On Being Human and Navigating Infinity

DVDA Dimensionally Vast and Dynamically Adaptive

When situations are difficult, it is time to zoom out to take in the big picture in order to increase clarity of what to do.  In thinking about the what does it mean to be human, one can consider we are each made up of the same stuff of the universe and we are also subject to the same natural laws operating in the universe.  By natural laws I mean those which do not care whether we believe them or not, unlike man made consensus laws. For example even if we do not believe is gravity nature does not care. Jumping out the window because you strongly believe you can fly still does not work. The laws of fashion or of marketing are more of a consensus type of agreement. People created these laws and tend to agree to believe them which can make them valuable, but it is not these laws that I am concerned about here when considering the big picture.

I am only completely certain of two things about being humans, which I have been unable to displace or disprove in two decades, unlike unnatural laws which can change with the seasons. We live in a dimensionally vast universe. And the only sane response to this is to be dynamically adaptive. This DVDA pair of thoughts seems to apply to the entire universe and everything in it including us humans.  What I mean by dimensionally vast is it does not matter which model you use – multiple parallel universes, or an infinite universe, the string theory universe or any other model we have. There are simply many many more dimensions than the three or four we usually think we live in and spend the majority of our energy process processing.  For all intensive purposes, since the universe is too large to comprehend all at the same time we can consider it to be infinite or at the very minimum vast.

As the universe and nothing in it including us is not static this creates a sense that we and it are adapting to change at pretty much every moment. And this is a very sane way to deal something very large – move around to see it from different perspectives and try to integrate this information in order to determine what to do by adapting, sometimes called innovating. Man made structures and mountains like crumble under wind and rain, children pull their hands out from fires  and everything and everyone is constantly adapting all of the time. It is a survival skill and it is just the way it is. We do live in a dimensionally vast universe which we are constantly (dynamically) adapting to.

It can be helpful to remember this when desiring the predicability of a static universe. It does not and never has existed, making it futile to try to stop the progression of time and the change that accompanies its passage. Even if humans invented time making it a consensual concept there is still no question that you can not step int he same river twice because things are changing all around us.

Navigating Infinity

The persistent problem we all have to cope with for all time past and future is the universe is bigger than we can imagine and therefore more than we can process which means we all have the job like it or not of navigating infinity. The most common way to do this is to shrink the number of dimensions we deal with on a regular basis to manageable number. There are an infinite number of ways to do this including working at the same job, or living in the same house, being married to the same person, having the same friends, and holding onto the same beliefs for as many decades as possible. This is not possible or even desirable for everyone and there are others who live in a more constantly changing set of careers, locations and beliefs.  We do all however have the same job, navigating infinity because this is where we live and the more comfortable we are with this notion the less difficult it becomes. Some people welcome the awareness of and dealing with new dimensions and changes and others resist it.  It can be rewarding, disturbing or even both at the same time but we do it by dynamically adapting to our dimensionally vast universe.

Navigate or Stay Put

There are two basic choices either navigate or stay put. We can stay where we are in terms of beliefs, ideas, locations and circumstances, we can go out and try to surf infinity and more likely we spend some time doing each of these and being in-between. Sometimes others do the navigating for us. Sometimes we like this and other times we do not. In either case you are not going to be able to control the entire universe as it is too dimensionally vast so you may as well learn to surf infinity and navigate in order to better understand where you are and where you are going. In either case the only way to completely arrest change is to die. For some people, some of the time, saying put is like dying for they thrive on volition. Innovators tend to belong to this camp. They have the tendency to want to more actively and consciously dynamically adapt to what is happening out there. And they are often doing it in the service of some particular goal or set of goals.

Wisdom of the Wisdom Literature

People have not changed genetically much if at all for then they would be a new species. Homo sapiens, the species humans belong to is not the same as Neanderthal (considered to be extinct) although from a behavioral and belief perspective sometimes this is questionable. The wisdom literature created by homo sapiens (in Latin  literally – wise man) is still wise because we have not changed much. Humans have been navigating infinity since the beginning because we all live in a DVDA universe. As humans pondered how to act and what to do in order to deal with infinity and to adapt, they have written many volumes which have withstood the test of time. The current crop of self help books is essentially a restating of the same insights put forth in the wisdom literature but sometimes updated or paraphrased. And the central issue to my mind is how to wrestle with and navigate infinity.  The tradition of commentaries upon religious literature and commentates upon the commentaries continues into the internet age where we have pointers to pointers to pointers all of the way down. This is wonderful because we can trace lessons and knowledge over millennia and observe much evidence about what works and what doesn’t. When you encounter an insight or a piece of modern wisdom there is a pretty chance it has shown up before. The good news is we have a tremendous amount of advice on how to live and what to do and most of it is pretty consistent.

Complexity Processing through Context Management

Managing ourselves in this complex dimensionally vast dynamically adaptive world can be accomplished through context management. In other words we have choices about which perspectives we chose to view the world through. We can consciously pick vantage points form which to view what is going on and we can even have multiple posts of view at the same time although this does require tolerance for ambiguity. We need to know when to apply which perspectives and it is a very dynamic dance. The ability to cope with dimensional vastness seems to require the wisdom (context awareness) to transcend a single perspective at single point in time. However since there is only a single point of time in the present moment when we can act or live it can be a difficult juggling act attempting to hold multiple perspectives (contexts) simultaneously yet that is what is required and we can do it.

Best Time Ever for Innovators 

If innovation is simply a fancy word for adapting, and as a survival skill all humans are born with it as a core competency, then we are all natural innovators. Genetically this is the case but over time we can shrink the dimensionality of our worlds to cope. This is the best time in history to be an innovator or an adaptor because we have more degrees of freedom and more choices and more dimensions and more ability and need to adapt than ever before. In part this is because the barriers to communication are the lowest in history so far. This is both the easiest time to learn and the easiest time to teach, making it the easiest time to adapt (or innovate).

It is worth remembering this when things look difficult because we are literally far more equipped to deal with a DVA dimensionally vast dynamically adaptive universe than ever before and communication barriers are shrinking every day making it more possible to cause change than ever before because we have a greater ability to manage context. And there is an exponentially exploding fountain of information that puts to shame any oil well, nuclear power plant or conventional form of energy in output. The real infinite energy is knowledge and it is infinite and therefore requiring developing more conscious ability to manage it by being aware of context, vantage point, perspective or whatever lenses we choose to view life through.

This is not only the best time to be an innovator, a universal human potential, but also a time when we need to consciously manage our context excellently to avoid pitfalls. We have the genetic disposition to do  it and have been doing it for thousands of years.