DECONSTRUCTING THE WORLD
DECONSTRUCTING THE SELF
The Human Mind
The Human Being
THE HUMAN BEING
You are real. Your body is real. Your mind is real. You exist, the world exists, and existence is being in time. Time is measured by causation, which is the development of cause and effect from the Big Bang to now (and from now to the end of the cosmos). Being is any phenomena manifested in the cosmos, and they are divided between subjects (which are alive) and objects (which are not), because life-forms add an additional layer of complexity to their existence.
Objects are non-living ordinary matter, which is not so ordinary, as they are both physical matter and quantum energy. They are both states at once. When these two states are added to the levels of existence (micro, mezzo and macro), we get the six worlds of the object universe.
Physical matter adheres to the laws of classical physics, where matter is solid and predictable. The micro physical world is made up of atoms, molecules and compounds (the building blocks of the universe). The mezzo physical world is made up of stars and their satellites (like our solar system). The macro physical world is the universe, which is made up of galaxies in void (or the whole cosmos from top down).
Quantum energy adheres to the laws of quantum physics, where matter is energy and probable. The macro quantum world is made up of sub-atomic particles (protons, neutrons and electrons). The mezzo quantum world is made up of sub-atomic energy (quarks, preons and various forces). The micro quantum world is made up of dimensional energies such as light, gravity, matter, void, time, and space (or the whole cosmos from bottom up).
Subjects are very much alive. They are extraordinary matter. They are animated, separate from the universe, and have a will of their own. Because they are made from objects, subjects are still physical and quantum, but they are also alive (animated) and a distinct species (genetics), so they are in four states at once. When the two subject states are added to the levels of existence (micro, mezzo and macro), we get the six worlds of the subject universe.
Living creatures adhere to the laws of animation where autopoiesis, reproduction, sentience and evolution are a matter of life and death. The micro living world is made of cells (from independent bacteria to the dependent cells of your body). The mezzo living world is made of multi-cellular organisms (from ants to humans to redwoods). The macro living world is made of Terra Mater (the dominant Gaia-entity of the aerobic world) and Kali (the overthrown Gaia-entity of the anaerobic world).
Each species adheres to the laws of genetics, which have been written into their genes (or DNA). The genes create the creature (what it is and how it behaves), and they do so by species. Species are creatures similar enough genetically to produce offspring which can also reproduce. The macro species world is made of specific species (their unique evolutionary history). The mezzo species world is the status of any species at any particular time and place (the prevailing environment or umwelt). The micro species world is the species as individual creatures (the unique experiment which is each creature).
A human being is a subject, thus we exist in twelve worlds simultaneously. We are multi-cellular organisms ; which are made from trillions of cells ; which are made from complex configurations of atoms and molecules ; which are made from protons, neutrons and electrons ; which are made of quantum energy ; which is made of dimensional energy ; which fills the universe with void and galaxies (like our Milky Way) ; which are made of stars (like our Sun) and their satellites (like our Terra) ; which is completely infested with life ; which is what we are a part of as the species Homo sapiens sapiens ; which has the unique ability to create their own cultures ; which are made up of individual human beings (like yourself) .
Even though you inhabit twelve worlds, you are only experiencing two of them as you. First, you exist in the mezzo living world, as you are a multi-cellular organism. You are a colony of cells formed into various organs, and the organs create an organism (which you experience as your body). Second, you exist in the micro species world, as your body is a unique individual of a specific species (in your case, you are a human). Humans, like other singularity sentient multi-cellular organisms, have a sentience organ (the brain), which lets an artificial intelligence (the mind) experience both the mezzo living and the micro species as one being (the self). You are the self of your body-colony, and you are being generated by your brain in order to deal with the facets of being.
The four initial conditions of life (autopoiesis, reproduction, sentience and evolution) combined with the three levels of existence (macro, mezzo and micro) give us the twelve facets of being. Each facet must be dealt with in order to survive. The brain generates a mind, and the mind deals with most of the facets by generating the mental spectrum, but the mental spectrum only deals with ten of them:
Micro autopoiesis is dealt with by the preconscious of the lower mind (the concerns of the body) , micro reproduction by the preconscious of the upper mind (the desires of the ego) , micro sentience by the consciousness (the here and now) . All four mezzo-level facets are dealt with by the subconscious of the upper mind (the conscience of the superego): mezzo autopoiesis is economics , mezzo reproduction is sociality , mezzo sentience is politics , and mezzo evolution is knowledge . Macro autopoiesis is dealt with by the unconscious of the lower mind (the needs of the animal) , macro reproduction by the subconscious of the lower mind (the urges of the id) , and macro sentience by the unconscious of the upper mind (the instincts of the collective unconscious) .
Micro evolution  and macro evolution  are not dealt with by the mental spectrum. There is no need. The micro evolution facet is your memory, which stores your experiences so you can learn from them. The macro evolution facet is in your genes, which store the successful adaptations of your ancestors over the eons to create you the way you are.
Your body is really real. It is your true self, as you are a multi-cellular organism. You are a terrestrial life-form. You are alive. You are animated flesh. Your body is a colony made up of various types of organs, which are made up of trillions of cells, and all working together via their shared genes. Your body lives in a lethal world; and when it dies, you die.
You are a creature because you are created by your genes (your DNA). Your genes are in the nucleus of every one of your cells, as it is they which separate your body from not your body. Your unique genome (and epigenome) create, maintain and control every one of your cells (as well as your body and your mind).
You are a eukaryote, animal, metazoan, bilateral, deuterostome, eurolomate, chordate, craniate, vertebrate, gnathostome, cloanate, tetrapod, amniote, synapsid, therapsid, cynodont, mammal, therian, eutherian, primate, anthropoid, hominoid, hominid, hominine, sapiens, sapiens, terrestrial life-form because some of their genetics have survived reproduction after reproduction to show up in your genetics. They have survived extinction, and have been passed from them to your race, to your ethnicity, to your clan, to your family, to your parents, to you (and from you to your children, to your grandchildren and beyond).
Around 542 million years ago, animals show up in the fossil record as body-colonies with an intelligent singularity sentience. At first, it was just the arthropods. They had evolved eyes, and eyes require a central control agency to process the information coming in, as well as to be able to do something about it, so organisms did what organisms do, they created an organ (the brain). The arthropods were soon joined by intelligent singularity sentient mollusks and chordates. Your chordate brain is a sentience organ which generates your mind.
Your mind is really real. It is being generated by your brain. Your mind is the central control agency for your body-colony. Critical information about your immediate environment is constantly streaming into it from the various sense organs (eyes for sights, nose for smells, ears for sounds, tongue for tastes, and skin for touches). The data is stored in quantum-level holographic waves which travel through your sensory nervous system towards the brain. Once inside your brain, the in-coming quantum-waves interfere with the quantum-waves generated by every nerve the signal passes through, creating new quantum-waves which interfere with the quantum-whole housed by your glia (your mind), and via wave-front reconstruction you experience the helm from the inside looking out.
The brain generates the mind, and the mind generates the helm. A helm is where a pilot steers a vessel through the world. Your helm is split into the virtual reality displayed before you now (the world), the vessel is your body and the pilot is you (the psyche). All singularity sentient life-forms use a helm to separate themselves from the world in order to create the artificial intelligence needed to navigate a multi-cellular organism around a lethal world. The intended separation gives the artificial intelligence a sense of self (separate from the outside world), but the dichotomy of the helm is only an illusion since the same mind creates them both.
You (The Psyche)
You, the psyche, are the artificial intelligence created by your brain. You are the singularity sentience of your body-colony. You (the psyche) are the self, and your intended purpose is to pilot your body from your helm through the world. You may be an artificial intelligence, but you are created to be in command, and that is very real.
The psyche does not exist per se, but rather it is the integration of seven parts: the virtual reality, consciousness, the lower mind, the upper mind, anti-consciousness, the attributes, and the persona. You (the psyche) are the sum total of their constantly varying interactions.
1. Your Virtual Reality
You are not looking out of your eyes right now. Instead, you are perceiving the world from within your brain. The world you are experiencing right now in front of you is an artificial world. It is an artificial world created for an artificial intelligence. It is not real. It is an illusion generated by your mind. It is mistaken for real because it is an amazingly accurate illusion. It is a virtual reality which has been laid over the material world so you (the psyche) can use it to maneuver your body like a pilot at the helm of a ship.
Your virtual reality is created from the quantum–level holographic data coming into your brain from your sense organs. The data is filtered by the quantum whole before it is displayed in front of you (the psyche) in the helm, so not only does your virtual reality display where everything is, but it also tells you what everything is (or precognition).
With precognition, the psyche does not have to waste any valuable concentration time on the mundane, so it can concentrate on staying alive. Speed is an advantage in the mortal combat of the animal arms race, and precognition allows your experiences to quicken your reaction time (thus your survivability). The subjectivity of precognition automatically becomes a part of the thought process, thus the virtual reality and the psyche are not really separate.
2. Your Consciousness
The consciousness deals with the micro sentience facet of being for any singularity sentient multi-cellular organism, as it is where the upper mind (which deals with the outside world) meets the virtual reality (which represents the outside world). It is the observation deck of the helm. It is the cockpit for the pilot. It is the being in time behind your eyes.
The consciousness acts as a processor, and it processes the in-coming data via cognition (which is the intelligence part of the artificial intelligence). Cognition is made up of four aggregates (monitor, decide, act and remember) which allow the individual sentience to maneuver in the real world in real time in order to survive the mortal combat of the animal arms race.
The consciousness is only the seat of cognition. The consciousness does not monitor; it is the monitor. The consciousness does not decide; it is where decisions are made. The consciousness does not act; it is where actions sprout. The consciousness does not remember; it is the rememberer. A conscious consciousness is aware of the virtual reality, but the monitoring, deciding, acting and remembering are done by the unconsciousness.
Cognition is aided by an oligarchy comprised of six realms which are spread across the mind as the mental spectrum. Each realm represents a facet of being which needs to be dealt with for survival, therefore each has a say in cognition. The mental spectrum spreads from the central consciousness in two directions (the upper mind and the lower mind), because the brain is split in two (one dealing with the outside world and one dealing with the inside world). Each side has three realms.
3. Your Upper Mind
The upper mind represents the upper brain (or the cerebral cortex), which deals directly with the outside world (or the world of an individual of a species). The upper mind consists of the ego, the superego and the collective unconscious. The ego is the preconscious of the upper mind, which means it is the closest to the consciousness for easy access because it deals with micro reproduction. Your ego is your identity, or the individual in relation to their family. The superego is in the subconscious of the upper mind, and it deals with the prevailing culture (which includes all four of the mezzo-level facets: economics, sociality, politics, knowledge, and the macro-sentient religion). Your superego is the culture inside you (as well as the you inside your culture). The collective unconscious is in the unconscious of the upper mind, as it deals with macro sentience (or how to behave as a species). Your human collective unconscious has been usurped by your superego (giving us cultural sentience).
4. Your Lower Mind
The lower mind represents the lower brain (or cerebellum), which deals directly with the inside world (or the world of a mezzo-living multi-cellular organism). The lower mind consists of the body, the id and the animal. The body is the preconscious of the lower mind, which means it is the closest to the consciousness so you can wear your body like a suit of armor, as it deals with micro autopoiesis (or fight and flight). The subconscious of the lower mind is the id, which represents macro reproduction. The proximity to the consciousness of the macro-level id shows its importance (as well as how it gets its strength in cognition). The animal is the unconscious of the lower mind. It deals with macro autopoiesis (or the basic needs of the body).
5. Your Anti-Consciousness
Just as your consciousness represents the interaction of the virtual reality and the upper mind, there is also an anti-consciousness which represents the interaction of the virtual reality and the lower mind. It is subtle, as to be non-existent. But when we jump to ghosts and shadows thinking they are snakes and spiders, we are experiencing an anti-consciousness moment. It is also known as blind sight as we are not consciously aware of what we are jumping from. The anti-consciousness is a part of the same micro sentience as the consciousness. It is a survival technique which has evolved because of living in the mortal combat of the animal arms race.
6. Your Attributes
Your attributes are where your mind and body come together as one, since your mental attributes are dependent on your physical attributes, and vice versa. Although they are all integrated, your attributes are separated by what is being measured. There are four mental attributes and four physical attributes. Each has measurable differences. The measurements are relative to other species, others of your species, your gender, your age and your health.
Your physical attributes are strength, dexterity, constitution and comeliness. Strength measures your muscle endurance and stamina, as well as physical power. Dexterity measures your agility, coordination, reaction time, reflexes and speed, as well as your balance. Constitution measures your fitness and physique, as well as your resistance to illness, hardship and injury. Comeliness measures your style and grace, as well as your attractiveness.
Your mental attributes are intelligence, wisdom, charisma and perception. Your intelligence measures your memory, reasoning and learning abilities, as well as how much you know. Your wisdom measures your mental toughness and will-power, as well as your common sense. Your charisma measures your charm and persuasiveness, as well as your command and leadership skills. Your perception measures your sensory awareness, instincts and intuition, as well as any psychic abilities.
You inherited your attributes from your family (and you got what you got), but they are variable due to gender, age and health, and they are also modified by your behaviors (such as working-out for strength, martial arts for dexterity, yoga for constitution, studying for intelligence, and experience for wisdom). Comeliness is socio-sexually constructed and relative to the times; charisma is confidence in yourself; and perception is awareness of your surroundings and trusting in your intuition. Conversely, bad behaviors make them worse.
The attributes represent the macro evolution facet in cognition, because they represent your genes. Your body is put together by your genes, and your attributes are how well it is put together. They are your body’s limitations as well as its potentials (both mentally and physically). Your attributes may be passive, but they affect everything about you (not only your actions, but also your decision making), thus the genes are a part of the self.
7. Your Persona
If the psyche is the false self, then the persona is its mask; and like in Ancient Greek plays, the persona is more than just a mask. The mask, costume and actor all come together to become someone from a cast of characters. That particular someone displays a variation of traits which sets them apart from the other characters. Your persona works similarly, as your mind (you, the actor) and your body (you, the costume) come together with your persona (you, the mask) to play you.
Your persona is how you interact with the outside world. It is in your instantaneous reactions to circumstances, as well as you being proactive with your own agenda (in order to control circumstances). Your persona uses a variety of common behavioral patterns (or traits) which can be observed and categorized. The main categories are gender, personality, character and disposition.
Gender is not just a human trait, as most multi-cellular organisms are separated between males and females. Gender is basic to most creatures, so it is genetically at the core of our being. Gender is the greatest distinction within a species. Remove the skin and there is no real difference between creatures of the same sex, but there is a real difference between the sexes (both physically and mentally). Although males and females act differently by design, with nature’s love of complexity, gender is not as simple as masculine males and feminine females.
Like your gender, your personality is created by your genes. Your DNA grows your neural net into a particular order based on models from your ancestral past. Because it is genetic, your personality is hardwired into your brain.
For Alan Kahn, your personality gives off many clues which are easily found by their cognition traits (as they appear in simple conversation). Kahn incorporates Raymond Cattell’s idea of questioning to discern between types. For Cattell and Kahn, once you know the clues, it is easy to identify someone’s type.
Kahn gives us four dichotomies to look for based mostly on the dichotomies found by Carl Jung. They are directed versus contextual, internalize versus externalize, thinking versus feeling, and sensing the tangible versus symbolic intuition. The clues are easy to spot because Jung’s four dichotomies appear within the four aggregates of cognition (monitor, decide, act and remember).
Monitoring is either directed or contextual (D/C). Directed monitoring is precise, aimed, planned, articulate, processed, deduced, predicted and reasoned, one who gets to the how of things, as well as hates interruptions; whereas contextual monitoring is spontaneous, wants to try, approximate is good enough, rambles, episodic, observes, explores and speculates, one who gets to the what, who, where and why of things, as well as invites interruptions. Although everyone has both abilities, one always dominates. You are either a directed monitor or a contextual monitor.
Deciding is either thinking or feeling (T/F). Thinking decisions have no feelings involved, no feeling words, they are complex and about things; whereas feeling decisions are based on feelings, they use a lot of feeling words, they are simpler and about people. As above, you either make decisions based on thinking or feeling.
Acting is either internalized or externalized (I/E). One who internalizes actions is passive, protective, a perfectionist, they want to learn it, let it, test it and ponder it; whereas one who externalizes actions is proactive, aggressive, they want to apply it, try it, do it (and do it now). As above, you either internalize or externalize your actions.
Remembering is either tangible or symbolic (N/S). Tangible remembering is storing the real world (what is), they are always in the present, they are practical and value common sense; whereas symbolic remembering is storing the mental world (what could be), they are always in the future, they are idealistic and value possibilities. As above, you either remember through the tangible or through the symbolic.
There are 16 ways in which cognition happens within the consciousness (2 dichotomies x 2 x 2 x 2 gives us 16 different personality types). According to Kahn, the DTES (or the directed, thinking, externalize and symbolic personality) is the analyst, the DFIS is the clarifier, DFEN is the classifier, CFIS is the composer, DTIS is the conceptualizer, CFIN is the doer, CTIN is the explorer, DTEN is the implementer, CFEN is the initiator, CTEN is the operator, DTIN is the organizer, CFES is the perceiver, CTES is the strategist, CTIS is the theoretician, DTIN is the trustee, and DFES is the verbalist. As well as a competence type, Kahn’s theory also includes an opposite type (our toil) and a complimentary type (our perseverance) for each personality.
Cattell was also looking to map the human personality, but what he found was much more complex than just the personality. Along with being hereditary, the persona also needs to be able to adapt to its surroundings, as not all male clarifiers are second born sons (third of seven) to impoverished parents in a prosperous culture. Your character allows you to adapt to your particular circumstances, which includes your gender, birth order, attributes, personality, family life, health, education and development, as well as the values of the pervasive culture (economics, politics, sociality, knowledge and religion), and even your regional environment.
According to Cattell, your character has five primary trait dichotomies (otherwise known as the big five) and 16 more secondary trait dichotomies (or personality factors). Character traits are not measured like the personality’s one-or-the-other, but by degrees along the spectrum of the trait. The primary traits are openness (neophyle versus neophobe), conscientiousness (lawful versus chaotic), extraversion versus introversion, agreeableness (optimist versus pessimist), and neuroticism (or self-confident versus neurotic).
The secondary trait dichotomies are warmth (outgoing versus aloof), reasoning (smart versus slow), emotional stability (stable versus flighty), dominance (dominant versus submissive), liveliness (happy versus serious), rule consciousness (independent versus conforming), social boldness (shy versus wild), sensitivity (objective versus subjective), vigilance (trusting versus miserly), abstractedness (linear versus complex), privateness (people oriented versus private), apprehension (confident versus timid), open to change (liberal versus conservative), perfectionism (lax versus organized), self-reliance (leader versus follower), and tension (relaxed versus tense).
The secondary traits are subgroups of primary traits, as warmth, social boldness, privateness and self-reliance are a part of extraversion/introversion; emotional stability and tension are a part of neuroticism; liveliness and open to change are a part of openness; rule consciousness, vigilance and perfectionist are a part of consciousness; and apprehension is a part of agreeableness. Not only are the primary traits represented, but also the attribute of intelligence (in reasoning), the attribute of wisdom (in abstractedness), as well as our decision making part of the personality (in sensitivity, as it deals with our emotions).
So, in addition to being one of the 16 personality types, you are also one of 32 character types (2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 32), and that is just by using the five primary traits (as you are one of 32,768 secondary character types [which are alterable]), then add your personal disposition and you begin to understand how you can be both the same, different and unique.
Gordon Allport was trying to map the personality traits as well, but he found too many variables. For Allport, there were common traits (personality) and secondary traits (character), but there was also a personal disposition which was not being considered. According to him, the mapping of the persona had forgotten the individual, as you are a unique mixture of tertiary traits which you have chosen or have allowed to become part of you.
Your personal disposition is a complex adaptive system of individual idioms (including your quirks, habits and sayings). Allport split personal dispositions into motivational traits (which are reactive and guide actions) and stylistic traits (which are more subtle). Some individuals have a dominant (or cardinal) trait which defines them, but they are rare. Your particular dispositions form your proprium (or what makes you you).
The Cogs of Cognition
You (the psyche) are a mezzo-living multi-cellular organism (represented by your lower mind), as well as a micro-species individual human animal (represented by your upper mind), living in a violent world (represented by your virtual reality). Where the upper mind and the virtual reality interact is your consciousness; where the lower mind and the virtual reality interact is your anti-consciousness; and where the upper mind and lower mind interact are your physical and mental attributes. They all come together upon waking with the assumption of the consciousness by the persona.
You (the psyche) are the artificial intelligence of your body. You are in command, and you command via cognition (the intelligence part of the artificial intelligence). The four aggregates of cognition (monitor, decide, act and remember) take place in the consciousness, where they are manipulated by the seven parts of the self.
The psyche may work as a whole, but the various parts are constantly struggling amongst themselves for control of cognition. The virtual reality, consciousness, ego, superego, id, collective unconscious, animal, body, anti-consciousness, attributes, gender, personality, character and dispositions work together like cogs to monitor, decide, act and remember. The cogs of cognition (and the cogs within the cogs) are not mechanical, so they vary in degrees of control from situation to situation, thus cognition is a dynamic integration of the various parts of the self.
The primary purpose of memory for all singularity sentience multi-cellular organisms is to stabilize the unstable psyche. If the cogs of cognition are in constant flux, then the psyche is in constant flux. Therefore the psyche needs to be anchored to its own experiences in order to give the artificial intelligence a sense of self.
In your helm, the virtual reality you are experiencing is being put together by your memory before you experience it (or precognition). The stored interference patterns in your memory filter the in-coming interference patterns from your senses, and you experience a world which is familiar to you (and it is that familiarity which stabilizes your psyche, by stabilizing its world).
In your consciousness, the cogs of cognition are constantly vying for control, but each one is grounded by memory. The persona dominates cognition and yet it is based on memory (even the personality, which is genetic). Your character and disposition are learned, so they are completely immersed in your memory. Your mental spectrum (which comes from your lower mind and upper mind) is also constructed from your memory, as your identity, culture, living narrative, physique, urges and needs are stored within you like sub-processors. These six realms allow easy access by departmentalizing the storage of information as it applies to the facets of being. Your memory is a part of every cog in your cognition. Cogs have memory, and memories have cogs.
In your memory, all your experiences are being stored by quantum-level fractal frequencies within the quantum whole of your holographic mind. Your experiences are stored as soon as you experience them (as remembering is an aggregate of cognition), and they are immediately available to your precognition (which constructs your virtual reality), recognition (which uses pattern recognition to scan the in-coming data) and recall (which allows you to recall specific experiences, thoughts and feelings in order to ponder them). The totality of your existence is stored in your memory, and you have almost complete access to it via your brain’s neural net.
The secondary purpose of memory gives the artificial intelligence the ability to learn. Learning is the micro evolution facet of being (as it is the individual adapting). The mind is based on pattern recognition, and learning allows the mind to recognize new patterns which can be used to aid cognition to evade a predator, catch a meal or woo a mate. Learning increases the survivability rate, thus they survive better and pass the ability on. We learn as we survive, and we survive because we learn.
Your memory might stabilize your unstable psyche, but your memory is not entirely stable either. Your experiences are processed by your memory in precognition, then by your psyche in the consciousness, and finally stored in the quantum whole of your mind. The processing is very subjective, since all the data is processed as to how it applies to you. Our memories are stored in the same subjective manner, which is how different people give different recollections of the same event, as they all have interpreted the data differently (as it applies to them and their experiences).
Not only are memories mutable before they are stored, but they are also mutable after they are stored. Every night during sleep, your memories are re-worked by your dreams. Terrestrial creatures are either diurnal or nocturnal, which means we live a part of lives in down time. We sleep; and during sleep, singularity sentient creatures dream constructively by replaying their experiences in order to incorporate new data and to re-incorporate past data (to grok them). And while being re-worked, they are subject to change. Thus every time you awaken, you reboot a new self (the variance is so slight that change can only be witnessed over long periods of time, but you are no longer who you once were).
You have no true self. What you experience as your self is created by the integration of your helm, psyche and memory. Your helm changes every quarter millisecond or so (yet appears as a constant flow). Your psyche is perpetually changing to meet changing circumstances, as the seven parts of the self and all the cogs of cognition contest each other for control. Your memory changes as you live and learn, as well as while you sleep. You are an evolving being, continually stumbling forward through life, never settled, and constantly changing (until it ends).
Every creature is living its own story. Every creature is on its own journey. Your journey began with your conception and ends with your death (just like it does for all eukaryotes). Every journey is filled with punctuated stages of development, or sojourns. A sojourn is a place of temporary residence, and all life-forms go through several sojourns on their journey through life. In other words, your story has chapters.
After conception, the cells divide as a zygote, which becomes an embryo and then a fetus (until it is ready for birth). Your genes dictated how you developed, and it was done in stages. Your self, which came into existence at birth, also develops in genetically predetermined stages of punctuated equilibrium. The equilibriums are your sojourns. The punctuation is carried-out by the midbrain, which is responsible for the release of the hormones which trigger all the stages of childhood and adolescence. We call this process maturation (to become mature).
The stages of development are best seen in humans because we have the luxury of a long maturation process, so it is easier to see the stages in detail, but every eukaryote goes through the same relative process (although most are accelerated due to the dire circumstances of their birth). Humans also have the added likelihood of seeing their journey to its fruition (as most creatures do not die of old age).
Human children go through several observable changes as they grow. Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud were the first to define the early stages. Piaget observed our psycho-physical development or a child’s growing proficiency with general and fine motor skills, as well as their verbal and intellectual development. Freud observed our early psycho-sexual development (from oral to anal to phallic to genital). But, it was Erick Erikson who first saw all of one’s life as a sequence of stages.
Erikson was a follower of Freud who extended Freud’s four stages of psycho-sexual development into his eight stages of psycho-social development. Erikson used the term psycho-social to distance himself from the biological stages, but the borders between the stages are a bit fuzzy, so Piaget’s stages, Freud’s and even Gordon Allport’s fit into Erikson’s modes of psycho-social development.
Of the eight stages, four are easy to observe: infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Two more come from Freud, who split childhood into early (anal), middle (phallic), and late (latency). The other two come from Erikson himself, who split adulthood into early (young adult), middle (mature adult), and late (elder). The stages of childhood are triggered by hormones, whereas the stages of adulthood are triggered by circumstances.
According to Erikson, who-you-are is relative to how old you are, because you are always in one of the eight stages of development. They are experienced one at a time, but all the stages are within the self, only latent until triggered. The self grows in a progression of stages by assuming the previous stages, which continue to be a part of the current one, and future ones lay dormant in reserved potential. Thus, who-you-are is based on how you navigated past sojourns, how you are navigating your current sojourn, as well as anticipations about future sojourns.
In each sojourn, the self goes through an identity crisis which is natural and expected. For Erikson, the identity crisis is just the self progressing through the eight stages and adapting along the way rather than any type of emergency or catastrophe. The crises are caused by a change in how the psycho-social world is being interpreted by the mind.
Psycho-social conflicts and events are either harmonious (syntonic) or disruptive (dystonic) to the self. Erikson avoided using the terms positive and negative because both types of experiences are necessary for maturing in a hostile world. The self interprets the syntonic and dystonic experiences as a set of opposites, but the sets change with each sojourn (as a child experiences the world differently from an adolescent, and both differ from how an adult experiences the world).
We experience each crisis in order to gain the basic strength we will need for our next sojourn. We must also deal with the core pathology and possible regression of each stage. We end up with a mixture of all three. So, the quest for each sojourn is to attain a specific virtue, eschew a specific sin, and then move on.
The first sojourn is infancy, which begins at conception and continues into the first year. Like all mammals, human babies are born before they are ready in order to save the mother’s life in childbirth. You were born halfway through your gestation period because your skull would soon become too large for your mother to birth you and survive. Infants are just as helpless outside the womb as they were inside, but they are separate now and their self has been initiated.
Once awakened, the self is at its most basic. There are no carry-overs from any previous stages, so psycho-social development begins with only our needs and instincts (or our animal and collective unconscious realms). Erikson’s psycho-social development in the infant stage is the oral-sensory mode, which coincides with Piaget’s sensorimotor stage and Freud’s oral stage (Allport did not believe infancy was important).
Infants are curious, and seem to maneuver everything they touch into their mouth with pleasure (thus oral). They are also receiving data from their senses to help construct their helm (thus sensory); and they are just starting to understand that they can control their body (thus motor).
As infants, we were continually learning about our world, our body and our circumstances (when not sleeping). We also had to interact with others because our survival depended on it. We are human (integrating mammalian parental and primate tribal), which means our infants are totally reliant on their parents (especially their mother), and the parents rely on the tribe. Most of the infant’s interactions with the world are through their parents.
According to Erikson, infants interpret the world through the opposites of basic trust versus basic mistrust. Both need to be experienced in order to become an independent being, as one should not be too trusting nor too mistrusting. If all goes well, then the infant attains the basic strength of hope (a virtue it will keep for the rest of its life). If it goes poorly, then the infant must eschew the core pathology of fear with the regression of withdrawal (a sin which begins all anti-social behaviors, because it separates us from others). Hope is basic to all life, and it allows the infant to progress into childhood.
Early childhood begins when the toddler starts to walk and talk. Their teeth are also coming out. Most creatures are born straight into this stage due to their dire circumstances which requires them to be ready to survive more quickly. Early childhood begins around a year and a half for humans. The toddler should be bringing with it the hope and basic trust it learned from infancy (along with a healthy dose of fear).
For Piaget, the toddler begins the pre-operational stage, in which they are still learning how the world is constructed. As pre-operational, they are still developing their general motor skills and just beginning to develop their fine motor skills. Piaget also noticed that toddlers are egocentric, which means they see themselves as the axis mundi (or that which all revolves around).
For Allport, the toddler is just beginning to lay the foundation of the self, as character and personal dispositions begin to integrate with the genetic personality. Three realms of the mental spectrum also start their development in early childhood: body sense (body control), self-esteem (ego) and self-identity (superego). The collective unconscious retreats to the background as the ego and superego grow. The animal does not retreat (it lingers), as the animal needs of infancy turn to Freud’s thannatos (or our animal instinct for violence and cruelty), which also begins in early childhood. The id remains dormant.
For Freud, toddlers are going through the anal phase, which causes them to be ass-oriented. They take pleasure in shitting (we are dueterostomes after all). Toddlers are notoriously stubborn, rebellious and even sadistic; and then they are the opposite. Toddlers are developing a will of their own, and it is a difficult time for their parents. If all goes well, they become generous and agreeable. If not, then they can become extremely orderly, stingy and obstinate.
Erikson’s psycho-social development in the toddler stage is the anal-urethra-muscular mode (which extends Freud’s psycho-sexual anal stage by adding the urethra, body and self), because the toddler is beginning to learn how to work its whole body and not just its anus. The self is just beginning to form and needs to know how to work all its muscles in order to survive.
Toddlers interpret the world through the opposites of autonomy versus shame and doubt. Both sides are needed to live as an individual within a family, as one should not be too self-absorbed or too self-effacing. If all goes well, then the toddler attains the basic strength of will (a realistic sense of control over its body and situations). The will of early childhood is the self beginning to exert itself in the world. If it goes poorly, then the toddler must eschew the core pathology of compulsion (which is a false sense of control, but is really a lack of self-control). The toddler takes its hope and will into middle childhood.
Most creatures do not get the luxury of an extended early childhood, but middle childhood is observable in many young creatures (as they play like kids). In humans, middle childhood begins when language clicks (somewhere around three and a half years old). Children love to talk, make up stories and role-play. Physically, they are like toddlers, but children are aware of the gender difference between sexes. Socially, the child’s unique identity begins to exert itself, while they struggle to understand the complex morality of the pervading culture.
For Piaget, the pre-operational stage continues on from toddler to child. For Allport, ego enhancement is paramount as the child develops its self-image (or sense of self), as well as the extension of their self (to family, friends and possessions). For Freud, children are going through the phallic stage, which begins their existence as sexual beings. The id first appears, and completes the six realms of the mental spectrum. The phallic stage determines gender identity, as the child copes with the struggle between the id and the superego (which can lead to many sorts of complexes for the ego). It is phallic because of penis envy (boys have something and girls do not).
For Erikson, middle childhood is the pre-school play age of the genital-locomotor mode, because not only are they experiencing gender for the first time, but children are also testing the limits of their bodies (and they play effortlessly). Differing from Freud, Erikson claims that the Oedipus, Electra and castration complexes are just a part of the budding imagination of the playing age, which is a part of the initiative versus guilt morality playing out in the child’s identity crisis.
A child interprets the world through the opposites of initiative versus guilt. Both are necessary as the child begins to enter its culture (with all its opportunities and limitations). One should not be too obsessed or too constrained. If all goes well, then the child attains the basic strength of purpose (or a realistic goal-oriented sense of self). Purpose is a virtue needed for all of the up-coming sojourns. If it goes poorly, then the child must eschew the core pathology of inhibition (or doubt, a sin which could thwart development in all future sojourns, and leaves us with no self-worth). The child takes its hope, will and purpose into late childhood.
Late childhood begins around six years old when memory clicks (or the time you can remember back to). The youth’s world expands beyond their family and friends, as they are now school age and ready to learn (and they absorb knowledge like sponges). As erudite sentient creatures, children first learn how to survive from their family; but cultural sentience requires indoctrination, so learning now involves others such as instructors and classmates. As complex individual and cultural sentient creatures, learning takes a long time for a human child.
For Piaget, youth begin the stage of concrete operations, where fine motor skills are honed, verbal skills are mastered and the intellect is entertained. For Allport, the self is being modified by the outside world, but a rational self develops within the ego which balances the motivations of the self with circumstances. The rational self also helps organize all the new knowledge.
For Freud, late childhood was of no importance, since it is a psycho-sexual latency. For Desmond Morris, the latency is important because boys and girls need to separate (becoming icky to one another), so when they come back together in the next stage (adolescence), they will be ready for mating rituals (and mating). For Erikson, the latency allows the youth to develop their ego and superego before they have to deal with the id of adolescence.
A youth interprets the world through the opposites of industry versus inferiority. Both are needed as we grow up and learn our strengths and weaknesses, as one should not be too boastful or too apologetic. If all goes well, then the youth attains the basic strength of competence (which is a realistic sense of self-confidence). If all goes poorly, then the youth must eschew the core pathology of inertia (which is an unrealistic lack of self-confidence), and can be carried out by industry (as a perfectionist) or inferiority (as a procrastinator). Childhood ends as the youth takes its hope, will, purpose and competence into the turmoil of adolescence.
The border between childhood and adolescence is easily observed in most species as the beginning of puberty (when the young first become ready for sexual reproduction). In humans, it begins around thirteen years old. For boys, the flood of testosterone allows them to gain muscle mass, grow a beard, as well as body and pubic hair (and their voice gets deeper). For girls, the flood of estrogen allows their hips to spread and breast to enlarge, as well as growing pubic hair. Puberty is a difficult time for any creature, as you are becoming a sexual being.
For Freud, puberty is the genital period in which the id turns its attention to others rather than itself. Sexual reproduction is possible; the penis envy of childhood reverses itself when women gain the advantage of sexual selection; and the genitals dominate the erogenous zones. The id is a macro-level facet located in the subconscious of the lower mind, thus your libido (or sex drive) is an extremely persuasive cog of cognition, and it is at full force during adolescence. It is dealt with through sexual gratification, self-gratification, repression and sublimation (using the energy for socially acceptable outlets).
For Piaget, adolescence is the formal operations period, when the general and fine motor skills combine with the verbal and intellectual skills. For Allport, adolescence is the time of propriate strivings, when the self comes together into an identity (or proprium). The coming together of the self is also in tune with Erikson.
For Erikson, the self comes together during adolescence by affirming or repudiating the identifications of childhood, as well as by adapting to the pervading culture (and subcultures), but the coming together takes time, which is why Erikson suggests that adolescence is a time of psycho-social latency (as adolescents are allowed time to explore their possibilities). For most creatures, puberty means instant maturity. Human adolescents get the luxury of experimentation (which means we can put off decisions on vocation, spouse and even our code of conduct until later).
An adolescent interprets the world through the opposites of identity versus identity confusion. Both are needed as your self-identity comes together during puberty, as one should not be too ego-centric or too muddled. If all goes well, then the adolescent attains the basic strength of fidelity (a well-defined self-image balanced between conformity and self-expression). We decide who we are going to be in an existentialist sense. If all goes poorly, then the adolescent must eschew the core pathology of role repudiation, which consists of diffidence (authority avoidance) or defiance (rebelling against authority). An adolescent brings its hope, will, purpose, competence and fidelity into adulthood (which usually begins with the comeuppance of a marriage ceremony).
6. Young Adult
Adolescence does not end. Once activated, your libido lasts for your entire adulthood (and remains a dominant cog in cognition until death), so the above adolescence sojourn could be called early adolescence; young adulthood could be middle adolescence; and mature adulthood could be late adolescence. Because adulthood is not hormonal, some never leave adolescence. Piaget, Freud and Allport saw adolescence as the last stage of development, but Erikson saw three more stages based on circumstances outside oneself which deeply affect the self (enough to change it).
For Erikson, an adolescent becomes a young adult when their experimentation is over and they have made decisions concerning a vocation and a personal code of conduct, but the most important is marriage. Coupling as mates occurs in many creatures and there is a powerful bond between them. In humans, Erikson saw the potential for a deep intimacy (or genitality, which consists of exclusive psycho-sexual experimentation and exploration as equals). Two become one. Humans tend to be monogamistic, but many things can get in the way of genitality (which leads to adultery and divorce).
A young adult interprets the world through the opposites of intimacy and isolation. Both are needed as we learn to share our world with another, but one should not be too smothering or too self-centered. If all goes well, then the young adults attain the basic strength of love (which they can only reach together, because true love consists of mutual commitment, passion, cooperation and friendship). If all goes poorly, then the young adults must eschew the core pathology of exclusivity (or self-indulgent hedonism, non-commitment and multiple divorces). Young adults carry their combined hope, will, purpose, competence, fidelity and love into middle adulthood (usually with the comeuppance of the birth of their first child).
7. Mature Adult
There is no set time for when adulthood happens, as it requires one to learn from a comeuppance rather than being regulated hormonally. If one does not progress, then the self can become mired in adolescence. Also, the acceptable age for marriage and child birth varies from culture to culture, so the necessary circumstances can occur any time in one’s journey.
Maturation means to become mature. For Freud, maturity is a well-balanced ego and superego which are able to override the id. For Allport, maturity is the self as knower (where you can see yourself as an object other than you). The consciousness and ego grow apart in order for the mature individuals to be able to improve themselves, their lot in life and their legacy via self-observation.
For Erikson, mature adulthood is the longest sojourn of all, as we settle down and raise a family. This sojourn involves the psycho-social mode of procreativity (which means more than just reproduction). Humans are mammals, so our young are dependent on their parents for survival. As erudite sentient creatures, our young must learn about how to survive from their parents (now the adults). Thus, procreativity combines mammalian caring, erudite teaching and primate tribal instincts, as our interests expand from family and friends to our community and world.
Mature adults interpret the world through the opposites of generativity (participating in society) versus stagnation (not participating). Both are needed as we develop our procreativity (as parents and as a full member of our society), as one should not be too absorbed or too disconnected with what is happening around us. There needs to be a balance in our public and private lives. If all goes well, then the mature adult attains the basic strength of caring (compassion for all life). If all goes poorly, then the mature adult must eschew the core pathology of rejectivity (the selective hatred of others). A mature adult brings their hope, will, purpose, competence, fidelity, love and care into late adulthood (old age) due to any number of various comeuppances (such as menopause, the birth of your first grandchild or the retirement from your vocation).
Old age happens to all who survive long enough. The eukaryote genetics makes sure no creature lives too long, so our physical and mental abilities deteriorate as we close in on our expiration date. For most creatures, the deteriorating abilities lead to a quick death, but humans are able to sustain their elders and even give them a place in society as leaders and teachers. The elders can help with the running of the society and the raising of the children, so the adults can perform their vocations more effectively (which was traditionally hunting and gathering).
For Erikson, old age is filled with the psycho-social mode of sensual generality. As our libido diminishes, our pleasures become more varied. All sensations are wondrous, and not just our genitals. Simple pleasures are enjoyed as life becomes more appreciated.
Elders interpret the world through the opposites of integrity (relevance and self-worth) versus despair and disgust (loss of hope and loathing others). Both are somewhat necessary as one balances their commitments to this world while preparing for their inevitable death. If all goes well, then the elder attains the basic strength of prudence (or sound judgment based on many years of experience). If all goes poorly, then the elder must eschew the core pathology of disdain (and becoming a grumpy old recluse). At the end of the journey, the story ends. Everybody dies; and they take their hope, will, purpose, competence, fidelity, love, care and prudence to the grave with them.
You inhabit twelve worlds simultaneously, but you are only experiencing two of them directly. The two worlds of consequence are mezzo living (or you, the multi-cellular organism) and micro species (or you, the individual human). You experience the mezzo living world as a creature in the world (your body), and you experience the micro species world as a being in time (your self).
1. A Creature In The World
Your body is a multi-cellular organism which must obey the requirements of the four initial conditions of life (autopoiesis, reproduction, sentience and evolution). Your body deals with them as an organism should, by creating specialized organs. Your organs give you your meaning of life and the purpose of your existence (just like they do for all other multi-cellular organisms). You are what your organs do.
You are an animal, and animals came to prominence in response to a crisis. The chlorophyll-using bacteria and protists had sucked out all the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and brought about an ice age so bad it reached to the equator. The Vendian ice age could have killed all life on this planet had it not been for a mighty vulcan era. The heat and gases warmed the planet and once again the chlorophyll-users began to suck up all the carbon, but this time they were joined by animals.
Animals balance the chlorophyll-users by needing their waste product, oxygen (O2), for autopoiesis, and then in return they give back carbon dioxide (CO2) as their own waste product, which is then used by the chlorophyll-users in a cycle of renewal. Carbon dioxide is also a greenhouse gas, thus it keeps the planet warm. So successful has this balance been that it has thrived on the surface of Terra for the last 600 million years (with the planet trying to kill us from below and the universe trying to kill us from above).
You are a land-based air-breathing animal, which means you get your oxygen from your lungs. Your lungs are organs which expand to bring air in and contract to expel waste. You are inhaling and exhaling right now. The oxygen is being absorbed directly by the blood flowing through the inner lining of your lungs. The blood cells pick-up the oxygen and bring it to every cell in your body-colony because they all need it to stay alive (as you can only be without oxygen for a few minutes before you die). The biosphere also needs your breathing to stay alive (as it helps maintain the balance). Your plight is to breathe.
Animals do not make their own food, so they must survive by devouring the chlorophyll-users and each other. The first animals were hydra-like animated stomachs with appendages to sweep food into their mouth (which was also their anus). After 600 million years of evolution, your digestive system is much more complex, but the general principle remains the same: to consume nutrients needed for autopoiesis. First, the food travels down your throat to your stomach (where it is broken up), then it is sent to the intestines for nutrient extraction (with the aid of several other organs and organisms), and finally the nutrients are absorbed by the blood stream.
Your blood (an organ) pumped through your body by your heart (another organ) makes it possible for the oxygen (from your lungs) and the nutrients (from your digestive organs) to get to the trillions of cells in your body-colony via your arteries. Via your veins, the blood carries the waste away to other organs which filter out the waste products. Your liver (or hepatic system) and your kidneys (or renal system) cleanse the waste from your blood and dispose of it via your colon and bladder, so your blood can get resupplied on its way back to your lungs and digestive system via your arteries (as your heart forces it back throughout your body again, again and again).
You must drink. You must eat. You are an animal, and you must consume to survive. Your consumption is a part of the balance between the chlorophyll-users and animals, as it maintains your body-colony while acting as a form of population control.
You must shit. You must piss. Your excretions are recycled by creatures you could consume later. Even your farts are part of the atmosphere, as the ammonia and methane created by your digestion are necessary for weather generation and ozone creation (as well as being greenhouse gases). Your body’s consumption makes you a part of terrestrial biosphere (until your death, when your body is consumed and recycled back into the system). Your plight is to consume.
Living creatures must reproduce. Animals are eukaryotes, so we have speciation, gender and programmed death. Speciation means reproduction can only take place between members of the same species. Gender means mating between a male and a female is necessary. Programmed death means they must reproduce in order to maintain their species.
As multi-cellular organisms, animals have reproductive organs. Female organs carry the eggs, and when they are ready, the eggs must be seeded by the male organ. Euphoria is your reward. Young animals are what you get (as well as genetic evolution).
Your plight is to reproduce, because you are an animal, and the continuation of animal creatures is necessary for the continuation of terrestrial life. The balance must be maintained, so both sides must keep reproducing. Not reproducing is inconceivable (which is why the id is so prominent in cognition). If you are successful, then you attain a certain immortality as a part of a grand genetic lineage 600 million years old. If not, then you are a genetic dead-end.
At first, animals were passively breathing, consuming and reproducing (like sponges, corals, jellyfish and starfish), but they would not remain passive for long. All living creatures are sentient in that they are subjects and separate from the rest of the world (they are batteries unto themselves), but basic sentience is not much beyond that, even in multi-cellular organisms.
Intelligent singularity sentience began with the appearance of the eye (an organ which collects data about the outside world by monitoring light waves). The data from the eye has to be processed, and the processor has to be able to do something about it. Eyes indicate the creature was monitoring its surroundings (thus it was also deciding what to do based on the monitoring, acting on those decisions and remembering the results for later use). Eyes indicate cognition, and cognition indicates intelligence (a biologically created artificial intelligence).
Intelligent singularity sentient multi-cellular organisms created an organ (the brain) to house the artificial intelligence (the self). All intelligent singularity sentient creatures have a brain of some sort which acts as the central command center for the body-colony, where the data coming in from the sense organs is processed, decisions about life and death are made, and actions are taken via a complex system of maneuvering organs (nerves, muscles and bones).
Their success led to greater size and greater populations, which was too much for other animals to resist, as some intelligent singularity sentient multi-cellular organisms began to eat other intelligent singularity sentient multi-cellular organisms, and the mortal combat of the animal arms race began with the Cambrian explosion around 542 million years ago.
Since then, new forms of offense and defense have been tried, and reaction time has been improved. There have also been some epic struggles for survival between trilobites and nautiloids, brontosaurs and carnosaurs, whales and megalodons, as well as woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats. Hominines were the first animals to use sentience as its main weapon, and they evolved into the first dominant species.
Your plight is to be an intelligent singularity sentient animal creature, as you are the artificial intelligence of your body-colony. Your primary mission is to stay alive in a lethal world (which is dealt with by your consciousness). Your secondary mission is to deal with the facets of being (which is dealt with by your unconsciousness). You are the self, and your plight is to survive so you can continue to breathe, consume and reproduce.
2. A Being in Time
You are not just a multi-cellular organism; you are also a unique individual of your species. Your species has a specific part in the balance (their niche). Your species determines what you consume and how you reproduce, as well as how you behave and how you are constructed. Within your species, you are an individual (separate from the world, and even separate from others in your species). The degree of uniqueness is determined by the complexity of the species.
Your species is determined by your genes, which you inherited from your ancestors (who have survived in an unbroken lineage of tens of millions of generations over the last 600 million years to you). Their genetic mixing, adapting and evolving created you (the latest model animal, vertebrate, tetrapod, mammal, primate, hominid, homo sapiens sapiens terrestrial life-form). You are what you are (a unique, individual human) because your genes created you that way. Your plight is to live it out.
You are not an object in time; you are a subject in time. You are alive, which means you are separate from the universe and have a will of your own. You are the artificial intelligence generated by your brain to pilot your body-colony through the mortal combat of the animal arms race. You are the self (body and mind in the world), and you are in every moment of consciousness experienced by your mind as your body travels time. Your function is to make choices so you can continue to breathe, consume and reproduce.
You are the psyche. You are the chooser, and choosing is accomplished through cognition (monitor, decide, act and remember). The psyche has seven parts (the virtual reality, consciousness, upper mind, lower mind, anti-consciousness, attributes and persona) which are all involved in cognition. Mostly, cognition happens as a monarchy and an oligarchy.
The six realms of the mental spectrum (animal, id, body, ego, superego and collective unconscious) arise from the upper mind and lower mind. They are the oligarchy, as they deal with most of the facets of being. Each realm has its own agenda, and they do not play fair (as each uses chemicals to overpower cognition). Each realm is also made of sub-realms, and sub-realms of sub-realms, which become the cogs of cognition (as well as the cogs within the cogs deep into the psyche).
The monarchy in cognition is carried-out by the persona. As central to the self, the persona carries out the will of the cogs of cognition. The persona is the homunculus (the actor who plays us from within us). Your gender and personality are its genetic base; your character is continually adapting to current circumstances; and your own personal dispositions add style. The persona is a part of us, but it can work without our awareness (and even before our awareness, as most of our choices are precognizant).
You do not think about what you do, you just do it, and it works better that way because whimsical life-forms have a better chance of surviving in an animal arms race dominated by creatures with pattern-recognition minds, thus less predictable means a better survival rate. In other words, you have free-will in the moment in order to add randomness into the system so you can better survive the mortal combat of the animal arms race.
You have freedom of choice, but it is very limited, as you cannot choose your world, your species, your genes or your circumstances. You are programmed to choose staying alive so you can continue breathing, consuming and reproducing; and you are programmed to behave like your species behaves in order to deal with the facets of being. But, YOU can choose to zig instead of zag.
Existence is absurd, life is madness and the animal arms race is a horror, but here we are none-the-less. We were all thrust into this world through no choice of our own, and forced to live under the conditions of our genes and the circumstances of our conception, birth and life so far. We pilot the body-colony as it travels through time in a lethal world, and we are programmed how to think and feel to survive it, but inevitably death will be the outcome. Life will continue on, as will the cosmos.