Yes, but I’m not sure you’ve reckoned with the extent of the cultural differences. If you haven’t read them, you might be interested in John Gray’s Straw Dogs and Black Mass, where he talks about monotheism as the bias for linearity in the West, and about how the Eastern religions assume the world is cyclical, not linear. In fact, monotheism is the exception since polytheistic or pantheistic religions are based on observations of cycles in nature, such as the motion of the stars.

The monotheist came along and said the true God is outside nature and he created the universe for a purpose which will be revealed at the end of time. The linear view goes together with apocalypticism, which is why secular substitutes for monotheism, such as Marx’s socialist utopianism and the transhuman singularity posit an apocalypse at the end of history.

Anyway, I think you give an intriguing account of how the dualism arises between ego and the rest of the world. We’re built to protect and transmit our genes, which makes us self-interested (narrow-minded), but the nonliving bulk of nature is indifferent. So we’re clearly at odds with, and liable to be alienated from nature’s impersonality.

You seem to be saying the dualism is illusory, whereas I’m saying it’s existentially primary and it explains the flow of history as the replacement of the wilderness with an artificial refuge that extends our mentality and personhood (so we no longer have to suffer from the conflict).

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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