Pedagogy of the Anti-Miraculous

Possibly it is not that our human experience is derived from mechanical fundamentals, it is merely customized, and it is customized because experience can be understood as customization itself. Every moment that we live in and live through is tailor-made for “us”, not just as individuals, but as also as the living history of all that has gone before us. “We” are an influx of proprietary relativism against a backdrop of the same, but twisted 180 degrees so that it is a representation of its opposite.

If private sense is the experienced ratio of all that is directly historical to the self against all that is indirectly historical, then its opposite would be a sense of public generality and fundamentalism in which privacy is granulated and diagonalized into oblivion. We call this diagonalization entropy, where all that has form and function begins to break down and decay before our eyes, while its continuous replenishment leads and follows behind our backs. The idea of emulation is to escape entropy by building a conscious machine from generic digits. It is to build the driver of a car from the car’s exhaust.

As our consciousness does its job of tuning us in to a personalized and familiar experience, the unseen effect is that we are tuned out to the unfamiliar by perceptual approximation. That which is unique is elided and generalized. When we look casually at a thousand oranges, we can’t tell them apart. Each one is, from an absolute perspective, a unique and unrepeatable event in the universe, but because we cannot identify with a fruit tree’s experience, it becomes just ‘an orange’ to us. Behind the absolute uniqueness of every experience is uniqueness itself – an impossible improbability which teases itself into a kind of self-hypnosis of pantomimed multiplicity and repetition.

That which is initiated manually as custom intent is reverberated back to us in countless extensions, each conspiring with the other to effect a consensus in the image of futility. The universe’s mute response, “the silence of God” is, surprisingly, evidence of our own prominent exception to the rule of indifference. Our struggle against entropy, as individuals and as living ecosystems dating back to the Pre-Cambrian is in stark contrast to the representation of all that is public. That we can tell the difference is the difference. That we can sense and make sense is not just a miracle, it is the miracle which makes the appearance of ordinary possible. It is through that appearance that we can forget the past, while still remembering it, and build new worlds without risk of repeating ourselves exactly.

The trick is to rig the reflection so that it hides the absolute truth, so that the miraculous appears ordinary and generic and the proprietary appears as an unexplainable fluke.

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