. But if we assume that overcoming “lack” is the goal, then we will make our metric for a “successful Singularity” a state where the universe loses the RSIs needed for the Harmony.
If we don’t change our “metric of success” to embracing a multiplication of RSIs, we will then likely become more insistent about the Technological Singularity, which will cause more RSIs to emerge, which will cause us to become more forceful about the Singularity — on and on, ever-worsening. Pathologies and mental illness would not exist without RSIs, but we should not assume that this means RSIs should be deconstructed as opposed to mastered. We inherently and essentially might be prone to mental illness and pathology: to get rid of that possibility would be to get rid of us. It is hard to imagine “observers” existing without RSI, and if there is something about “observation” which is essentially part of the process of universal development, then the nonexistence of “observation” would necessitate the impossibility of full universal development. It’s hard to say, but it is plausible that the mind and subject cannot exist without RSI, and thus erasing RSI would erase the mind. If mind is somehow necessary for the universe to “be itself fully,” then our efforts for Technological Singularity could unintentionally lead to the end of universal development. On the other hand, if we used technology to establish a Technological Harmony, this effort could further universal development (and it’s easy to posit that technology could be a necessary step in the process of the universe reaching its fullest development, a point which brings Vector Theory to mind from Alexander Elung and Alexander Bard — but that is another topic for another time).
If there was a “Original Singularity” of some kind before the Big Bang, the fact the universe emerged out of that “toward” division and multiplicity would suggest there is something about multiplicity which opens possibilities for the universe which didn’t exist before the Big Bang. If not, perhaps the universe would have just stayed a “Cosmic Singularity,” not because the universe needs a “telos” to emerge, but because if “everything possible” was already realized in the “Singular Origin,” it’s hard to imagine the universe doing anything else but remaining a “Singular Origin.” I don’t know — I am obviously speculating — my point is only to suggest that we should not assume “multiplicity” is bad and infringing upon revelation while “Singularity” is good and the place where revelation is best received (as we’re perhaps biased to think by our desire to “return to the Womb”). Perhaps “observers” and “subjects” couldn’t exist without multiplicity, and thus multiplicity was necessary for the emergence of mind, and without mind the universe couldn’t realize its “highest development.” Hard to say, but I fear this isn’t even something we’re considering, blinded by a desire to “return to the Womb” embodied in the Technological Singularity (a “death drive” in disguise). This point of awareness is the main hope of this work, as inspired and made possible by Dr. Last: for an analysis that dives deeper on what constitutes Harmony, how we might live with RSI, and how we can integrate ourselves with “lack,” I turn you to more of Dr. Last’s work and The True Isn’t the Rational by O.G. Rose.
I like to think there’s more to know after the Big Bang than before it, and so I see reason to think a Technological Singularity would decrease possibility and understanding, while Technological Harmony might increase possibility and understanding. Perhaps not, but we should not be so quick to assume that ending RSIs would prove advantageous: it might mark the end of “observation” and so end of new cosmic horizons and possibilities. What kind of possibilities? Well, only time will tell, but to point generally toward differences between Harmony and Singularity, I associate Harmony with performances of music, “flow states,” and even “rapture” (please see “Soloing, Harmony, and Singularity” by O.G. Rose for more). “Rapture” can be associated with sexuality, and I think people indeed associate Singularity with sexual union, but I think this is a mistake: sex is not when two people “become the same being without any division,” but “harmonize in their distinct being as a mutual becoming.” Yes, harmony can “feel like” singularization, but it is technically not identical, and maintaining the technical distinction is paramount if we are to avoid the mistake of seeking a Singularity which erases RSIs. Harmony can entail “feelings of Singularity” (though “Harmony” entails the risk of division), but Singularity doesn’t entail Harmony (and entails the risk of effacing RSIs). Sexual union is more like a “flow state” then “an erasing of distinctions,” and please note that not all acts of sex don’t necessarily feel “like sexual unions” (as not every artistic creation achieves “a flow state”). The conditions must be right, and we have to be able to “up-hold” those conditions (as described in “The Holding and the Flow” by O.G. Rose). This is not easy, and a temptation of the Singularity is precisely that it feels like once we achieve it, we’re done and “good to go” — we don’t have to worry about any further mistakes. Harmony is far more “conditional,” and that means more work and active awareness. I think our brains naturally don’t like work and seek to avoid using energy whenever it can — hence another reason why we naturally seek Singularity over Harmony.
I cannot imagine “flow states” without subjects, “observers,” and thus RSIs, and I also think “flow states” require “lack,” for the very feeling of “being harmonized” is meaningful to us precisely because of “lack” (“lacks” also creases in us the desire to find and realize “flow”). Singularity is the end of desire in reaching the object of desire, and it is the breakdown of the divisions between entities. In Singularity, I cannot imagine “flow,” for “flow” strikes me as inherently requiring multiplicity, for things which are different to “magically” and suddenly “be on the same page” as if space and time are no issue. For boundaries, divisions, and time to “not be issues” when they are still present is precisely why “the flow state” is so powerful and meaningful; in the Singularity, where boundaries, divisions, and time are gone because they are erased, the meaning of that accomplishment might be gone as well. We may achieve what we have always wanted at precisely the moment where we cease to want. Our climax may occur when we can no longer feel climatic.
The efforts to use technology to achieve Harmony and “flow” could be different than efforts to use technology to achieve Singularity, so it matters now what we set our eyes on accomplishing. Where we can end up is impacted by where we’re walking now, and slight adjustments in our thinking from “seeking to erase division” to “seeking to harmonize” our thinking could arise to greatly different outcomes. When the foundation of a house is off by an inch, the entire house could come crashing down, and so could be the case with our “cosmic development” in assuming “lack” should be effaced. But avoiding this mistake will require overcoming the natural temptation to seek “a return to the Womb” as manifest in the Singularity, and that will not be easy. However, precisely because this temptation is present, seeking Harmony becomes a sign of overcoming, courage, and beauty — the temptation increases the risk and so meaning and grandeur. Scars beautify God.
In conclusion, if greater Harmony is indeed the directionality of the universe versus ultimate Singularity (note I said “directionality” versus “goal,” for I am trying to avoid teleology), I cannot help but think the universe wise for this development. Harmony seems more beautiful than Singularity, for Singularity strikes me as “all the same,” absent of possibilities of surprise, and devoid of possibilities of “flow.” Sure, perhaps the Singularity would be absent of pain, loneliness, mental illness, and suffering, but the absence of pathology is not necessarily the presence of joy. Joy requires risk, and I personally don’t see the universe best developing away from risk into Singularity, but into greater risk. Where risk increases, so increases possible beauty.
Perhaps temptation is a necessary component for “highest cosmic development,” for there is something about resisting temptation that transforms subjects and “observers” in ways that changes how they participate in and contribute to universal development. I don’t know, but all of this leads us to the next question: How can we seek Harmony? Well, to start, I don’t think it’s possible for us to “harmonize” without a “real choice,” for then our “S” and “I” will be too strong and eclipse our “R.” What is a “real choice?” That’s described at the end of (Re)constructing “A Is A” by O.G. Rose, but it is basically a commitment we do not withdraw from — a commitment which indeed makes the world feel real. As we will see, Harmony requires a willingness to die for something. Death is part of life, which is why we are fortunate that Dr. Last is currently focused on that subject. He’s always brilliantly paving the way.
¹In Dr. Last’s paper, Charts 5 and Charts 6 can be overlain on one another to depict a movement away from “Original Singularity” which is “corrected” with the arising of subjects to “curve back” toward that “Original Singularity”: I can image cutting out Figure 6, laying it atop Figure 5 with “The Hunter Gatherer Tribes” matching over the “Global Order Decay” section, and then “bending and curving” Figure 6 until “The Final Order” and “Primordial Order” rest atop one another. The “curving” of Figure 6 would be away from “The Total Decay” and “Black Hole Era” of Figure 5. Of course, this wouldn’t be technically correct, but it would perhaps show the orientation of our subconscious minds, which could be shaped by our Cosmic Evolution like how it is shaped by our Biological Evolution.
²This topic is explored notably in “Deconstructing Common Life” by O.G. Rose, but also Johannes A. Niederhauser does tremendous work on the dangers of “instrumental rationality,” which seems to be part of the problem.
³And certainly, we learn from David Hume that it’s important to “return to common life,” but this is after a long journey which forever changes us, and what Hume would have of us is not the same as “returning to the Womb.” Not all returns are equal, and Hume’s return is one of humility and commitment, not escapism.
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