Some of the timeless truths revelated to me in my previous post have stuck around, in the way that the impression of a pareidolic face in some particularly mouth-like architecture sticks around - leaching off of the outline of the original building in your mind until the face is not only all you can see, but it's begun to take on a life of its own. Where did this face come from? Is the edifice itself alive? Or is it possessed? (Or was it merely imprinted with the ideal initial conditions for life by some benign architect, countless aeons in the past and untold universes distant? But enough of that for now.)
The grin in question is one ear-splitting divison between life and death, yang and yin, all of those tropey paired things that are opposites. We have grown old to tales of these adversaries, and the neverending conflict is frankly done to death, so much so that ... nobody's talking about them anymore. Good and evil don't qualify, no, so you can't counter with "but what about". (Or do they? More later.) No, the conflicts of today are often less cosmically motivated, at least nominally. Sitcoms represent endless knotted variations on the same handful of social clashes, and that shit was almost all anyone of television age watched from the 90's on. Classical entertainment, that is, mythology and great texts and generational song-knowledge, these media tended to invoke war waged between higher powers and forces beyond humanity's reckoning, timeless and indefinite struggles as intractable as they were impossible for humans to affect. Back then, that was what got eyeballs and eardrums and kept them (versus the lewd limericks or whatever that passed out of memory as soon as they were recited).
But anyway. Back to yin and yang, because that is definitely the closest analogue to the thing - agonistic inamic unity. If yin and yang is the pair of forces dominating the spiritual realm, an inamic (from the Nahuatl) is one of a pair of any two things that:
along with a suite of other properties, but once you get the general shape of inamichuan (that is the Nahuatl plural) you won't need them listed.
Why the Aztec all of a sudden? I've been reading a peerless book on the metaphysics of ancient Mexico, and it just so happens they christened (heh) this concept teotl. And not just "an adjacent concept that maps pretty well to this one" - literally the exact same meta-pattern of "things eternal, opposed, and mutually reinforcing".
Extracts from Aztec Philosophy: Understanding a World in Motion by James Maffie.
Teotl is essentially power: continually active, actualized, and actualizing energy-in-motion. It is essentially dynamic: ever-moving, ever-circulating and ever-becoming. As ever-actualizing power, teotl consists of creating, doing, making, changing, effecting, and destroying. Generating, degenerating, and regenerating are what teotl does and therefore what teotl is... the single, all-encompassing life-force of the cosmos... water, sexual activity, blood, heat, sunlight, jade, the singing of birds, and the iridescent blue-green plumage of the quetzal bird.
At this point it's starting to resemble pretty closely the matter-energy hypothesis, which is more than Platonists can say they came up with.
Death, for example, is not an ending but a change of status, as that which dies flows into and feeds that which lives.
All existing things are constituted by the agonistic unity of inamic partners and consequently constitutionally unstable and ambiguous. Indeed, reality itself is irreducibly ambiguous. In keeping with Aztec philosophy's ontological and constitutional monism, inamic partners represent dual aspects of teotl - not two metaphysically distinct substances.
Inamic partners struggle against each other and unite with one another in three principal ways: olin, malinalli, and nepantla... Olin is curving, swaying, oscillating, pulsating, and centering motion-change, exemplified by bouncing balls, pulsating hearts, respiring chests, earthquakes, labor contractions, and the daily movement of the Fifth Sun... Malinalli is twisting, spinning, gyrating, coiling, whirling, and spiraling motion-change. It is exemplified by spinning fiber into thread, cooking and digesting food, blowing life into things, drilling fire, burning incense, and ritual music, speech, and song... Nepantla is middling, intermixing, and mutually reciprocal motion-change. It binds together inamic pairs in the simultaneously creative-and-destructive agonistic tension of transformation. Nepantla is exemplified by mixing and shaking things together, weaving (interlacing), and sexual commingling... Nepantla motion-change defines and explains teotl's - and hence reality's - continual self-generation, self-regeneration, and self-transformation. Nepantla holds the key to understanding Aztec metaphysics...
Teotl is the weaver, the weaving, and the woven.
When I first read the above passage my heart began pounding at a terrible pace. I had seen this already. This had been revealed to me in a vision, or a visitation.
As the description of cosmic energies progressed I became even more agitated - is this why humans love the number three? Could it be that it is the universal fundamental multiplicity - two partners and a binding force? The more I reflected upon this possibility, the more shocking it seemed - and the more obvious.
I would be remiss not to admit that inamichuan were all I could think about - whether or not knowingly - since that fateful day in April. To see what I had seen laid out here in plain English by a civilization long dead... it haunts me. What other arcane truths lie in wait here? What did they see - what did they know?
Proliferation and selection - variance and bias - blooming and pruning. These are the patterns of life in its relentless optimization of organisms to ever- changing environments. But - aren't they also the patterns of corporations battling to find and stake economic monopoly? Viruses attempting to infect the maximum number of hosts? Any inquest of order into chaos?
What does it mean? I am still reading. Digesting. Spiralling....
Last night (it has been a few days now) I had a dream. We glimpsed a meteor entering the atmosphere. It burned not red, but green. Our reaction to it was even stranger; sarcastic: "Aw, well isn't that great." As though we had been expecting it, and it had merely come at an inconvenient time. The thought of it filled me with such a perverse joy that my dreamself, upon "awakening", spent most of the following dream repeating to himself that he had to tell someone about the vision he had just experienced (while everyone else was babbling in some seminar or something).
This dream came to me, I believe, because of the concepts summarized in this post. Searching for a means of explicating one of many possible upcoming "prune" phases of human civilization. Post-humanity, the fabled übermensch, only arrives if humanity exorcises the Last Man from within itself. But how could we even begin to eradicate such an essential baseness from the majority of our kind? Renaissance humanism failed us; the precepts fizzle on any races not predisposed to cooperation in an established community. You can't teach stupid, and you can't wake the dead. The Last Man, the creature of comfort, the Bug - the spiritually dead - are the grey-eyed hordes of zombies groaning and staggering on the tarmac, between us and liftoff. They, and even lower creatures, multiplied too quickly; now, their filthy imagoes (actual plural: imagines) crunch too frequently underfoot for us to be sure our ground is solid. Our only options now are to remove them, or flee.
Functionally these achieve the same ends: the establishment of a new order where the equilibrium of human capital is higher than at present. Evacuation (of Earth, most likely) has the advantage of being relatively cheaper - despite our best efforts as warmongers, it is still prohibitively expensive to destroy arbitrary numbers of Earth human lives without incurring severe collateral, with nukes being the classic example. By design a nuke is far more expensive to launch than a rocket, which has kept us alive for a while. It may keep us alive just long enough to get out for good - again, effectively "pruning" the undesirable elements of the population when we set up camp where they can't get to us.
Bloom and prune, over and over, forever - as long as change is possible. The two genders - literally. It is no coincidence that this pattern - or rather, "second-order pattern" (metapattern, quips the pseud) manifests at multiple resolutions of organized life... it might even be life. Or at least, one of its most successful formats.
Just look at how slime molds spread: all at once, and then back in on themselves as they strengthen the most nutrient-rich highways. Proliferate, then decimate. Preserve the most talent while trimming the largest amount of waste from the system.
Global population has exploded exponentially since the Black Plague. Are we not due for another mass extinction?
Is it not our duty to ensure the survival of the species?
It doesn't take a genius to see where geniuses are headed, if geniuses maintain their declining fertility rate for another generation. Step onto a fucking bus. Go to a public event with a few thousand people in attendance - look around you. Who is having children? Who isn't?
Press the fast forward button. Do you feel safe on the street? How long did it take Chicago to fall? What about Detroit? Sweden? Keep skipping ahead, click the video buffer a little further along. Do you feel safe in your home, about to propose to the love of your life? Do you feel safe anywhere on Earth?
The world is broken. The people breaking it have names and addresses.
The competitive inamichuan are clogged and twisted. Mildew, yeasts, scavengers, and carrion eaters are swarming in the accumulated detritus. They grow without ceasing. They are being fed. Someone is feeding them. Without this food they cannot exist because they cannot survive in cognitively demanding environments.
A better world is possible. Stock up on unilaterally effective cleaning supplies.
The Aztecs knew how to carry themselves in this respect, better than almost any civilization in history. Prisoners of war? Sacrifice them. Sexual deviants? Heretics? Blasphemers and nonbelievers? Same treatment. One of your squadrons isn't up to snuff? Pit them against your best squadron and announce that the losing team gets to die on the altar.
Imagine if we were half as exacting in our selection of who gets to live and die in our bloated, diabetic civilization of sheep. Domesticated, dazed.
Who will come forth and separate the weak-minded from the worthy? Who will gaze coldly down at the hordes of zombies and whisper "no"? Who will send those clamoring for "compassion for sapients" to die in the mosh pit of human xerox copies?
Who will survive our decision to save ourselves?