THE EXPONENTIAL RAT RACE

The Exponential Repetitions

Continued from The Habitual Ruts of Security and Pleasure.

The human ability to coordinate focusing with our senses, bodies, and minds, lies at the basis of the habitual ruts which humans developed to secure our survival and develop our civilisations.

We learnt, remembered, and repeated all the things we needed or wanted – all the things which gave us security or pleasure.

This focusing-learning-repeating system moulds and shapes not only our abstract understanding, but also our emotions and behaviour. Our entire lives are dictated and formed by our approach to and outlook on life. And we have neglected our full sensory awareness ... our panoramic experience of life and what's happening.

Focusing and repetitious habitual ruts are essential to life, without them individually and culturally, we would still be wallowing in the mud.

But repetitions always repeat, repetitions are always self-perpetuating, that is their nature. And with time they always build up exponentially.

The first words took millennia to get established, and then the first sentences started combining with ever more complex meanings. Until very recently, in the last few hundred years, when the majority of people can understand long paragraphs of abstract ideas.

And as more ideas became accessible and there were more creative innovations in the material world, more combinations became possible, and so the speed of progress accelerated, and now suddenly, we have cars, planes, and internet.

So, it's not only the habitual ruts which are repeating, the speed of the combinations are repeating.

Focusing, learning, and repeating were essential to our cultural development. But the products of this habitual behaviour has given us an enormous diversity of new things to focus on.

The increasing momentum of the development are cultural, environmental, financial, even reproductive. Culturally with exploiting our environment, inflation/debt, and the population explosion. Individually with new beliefs, ideas and opinions, closed minded extremism, conceit, and more possibilities for greed and vanity.

The exponential acceleration of life – the rat race – has become the new normal. The amount of new things to have to repeat in order to stay where we are – to keep up with Alice's Red Queen – has accumulated and multiplied. And all this speed of new choices and possibilities in modern life, are all natural consequences of our approach to life. It is a natural consequence of the human 'learning, remembering, repeating' approach to life. It is dependent on the human ability to focus with our senses and minds.




A Buddhist Perspective

Buddhism offers a similar explanation of repetitions. In Buddha's time, the new invention of continuous rotary motion and the wheel was causing a cultural revolution. Buddha saw the connections: Desire is self-perpetuating, and once the repetitions start, once the wheels start turning, then they turn with their own karmic momentum. This is explained fully in Back to Chapter Three : Buddhism .

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