Viable Worlds Theory – Why philosophy is more than mental masturbation

socrates greek philosopher cartoonThe successful survival of our species has always depended on pattern prediction. We model our brains and our behaviours on the patterns we experience and adopt as truth. We then fit new information into these existing structures that dictate our interpretations and attentions. The following three basic patterns found throughout nature easily illustrate this precept:

1) Sequences – From ’rounding the bases’ while dating to predicting the sequence of seasons/weather for agriculture
2) Branched Hierarchies – From attention priority scales (eg: run from wasp – run screaming from bee) to societal/job roles
3) Networks – From understanding our interaction within ecosystems to Richard Branson’s business success

Countless patterns, many coded within our own bodies, can be translated from micro through to macro: torus energy fields, gravity, the golden mean, crystallography… etc. How many humans have devoted their lives to finding the ‘one governing pattern behind everything’? Although this one-ring-to-rule-them-all search is undoubtedly a noble, and most exquisitely human, cause (and who am I to say it can’t be done!), I propose we lay out on the grass with Socrates and take a bit of a breather.

Socrates had the balls to confess his truth, that “all I know is that I know nothing.” In his classical world, full of proportions and ethical theorizing, this was a tantalizingly provocative admission. But in our globalized, overly connected, overly rationalized, universe, we can’t all just wander around in loosely draped robes getting into philosophical debates with handsome younger, and powerful older, men – although I’ve pretty much just described my idea of heaven. We have to be a tad more, dare I say, pragmatic about things. Yes, James and Kierkegaard were on the right track, but I propose we push their philosophies even further…

The Viable Worlds Theory

First of all, we need the scientific method to adapt to the 21st century. It was all fine and good for the Enlightenment, and even for Kant’s obsessive categorizing. But truisms are so, like, pre-Edwardian. Wake up people! Even fashion’s gone individual! We need to drop the attention directing ‘hypothesis’, and demand ‘conclusion statements’ that include multiple interpretations of the data set. Let’s pass our results around to different faculties, post them on social media for public interpretation, and get correlation perspectives from a wide variety of personal paradigms.

But how do we function, let alone thrive, in a world of such unfathomable complexity? How can we have faith in faith when we accept the validity of all? Do we have to put ourselves through the strictest asceticism, like Gautama Buddha and Martin Luther, before we reach enlightenment? Or get all uppity like, and I type this with utmost respect, Muhammad and Confucius? Just relax, I’ve got good news for you. You’re already living in your own viable world.

Whether you define your core as your pineal gland, your sub or straight-up conscious mind, or the surface of your skin, your individual viable world (your personal paradigm) extends outwards through (as many as you believe exist) dimensions from this point all the way to the edge of the universe – wherever you understand that edge to be. This is your reality, and all your patterns, values, and decisions will be guided by this framework. As unromantic as it may sound, every human is essentially living in their own world. I believe we have an intuitive sense of this principle – just look at the language we use: “living in his own little world”, “welcome to my world”, “it was like stepping into another world.” I’m not going to go all Chomsky on you and insist that language is in itself a philosophical proof, but the lingo is undoubtedly interesting.

Just as so many genes in your DNA can be switched on or off, so to can you negotiate with your viable world. The success of any system, from skin cell to Wall Street, is directly proportional to its ability to regenerate, adapt, and accommodate. These three factors are your go-to checklist for evaluating the personalization of your own viable world. Slow healing/regeneration = change your diet. New boss at work = adapt your priority scale. Just married a writer = accommodate or die. Let’s not forget that we are a social and inherently ambitious species. By comparing our world with the worlds (as expressed and experienced) around us, we can alter our own to best serve our purposes and fulfill the full potential of our preciously unique genetic code.

People who are depressed live in a bleak, unforgiving world because their internal landscape has become bleak and unforgiving. People suffering from cleanliness OCD are, quite literally, living in a world with more germs than the rest of us. All the sufferer’s interpretations, actions, and attentions are in response to this paradigm. Psychopaths think we’re weak, inferior, and sacrificial – of course they do! In their world, wouldn’t you?

What about faith? In my world, my faith is the only truth, stretching from my core out to the edges of my universe. Interacting with people in parallel worlds of faith is a spiritual joy. Other faiths? Other worlds. All viable. All valid. I dare you to have the kind of balls that Socrates dared to parade through the streets of Athens. I dare you to really think about what the viable worlds theory could mean for our global economy/society.

Instead of asking yourself, “What kind of person do I want to be.”

Dare to ask, “What kind of world do I want to live in?”

The Versatile Blogger Award goes Greek when a ‘good-girl-bad-girl’ reveals all!

good girl bad girlBefore Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, there were Anaximander’s opposites (hot/cold, good/evil, wet/dry), which where brought into unity by Heraclitus: “The road up and the road down are the same thing.” Being awarded The Versatile Blogger Award (many thanks to ToKillAHammingBird for the nomination!!) requires me to tell you 7 things about myself. versatileblogger111But there are so many versions of ‘self’ that 7 things can be strategically used to describe. Who do I want to be to you? But no, that’s too easy. I’ve always been a woman of extremes, no nebulous middle ground, and I’m going to allow you to know me at my most honest – and therefore by my opposites: Good Girl …versus… Bad Girl. The Greeks were fearless of ideas. This freedom has been their greatest gift to history. And when you are fearless in who you are, your own history begins to make a lot more sense.

1) Requisite ‘good girl’ volunteering, plus earned full scholarships and A++ ave in high school & university …versus… Dropped out to play (briefly) in the _ _ _  industry and to work (permanently) as a Thinker/Writer/Designer

2) Won fashion (and industrial) design awards, commissions, and designed and hand-stitched my wedding dress …versus… Last ten years could be defined as a tragic series of ugly hand-me-down pants

3) Have accessorized said pants with running shoes, baseball cap, and ponytail 23/7 …versus… Harley Davidson boots other 1/7, with all manner of debauchery above my thigh-high fishnets

4) Match all my man’s socks as soon as they come out of the drier …versus… Have resorted to buying paper plates and plastic cutlery after ignoring the dishes for weeks (ok… so once it was a whole month)

5) Work diligently 9 to 5 rolling paper (don’t ask) and doing academic research on ‘the evolution of ideas’ …versus… My infamous 3 am ‘field testing’

6) Have a deeply Christian faith (with new philosophical proof that would leave Aquinas shaking in his sandals) …versus… Once wrote an essay on cheese being the highest expression of human spirituality

7) If you break my heart you won’t shake my faith in love …versus… But I will have to kill you.

*********

The Versatile Blogger Award also asks that I nominate 15 other bloggers for the next round:
Shoeism ~ HitchhikingColorado ~ TheMusicType ~ LivingDilbert ~ AFireworkInProgress ~ BlueHouseRecords ~ MagicAndMarvels ~ AdventuresAspirations”Aha”Moments ~ Sewbon ~ TheBlondeAlarmist ~ Bun81Bridge ~ BareKnuckleWriter ~ TheStoryShack ~ BalconyViews ~AdventuresInWiferyAndOther…