Business vs. Consciousness - An alternative perspective on the environmental crisis

The main goal of a company is survival under the given economic circumstances. As with the drive to survive of biological organisms, this goal is antithetical to high consciousness or truth. Here we will explore why that is the case and what conclusions follow. This will give us insight into how we might be able to change the current state of the economic landscape so companies can change their activity to benefit the whole ecosystem.

Are human companies like nature?

The current economic system evolved out of the natural environment that shaped how we humans think. In nature, the rule of the game is to secure resources (calories) for survival. The species that do this the best will survive and procreate. The economy imitates nature and has profit as the rule for survival. Profitable companies survive. Notice, benefiting humanity as a whole (not even mentioning the whole ecosystem) is not on the agenda. 

But this is a very simplified view on the matter. While at one level nature seems to promote survival based on which species can acquire calories in the most efficient manner, of course, many other rules also apply. From the highest perspective, the whole of nature (currently probably excluding us humans) is a beautiful process that maximizes diversity and allows life to thrive under a wide range of circumstances. On the micro-level, it looks like a competition between individual species. But on the macro-level, it is one process of maximizing life on planet earth. 

The economy is different

Is the economy the same? Does it only look like egoic competition on the level of individual companies but from the highest perspective it maximizes human well-being? No. Maybe that's what the economy will one day develop into. But currently, it produces so much negative outfall in terms of human and animal suffering, that it is hard to see the beauty of nature reflected in this human system. 

The current economic system is based on a confusion of fundamental importance. It is a confusion that only human beings fall prey to. How is that possible? Are we not the most successful species on the planet? That is exactly where we get to the core message of this article. What makes a species most fit for survival is exactly the opposite of the truth. Within us humans, this dynamic has reached its current peak. With the combination of powerful technology, we face the dangerous situation we find ourselves in right now. 

The core problem of the overall economy

What is this dynamic I am speaking of? It is the fight between consciousness and pure replicators. What consciousness is should be relatively clear. Consciousness is the basis of all of reality, it is what is true regardless of what experience it currently contains. Pure replicators on the other hand are illusions (forms) within consciousness. Pure replicators can be biological entities, like animals and humans, but also ideas and mental constructs, like the world-view of materialism for example. 

Once this distinction was made, research was able to find interesting dynamics between these two sides of existence. It was discovered that the entities that are best fit for survival are pure replicators. This means that they only care about survival and not about truth. Truth is not necessary for survival. Or you could also say it is antithetical to survival. 

If you want to dive deeper into this dynamic and the research behind this, you can watch the following to videos: 

This is a talk by Donald Hoffmann on the theory of conscious agents. 

Combine this idea with what Andrés Gómez Emilsson has to say about how pure replicators form as mental ideas within consciousness and you can understand how companies and the economy (ideas of our minds) follow the same rules. Until we recognize these two different modes of operation, we have little chance to make meaningful changes to our behaviour as a society. 

Consciousness in this context means the basis of reality and also the conscious decision for the most positive outcome. The difference between pure replicators and consciousness is stark. They literally can have opposing goals. Unconscious processes unfolding in consciousness predict the experiential quality that consciousness has. It is to us to decide what will survive in the long run. And here we come back to the statement I made in the beginning, that we are operating under a fundamental confusion. 

The fundamental confusion

This confusion is that we are holding the "physical" universe as more real and fundamental than consciousness. It only takes some contemplation though to recognize that this is an inference we are making. Which is unnecessary and likely misleading. Anything that could ever exist, has to exist as a conscious experience. It is impossible that we, or anyone else, can ever discover anything outside of consciousness. 

I suppose that we will only fix our current economic system and the resulting environmental crisis if a large portion of humanity is able to step out of this confusion and into a correct view of the world. 

Why this assumption? If we think of physical reality as more real than consciousness, we value numbers, finances and possessions over emotions and happiness. Would we instead recognize that everything is an expression of consciousness, we would also see that the value of happiness is much higher than that of money, for the sake of money. We would see that our way of quantifying "reality" is aimed at the wrong target. Not excel-sheets, work for the sake of work, houses, cars, and money are of primary importance, but how those experiences feel as a direct expression of consciousness. 

Human adulthood will improve the economy

From that corrected viewpoint we would also recognize that we are hurting ourselves by hurting others and the environment. We would have to come to the (painful) conclusion that we had been living our whole lives in a confused state chasing the wrong goals. A difficult but necessary developmental step that humanity has to make. Not without reason is this recognition of the true nature of this world also called the development into true human adulthood.