7: Nature and Essence
Now back to normal. The topic is about nature and essence, which are concepts that have came to be accepted during tradition and history; concepts which -
like anything else - will have to be tested if they stand the test of time and truth. By truth I do not want to say that within post-structuralism would be
the absolute truth (which would be a completely structuralist, but not post-structuralist thesis). Though I seem to believe that within post-structuralism
is sort of a greater truth than in preceding philosophies (not religions, here I would make a definite difference, treating the term 'religion' as
something like 'official' or 'established' religion, not as some kind of personal belief).
But is that true? Can there be such a judgement? Of course there can be something like personal preferences or dislikes. That's why there can't really be
something like objective writing. But if there is no objective writing, no real objective and general and absolute description, how are we to accept
something as an absolute truth, as the nature of things?
Concerning nature and mostly evolution, how would such a category as 'normality' be able to persist? If nature were concentrated on normality, there would
not be any life form except some bacteria - for evolution is based upon change, upon modifications, upon mutations. Slight changes in the DNA, slight
transformations in the planet's atmosphere and on the surface - change is everywhere. It mightn't be perceived in that way over the short period of
time our life span would cover; and when those evolutionary changes some time add up they will be seen as mutations, something abnormal - but on the
contrary, this kind of change is the very essence of life. A shift in the genetic structure of humans may and will appear over the coming millennia, a
shift that will not be perceived continually but will be recognized then as part of evolution, part of life, part of nature. Nothing stays the same,
So if there is nothing like an enduring steady state in the temporal and material universe, how could we define anything as universal? What we see is
changing its face during the very process of being seen - we might not be noticing it, but does ignorance prevent action? Does a noise exist when no one is
listening? Is there a meta-physical element of life beyond what we have recognized as the physical life, the physical existence? The very crucial question
that is materializing now is the question of whether there is something like an essence of reality that exists although we might not notice it. As stated,
we would not notice it, so how to prove or disprove it? When it is not possible to tell, we should at least be aware of our incomplete capabilities to
both perceive and describe an ever-changing universe. We all believe in something essential, may it be God, may it be love, may it be friendship, may it
be fate, death, resurrection, tradition, history, ethics, humanity, liberty, consciousness, home, free will, truth, science, salvation. A life without
believing in something that is not directly perceivable or provable might not even be possible; it is belief and imagination that drives our lives, without
ideas based upon those concepts there would not be a future.
If you are now under the impression that what I've said might be contradictory and that I might not yet have answered the question, you are perfectly
right. If there were no contradictions and if there were something like absolute answers, they would have been found by now by everybody on this planet.
But then there are answers that are to be found, answers that are essential, answers that give an insight into what is really important, into what is
kind of a universal language of the universe - those kinds of meta-words, those kinds of greater ideas and concepts which would add up to just one
concept, the concept of us being much more than ever imagined; a deeply religious concept. The answers to that question are known: and they return
every time and again, they are ideas that persist and triumph always at last, fighting the darkness and spreading the light.
August 1st, 1998