In the year 2014 A.D, the human species may have expanded completely out of bounds. To transcend boundaries is within out nature. That is what we do. It is ordained. It is written. We appear to have transcended my limits imposed upon us by nature. Nature imposes, not out of will, because because of the statistical qualities of what nature is. Humans transcend. Nature constrains. There is no free will involved. There is no intelligence or intelligent design involved. There is no pre-ordained outcome. So we immediately see the arbitrariness of what is natural and what is unnatural. This makes it so strange why we as humans (especially in the western world) still venerate the “natural” and conversely we abhor what’s labeled “unnatural”.
To most people natural evokes a sentimental emotional state of peace. “Nature” has had good PR. Nature is wholesome. We have emerged from nature We are the children of Nature. Nature is a kindly maternal figure. Apparently humans do not know any better than to regard what’s nature and to viciously cling to our preconceptions. Nature is a pervasive realm of familiarity and our brain accepts the realm of the manifestly natural as the most desirable of reality. We are alleged to live in a garden reality of symbiotic interdependency with nature. When faced with absence of nature, our animal instincts make us instinctively recoil. There’s only one desolation that reveals unnatural to us, and this is the void of outer space.
Miriam-Webster dictionary definition
nat·u·ral adjective \ˈna-chə-rəl, ˈnach-rəl\
: existing in nature and not made or caused by people : coming from nature
: not having any extra substances or chemicals added : not containing anything artificial
: usual or expected
Unnatural inspires fear. Frankenstein is unnatural. He is mad made and corrupted by the man Victor. Humanity corrupts nature, as inverted an image as humanity created by “g-d” was regarded as good (by god obviously, he’s pretty good at this judgement business). So humans recoil from many (not all) unnatural things in a manner comparable to a terrified rodent scurrying back in to the arms of a proverbial mother figure. Beyond nature lies a void of unknown things. Our mind recoils from this void. We seek peace, and this peace comes as a marketing panacea. Mother nature is a brand of soothing and recognition, like the ultimate whole grain brand of breakfast cereal. The mother signifies the kind of peace of a child paddling its way back in to the Mothers womb with little velvet boxing gloves. This means of course the desire to die painlessly. Mother nature only accepts its infant offspring back as part of a recycling process. Mother nature has a pervasive composting process.
Nature does not absolve, it recycles. Nature only reformats through complete reduction. This is now regarded as natural. The Unnatural does in fact recycle. It upgrades, patches, repairs, reformats and repurposes. The unnatural does not let go of identity and maintains structures indefinitely. The absolution of nature is through being expundged. The absolution of the unnatural is through sueing for recognition of rights of personhood, and affirmation of these rights in a court of your peers.
I postulate this unnaturality trauma as a childhood stage in the human mind. In the face of nature, we come to fear life rather than embracing longevity. We have a natural functionality insofar we have meaning as loved ones, employee’s, taxpayers, constituents. As soon as we extrapolate beyond the pale of the established, we become unnatural. Gay marriage was commonly judged as artificial, unnatural and contrived, and hence it was rejected. People can now thought to have an “unnaturally” long lifespan. To tamper with the laws of nature (which I have yet to find in my neighborhood Library) I delve in to the realm of the unnatural. Unnatural becomes uncannily synonymous with all things that disturb or upset any semblance (or delusion) of Status Quo. If we do things that disrupt markets, it becomes unnatural. Established rights of shareholders and owners of Intellectual Properties is regarded as natural, and hacking becomes unnatural. Laws are labelled natural, and breaking laws “an act against nature”. Clearly it doesn’t take long to come across what the philosopher Fukuyama calls, “the most dangerous ideology known to man”, i.e. Transhumanism, and come across rampant accusations of unnatural. The highest manifestation of unnatural in our global culture are all reminiscent of technocracies and fascist police states. The most unnatural things must by implication be fascist, globalist, repressive and dehumanizing. Hence, Transhumanism is unnatural and hence all things unnatural are suspicious and suspicious things must be rejected.
The more things ascend on the natural pyramid of complexity, the more these things are deemed temporal, fallible, fragile. This smells eerily of original sin. We have attained our success as part of the species through an implied debt to nature. Nature is a harsh mother and the single most affirming trait of her is perpetuity and sustainability. This comes at a heavy price – for the natural realm on Earth to function, anything that escape the boundaries of a closed system had to be corralled in to a statistical funnel of mortality. The immortal is hostile to nature. To transcend a brief temporal existence in some kind of meaningful format one must other be humble (tortoises, worms, jelly fish, trees) or one becomes unnatural.
Humanity is now alleged to bear a burden of sin. Humanity is no longer fully natural. We have now become a cancerous tissue. We threaten nature, and in doing so our new un-nature abhors us, much in the same manner as the dawn of puberty might abhor the early adolescent. Nature is a form of eternal childhood. In nature there is no identity and ego. When animals are in nature their death is a sacrament of imposed meaning. A tiger that slays a deer expresses a brief native american word of thanks to the deer for taking its flesh, almost as a short moment of prayer and gratitude to Mother Nature. We have constructed an intricate moral system as human beings, with temporal human minds, where we believe we inhabit a shadow realm of natural and unnatural. To stray to far from the middle comes with a price – a return to nature implies death, an ascent to unnature implies we become monstrous. Humans are acting, they dare to act, and are challenging the established natural order, break an eternity of seasonal cycles, procreative cycles, generational cycles. We inhabit a new and implied realm of natural theocracy, with barely audible whispered instructions on how to behave. Nature is implicitly genocidal tranquility.
To have a big brain is unnatural. Evolution, normally a natural process, left the plan with an unnatural end result. Various religions recognize the implied instability caused by the intelligence of humanity and impose a responsibility of Stewardship. Humanity is an undisclosed experiment, and one that does not make any immediate sense. The only sense the human state makes is if we are to affirm the unnatural as meaningful.
The balance is shifting now and our world stands to lose firm footing to the ground below us. Humans now increasingly embrace unnature. In asian countries people have stopped being sexual, have suspended the urgency to procreate and would rather live lonely lives, rather than natural lives. These are all indicative and evocative phenomenon of a humanity transcending from a natural state to a profoundly and irreversible unnatural state. And we somehow find a new meaning in this, as we realize that most nature is dirty, deadly, impoverished and boring. The last few years there are now more people in cities than in the countryside, and if there’s a thing that’s universally labelled unnatural it is cities. The new ewra of the unnatural comes with a new kind of consolation, and it is a wasteful and cruel consolation. We sin, in any range of subjective and objective ways we can be argued to be sinful. We abandon any pastoral authenticity for an intricate and bewildering urban synthicity. We allow ourselves a brief respectful pilgrimage to nature, by visiting the family in the countryside, or visiting alleged tropical paradises, or a brief reunion with out sexuality two weeks out of every year in a holiday resort, but then it’s quickly back to unnature.
We as a species are in the process of secession from nature, and in doing so we are saying farewell to the planet. We used to be subservient peons of nature, shackled to climate and natural laws. We are abandoning any semblance of a symbiotic relationship, and the more we label ourselves consumers, the more we are revolutionaries against nature. The highest sacrilege against nature has become synonymous with rape, or the desecration of the Mother. We label rape as unnatural, and imagine there is some kind of crying female figure out there in the world that demands immediate justice and consolation from her having been violated by humanity at large.
What has now become unnatural in is, is profoundly natural. As we take the natural urge to consume, we consume ourselves. By destroying nature we become a worm ourobourous that does not eternally regrow, but ends up dead. We are not fully unnatural and we have no escaped natural laws, as we remain shackled to our short term interest, our mortal spirits and our temporal outlook. Animals are innocent because they don’t care. Any animal granted the ability to indiscriminately kill would in a manner of years overrun the planet and breed itself in to extinction. Natural is no longer a matter of following any imposed laws, it’s just a matter of mutually assured destruction. Knowing your place in nature is simply a matter of “not knowing any better”. Now we do know any better, we act as if we don’t. The secession of humanity is based on consciousness, and our minds have abandoned us. We are like infants transmuting in to a new state of which the ultimate end result is nothing like the “natural” growing up as a person. There is no preset schedule. There is no master plan, and we make it up as we go along.
Humanity has become by its evolving nature an interstitial phenomenon between life and unlife, and between death and undeath. What we create now increasingly transcends either life and death, as to force us to come up with a new and wholly unnatural language. Economy, computational science, mathematics has in part become a family of unnatural languages describing unnature.
It is becoming time we accept evolving up as a species. We are set to abandon nature, abandon symbiosis. Nature becomes a subservient series of optional processes which remains up to us to cultivate, maintain in vitro, and “garden”. In transcending nature last thing we should do is to “fence in” nature, uproot nature, destroy nature, overrun nature, overexpoit nature or consume nature. Nature is a very complex set of existential options, but sadly the emergence of consciousness and intelligence has set us irreversibly apart from nature. As we progress in an ever more unnatural state we can only do so in a manner that allows indefinite survival. The most unnatural thing we could conceivably do – engineer our own biological or machine-interface immortality – is precisely the one thing that will irreversibly welcome us in to the outer Abyss of the unnatural. An eternity of personal and persistently designed evolutionary leaps is by many orders of magnitude better than the alternative. Natural evolutionary improvisation has left us with personal tragedy. We do better with intelligent design.
The one defining characteristic is that nature itself does not love. Maybe individual animals may feel love, but only humanity has the capacity to love, and in doing so forgive nature for what she has subjected us to. But as we cherish sentimental feelings for our natural legacy, it is certain that we will also come to live the unnatural before us. We will grow to embrace this vast expanse of unknown with deep kinship, and recognize a potential more vast than anything nature ever had to offer us. If anyone does so prefer, they are free to lie in the early spring meadow and allow their bones to come home in the embrace of your mother. Most transitional humans will not, and will transcend the need for solace, sedation and oblivion. Eventually we will become so unnatural that few things will frighten us and that day we will look back at nature as another sentimental memory, well contained and archives for referential purposes. We will be not as gods, not as demons, and not as angels, but rather something immortal, eternal, all-seeing, ecstatic and transcendent the natural mind has not yet conceived of.