Of late, I’ve been looking into self-organising, complex systems. I do not believe we can look at the human species separate to all other life, whether from a molecular, individual or ecosystem view. The closer one looks, the more complex, intriguing, curious and marvellous it all is. And, also the more absurd. At a molecular level, molecular life organises itself, by fascinating arrangements and responses. We are determined, not only by our culture (family, education, society), but also by our biology and life’s abilities, by cells receiving and processing information so that they may respond to changes in their immediate environment. There is, in life and evolution, cause and effect, and there is creation from miniature. I’ve found a delicious intrigue and passion for how marvellous all the miniatures, nuances, improbabilities, absurdities are, and inspiration in the rationality of self-organising cells responding directly (though unconsciously) to changes in their immediate environment. Life’s existence is breathtaking when it is examined closely, and the degree of complexity, educe a feeling of humility that one can not possibly understand it all.
The human brain, I believe has the capacity to cope with, be content in, and navigate uncertainty – as Albert Camus suggested, I can ‘bear my doubts’. Life’s rather beautiful absurdity, is a laughter on human attachment to certainty.
I then take the view of this intriguing, complex system of life, back to the observation of my own species and my own culturally determined life. A species, and culturally determined individuals who want certainty and security, in a world that is always in flux – means that I can see the desire for certainty (and its equal, security) in no other way than an irrationality. Is it this desire for (perceived) certainty – a fear of doubt and insecurity – that causes one to adopt and perpetuate without question, as my friend Andy terms, a ‘pre-packaged life theory’ from birth? Is that pre-package, a (false) guarantee that life will be ‘certain’ and ‘safe’ as long as one plays out the role and identity born into?
By critical thought, one might see that the ‘safe’ certainties via simplistic narratives, belief systems, ideologies and tribal affiliations of our cultural determinism, which are not rooted in complex reality and complex life, are instead, creating more and more uncertainty, chaos and even more challenges..