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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Vicissitude

Anyone you ask can readily describe for you a time when something happened that they were less than thrilled about. It's a part of life. It happens. Right?

Funny thing... people have to work a lot harder, mostly, to recall something that really went their way, and left them totally pleased with the evolution of a situation.

Why is that, d'ya suppose?

Filters and walls have a great deal to do with it- we expect things to be a certain way, and our memory slowly gels to conform with that expectation after the fact. That's another funny thing about people: ask any handful of people who experienced the same situation to describe it... and you'll get as many versions as you have people.

Everyone has their own point of view, their own "take." Reality is flexible, that way. My Very Wise Friend calls it Fluid Reality, a state when your level of balance, quiet, and stillness allow you to sort of recall an event differently than it occurred... before it occurs in the first place.

(Incidently, this concept is one of the very few reasons I can come up with that allow divination and scrying to make even the slightest bit of sense. Just sayin'.)

Our language has numerous tools in place for describing the erratic nature of reality. "You win some, you lose some." "Shit happens." We talk about "ups and downs."

It's vicissitude.

There are lots of ways to talk about it- ripples on water, the attraction of opposites, the laws of action and reaction... the influence of free will.

Yep, that's the one- free will.

The world, in and of itself, seeks balance. It tries to balance animal populations (including ours), weather patterns, land and sea levels, everything.

We, though, cannot seem to leave well enough alone. We have to cut, and dig, and build, and burn. We make a mess. We imbalance things...

...so the world struggles continuously to rebalance them.

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wild, unexpected events of weather- they're all part of the natural efforts of the global organism to keep itself in fighting shape. The more we "mess it up," the harder the backlash becomes.

If that idea doesn't give you the heebie-jeebies, you haven't been paying attention. It's gotten so bad that our "educated people" have been messing with the most basic elements of life itself- genetics- and doing some very, very ill-advised things. An example (which hits damn close to home, to me): I read an article a number of years ago about a group of genetics researchers who succeeded in splicing genetic material from a spider into a goat.

Sorry, WTF?

Said goat produced raw silk through it's teats instead of milk. I couldn't make this stuff up.

The article said they were looking into ways to process the raw silk, and looking at applications for the processed silk as well.

Those two ideas said a lot more that wasn't actually in the article. For instance... if they're spending time and money to find a way to make the raw silk useable... chances are, they plan to make more such... spider goats. *twitch* Second, they don't even have a way to process the raw silk... but they're already thinking of ways to use it? Wow.

DID YOU PEOPLE NOT READ JURASSIC PARK?!

I watched the paper for months after that, hoping to see an article that said that they'd discovered the hard way that the spider goat was venomous, too... No such luck.

Vicissitude.

How might the world try to rebalance itself from the effects of us making new animals? Never mind pollution and overpopulation... we're talking about some pretty serious, fundamental changes to a system that doesn't really need them.

Ups and Downs indeed. I hope you have a helmet and a seatbelt, because from the look of things, we're going for a ride... and it's not going to be smooth.

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