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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude

Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude

Since I’ve come to the (tentative) conclusion that we have no free will (and that in fact there is no ‘self’ to have free will), it’s utterly changed the lens through which I see the world. I now see that our behaviour is completely conditioned by our biology and our culture, given the circumstances of the moment, and that ‘we’ have no ‘choice’ but to do what we do. We are all doing our best (though that is often, seemingly, pretty awful), and no one is to ‘blame’. For anything. Even though our conditioning, so often, causes us to inflict, and to suffer, horrible violence and trauma.

As I’ve internalized this, my writing has morphed from describing what I think ‘should’ be done to instead just trying to understand why (ie as a result of what conditioning and what circumstances) things are as they are. So I now use the ‘reminders’ list above, to cope with the accelerating collapse of our civilization and its component systems, instead of any action or preparation list. We can’t act, after all, other that how we’re conditioned, and we can’t prepare for something we cannot possibly predict.

Still, even this list is really wishful thinking. I cannot ‘choose’ to do or not do these things. I can, perhaps, by keeping it in front of me, track the degree to which my behaviour does or does not align with these ‘reminders’. If that helps me to cohere somewhat to these reminders, it is only because that is what my conditioning already inclines me to do. Everything is determined (ie a consequence of our conditioning, and of the circumstances of each moment, neither of which we have any agency over), but nothing is determinable (ie predictable, because, unless we are gods, we cannot know how we are next going to be conditioned, nor what the circumstances of each moment will be).

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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