Death Archetype


Earth is a closed system. Without death, life would not have had room to play with more complex iterations.
[EARTHRISE – Apollo 11 – 1968]

Life does not die. The living system inhabiting Earth has suffered many serious setbacks in the last three billion years but has always bounced back seemingly more robust and resilient than before. One can be tempted to think that Life thrives on challenges. The archetypal mechanisms intrinsic to Life are obviously extremely powerful. Two of these archetypes are the SEXUAL and EXAPTATION Archetypes. What enables these two archetypes to function is the Death Archetype, which removes iterations of living things after they have been field-tested and had the opportunity to replicate. Without death, the living system would become clogged with immortal iterations – its evolutionary potential brought to a standstill. Death is as intrinsic as reproduction and mutation in enabling a framework for the expression of Life’s creative force and is consequently presented here as an Archetype – as a function in an equation describing the Force of Life*.

Almost all of the information contained in living things is contextual. Skin color filters UV radiation from the sun – the farther one is from the sun, the lighter one’s skin tone to enable Vitamin D synthesis – the closer one gets, the more important blocking the mutating effect of UV becomes. Our Neo-Cortex exists because some primates found utility in complex navigations of the third spatial and temporal dimensions (strategic planning/implementing/evaluating). However, the core information required to assemble a living thing without any contextual additions is estimated to be as few as 600 coding segments (genes). Having persisted for over three billion years, the expression of these 600 genes is as close to immortal as anything we can conceptualize. As all of us contain this core unit of code, it follows that this attribute of ourselves is our expression as immortal beings – our expression of the living system inhabiting Earth.

The Death Archetype is associated with the Mammal Lineage section because mammalian cognition is wired to notice when death occurs in their group. Our ancestral mammalian lineage evolved as complex social entities, and the loss of a member decreases the robustness of the herd/tribe. Attention must be given to the order of functions inside the social unit which requires reorganization. The emotional driver for this focus we experience as grief, which like the pain of isolation(shame/guilt), can drive members towards greater social cohesiveness, which is a prerequisite for enabling a socially driven evolutionary trajectory.

*This Authors inclination is to maintain a variable in the equation for the Force of Life for that which is not known, as it seems unprovable that some unknowable force (God) is not exerting some influence. If you don’t like God, just put X=0 here 🙂


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