Question of Being:
I've had so many attempts at giving an explanation to this piece that I've almost given up - but for now - here is the shortened version!
I know what I'm trying to say in this image – but of course the actual image itself is my “best attempt” at saying it - as words can never be an accurate interpretation. Words have different meanings for different people and they become even more confused when translated....an image transcends all that!.....Incidentally, the image contains over 1,000 question marks (?) forwards or reverse, whole or in part.
So - in my mind I have a very brief, simple image of the history of human evolution. Earth is formed. Plant, followed by animal life takes hold. Not sure about the next bit (but nobody seems too sure) as there are so many different sciences studying the history of Bipeds, Primates, 15 - 20 different types of early human but all progressing to the first homo sapiens – us. The beginnings of agriculture only started around 12,000 years ago and the ever accelerating progress of our species to the present day, as they say – is history.
The Question of Being
Somewhere along the way over the last couple of million years, we became “sentient” beings and we started to formulate certain questions – probably starting with how best to survive - what to eat, how to make shelter or keep warm, keep safe from predators etc. This accumulated knowledge would naturally be passed down to the offspring – as much by genetics and instinct as by “teaching. But as we progressed we had more time to think, contemplate beauty and began to create.
did I come from?
And the answers that we've come up with over the intervening millennia are of course anything from the sublime to the ridiculous.
So I have to say first of all - this image is pretty obviously not an attempt to answer any question. It is an embodiment of the questions – and some of the spheres of human endeavour that try to answer them.
Secondly, it is only crude imagery depicting observations based on my personal experiences of the world I live in – and it will not/cannot be the same as any other person's interpretation - alive, dead or who sees this in the future. But you may just find it interesting to compare with your own views – and that's all it can be.
Thirdly, I cannot continue my explanation before stating that I personally, absolutely believe that nobody could have an answer to The Question of Being – simply because life is absolutely unique to each and everyone who lives - therefore there cannot be a single 'answer' for being. But even more obvious - 'being' isn't a question.
However, that said, what I see is that any human being may arrive at a place in their own lifetime where they find purpose, contentment, fulfilment - call it what you will – from their singular, personal journey and activities through life. What I don't believe is that an answer/solution can be formally taught: and that this 'place' arrived at is in spite of - and not because of – any one formal educator or other organized body that would claim an “answer” to such a spurious question. Any institution or organisation that believes it can evangelize, dictate, corrupt or seduce its subjects 'en masse' towards an answer or purpose cannot truly be integrated into the 21st century.
(This is not anti-education – I just believe that for any individual, a life truly “lived” includes everything from received education to personal empiric educating experiences of the moment (be they good or bad – and taking the consequences). As individuals: we should be able to 'dip in and dip out' of ideas, teachings and beliefs as and when we choose to (as I may “dip out” of my idea at any time). We should not be identified by any ONE classification (-ism)........unless of course - we actually choose to be!
Origin of the Specious?
This is basically the corollary of the question – answered with a question. My conjecture is that somewhere over the long, long evolution of our genus – becoming “sentient” homo sapiens - we have mutated from the single hunter-gatherer into complex groupings, organizing and building societies and institutions: all on what are “good and needful ideas at the time” for survival – done in the best of faith. But then, instead of dying off after a useful life some of these “ideas” have been put onto life support (not “dipped out” of). Even more sinister is the fact that some of these 'bodies' created by us have grown into a type of collective super-genus – and some are so powerful and ingrained in our systems that we have become enslaved, feeding and nurturing them!
Worse still is the next level of evolution, some have become national and even global predators in their own right because they are so established. They've gained the authority to dictate, seduce, corrupt or evangelize to their subjects 'en masse' inculcating their 'Purpose, Belief or even Enlightenment' and insidiously they grow into physical, specious embodiments.
The Question of Being: Origin of the Specious?
And so....by asking for an answer to this question, could we be signalling our vulnerability to these predators which are just waiting to devour us? What is even more devastating about these super-genus monsters is that if we don't give them enough nurture and attention – worse: we abandon them - they can become enraged and jealous, some begin to fight each other for survival and of course that means it's US that does the fighting: they are more than happy to see us fighting their proxy wars!
As I said at the beginning - I've almost given up on an explanation - and that's because some things can't be explained and never will be. But it's part of the human condition to try. So I suppose my image is a representation and combination of the different ways the question has become physical. It somehow represents for me the human attempts and struggles for an answer.
I will replace this at some point in the future with a fuller version.