Der Gedichtladen

Gedanken aus dem Leben, für das Leben

The mankind as means of the nature

The mankind as means of the nature

According to Dante Alighieri, nature is not inferior to mankind in foresight, and it has created mankind, which is itself to a large extent nature, but has just such incomprehensible qualities as soul and spirit. The mankind suspects already for millennia even that there could be soul and spirit besides it. Thus Goethe liked Schelling’s title „Von der Weltseele“ so much that he appointed him to the university in Jena. Basically, it could have been the content of this work, but everyone can still convince himself today that it does not go far beyond the gripping title.

It was not until much later that it was brought to the point that Schelling would have discovered that nature is a subject. But for many years one still wanted to penetrate into it, to make use of it, to wrest from it its well-being, to snatch from it its treasures, as if it were just an object at our disposal, as if we were the rulers of the world. As history is the history of bad people, apart from the few laudable exceptions like Laotse or Buddha or Kepler or Bonhöffer, one can throw in the towel and say: Man is the biggest pest of nature, or, more cautiously expressed, as the Dalai Lama says: The earth would be better without man.

But we have never been called upon by nature to wear ourselves down in self-reproach. If everything should have a meaning, then the phase of the exploitation of nature was just as foreseen as now our bad conscience opposite nature, which goes probably also therefore with the ceasing of these treasures. In my opinion we are not called to quarrel with everything, but to find our peace also with this history of the ambitious people, which does not have to mean standstill.

There is nevertheless also after the realizations of the quantum theory the hypothesis that we are not yet rewarded by the nature at all with the reality, everything is thought construction and consequently also everything what we have caused has not happened yet really. This thought is so strange to the people to whom I had tried to present it, as it should be, because even under this assumption that we do not live in reality at all, the cell phone and game addiction of our children is explained that they now move in an artificial reality created by human hands and thus gain an idea of how it is to move in a world which is just no real reality. So they get the state mirrored, in which mankind maybe actually is.

So, if it is the case that we can actually learn something from the youth, which we have always fought against to the best of our ability, it is just this: The humanity brought forth by nature is in the process of creating a virtual world that could bring it closer to the thought that even today every rational thinking person rejects. It is certainly unwise to immediately burden the reflection on the relationship between mankind and nature with doubts about the reality of that, which would take away the ground of any responsibility and classify one of the most beautiful characteristics of mankind, that it feels responsible, as superfluous. Yes, we are even practicing precisely what nature needs most, namely to be seen as a subject. We practice this primarily with our children, whose peculiarities no longer frighten us and we no longer regularly beat them up, but rather think ourselves into them, no longer see them as objects of education, but as beings superior to us in many ways, with whom it is not clear whether they have more to learn from us or we from them. Today, no one doubts that our children are independent subjects. They are even the most valuable thing we have. So, do they no longer need to be subordinate to anything, do we no longer have any framework to consider in our love for children?

At this point it is probably appropriate to give some thought to the concept of nature. It is probably everything that reaches our senses, whether it is the universe that we admire as a starry sky and which we know is only a small part of our Milky Way, or this galaxy itself among billions of others. These are, of course, our pets, with whom many lonely persons have a more intimate relationship than with all of humanity, the piece of wood we might want to carve, the little stone in our shoe that might remind us of something we missed, even our own body, which sometimes causes us pain with an ulcerated nail bed, and, of course, children again, whose nature needs to be understood. If you continue this, there is actually hardly anything left that should not be nature. Only spirit and soul remain, of which we are only left with conjectures and with which we can occupy ourselves almost endlessly.

The whole science is built on mechanisms and we may not even be able to produce a different way of thinking. The whole microbiology is the search for mechanisms which supposedly represent our being. One has already tried in the 19th century to close the circle and to become master of the spirit and the soul by assuming that the spirit mass is ponderable matter or flows into it as such, yes everything what we perceive as masses, which dispose of the inexplicable gravity, could be something like fossilized thoughts, which admittedly not we have thought, but just a previous and perhaps even superior intelligence. The only approach which has opened in the twenties of the last century to get out of the mechanistic misery is the quantum mechanics which describes the smallest components of matter, rightly calls itself mechanics again because it postulates that all deviation from the mechanical is just coincidence.

Thereby it is the only eye of the needle through which the subject nature as symbiosis of spirit and matter could squeeze itself, if only we would be ready to call the inexplicable not coincidence, but expression of the free will of the microparticles, which would be possible with it in the whole nature surrounding us. But why has nature then not produced only one thinking machine, but now seven billion living specimens presently? Asked again Dante, his answer is that the goal of nature needs a multiplicity of people and there are obviously tasks enough to realize this goal, which he does not name. Which, of course, perhaps does not exist, but man is so constituted that he always looks for it, in the simplest case for himself. And if he has recognized that he has to do it with nature with a subject, he could be prompted to think about whether there is such a goal and in what it could consist. Also the giving of meaning has its tradition in mankind, but in history it was related to this itself. As far as the individual man was concerned, he was urged to subordinate himself to a goal which concerned him only indirectly, because some had risen to formulate it and also seemed to be attainable only after generations.

There man should learn to subordinate himself to a goal which is not his personal one, but that of mankind as a whole. This apparently perished after a few decades, but, as things stand now, has remained a beacon. The thesis that the sense of the multiplicity of mankind consists in a multiplicity of egoisms which then lead to something, whereby one even became tired to dub this as progress, belongs to the garbage heap insofar as that egoism is only legitimate in order to preserve oneself for this goal of nature, or be it some, and if one so wants, to also feel good, which should not exclude this work for nature after all, whereby this well-being should not be understood superficially and should not be confused with couch potatoes.

In nature, most of it is harmless. In Marie Curie’s time, radioactivity was a faint glow, and when it was to be demonstrated to the German Emperor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, people rather feared for a drawn knife if they had to darken the room for it, realizing that only man could be man’s enemy. The further history of science in this regard was the discovery of stimuli. When enough neutrons with certain properties act on a radioactive substance, the decay no longer proceeds leisurely and apparently randomly, but avalanche-like, which then releases enormous energies.

If a light particle meets an inverted substance, i.e. one which is in the excited state, this releases avalanches of equal photons, which is the basis of a LASER. These stimuli and also those, which cause leisurely or purposeful mutations, got into the hand of mankind and one could only pray that this does not destroy itself thereby. But if everything has a meaning, then some researchers were put into the world and many millions who are afraid of it and put a stop to it. In Germany this has led to the fact that almost everything was paralyzed, nobody dared to do nuclear research anymore, „genetic engineering“ was discredited as genetic manipulation and the need for security of mankind, as if it were the navel of the world, was put first. Nobody seems to ask about the goal or the goals of nature anymore and human egoism celebrates riots. There one fights CO2 and does not even know any more whether it has color or smell or is somehow poisonous. There one does not ask oneself any more whether it could be an element of the goals of nature that the earth would be populated again by dinosaurs. There one also does not ask oneself whether artificial intelligence in not too distant future could be perhaps more suitable to realize these goals and one should troll.

It is time to look for a track record of human history and to address itself appropriately to the addressee, which would then probably be nature. This may seem utopian, and yet it is simply the application of what we have learned, or should have learned, in interpersonal relationships: Recognition of subjects other than oneself, empathy and benevolent inclusion of all possibilities, as nature, by the way, understands, and to finally rededicate oneself to a goal that is not an entirely personal one, i.e., only egoistic, but to subordinate oneself in a serving manner and to encourage others in this endeavor as well. Not to be content with half-knowledge, but to look for possibilities that are more intelligent than politics understands, to which only words like sustainability and interconnectedness come to mind and which shows us spectres, always needs an enemy before which we should tremble and be distracted by their unimaginativeness. Nature is not our enemy if we are not and learn again to serve it.

Christian Rempel on the fift