The will for existence: origin and guide of life, origin and guide of man.
“Behold: It is necessary to leave the shore where I have been resting for such a long time listening to the sea... It is cool and I have never learnt to light the fire to warm myself up... I am going to try to stay there for a moment still to listen because I often have the impression of being on the verge of understanding what the ocean says to me. I close my eyes, I smile and listen. I am still curious. The more the desert is empty the more crowded it seems. The seals are dead on the rocks and I remain there, my eyes closed, while smiling... .” (ROMAIN GARY)
As I have already told you, my imagination gave painful birth to Mômmanh many years ago, in a particular no man's land beyond the frontiers of reasonable thought.
At first, I thought that man was driven by a formidable wish for existence.
What is existence?
The Theory of the Evolution can be called “Theory for the Struggle for Life”: the life of the individual and its species. Here was the motive behind the evolution of the living. My theory was far-reaching. The desire for existence didn't stop once the life of the species had been assured. He looks also for the life of other species and even for the conservation of certain non living elements such as the beautiful landscapes of stone, of sand, of water, of ice or of clouds, of light and fire... This is why I suggest that Darwin's theory be extended to a vast wholeness one would call: “Theory of the Struggle for Existence”.
Evolution : a new theory.
To manage to understand what I mean, you must have within reach the table I have added at the end of this introduction. It tends to represent the structure of human existence. I advise you to print it out: thus you will be able to use it all through the novel, each time I try to put into practice the theory of “The Struggle for Existence”.
To begin with, here is how I see the existence of man. It is the way and the pleasures at the same time and the communion with those of our kind, both in the present and in the long perspective, that is in eternity itself if possible. It unfolds itself sometimes individually sometimes vicariously on others - sometimes selfishly, sometimes altruistically, if you prefer - or else combining the two modes: our children, our beloved ancestors, our distant descendents, all kinds of celebrities, the homeland, humanity, nature... can be vehicles of our life.
Here then are introduced the six basic elements of human existence.
When one of these components is too difficult to realize, the desire of existence resorts to the others: if the present doesn't offer anything good, man will resort to perpetuity, to a religion, for example.
The most vast existence encompassing space and time and governed by moral laws, is a priority, but the one which concerns most the individual closely - myself, here, now - is the preferred one.
At this stage of my reasoning, I still thought the desire of existence to be peculiar to man alone, but I observed many signs showing it in animals as well.
So I asked myself when and how, in the course of evolution, the desire of existence could have appeared. When? My knowledge of palaeontology did not permit me to answer. How?... In vain I rack my brains in all directions, I couldn't see how matter could have produced such an abstraction, how it had created, at the end of the day, the essence of the mind. Then, I said to myself: “And if this will for existence was already in matter?”
Mômmanh had just been born.
I made a science fiction model of it, to simulate the appearance and evolution of life, above all ours, our history, our histories. I shall use it now and again in the novel, in order to try to explain what constitutes matter: the characters, nature, the countries, history, the universe. This is the “science” part of the work, the other part, fiction, is to be found in the novel.
“Science” and fiction: how to find your way in it? It's easy. Each time I shall be using the scientific model, I shall be writing with the same script as in this chapter: big letters, bending beneath their weight.
In this model, Mômmanh - that is matter - will be endowed with memory: from among the elements which have touched her, she will be remembering those which matched her wish for existence, for better and for worse. Afterwards, when the hazards of life bring her again in contact with someone she has known, she will have the power to act upon them: she will be able to favour the elements she keeps good memories of and rebuff their contraries. It is very likely that she will reinforce the remembrances often evoked while she will gradually delete others.
That process will have led her to inscribe in our genes the memories accumulated of the remarkable and repeated facts which happened to all our line of ancestors since the birth of life.
How the evolution has produced the human intelligence.
Human intelligence and artificial intelligence.
You understand now that the artificial intelligence can never reproduce the human intelligence: it is necessary for it to dispose of our colossal genetic memory as well as acquire consciousness as well as unconsciousness. Granted that it possesses that ocean, it is necessary that she feels each taste and disgust linked to each of its memories which are like drops of water.
Observing the human beings with the help of Mômmanh or having them x-rayed, is roughly the same thing: one discovers things that were invisible.
Real? Or imaginary?
In any case, it is the game which I propose to you. We shall ask Mômmanh to tell us the story of love.
| STRUCTURE OF THE HUMAN EXISTENCE
(Before, now, after)