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Essence: The Generic Property

When one starts looking for the essence of something, one will often find more questions than answers. This happens because the search for essence is the search for the unknown. The unknown is arguably infinite. Even when the primordial conditions of the big bang could be described, the question remains of what preceded these conditions. Quantum physicists propose the essence of our universe must be some mathematical truth out of which everything that has been or could be observed, could have been or can be observed. Some believe they are close to finding this essence. Most however acknowledge that for us, no truth can ever be retrieved beyond the ones of our universe. So, even when this mathematical truth is found, the question of what prescribed it will remain unknown.
We can draw an important lesson from the theoretical dead-end our cognitive potential faces here. When searching for the essence of a subject, we are merely looking for a condition that transcends the subject and connects it to other subjects within a framework. The framework for us can arguably not expand beyond the big bang. When we aim to describe the essence of something, it is therefore important we carefully describe the framework in which this exploration should happen. When the framework is insufficiently described, any reasoning will only lead to new problems until we arrive at the big bang again in a matter of seconds.

Take par example a car. When we ask what is the essence of a car, our answer may be the engine. We can then ask what is the essence of the engine, we could answer combustion. What is the essence of the combustion? Petroleum. Essence? Hydrocarbons. Essence? Hydrogen & Carbon. Essence? Protons & Electrons. Essence? Big bang and unkowable preconditions.

Continuity as the generic property of life
When attempting to formulate an essence for the organizational body I propose, a workable framework for finding this could be living matter. This means there shouldn't be any attempt to find essence beyond living matter, but within it. The easy way to do this is by trying to formulate a property common to all living matter. This most generic property to life can only be continuity. This is the first and most important condition to all life beyond its origins. If the coming into existence of anything we could theoretically call living would not to some degree satisfy this condition, hypothetically we could not even empirically observe it. The same is of course true for lifeless matter. However, we can not be persuaded to deform our original framework, as our purpose of phrasing an essence for life lies inward(us, our societies, our organization), not outward(universe & Big Bang). Life bears an additional layer of continuity above continuity on the atomic level. Any animation that has occurred on our planet has been in service of this continuity, every action by every known organism has had the same ultimate function: supporting continuity of either or both the individual organism (energy consumption) and the system that has brought it forth (securing an adjacent generation). 

Continuity as the essence of Generic Property
Because continuity is such a perfectly simple and complete description of life, as an organism, I propose to place it at the centre of the organization. This means that any problem the collective experiences or action it takes must first be related to continuity. Continuity must be respected and even tested in the broadest sense we can collectively contemplate. It becomes the fundamental idea to which the organization guides its operations, its existential justification. I think the next important step in finding a durable essence should be a careful formulation of the function the idea of continuity should inhabit. I think it can never act as an active justification for something, there are numerous possible examples of action that would arguably satisfy continuity to a great extend, while they drastically clash with things like basic human rights. Someone could argue that bringing back the world population to a fifth of it current size would bring immense opportunities to enhance the continuity of the human race in the long run. Continuity can never become a god, a supreme goal that justifies all ends. Instead, I propose the role of silent watcher. It can be the sober groundwork from which passive veto cases can be build. In short, continuity can never act as justification but only as the ultimate universal vindication.