April 9, 2017 (Nairobi):
What is MEANING? What happens when a word, an event, a life, means?
Meaning arises from the relation between one holonic (part-whole) unit to one or more others. And meaning is made possible by syntropy, LOVE, the cohesive force that connects things into assemblies in the first place. A word has meaning in connection with other local words (and all other words) and the thing it represents. A life has meaning in connection with a cause (a cluster of the lives of many people), a dream (an imagined holarchical pattern), or other people in relational structures, for example marriage, family, church, community, club, nation, culture, etc. Forces of attraction draw individuals together in love/friendship, and new holons are born.
The creativity of the universe that puts things together depends on the occasional (or continual?) dissolution of currently existing structures so that new ones can be born. Much suffering results from our resistance to this inexorable process. If only we’d recognize and embrace its wisdom.
People like me are attracted by beauty, both actual and potential. We are enthralled by the elegant forms we see in waking life and the ones we see in our imaginative minds. We are vulnerable to beauty. We are the ones easily seduced, ‘led away’ by the Tempter because of the promise of pleasure.
The magnetic pull into temptation is relentless and universal. The stronger the commitment to established holarchical structures – like monogamous marriage – the stronger the counter-resistance to break it up. But that pull, that temptation, is woven into the fabric of evolution. It is essential to its unfolding. Without it, creation grinds to a halt. I suspect that the long struggle of men like me to stay faithful to one woman while giving up others is a struggle that will ultimately be lost…or rather won by temptation: “Lead me into temptation.” Eventually the ‘Devil’ will pry apart the rigid marital institution, creating momentary chaos and confusion, so that sexual beings can coalesce into more diverse and more complex kinds of relationships.
In the cosmos, syntropy and entropy are two sides of the same coin. A drawing together of something is simultaneously a drawing apart of something else. Or the drawing apart of one thing may be a drawing out of many new things. A new love may be a new apathy toward certain others, or it may heighten love between all involved. A new life may require the deprivation of another’s life, or it may enhance the lives of all involved. Who can tell beforehand?