He defended a recent article about a team of scientists who want to drill down into Earth’s mantle for the first time because they believe they have the means to do it. For him that is reason enough to try. It is enough because knowledge is all-important; furthering our understanding of how the world works is worth risking everything. We all have to die sometime, he said, and life isn’t worth living without tempting the Fates for the sake of knowledge.
If we view Western science through pristine, naive goggles we are still left with psychopathy. The goggles erase from the picture the fact that gigantic scientific undertakings are funded by corporations and government/military complexes, which means that the motivations are not pure, and the procedures are not transparent. We may never be told the real risks of such an endeavor, but we will certainly find out when it’s too late. This is our normal, and as crazy as that is, take off the goggles and we remain confronted with our own psychopathy.
A psychopath lacks empathy and moral qualms. We are told that everyone is an object to a psychopath. But, we know that in early development, kids who grow to be psychopathic killers often start out by torturing and murdering animals. So, perhaps we need to redefine a psychopath as one who objectifies life, not just other people. But then… if we do that… there goes society. And with it, our science, our lust for knowledge at all costs, and our ability to throw the murder of ourselves and other species to the odds, in a game of chance. There goes the truth of who we are hiding behind our accomplishments.
Does the thought of boring to the center of Earth to learn more occur to one who lives in relationship with “Mother Earth” or just to one who lives on “the” earth? When we objectify, we ignore the living nature of the “thing” we’re observing. If we both share living nature then we must live in relationship as though we are extensions of each other. If the other is considered a thing, we can dominate that, for we have no relationship. It’s not as alive as we are. It exists at our pleasure. And from that point of view come mad scientists with their mad science and the society that promotes them.
What is the root of inquiry? Observation, right? Therefore, the first step in any clear observation is to know who is observing. Observation number one must be with the observer, or else how is one to understand the filters and biases through which one observes?
Any science that does not begin with observing the observer is no science at all. And yet if one understood oneself thus, through careful observation, the world would not be one of science and scientists. We would not live obfuscated lives in need of discovery. We would not compulsively explore through restless desire. We would not be put together by knowledge. We would be someone else entirely.
Would we be wholeness?
Would we be all of a human being?