I like over hearing conversations that get me thinking about iconoclasm and the natural world.
Was walking past the bus stop at the back of a shopping centre near where I live yesterday and I heard a guy say loudly on his mobile phone “yeah but what is life?”.
My inner monologue initially jokingly went into “life is an abyss of nothingness ….” and cliche pessimist (goth) stuff (nihilism init).
Then my mind went to “thermodynamics, entropy, decay, energy, motion” (because like science stuff can be cool).
After that “being an animal in a biospherically egalitarian community” (hippy deep ecology stuff).
Finally “navigating the ideological social narratives of this culture to escape it’s psychological confines and retain authenticity, in order to dismantle the technological colonialist prison of death” (obviously only relevant to the domesticated).
I think to some degree all these answers are correct, but thinking about it now, it seems simple. Not in either a spiritual or reductive sense, life, in honest iconoclastic terms that don’t romanticise or demonise, just is. We do the dances of living in various ways and everything I’ve mentioned are part of that process, but life remains just being. I read recently an article on physicist who has come up with a theory on matter, where life is an inevitability of how atoms interact (or something like that (I’m not a physics nerds and can’t be arsed to find the article as I type this on my phone from my bed)). I’ve also got planned to read stuff on philosophy of consciousness and environmentalism, which draws from a theory of the mind known as panpsychism; where a fundamental property of matter is some form of “primitive” consciousness and our brains essentially work as amplification devices for the consciousness of our matter. Both these ideas are interesting to me and perhaps (probably if I’m honest) they’re right (seems likely to me). I’ll never “know”, in any non-dogmatic sense.
But I don’t need to. I’m an animal. I’m alive. I know life escapes language, like water through a fist.
“Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest, and on and on, he knew not where or why; nor did he wonder where or why, the call sounding imperiously, deep in the forest.” Jack London
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” Nietzsche