" Life, to some, is dependent on sunlight, to others, upon darkness; and so the wise economy of nature adapts to each existing condition some living form. These analogies warrant the conclusion that, not only is there no unoccupied portion of universal nature, but also that for each thing that has Life, special conditions are furnished, and being furnished, they are necessary. "
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) .1
We experience Life simultaneously as the field and cause of our activities. Life is that unique period if time we have to carry out our particular plans and purposes. Amongst many, we are accustomed to view Life in two ways.
In one sense Life is the background upon which we ascertain and effect meaning for ourselves. It is the stage upon which we play our particular role and in some sense way our mark on the world. In another sense it is the vital impulse of our actions, the energetic source from which we are both renewed and maintained. In this latter sense Life is the engine behind the world and nature, for without Life there is no Life!
All Living creatures in the world display the ability to intelligently adapt and develop solutions the problems found in their environment. Such local intelligence is the distinct hallmark of living creatures, as they demonstrate a common intelligence enabling them to not only develop the skills but also to acquire those materials essential to secure their immediate survival and long-term health.
It is as if Life-by actuating these intelligences perpetually furnishes them with the creative volition to simply be. This recurring process nonetheless appears to be curiously devoid of any self-engendered destiny, as Life ceaselessly develops ever more creative ways of enabling creatures to meet their localised challenges-only to have them eventually perish in their attempts. In this way Life can seem brutal in its endowing some creatures with apparently more superior skills of adaptation than others.
The Life of mankind is habitually adaptive, particularly as Life has become accustomed through many millennia to respond to challenges within the, at many times unfavourable, circumstances that have made up mans environment. Life as it inspired man, has kept apace of these challenges to his survival through a display of continual adaptation and marked technological craftsmanship.
Yet the Life of man is apart from other creatures in that man is aware of living whilst also being Lived. Human Life in our present world tends toward a uniform adaptation to circumstances and problems throughout environments and conditions that present their own particular challenges to the individual. Interestingly it cannot be gainsaid that such universal adaptation displayed before problems, smoothes and eases the concourse of affairs between men significantly, as without some measure of consensus on global issues, efforts to tackle local and global problems would be thwarted amongst a sea of plural claims of efficiency.
It may also be true that the hitherto spontaneous development of Life in man may become stifled in its course as men struggle to adapt to Life through following an adaptation strategy derived from and periodically modified by some convention imposed from without. In such conditions a spontaneous response to environmental stimuli may be suppressed and viewed as breakaway or radical by others.
An issue that arises in regard to this problem is that of the long-term harmonious development of Life as it expresses itself in man.
How can Life as it encounters the circumstances of one man and his environment co-exist with another and his? Perhaps the answer should be simple enough, for man unlike animals has access to an abundance of resources and no longer need take a Life to secure or improve his own.
The self-created limitations that man has devised for his organisational requirements of day to day survival are also there to ensure the continuation of Life-as it evolves and develops-amongst his group. But as the differences in Life duration and quality becomes manifest amongst men and their groups, it is apparent that Lifes innate thrust to adapt and respond to the local environment are viewed by man as generally inconsequential. Or not regarded by him at all.
In his general conduct it is clear that man has sought to tailor Life to his personal interests and not so much to his circumstances. His experience of Life has been reduced to the almost scientific formula of; learn, work and breed, etc-with the aim of eking out a measure of uniform gratification for himself and his race.This has been increasingly disassociated from the emerging challenges of adaptation found within his environment. This can be seen in the relations between men in the 20th century and in the causes, veracity and extent of the wars they have fought against each other. The evolving development of local intelligence appears no longer to have any significant bearing, and as if through some expedient reversal of roles, Life has become the medium for man and his interests and no more man the agent of Life in its intelligent fullness. Indeed man is ready though to halt Life in its way should he view it as clashing with his interests. The course of war over the centuries is rich with examples of mans resorting to taking Life in view of preserving, and at worst, improving his own.In the drama of war Life is viewed as the source of the enemys resolve, it is the relentless reserve of the opponents determination.
Prior to conflicts any possibility of working out some expedient compromise, based on a mutual interest in survival, is cast aside as seemingly the stage has been reached-where for the securing and in more noble cases the protecting of Life-the taking of anothers is a must!It is unfortunate that in such cases man loses his claim to liberty from the laws of the jungle, as through his penchant for war it is the loftier human law that he has sacrificed in place of the former.
This seeming scant regard and indifference to Life has been a common phenomenon of mans experience. Indeed, the range of scientific endeavour over the past few centuries has promised many discoveries, but has found little yet that can reveal an unusually special or sacred genius within the movement of Life.
In our modern experience of life from our earliest days we are regarded as inheritors of a commercial taxable resource. Life is not nor ever has been it own justification. It has been a utility to be tailored, conditioned or cultivated in accordance with the aims and interests of another man or human grouping. Popular science has fallen short of discovering Lifes ultimate function, yet is not lacking in constructing for Life structures and systems of ordered regulation such as those we understand as economics, politics, employment, sport and education and in some instances religious doctrine. These systems serve to generate identity and function for Life-as man experiences it-that are as much predictable as they are uncertain. Comfortable as they may be they cannot but commonly fail in accounting for the unseen and pioneering developments that Life demonstrates under the duress of such structures.
Yet it may be that in this tendency of our modern civilisation, lie hope and the solution to our problems. For mans knowledge of living and being Lived gives him the chance of making a unique enquiry into the phenomenon of Life as an agency adapting to challenges found in man and around him. Man can also investigate the evidence of Lifes adaptive genius as it operates at various levels in all that meets his gaze. Man has the unique tools to reflect on, experiment with, and demonstrate the manifold intelligence of Life.
Within the international political arena the manifold challenges to the Life of collective humanity, as represented by the community of nations and their respective circumstances, expose the different and in some cases similar dispositions that Life must overcome. Unless men-as they comprise nations-can meet their particular environmental challenges, without undue consequence to the existence of other nations, the present world condition necessitates a unified mobilisation for Life by an international community able to intelligently respond to these challenges-for mans wellbeing and that of future generations.Indeed nations must now concede that their respective adaptive mechanisms have a definite bearing on areas beyond their own geographical borders, such that adaptive measures taken can lead to the production of ever more international survival problems.
In this respect it is interesting to view the creation of adaptive mechanisms and co-ordinated responses to such challenges in the form of the United Nations organisation and its international conferences. Such forums raise those issues presently challenging Life and its maintenance amongst men and their groupings.They also provide scope for agreement on those strategies whereby Life might overcome, through the agency of man, a major disruption of his ecological constitution and thus ensure his survival along with that of the many other creatures and organisms on Earth.
Man must develop an approach to politics that demonstrates a resourcefulness that is commensurate with whilst also responsive to that found in Life.
In this he can perhaps learn much from his religion. The incessant striving and intelligent surmounting of obstacles as evinced by life has ever been the preoccupation of sincere religious groups, as they have sought not unlike science to encompass the high calling of Life and its endeavours within the scope of some human project.
Profoundly religions at their best have been the great advocates of Life, providing for it that agency whereby, as they saw it, it might impress itself upon the psyche of man and through subsequent worship and ceremonies periodically renew its call upon him to live up to what in its highest it might make him.Through naming, recording and imitating the perceived dynamics of Life, religion has sought to provide for it that ultimate apparatus with which it might seize, adapt and rework man and his world according to its own impulses. To the religions, the purpose of man has been to provide those conditions whereby Life might manifest some inherent purpose other than the basic vital urge to triumph over circumstantial adversity.
In the end, man then, has to probe deeper into the mystery of this animating phenomenon, for it wont be sufficient to honour and value Life as it qualifies some creatures, whilst disregarding and in some cases callously extinguishing the Life he sees in others. The path of Life as it demonstrates in all kingdoms reveals that it does not fail to equip any creature with the sufficient measure of adaptive skill and intelligence to meet the challenges to their immediate survival.
Man being a product of this evolving miracle that is Life, could yet acknowledge that amidst the totality of intelligent entities in his environment and in the wider cosmos, Life is continually taking new twists and turns in mysteriously equipping these entities with solutions to their particular time and space.
In his bold efforts to locate the source of Life and so solve his problems, man must resist the temptation to force Life into the rigid structures of his interests and desire for uniformity.Life is eminently more resourceful than man and his ideas, and existed before his appearance and will exist long after his disappearance.
Among the many powerful impulses that drive his actions he must discover and align himself with those that are truly of Life and for Life. As it is those which by far are the most intelligent he can respond to. It is uniquely the Life impulse that can simultaneously guarantee and co-ordinate his survival.
If he is to solve his problems, and if Life is to Live man, he must not only be alive to the fact that he is, but also that he is host to the most precious resource we know.
"Life coupled to and guided by
intelligence, becomes volition and, through volition, it becomes vocation". 2
Baird T. Spalding (1857-1953)
Fidel Asante ARC