Here Thar Be Monsters!

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21.8.13

The Creature

"I started from my sleep with horror; a cold dew covered my forehead, my teeth chattered, and every limb became convulsed; when, by the dim and yellow light of the moon, as it forced its way through the window shutters, I beheld the wretch— the miserable monster whom I had created. He`held up the curtain of the bed; and his eyes, if eyes they may be called, were fixed on me. His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped and rushed downstairs."  -- Frankenstein; or The New Prometheus by Mary (Percy) Shelley
And so it is that we humans always come to see our creations.  We spend endless hours in pursuit of god-like status, desiring to create perfection that will in turn worship us as gods.  Yet, when we succeed and gaze into the eyes of our creations, we are repulsed and terrified.

Just because we can do a thing, it does not follow that we should.  It is a lesson Mankind has been taught repeatedly, and yet we persist in diving into the abyss with every passing thought, only to be repulsed by the result.

 Humans, in our boundless hubris, have always imagined we can improve upon what has taken the Universe billions of years to perfect.  We look at ourselves and think, "I could be stronger, or smarter, or faster.  If I just tweak this or modify that, I will achieve perfection!"  The problem is that we are mired in materialism, seeing nothing beyond flesh and blood.  We have forgotten that perfection is intangible and cannot exist on the plane of the physical.

Humans continue to seek Utopia despite repeated failures over thousands of years.  It is unobtainable by any standard outside the individual.  It cannot exist where two or more humans come together, since at that point there are overlapping ideas and ideals.

Every human thinks their childhood was less than perfect, so they strive to raise their children in the "perfect" way, only to find that the children are individuals with their own ideas about perfection.  The desire for perfection is so deep that wars have been fought to force one people to adopt another's ideal, much like bringing 'democracy' or 'communism' to the world.

From Plato through Dante to Thoreau, poets and idealists have sought perfection.  What they find is that one man's perfection is another's hell.  Each culture chooses its aesthetic and never the twain shall meet.  And even within a culture and the individual, the ideal changes over time, like fashion and seasons.  It's a case of greener grass just over the neighbor's fence.


Like Dr. Frankenstein, though, no matter how much we strive, no matter how lofty our ideals, no matter the drive of our ego, once we have achieved what we thought was perfect, we find that we are back to where we started.  It is a vicious circle or unending strife and strive.

And so it is with our would-be kings.  The closer they come to achieving their dreams, the more they will be repulsed by what they have created, because withing every creation is the spark of individualism.  No man nor any group of men can ever be subdued and molded into an external image of perfection.  Each person is ultimately self-perfecting within the confines of their existence, but ultimately the individual can only exist with other perfections.  It cannot subdue or submit for more than the shortest amount of time.

Even now there are many who turn to machines or genetics to 'perfect' the human existence.  I cannot last and it will never succeed.  Perfection doesn't lie in the flesh or the genome.  Those are only vehicles by which the perfect part of us imagines this reality.

The Commanche have an interesting saying: You can change the vessel, but the water inside is still the same.  All transhumanist and genetic engineering is doomed to failure.  So many people are focusing on the vessel and not the contents.  Even if the vessel were to be perfected -- an impossible task since everyone's idea of perfection is different -- the water inside is still the same.  When you consider those people who are said to have achieved perfection, they did not do so with bionic limbs, Google glass and genetic enhancements.  They did it by focusing on the contents of their vessels.

Realizing the ultimate failure of those who would force their ideals of perfection on the rest of us doesn't release us from responsibility.  They will harm a great many people with their lunatic experiments and for that reason alone, we must stop them.  They will not practice on themselves.  Rather they will use our vessels to reach their goals, then turn the processes to their benefit.

All the modifications to our selves and our world will never change anything about the human condition.  The real perfection of our selves is not something you can inject, modify or enhance.  It cannot be placed on an operating table nor imaged under a microscope.  It cannot be defined by the senses nor pointed to as a goal.  It cannot be designed, built or painted.

Perfection is a state of mind, an inner realization that we are already perfect.  We can pour the water of our being into any vessel we choose.

Perfection is the sound of one hand clapping.

Mu.