My trip to work and the search for meaning.
I notice that wherever there is no conscious human input that the only consistent outcome is that things revert to nature.
The pavements that are cared for are guided into a form while those that are uncared for by human input are simply allowed to express nature to its fullest – soil erosion, weeds, trees hanging into the roadway and so on. Where one passes anything abandoned nature encloses it pretty quickly. Properties that have stood empty are nature, ecosystems develop. Tar roads that have had no human care and competence attached become sand roads and suffer erosion and un-levelling just as happens in nature. The moment human consciousness, in it various accents, attaches to either the property in terms of development, or the tar road in terms of maintenance, nature withdraws as a lesser factor under this influence. The development comes to expression and the road gets to serve its correct purpose.
I pass a roadkill in the form of a dead hare or rat or dog or cat. I realise that they have no capacity to link road, car and die together. They simply don’t have the ability to connect any two things or situations together because they have no consciousness or ability to think. They are like ‘lambs to the slaughter’ as the saying goes. Whatever ones’ inner feeling of loss might be for the roadkill, one is simply acting in vain if one hopes that they would learn – they simply cannot consciously learn. It dawns on me how fortunate I am as a human being. I am conscious. I can connect the road, the car and the momentum, the solid nature and fragility of a human body. The result is that I don’t cross the road without getting the appropriate conditions in place before I try to cross it.
I continue on my way and, taking the above thoughts along with me, I drive up behind a person with no lights on and travelling slowly. I leave for the office early, just as the sun has risen in Summer. It’s a dark car and not easy to see until one gets close. At another point I come across the set of six yellow traffic control bone rattlers fixed to the road surface. The car in front of me slows to 45km/h for the first one, then continues without brake lights showing before it brakes again for the second set but is now at 35km/h when it had survived the first one at 45km/h, and then at the third one the same process happens, all the way to the sixth obstacle when the speed is now 15km/h. I then come to a 4-way stop where traffic lights are not working and people do an array of things:
- They either wait for something to happen,
- or they just drive through at the speed they were travelling at,
- or they stop in the middle of the intersection because they see a taxi coming.
There are many other things that happen at these 4-way intersections and traffic circles for that matter. I eventually get onto the motorway. Where I join it is four lanes wide. The car that I have been driving slowly behind immediately indicates right and meanders across to the right lanes. A truck comes past me with no trailer lights in lane 2 from the left (I live in a Left Lane country as you might have worked out). In the lane immediately to the right a traffic police car drives past the truck and past the person standing on the side of the motorway waiting for a lift. The car would stop on the motorway and pick him up and then re-join the traffic flow. I come across a rather large bottom on a small capacity scooter in the second lane from the left travelling at about half the speed limit up a hill. I am travelling in the lefthand lane because the rule is ‘keep left pass right’. I pass many people travelling next to each other in the other lanes while having my cruise control on at exactly the speed limit. They form kind of moving islands that are difficult to get around or through. When a blue light comes up behind, they move over. Well, then there are the pedestrians that one comes across on the concrete divider barriers between the East and West bound traffic hoping to cross over the four lanes one way or another. I pass a car with headlights on bright that swings into the lane behind me and leaves them like this. I eventually leave the motorway at my exit and deal with a fellow road user that is dropping someone off on the exit or turning left from the righthand lane or driving a car that is smoking way beyond what is legal. I then know from experience to stay to the extreme left to avoid leaving my chassis just the other side of a pothole the size of a bathtub. As I arrive at the traffic light there is no car in front of me but two in the righthand lane. The second one, a bread delivery 3 tonner with only one taillight swerves into the left lane from the right lane and then takes a while to get going when the lights turn green. We both pass the car that was in the right lane because they were on their cellphone. When I eventually turn left towards my office, I have to navigate a main access road to an industrial park that is in a very bad condition, looking something like nature. Pedestrians stream along the road, over the bridge that has collapsed twice in the last four years or so, towards their modes of transport or jobs. When I get to the office the first WhatsApp I read is from competent JP who tells me that he is emigrating with his entire family next week.
The above experiences, daily, lead me to question ‘Why?’ My answer is that any of the multitude of incidents and realities can come from one sure source. This source is that of our humanity as these things don’t happen in nature. To know what our humanity is we need to look at the difference between human beings and animals. Animals cannot link any two things or situations together. Human beings can – as already noted above. Everything described in the paragraphs above can be understood out of this reality. Some people can put more things together in their thinking than others. They can link the thing that they see to the concepts that apply to them. The road should not have potholes. The driver might be able to see but other drivers cannot see them without their lights on. If I can travel over this traffic control bump at 45km/h then why slow down for the rest when there is a queue of cars behind me. Haste, fear, lack of concepts and so on lead to these social obstacles we experience each day when we meet the social aspect of life. It is key to grasp the basics of this in the example that follows:
A ceramic mug has just so many concepts that must be applied in manufacturing the mug correctly. Add one extra concept or leave one out and you will not produce a ceramic mug. It will be a reject or something a little different. Leave off the concept of insulation, you will not understand the need for the handle and the users of the mug will burn themselves. Add the concept of foldable to a ceramic mug and you will never be able to produce one.
While there are millions of concepts out there, each item and scenario on earth has a specific mix of these millions of concepts in them, for them to exist.
A glass also holds liquids. In this sense it has a concept that the ceramic mug also has but it is not going to hold hot liquids without breaking or burning the hand of the holder.
So it is with roads. They need use and maintenance within their design parameters. Motorways function much better and can facilitate much better and larger flows when the users themselves can apply the right concepts to themselves while using the motorway – this is that they should not be part of the forming of a mobile bottleneck in how they drive relative to the lanes and others. The provision of electricity to a nation is not something that nature will organise for us. It is the human being that has to get the right concepts lined up and implemented. Don’t allow mixing of concepts in this otherwise you get something other than electricity. Power hungry mafia type interference in the provision of electricity is not a valid concept for the selfless supply of power to a nation. It debilitates the whole endeavour because it should not be there in the first place. I take my car to Toyota for servicing because they have people with the right concepts for Toyota cars. My car stays like a Toyota and functions like a Toyota as a consequence.
I therefore suggest that the battle we are having in the world today is a battle for our humanity – getting hold of what it really means to be human and applying this consciously. ‘Politicians’, as defined by me, are anyone who tries to convince one that a match and a box is treason rather than something to light a fire for cooking food. Or, for example, that a motorway is something I have a right to use as I please. They confuse our sense of what is right and that we should be very conscious and careful of the power of correct concepts and false ones. ‘Politicians’ mix concepts and come up with populism, a peculiar mix of concepts that turns road maintenance into a cultural divide. We are allowing ourselves to be compared to the animals that have no capacity to connect anything to concepts, rather than to know what we are that is fundamentally more than an animal. Our problem is a battle of humanity versus animality. It is just not within a human being to want to be any form of animal and not understand anything as a consequence. We all want to understand. Understanding relates to being human. The massive confusion of what understanding is leads to most of the confusion we meet every day on the way to work as described above. There is absolutely no foundation for saying that race keeps anyone away from linking the correct concepts to a situation. The reality is that all over the world we find the same issues within all peoples. These are that we have not made the connection of which concepts apply to which things or situations and treated this reality with great respect.
Many scribes trying to decipher the landscape of our country are critical but offer no solution other than that of emigrating to get away from the fact that concepts are being mixed here. The reality is that they are being mixed elsewhere too, simply because we have not realised that we are human and must take ownership of our thinking. Stop being taken by the ‘politics’ of materialism. Rather recognise that each of us can hold a certain number of concepts of a particular type or inclination. This reality is not material in nature. Each of us needs to find a place in life where these can be best utilised. The rest of us should be happy when another is in a situation where their particular concepts are having an effect in the right circumstances in the right way. We don’t want a farmer placed as city planner for example. Let each area have experts of a particular kind. Everything will become efficient and gain form and function. This simple example is explaining the significance of the inner qualities that human beings have that animals don’t have. Let’s not worry about what race, sex or creed people are, let’s rather worry about recognising the human being in the other and assisting them to get into the right vocation. A majorly weak and destructive mixed-up concept carried today is that one can bottle up the free, Godly, human being by manipulating educational content and form. This is a shatteringly anti-human concept and will always fail because Godliness cannot be extinguished in human beings that easily. Rather, we need a schooling system that allows the inherent calling of each person to be sought, found and trained so that they can become something of clarity and purposeful for society as a whole, not a support ticket for a broken conceptual framework that wants to build a castle in the sky or a tax burden because of their broken inner nature and consequent health or financial issues requiring support.
Key to the future of humanity is that we recognise our Godly capacity of thought and that this directs all we are and can be for others. Let’s acknowledge this, train this, expose it, apply it. Let’s then get to the right, un-‘politicised’ concepts for each area of life and find the people that can best carry this out. Let’s set up our education system to become oriented to the free development of the free human being so that they can become the best version of themselves and then fill these positions the nations require as strong concept carriers so that a strong and healthy social environment appears for us all. A strong family life is also part of a strong human being’s becoming.
Societies are not nature. We form them through our human-beingness. We think the form together. Let’s then be careful what we think. Let’s clear our concepts and ignore those that find their power bases in promoting confusing concepts that lead to a social sewer rather than social health.
I find this article insightful and revealing practical view on a day to day occurrence where various concepts are tested. Each paragraph has its own learning and after reading this several time I realized the power of using human consciousness to pause and reflect on each, come up with what one can learn and apply to bring human care, consciousness and competency in various life situations.
At my work site, I am taking teams through each paragraph at a time and discuss what their thoughts are and how this can make each better to avoid things reverting to nature. We are having a lot of positive engagement and examples of our situation at work that can be addressed through each exercising human care, consciousness and competence. Time will tell as the site improvements start to show.
Thank you for this insightful article.
South Africa is a great schooling ground Wilfried.
That was a calm, clear yet heart-felt literal and conceptual journey. Thank you. Thank you too, for using the word ‘human’ as the qualifier, the adjective of ‘consciousness’ and ‘being’, acknowledging that the noun from this is ‘humanity’ with the multi-dimensional nature that implies. I sense that the distortion of the adjective into a noun – a human, or humans – progressively shrivels that sense of the spiritual and promotes the way we view ourselves merely as animals – humans and apes in Darwin-speak.
Dear Yvette for your conscious reading of the article and acknowledging it. With much appreciation, David.
I appreciate this is writing that someone has taken time over. Impressions are communicated at leisure, and not the common haste of our times.
I add a few observations:
– Decay: human creations decaying with lack of maintenance. It is my observation that, in dry climates, this usually is not a straight and steady path from what technology has created to what nature reclaims, but that decay of our ‘civilised’ man-made environment first dips to a sub-nature level before eventually nature reclaims its own. In the first stages of decay it becomes ugly, offensive and polluting, rubbish gathers. Only after a protracted period will all this also wear away and finally nature can reclaim its own.
– Four way stops: overseas visitors marvel at these. They don’t know who has right of way, because they are used to being told this by a robot. South Africans though have developed a sense for this, I know when it is my turn and when not, so it somehow always works without a problem. Well, let’s not mention taxis though . . .
– Ceramic mug: In support of what you state I can recommend reading Martin Heidegger’s essay on ‘What is a thing?’
I propose a tentative up-note, after the problems you have described. Because so much is amiss in our our country, it becomes a schooling ground for human consciousness, what you name as thinking. We are confronted by much that makes us shake our heads. So, like you in this thought piece of yours, we have to reflect and come to conclusions that such or such behaviour does not work. So we constantly have to enlighten our selves. Well organised and disciplined societies have either internalised other behaviour or they have devised technologies to do it for them. Such as robots at cross roads where we still school ourselves through four-way stops. South Africa is one great schooling ground.