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The Nature of Thought – Part X


by Mr. Iain Kirkaldy-Willis,

Naturalistic Philosopher

Canary Islands, Spain


Philosophy is about the search for meaning, for matters such as where we come from, who we are, where we are going and what it is all about. This is in all likelihood a presumptuous endeavour on our part, for we are but one intelligence amongst many. Life gave us that intelligence in exactly the same way it did every other form of life, with some, like the dolphin, making more of their intelligence than we do. In that their intelligence has endowed them with sonar far superior to what we have invented, can you imagine dolphin, along with the distinctive faculties with which Life has endowed other creatures, being further equipped to counter the war we wage against Life? Could you perhaps suppose that being superior they would win? Interesting thought? Well, never mind! As we know, that is not the case. This has nothing to do with cleverness, but with Life´s going about things in an incomprehensibly different way from the constraint of our human point of view.


So, apart from our being different, human beings, as opposed to giraffe or gnats, what makes us think we are better than the rest of them? Life is Intelligence, the Great Intelligence that is more than the sum of all the intelligences to which It has given rise. As something infinitely greater than our intelligence, It is way beyond any of the systems, schemes and frameworks we have dreamed up to pin It down, explain, define or grapple with It rationally. What a pity it is that, in establishing the parameters for one avenue of intellectual activity and another, we deny ourselves access to the infinity of Intelligence!


I am a philosopher, not so much because it appeals to me, but rather out of concern for how little we use our intelligence. Take for instance how science and technology bill every new initiative as beneficial to human health, welfare and well-being. Yet, industrialisation’s plundering of the planet for raw materials has created a host of crimes, not least the escalating air, water and soil contamination that are causing planet-wide disorder. Laboratory synthesis has created substances with devastating side-effects, such as petroleum based products, like plastic, that clog environments and their inhabitants because natural processes cannot break them down. And, breaching cellular integrity, nanotechnology exposes life at the microscopic level for absolutely anything to interfere with it. Each of these developments rides on the back of the others and has shifted the issue to an even greater extreme, making the wretchedness of those that suffer even worse, into the bargain. How on earth can we possibly say this is beneficial!

Well, our crimes against Life are legion. This is not the place to catalogue them. Either you know or you do not. The point is one cannot solve problems using the thinking that created them. If that sounds too straightforward, what about this – one cannot solve problems using the thinking that created them, thinking used in earlier attempts to solve problems that it had already created! And so the matter has spiralled forwards, with every generation of clever mind saying, “now wait a minute. We just need to think about this. There’s got to be a solution. What about......” and completely missing the point, because they are being so clever. Plainly and simply, the matter is out of control!


So, my philosophising is the use of words to wake up to who we are, how we fit and to what is happening, to make us mindful of what the words we use actually mean – appreciating the implications, for instance, of saying, it is being human that makes us human beings.


If the matter is of any interest to you and you would not mind thinking a bit more about things for yourself, the accompanying image/text series is of a number of issues for consideration. It is a summary merely itemising points that are more fully elaborated in previous articles. So, if they intrigue or provoke you enough, then you´ll have to take it up for yourself, look into them further and think about matters for yourself – be your own philosopher!


Presentation A


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