Updated: Nov 25, 2020
The Transformation of Being
If all conditioning could be removed from man, he would not be recognizable a human being. What this means is that his conditioning including his entire education formed from birth, and most especially language and all its representations, including words and numbers are conditioned in him. A person's conceptual system, the social culture they are born, with its system of laws, values, and morality are all inherited. Likewise the system of economics that govern his activities throughout life is as much an environment as the air and water he needs to survive. All of this is the basis of his beliefs about the world. What we inherit in this way is the limit on what we all know.
If all this is removed, what is left is a peculiar animal. It certainly has only certain instincts, but it is not well equipped for survival. In reality, Human beings are a unique animal that is governed conditioning much more than by instinct. This is the design of human being, and it is the means by which our minds are designed to function and operate.
Without this mental programming man is a non-entity. He is nothing, because his identity and being, as experienced by him, is completely dependent on this programming. In effect his state is such that without this conditioning he or she, probably cannot survive.
What then is the nature of this programming? Is it more than the content of his mind as memory? Is it the mental processes of pattern recognition that are applied to his perception form the basis for the cognition and knowledge? In actuality, this programming is a "collective" shared cognitive state. It is the consensus view about reality which describes his "world." It determines not only how a person thinks, but also their basic identify as an individual that is formed via cognition. This process, is called identification, and it is mental programming which is innately human that determines one's identity and causes his or her behavior.
This mental programming is a Simulacrum. It is an artifact of the virtualized operating state for consciousness that is Mankind's collective existence. To make something virtual is to make it "as if it is truth" so that operates as truth. This virtualization is actually a simulation being run in the consciousness of a living being. You can think of simulation as a trial run of mental programming, with real life consequences. This is as opposed to the notion of an imitation of something, which is how we are accustomed to understand the word simulation. However, in our virtualized computer age, a simulation can be a simulated environment, such as artificial intelligence might manipulate.
Mankind is a constant trial for Loops of Cognitive processes. We are an experiment perhaps, or certainly an evolutionary progression of an organism in adaptation to its environment, which constantly changes.. The root of the word Simulation is "SIM" which means "likeness" and directly implies the notion of the virtual. A Simulacra, which is also a variation on "SIM", is "like" what we understand as a structure, such as the operating system of a computer. It is the mechanism by which a simulation is actualized. As I have said, without a set of conditions, instructions like an operation system for interpreting reality, human beings are complete non-entities. We are running simulations of consciousness, through our conditioning. Ironically because of it, we can see that such a non-entity as we are currently configured, has no "independent existence." It's consciousness if dependently originated (Prasangita Madyamika) Awareness might be possible without prior conditioning, but not cognition because this involves learning, and this is required for consciousness to exist. This simulacra is the very cause to create the effect that mankind is. There is no meaning outside the simulacra, because the simulacra is the source of all meaning.
For this reason, mankind is malleable. If the Simulacra is altered, the immediate effect is that mankind as a collective entity is altered. All of human history appears as a development of the human simulacra, because as man has evolved culturally and biologically, so has this operating system of conditioning, mental and behavior control evolved as well through cultural institutions.
We are now at the cusp of an evolutionary shift in our adaption to the environment we have created. Thus we have evolved to be at the effect of social, legal, economic, and spiritual programming, and now have reached a state where mankind is beginning to intentionally evolve this programming. In fact to do so is an evolutionary necessity because as part of the system that we call "nature," mankind has now become a governing simulacra for its entire environment. Human kind is now both cause and effect for the entire system, which has evolved to a state of global crisis that presently challenge us. We see this in the environmental changes that are now occurring that are caused by human behavior. A new equilibrium must occur in the system of nature, but it is very likely that can only occur if there is a transformation of mankind in which our species becomes a real entity. What that means, is an evolutionary shift in our consciousness, that would match the current circumstances and its challenges. The alternative is perhaps the certain demise and the termination of this simulation, which would be an end of mankind as well as the world as we know it. Yes, Extinction is an option for us, and we must consider that possibility very seriously. But so too, is a next greater phase in our evolutionary history.
A real entity is a conscious being. That means, a being that is responsible for its self-generation in relation to its environment. It is also a being that has a "Conscience." At this level of being, ethical and moral judgement are essential, and are not an expensive luxury for nature A real entity as a conscious being is not merely a passive automaton that exists only out of its pre-conditioned simulacra. It begins to be an intelligence that is self aware, that has a real will, and that begins to be responsible for the simulacrum that are operating on it and through it. It thus becomes God-like and responsible for its world and its continuous re-creation.
From where we sit, it seems as if it is impossible to change the fundamental emptiness of mankind. It seems as if we are always will be controlled by the simulacra. However, it is and has been the nature of the simulacra to evolve along with human evolution. It undergoes a dialectical process in which various strains of the always and already existing forces that drive the simulacra reconcile. Everyone has heard of the idea of Yin and the Yang from Asian cultures, but this is also the fundamental dualism that the western civilizations have inherited as well. The simulacrum that governs us runs on this duality, of affirming and denying, expanding or contracting, or simply said, yes or no choices that have consequences. We are seeing this dialectic struggle expressed in the phenomena of globalization, the colonial exploitation of resources in a capitalist economic system, and with the climate change that is impacting human society. The conflicts being generated are driven by these forces and are equally reactive to it. This reconciliation of both the affirming and denying forces is potentially a new simulacrum that is emerging, a simulacrum of global civilization that must be responsible and not given to tribal or national loyalty.
The survival of the simulation we are living in, and that of the emerging simulacrum is not a certainty. It is not a simple matter that there are only two converging pairs of simulacra that must blend in a simple reconciliation. Mankind as we know it culturally on this planet is diverse in ways that we do not yet fully understand. If we are to coordinate together in a manner that allows for collective responsibility we need to cooperate with on a scale that is hard to imagine. All of the variances of spirituality, materialistic views, systems of law, trade, culture and history of the entire species must begin to be blended together. In fact this is happening, but that doesn't mean it happens smoothly, but we must strive for such a transformation of being for human beings.
The belief systems of mankind have been in the midst of violent transformations. We have seen old world civilizations clashing in the context of the emergence of a new civilization. Just because nations have modern names, does not mean that the are operating out of a modern simulacra. European, Arabian, Persian, India, Chinese cultures are ancient, and these ancient simulacra get recreated in modern forms. This is also the history of all the wars and all the movements of population and conquests for thousands of years. Our modern warfare is about trade and economic dominance, and it is the same struggle that has been going on between nations and civilizations given by an old simulacra that can no longer work as it has in the past, because it is now possible for it to cause our extinction.
The outcome of this great movement toward global civilization cannot be known by us, as this great new creation of an emerging simulacra will be as a result of the destruction of many ancient operating programs, all of which are governed by the first order requirement of simulacra to maintain their own integrity, and protect their programming. The old ways die hard because the do not willingly become extinct. We are living this change, and this is the decisive moment for our cultural and biological evolution
However strange it may seem to us, these are the conditions in which we have always existed. However now we have global communication, fiat money, and the most rapid population expansion of human life on the planet with limited resources and possibilities for maintaining a sustainable environmental equilibrium. Because all these separate streams of human simulacra are now converging, it is now our evolutionary imperative to cooperate and coordinate for our survival.
Our survival depends on our ability to become what it is possible for us to become. We must die to old ways thinking, to the old simulacrum that we cling too.. Our future is now dependent on the evolution of a consciousness that is capable of operating in these new conditions. It is a state of consciousness that actually has been evolving through great traditions and mystery schools that have been part of the evolution of mans consciousness for several millennium. This is part of how the simulacrum were formed. The aim of the ancient mystery schools, and of their later heirs, the world religions, and even the corrupted hierarchies of economic and political power that grew in tandem together, has been this "Great Work" of evolving the human being from that of a "non-entity" into a conscious "entity of being." Perhaps we will now begin to see its fruition, for the sake of our survival. Hopefully our future will follow us as the resulting remainder from a history of human transformation in the face of crisis, as we are about to experience its next chapter in this century.
© Copyright 2008 Robert Fertman, All Rights Reserved