A man that has always fascinated me is Nikola Tesla. He did not believe in boundaries, limitations, or man having a set place in the now. He was in every sense of the word a wizard. He sought to dissect the cosmos that he might better understand what we were. But when one delves into the abyss he finds himself drawn further and further away from his own humanity. You delve too deeply and you forget the sum of what makes a man and see him solely as a machine. Insanity is the only conclusion when one comes to the realization that man is a scientific variable in the equation of Existence.
Tesla did not believe in the soul. He believed all humanity was nothing more than forces of momentum which drive their own form of change in the universal paradigm. We were, in his words, a part of the universe and thus interconnected. We worked together or against one another serving a vague prupose in the ether. Thus in a way he must have believed in reincarnation as the first law of thermodynamics is that energy is neither created nor destroyed. It changes shape but is always recurrent.
It is that law that compels me to view Life along said terms. We live and die because of the need to preserve the balance. If one were to live forever, become overly successful and draw much to their side in the way of resources monetary, political, etc., then a man would become a black hole and threaten the stability of a society. He would draw in too much power. Power does not come from nowhere. There is a set power in any environment. It must be drawn from something and that something is impoverished and slowly dies as its power is taken.
That thought helps me to see society and culture through a new set of eyes. Civilization is constantly swinging like a pendulum as power shifts back and forth as we try to find that universal balance. Our times shift from liberal to conservative, from extremely dark to blindingly bright, from recession to expansion. Each swing takes us past that desired point as the momentum of prior actions carry us back to another extreme. A good example of this was the drive of capitalism in the 1950s. The American economy was booming following World War II and jobs as well as money were plentiful. People defined themselves via material objects, their place in the hierarchy locally and nationally. Then came the 1960s and 1970s with counterculture, a disgust for wealth and its material trappings, a yearning to be free of authority. With the 1980s materialism returned with a vengeance. This is overly simplified but go over history. Look at how cultures evolved. There are arcs, there is repetition. It is natural. The only time a threat arises to any culture is when those arcs carry further and further to extremes as each action is checked by another sending the pendulum further and further from the center.
Time follows a pendulum. Humanity started it. Fashioned it. Manipulated it. So many think we need to drive that momentum ever onward. But what if we were to simply stop thinking in extremes? What if we were to accept moderation? So many think every question has a simple answer. If one were to stop and realize that simplicity is not always that simple, that every action causes a reaction, then perhaps the ever increasing swings of the pendulum might shallow out. Some call this rigidity. I call it stability. Swing too far and the pendulum’s base flips. That is the destiny of extremism.
But these are the ramblings of a quiet, unnoticed man…