The following seem to be the greatest threats to our planet or the survival of life thereon – atomic weapons, chemical pollution (derivatively global warming) and bioengineering.  The effects of nanotechnology also loom on the horizon.Imagine that the common source of  these manifestations  is inner, namely our adopting and being guided by a mechanical vision of nature.

If I envision, create, manufacture and distribute a machine it may have many salient or healthy uses. Machines are mechanical in nature. They can thus help us replace mechanical chores. The Industrial Revolution helped abolish slavery. In this context, a mechanical chore is generally not uplifting, requires little conscious attention, is repetitive and thus anathema to life. The “double negative” of using a mechanical machine  to negate or undue a mechanical human or animal chore (cars replacing horses and oxes) creates a positive for life.  Early on in the Industrial Revolution the majority of scientists invented machines to enhance factory and farm production.

Inventing factory machines gave a sense of on-going progress. But this was only a very superficial application of a much larger cosmic view. In generally, double negatives only tend to produce superficial and non-depth positives. They are not full or integral positives. We see this in allopathic  medicine when we cut away a toxic tumor which only treats a condition without getting at the cause.   The same happens with the mechanical view overall. It can be applied to  undo something anathema in our lives without more deeply nurturing life itself. Secondly, the early invention of machines had but limited impacts on the condition of human life.  Marx and Engels noted some of the impacts as the basis for critiquing capitalism.  But early socialists were as fervent advocates of the Industrial Revolution as their opposing capitalists, just offering a relatively superficial change (altering who owns the means of capital or production). Thus the destruction of our planet’s environment proceeded, it seems, as much behind as in front of the iron curtain.   It was not until the middle of the 20th century that the same mechanical vision was applied on a far deeper level, primarily via chemistry and physics, and at the very end of the 20th century via biotechnology. The 17th century’s mechanical vision had thus impacted us all and all over the planet, and in ever more seriously life-threatening ways. It was Rachel Carson who first noted this very stirringly in the 1960’s. This was when the chemical revolution’s impact first became widely noticeable. This also gave birth to the environmental movement.

To answer this question it is important to know what is the essence of “mechanicality.”  Machines, unlike living flesh, are made of separate and interchangeable parts. These are often made using hardened steel or plastic – to cause them to be resistant to influences. The tick-tock sound of a clock (with the hands of the clock moving in separate stepped ways – is symbolic of the essential separative-parts identity of machines.  What imparts to machines that pervasive identity? The answer is simple. It is the symbols that design and envision the nature of machines. They are at the foundation of the mechanical view and these are none other than the symbols of mathematics. All specific symbols have some unique identity. All symbols gain some unique identity because they are  mental pointing tools. What do math symbols point to best in our consciousness? What is their guiding bias? A careful analysis shows that they function as universal symbols for how to separate all elements of consciousness. This is why they so universally used to design machines made of an endless array of separate parts. What does this have to do with threatening life on earth?

What happens when we cut something apart with a knife (as in separating the halves of an orange)? Two internal surfaces simply appear. This is symbolic of the close link between what is separative (mechanical) and surface appearing. Thus allopathic medicine has positive uses in emergency medicine (the surface moments of time) plus in fixing anything mechanical like a broken bone in a car accident. The Industrial Revolution and subsequent technologies created a superficial ( illusionary or surface true) sense of progress. But the question remains, what is also happening on the deeper levels.

Continued in Part II – Here we discuss how the same vision can threaten life on earth and how we can change or cure that effect.

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