To exercise one’s capacities to their fullest extent is to take pleasure in one’s own existence, and with sociable creatures, such pleasures are proportionally magnified when performed in company… It is simply what life is. We don’t have to explain why creatures desire to be alive. Life is an end in itself. And if what being alive actually consists of is having powers—to run, jump, fight, fly through the air—then surely the exercise of such powers as an end in itself does not have to be explained either. It’s just an extension of the same principle… – David Graeber
Perhaps somewhere between the explanatory Scylia of ‘emergentism’ and the theological Charbolis of ‘panexperientialism’ lies a robust theory of living systems capable of integrating what we already know about physical and chemical processes with the subtle descriptions and eliminations following from the study of complex-adaptive assemblages and cognitive neuroscience?
The stuff of this world becomes what it is in the emanation, extension, mix, mangle, fold and flow of primordial potent materials – the in-itself. And what we humans are is only different in organization, context, degree and intensity than all other entities. Our powers are expressions of what we are composed of, and we are composed of many things. This is how the Other is both ‘out there’ and within; and we only ever encounter and understand (in our limited ways) the existence and life of things – of minerals, plants and animals – because of this cosmic kinship and the ontological intimacy it affords.
Even as there is no escape from this open (wild) composite nature of being, there is consistency in this clamor; and hence communicability, vulnerability, and therefore connection. We are in-ourselves and in this erotic wilderness of being together.