In Fall 1984, i believe, i took an evening wander from me nest in south Minneapolis. The nest had a bat in it, but already i'm off course. Its a bit of a blur, now that the dinosaurs have flattened and we all have internet, but i had the wonder of a great reveal that eve. i'm reminded we don't necessarily try to think of ideas; its hard to make them happen because we want one, and so it was while thinking about little that so much came into me mind, and like a rare gift, the planet all of a sudden made sense.
i was struck with an idea as to why things are the way they are. As soon as i got home i started writing this bolt down, and it has been my anchor all these years. My impulse to go to grad school was little more than an excuse to investigate this idea; explore how my interest in the narrative as a device to create architecture could express a philosophy.
While in grad school i took a seminar where we had a project that allowed me to put this idea out in front of others who were much smarter than i was and sure enough one woman became furious with the idea and started yelling at me during my presentation. i don't remember arguing with her, i think because i "knew". But the idea hasn't seen light since.
The idea is a very simple one. It essentially says that there are no special life forms; that as inhabitants of "life" we are all equals, receiving definition not through "intelligence" or lack of, appearance, ability to skateboard, or life cycle, but through the means that each life form goes about survival. It says that life is about no more than our ability to survive as a species, and that life "knows" of nothing else. As a species we assume there must be a purpose to our existence, a purpose greater than simply survival, a "knowing" that exceeds all other knowing, but if we look around at every other life form, we realize that isn't the case, there is no greater purpose, and that we can't pretend we're doing more than any other species, as much as we'd like to imagine we're exceptional. In fact, we may see that we're failing where other species have been so successful.
If a species is defined by the means that it goes about it's survival, then we need to see the products of humanity in another light. We need to understand that our nature isn't apart from nature, but that the cosmos is a singular entity we all inhabit and incapable of division. There isn't nature and humanity, there is just nature. The idea that coal mines and steel mills and chemical plants and farms are as natural as spider webs and wasp nests was what so angered the student in my seminar class. But they are our nature; the means by which we go about our survival, and as valid (and beautiful) as any other (i believe i just defined beauty).
i never named this idea. i always just called it "the industrial". More rambles coming. ..