Matryoshka Method: Biosphere and Hierarchy
Author by Centauri; translated by Mara
We live in bubbles. We often magnify marginal problems into cosmic tragedies. But is this magnification really conscious? Isn’t the essence of the bubble exactly that we perceive even minor problems as really cosmic or general problems?
From the individual to the level of society, ultimately, it is characteristic of the entire human civilization that it rarely handles things in their places. When I throw away something I could still use or buy something I might even go without, I don’t think that I influence the material flow of a whole planet. With a small but important part. When I, as a member of a political, ideological group, take up the fight against the members of the opposing ideology group and, say, strengthen the campaign against the Green Lamppost, I do not think, even if there is goodwill, that meanwhile I am preventing the agreement of those who support and those who are opposed to the Green Lamppost on a more important question: how to get rid of plastic pollution? And so on.
We imagine the world in fragments, bubbles, packages, and the media baffles us in this direction just like consumer society or political trends and ideologies. Understandable, because everyone seeks after safety and efficiency.
We have also switched to a consumer attitude in our messages, thinking, principles and views, ie we want to get quickly, easyly and cheaply the experience of knowing our onions, of knowing what the problem is, knowing that we are on the right side and that not only we have the truth in this matter, but also the key to all solutions.
But if we find an honest moment of time for ourselves and stop, we will soon realize: it can hardly be that way. Yet, this psychic, spiritual space with all modern conveniences has terrible power. It’s very appealing even if it comes with rage. Because we can feel justified, and that is the point. This is also the basis of manipulation. Advertisements, political slogans, mantras, usually any kind of mantra, serve the purpose of portraying a problem, even a marginal problem, often half-truth, or even a blatant lie, as a real problem towering over everything else, through constant repetition and ramming; the purpose of blowing a bubble around us that can look cosmic from the inside,
thus, after a while, we do not perceive how often our worldwide indignations, anger, riots refer to false statements or even marginal phenomena.
One, if not the main cause of this, is the breakdown of the hierarchical approach. There is still a misunderstood, freedom based struggle and campaign against any hierarchy, although we can run any campaign, wage any ideological war against any hierarchy, we can change some of the structures of the society and the minds, they do not change the structure of the world. They will not change it precisely because there is a hierarchy, a relationship of subordination, so even developed societies cannot overcome such determinateness as for example the natural resources of the given society.
At one end is the promise and myth of the individual’s perfect freedom, at the other end are caracteristics such as the Earth’s distance from the sun.
In theory, it is possible that it would be better to be a little further away from the sun, especially now that the planet is warming, and in theory it would be a net extension of our freedom if we could really rule the Earth away. It’s nonsense to raise this, but it actually shows well where our place is in the world.
The solar system, but if we look only at the Earth, then also the Earth is an incomprehensible complexity for us; we seek to escape exactly from this unpredictability into the embracing arms of ideas and ideologies tailored to our body and soul, our scale. Yet, if the human genus, Homo sapiens, wants to survive in the long run, it will be forced to return to the hierarchy, that is, to compare all sub-questions and sub-problems to at least one larger scale, to the sphere superior in the hierarchical order. Only this can lead to gain some sort of insight and also to determine correctly the order of the things to do.
It’s a tough task, but it can help, if we imagine the world as a Matryoshka doll, starting from the fact that we’re somewhere inside, among the little ones, in the series of nested dolls. Whatever we touch, whatever we think about, whatever statement we make, we ask the question: in which doll is this all in? What is the next step? Which is the next level?
On small scale we often use this in an organic way. We don’t throw anything out the window. Why not? Because we know that maybe already in the next minute we need to go out to the yard and there we will have in front of us again what we wanted to get rid of.
When we decide not to throw the trash out the window, we decide this way because we know the apartment is inside the yard. The apartment is the smaller doll, the yard is the bigger, and we can’t leave the apartment without stepping into the yard.
The different scales ultimately form a chain. On the one hand, the world is hierarchical, and on the other hand, in the long run only those things last the existence of which can be interpreted on the smallest scale as well as in the broadest sense. If I plant a tree, it can be interpreted also from the room. It shades the house, its view is beautiful, and it covers me with a floral scent in spring when I open the window. But a tree can also be interpreted from the other direction: it enriches not only the yard but also the surrounding wildlife, participates in the Earth’s material circulation, in the oxygen production as well as in the evaporation, ultimately as part of the survival of earthly life, it also contributes to making this solar system an inhabited corner of the universe.
By planting a tree, I solve several problems at once. I can get smoothly from the smallest doll to the largest; my little act will not be isolated, so also my own isolation will be greatly reduced, and as a bonus I will finally experience that although I am a subordinate part of the universe and the solar system and the Earth,
yet this subordination does not mean passive suffering, but active and creative participation;
and at that moment hierarchy also takes on a different meaning, for there is a truly impressive and elusive generosity and genius in it that while there is an incomprehensible difference of scale between me and the solar system, I can still add or subtract something from it.
At the same time, if I look at the campaign against the Green Lamppost according to the Matryoshka method, first I am confronted with the fact that it is very difficult to insert it anywhere; even at the cost of sweaty exertion, it is very difficult to see what the connection of the anti-Green Lamppost movement to a larger scale. We will soon and in many cases realize that what the media, the politics and ideologies offer us so often and so convincingly are just fragments, bubbles, as we often say: balloons. Obviously, nor are they completely unjustified elements outside the system. It is precisely the hierarchy that precludes these from existing only on their own, nowhere connected with any point-doll in the universe. But looking out the window where we didn’t throw trash, and where we planted more trees, looking out at the lush tree that with its green is looking into the biomass of the Biosphere, which is a reserve of this solar system, we will immediately feel that the Green Lamppost dilemma may be a problem, but it’s not as much of a problem as we want to build it in our psyche, for sure.
Then we can finally rearrange the series of worries in our minds. We can form a new series freely, and although obviously not in a flawless order, not in a flawless hierarchical order, we can form a somewhat more realistic picture of what is really important.