Machines are not bodies. A body knows how it feels, a machine does not. The goal and purpose of life for humans and other living beings is to create and contribute to the peace and harmony in our environment so that we can be in touch with the feelings in our bodies and in those around us. To be happy and healthy we need a pollution free environment.
Living beings are being analysed to death in anatomy classes, dissected when alive, subjected to cruelty in the name of science, destroyed by earthmovers and by radiation generated as a fall out from providing mobile communication. Researchers, the employees, the wage slaves, the greedy directors and the greedier shareholders and owners of legal persons have lost the ability to worship their own bodies and those of other living things. Instead they consider bodies nothing but servants to their greed, to be fixed if there is a problem by surgeons and dispensers of pharmaceutical products.
What is worship? It is nothing more complicated than being at peace and in harmony with our surroundings and marvelling at the sheer beauty of living and non-living beings. Together the living and non-living beings create the super-organism known as the biosphere. And the biosphere runs on love. The biosphere is composed of billions of living bodies that send feelings to their brains and make decisions on how to live the next moment of their lives based on such feedback. Noise pollution but also of course pollution of food and water sources interferes with our ability to listen to our bodies and respond intelligently to the feelings that our bodies create.
How could the ability of humans to create words and concepts, which in and of itself is not wrong, become such a runaway disaster that writers and apologists for capitalism routinely liken living bodies to machines?
Just because a man-made object can be understood because it is man made, they think an object running on nature’s love can also be understood. But living beings and the systems that connect them are their own unique form of things that clubbed together are called life. Mankind may have launched a digital revolution thanks to figuring out the mathematics of sending signals with electricity, but this revolution not only does nothing to enhance either the purpose or beauty of living and non-living bodies and their interactions, it is actually making the world a dying hell on earth.
Living bodies are beautiful because we can never understand them, we can only observe them and listen to them. A person knows they have grown up when they have the ability not only to have a huge range of pleasurable feelings but to stop them when they have to. The body sends signals that the mind need not follow blindly. The delight that a human being experiences in such a moment when they realise they have grown up, is beyond the capacities of machines. There is no such thing as “artificial intelligence”. AI is an ideology constructed by capitalism in order to make humans addicted to machines. The biosphere, ecosystems, and living beings in interaction with non-living beings, are intelligent because nature has evolved over around half a billion years to relish its own growth, its own
evolution and the interdependence of its billions of parts. Each part is both independent and connected. Each living body is both conscious of itself and of those around it. Every living being and non-living being needs to be some part of the greater whole for its continuance and for its own purpose as nature only knows.
When we are one such creature we know because our body is designed for that knowledge. Judges who are hungry make less humane decisions than judges after lunch. (Ref 1 . I don’t agree with the title of the research paper, but here is the link to the research). The paper provides evidence that there is truth in an old saying that justice is “what the judge ate for breakfast” It is as simple as that. When you are happy you want others to be happy. If there is noise the noise pollution interferes with your ability to be happy or to react to feelings in your body to keep yourself, let alone others, healthy and happy.
Also, consciousness is not a uniquely human thing. Consciousness is simply the ability to manage our lives by observing and acting on the body mind feedback. We share the ability to be conscious of our own bodies and the feelings we generate with billions of other creatures and ecological systems. Feelings are what the body sends us to realise we are alive, and then act in ways to extend our lives and the life of the whole on which we depend and of which we are a part.
So the urgent question most normal humans who are not infected by the industrial civilisation are asking these days is, why would an international civilisation build its self-declared self-image and goal on the ability of its scientists and capitalists and politicians and generals to devise ever more fancy ways of pillaging, destroying and killing living systems and bodies?
Politics is sadly not about matters of the heart. It is a harsh power struggle between workers and capital, landowners and bonded labourers, rapists and victims, evil men and innocent bodies. Because the agenda of humanists has been hijacked by liberals, capitalist legal persons are benefiting from constitutional protection whilst living bodies are being treated like garbage.
One thing we can do in the present political situation is to exercise the small power to intervene in politics that we have by writing letters or making phone calls to polluters, expressing what I have tried to talk about in these few paragraphs above. We must badger every single user and manufacturer of any kind of noisy machine in India and in the world to stop making and manufacturing machines.
Today what happened to me was that after months of peace thanks to the Corona virus, the noise pollution at the back of my house wreaked havoc once again in the neighbourhood. A man, or maybe his daughter, an owner of a legal person, had decided to begin construction of some kind or the other on their site. What this man either did not know or did not care enough about, is that every single machine that is run on an injection engine or some other fossil fuel engine is usually breaking the law. This includes cars, JCBs, bulldozers and generators. The permitted decibels in a mixed commercial and residential neighbourhood in India are the same as for residential neighbourhoods, which is 45 dB at night and 55 dB during the day, whereas these machines just mentioned have dB levels when you are near them of nothing much less than 90 dB, often as high as 120 dB. The closer you are to the source of the noise the louder it is.
If instead of a capitalist system we had a socialist one, we might also have enforcers of the law for the benefit of the public. But we don’t. We don’t have a caring educated elite that wishes to enforce the law for the benefit of everyone and of living beings, we only have greedy pigs running India and the world. (In Switzerland I hollered at a neighbour using a concrete plate vibrator to lay his new garage drive the same as I regularly holler at neighbours violating noise
pollution norms here.) I holler because they are individuals to whom I have already tried to explain patiently many times before. Hollering is noise. It is unpleasant but it can make a person listen. One should not raise one’s voice. I am sorry.
The point is, I consider it my duty to myself and my neighbours to see that anything going on in this world as I experience it complies with the law and the terms and conditions of Government permissions, on matters of noise pollution especially. Noise pollution is not only noise. The noise is a warning, as it would be in a forest, of something dangerous. It is dangerous for living bodies to be exposed to noise. Living beings need certain sounds to help them live, the sound of the voices of their loved ones, the sound of running water because we need water and so we love it, and so on. The noise made by industrial civilisation on the other hand is the noise of hell. As far as I am concerned, noise pollution makes me get up and fight it.
Companies all over the world flout environmental norms during demolition, construction and operational activities in their factories and infrastructure installations and on the roads. It is a disgrace to humanity and to the 200 odd constitutions of the nations of the world. These corporate houses trumpet their allegiance to the constitutions of their country loudly at their head offices, and at site they treat us living beings who are their neighbours or workers worse than garbage. They do not seem to understand that climate change, deafness, heart failure, extinction of animals, soil degradation, hot house earth, malnutrition and respiratory disease and all other illnesses are caused by company owners and employees who do not comply with the law. They have forgotten that to live is by definition to be a worshipper of life and beauty.
If such people do not understand what is good for living beings and themselves, we should consider them uneducated and in need of re-education. If they have no love or respect for the mystery, the beauty and the love that is the source, purpose and meaning of life, we should use our tiny powers as letter writers and users of phones to re-educate such ignorant polluters.
We do not have to pull out the big gun of the threat of climate change only, to persuade them of life’s logic. Peace and quiet when we can meditate, eat, sleep, play, dance, in peace, is good for our human body and that of the other human and animal bodies around us. What more exactly do humans and the biosphere as a whole need except their / our / its health? Machines don’t make us healthy or happy. To be happy and healthy we need a peaceful and harmonious environment, which in this day and age means a pollution free world including a world free of noise.
By educating polluters to worship living bodies and their mysterious ways, or using some other language to convey the amazing bio-logical feedback mechanisms of bodies and feelings, we will exercise a small amount of power in the political realm to defend the beauty and logic of love over hate, and peace over noise. It is not good enough to fine polluters after the pollution has occurred. We need to be active citizens to ensure the pollution doesn’t start in the first place. We
need to educate company owners so that they understand that there is no cure for ill-health except peace and happiness. Stop manufacturing and using cars! Cars make us sick because of the pollution including their horrible levels of noise.
Owners and employees of companies should not do things that make animals or humans, ecosystems and the biosphere, sick. They should not further drive forward this hell in the world that is turning earth into a hothouse that will no longer support life. Let us help them re-educate themselves about what it is to be human.
(1) Extraneous factors in judicial decisions, by Shai Danziger et al
Anandi Sharan is an independent writer