The human race hasn’t figured out how to make living organisms. I have serious doubts that we ever will. An organism is defined as;
“a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes”.
We don’t know how to make those, but we DO know how to make machines. When we humans decide to coordinate our interactions or our activities we build a system. This is the mechanized version of a living organism. It is a machine. It has the mutually interdependent parts. It has the vital processes. It’s only missing life.
These systems can be effective tools. They have helped us improve our standard of living. They have helped us create an unprecedented way of life. The systems we make churn away according to rules and operating principles, taking inputs and producing outputs. They make it possible to scale our work. They have proven to be useful.
But, these systems are mostly broken and largely inefficient. They are at the bottom of an incredible amount of wasted effort. They are inflexible. They are hiding places where we live in order to escape being known. They become entrenched and we shape our lives around them instead of the other way ’round.
We grow up within these systems… familial, religious, educational, cultural, corporate, government, etc. layers upon layers of them. We are so used to navigating within them that we hardly realize they are there. Without our noticing, these systems become the point.
If we slow down and open our eyes, we will see that we are positioned within a kind of organism (the collection of living persons) though we are somewhat hesitant about embracing our membership. The gravity of personal connection is disconcerting… too risky. We have withdrawn into our systems, with their rules and predictability. We have nearly lost ourselves.
This is why the revolutionaries… the hackers… the outsiders… the mavericks… are so important. They undermine the system. They expose it for what it is. If you let them, and I hope you do, they will teach you to live outside the systems in the organic world where the rules are few and the person-to-person connections are scary-real.
We should keep the systems handy. They are useful tools, but no place to live. Step outside if you dare. Live in a reality based on person-to-person connection… as part of the ultimate organism (1Cor 13:12).
Hide, or be known. This is the choice that every one of us makes with our lives.