Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#47 / Circles

The "two world hypothesis" upon which I operate sees the "world" as a series of concentric circles.

There could be more than two circles (three in the image here, of course), but I tend to focus on the first two circles: (1) the world of nature, upon which everything else depends, a world that humans do not create; and (2) the "human" world, which we do create, and within which there can be a virtually unlimited number of other "circles" of creation, all of them dependent upon our own actions.

In the image, the world of "nature" is labeled as "environment," and the "human" world is labeled "society," which isn't a bad label. I would usually think of it as "civilization." The "inner circles" are subsidiary elements of the civilization or society we create (the economy, education, institutions, etc.; the list can be long).

For me, the key concept is that the "inner" circles are dependent on the "outer" circles. That means that within the "human world," anything that exists can be modified (not that it is always easy to do that). Our economy, our institutions, and everything else we create can be changed, as we decide. We have the freedom to create what we decide, within "our" world.

"Our" world, however, and all of the many circles of creation that it contains, is utterly dependent on the outermost circle. That most "outer" circle is the world of Nature, the world that God created, a world that we do not create ourselves.

Getting mixed up about the circles (it seems that it's easy to do) gets us into lots of problems.

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