Technocratic optimism is much like bible thumping in that it is seeking immortality. True spirituality is a letting go into a higher power that is much greater. Instead of a human centric formula true spirituality is above and beyond humans. We are but part and expression of this whole. We can only approach what that is because the part can never know the whole. Instead modern humans want to be the part and the whole and know it all. Science is corrupted by this lack of wisdom as is spirituality. This corruption means we actually need to be less intelligent but wiser.
Wisdom is knowing what intelligence to embrace and what not to embrace. A specialized scientist is not much use except in a world of specialized science. Scientific specialization is a luxury not a force of nature. True sapience starts with the sustainability that produces a survival resilience of community and place. This does not mean a whole scale rejection of our accumulated knowledge. Nor does this mean the society of the technocratic or numerous religions including the pseudo religion of modern consumerism needs to be rejected. It should be understood that this is the natural evolution of a species like ours when it reaches the point of imbalance or overshoot.
This is the new ecosystem you must inhabit. This new ecosystem is not scaled properly in relation to the planet so as with any imbalanced force in nature balance will force a restoration maybe not in human timescales but planetary ones. Nothing defining can be done about this condition at the level of the human collective. There are far too many belief systems and communities vying for a place at the table. It is better to embrace this new ecosystem at the individual level and more importantly at the level of small community where adaptability can be attempted. For most of human history until the recent time where we embrace agriculture and the empire impulse man has been tribal and in small communities. Individually we can embrace this human background and still live amount the giants so to speak. The giants are the forces of delocalization that has globalized this earth and changed the planets beyond its balance.
It is not just the case that humans are out of balance and scale but also now this condition of a dominant species has destabilized the planet in regards to habitability for the web of life. Planetary systems, ecosystems, and even geology are now adapted in an Anthropocene. In this greater condition an individual and local can decline in place while still embracing this force of life. If you think you can decouple from this greater force you will see yourself consumed by competitive forces. Survival is precarious anytime but particularly if one is delusional of what can and can’t be. You adapt to what you have even if it does not seem right. Many of us feel a deep sadness for what humans have done. We struggle to find meaning in all this imbalance.
The meaning comes from embracing decline that is evident in honest science. This embrace includes giving into the power of those greater forces. You will have to give to Caesar what is his. Paradoxically this requires an embrace of less intelligence along with physical consumption. Chose the intelligence you pursue wisely. Limits apply to intelligence as they do to our physical habitation. Do this in a relative way that acknowledges a new human ecosystem of imbalance and decay. The relativity means balancing growth and decline. You will be building up into decline. We have been killing ourselves slowly through the destruction of the habitability of the planet. Eventually thresholds will be crossed and are being crossed. The planet has its own timeline above and beyond the web of life. This is at a different time scale but we are still part of it. An asteroid might hit in 10 years destroying habitability this means ultimately there is human acquiesce to the planet. Something we pretend we can transcend by the technocratic.
Wisdom of the moment in your local seems the best place to find meaning. It has been what humans have done most of their history. We have already lost our innocence of harmony but this does not mean we can’t make the journey back to what was once truly human taking with us the best of our modern experiences. We have learned many things through science that can assist us in this journey. Re-localize with meaning while inhabiting this globalized world. It essentially comes down to behavior. You are not going to tech your way out of this condition. Limits and diminishing returns are now an dominant force preventing traditional growth. Embrace less with more wisdom not the randomness of more intelligence with less wisdom.