I hadnt considered that consumerist view upon this picture; it does make sense to it, and perhaps in a manner you may or may not be aware of.
I am not sure who painted this picture…
, but I got it off of the Terrence Mckenna site. Though my opinions around Mckenna and his ideas roll vast to yea and nay, I nevertheless have a quite involved opinion.
Lets see If I can be somewhat succinct and to the point. Lol. I will assume that you are not familiar with Terrence Mckenna.
Philosophically, this topic is quite involved; that’s why I write books But, I do tend to side on evolution, rather than “hand of God” type speculations, some of which can include the phenomenalist ideals of reality contained in discourse, where we “appear in the world”.
So, if we can realize what evolution must mean from a pure stand point, then there is a lot going on, again, quite philosophically.
This picture: What I see in it and understand of it is a kind of ‘reverse’ view from the “bad” consumer view.
The ape is sitting on a mushroom; in particular the Fly agaric mushroom. Mckenna’s ideas are quite distasteful for those who like to center themselves in the Big Logos, the Reason God with which many philosophers like to hold communion with, because Mckenna did drugs and in fact advocated that people do “heroic” amounts of psychedelics. Most people do not like to include intoxication and its affects in their ideas of what may be rational.
His basic principle is that apes ate plants such as Camellia sinensis, Coffea, marijuana, and many other intoxicating plants, many of which were poisonous and deadly, but some that were poisonous but not quite deadly. We can find numerous examples of animals eating intoxicating plants for no other purpose that to get high; early hominids most probably ate substances that got them high also, even if accidentally. At some point they came across plants that had psychotropic substances, such as N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, Muscimol, psilocybin and psilocin, and these substances’ interaction with chemistry particular to hominids is what brought about what we know as (human) consciousness. The discussions and arguments are somewhat involved and lengthy, but that’s the kernel of it.
This is the “stoned ape” idea. The idea is that we are still stoned, not special, just ‘stoned’.
This is appearing to make more and more sense with philosophy, as I will be discussing in my coming book (without any reference to the Stoned Ape idea, btw, lol).
In response to the consumerist idea, though; if we include ourselves as not exceptional in the universe, then it is possible that all objects occur equally, effecting and or sensing one another through various relations that are come upon in the due course of the objects being objecs in themselves. If we keep in mind that human beings are not exceptional, as also every other object also is (not exceptional), then we should be able to understand that the very idea of ‘consumption’, the object that we call ‘consumption’, this “thing” that appears in the universe as the object ‘consumption’, is likewise doing the same thing human beings think we are doing, but unto itself. Likewise, all objects that we see ourselves (as centrist beings) consuming, might be consuming us. It is possible, then, that our own consumption is not a problem that has repercussions that will lead us to destruction or some compromised state of being human; it may be that we are involved with the universe in the same manner that it is involved with us, so that we could actually be “being drawn” into the universe through these ‘consumer’ relations with other universal (consuming) objects.
So it may be that we a stoned consumerist ape, but it may not necessarily mean that something is wrong.
The Rational Animal.
“The philosophical process could be described as a human being noticing and then transcending her animal condition of the moment. It is thus the process of coming to the full rationality of the human animal for the time, and describing it. The description is thus the symbolic culmination of irony, at once only knowing of the pure knowledge of her animal rationale but then also describing it to a full systematic which is then viewed to be speaking about something that is the furthest point that rationality has stepped from her animality. ”
The Philosophical Hack.