The Core and the Crust

The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

-       Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


The core and the crust is a partition of all of reality into two fundamental modes. Core is nature: the intangible source of all things. Crust is culture: material residue left in core’s wake. Transformation of core into crust in an effective manner is the basis of a thriving society. Of all the cooperative structures developed, it is the business paradigm that presents the most exciting opportunities to drive transformational change on planet Earth.

Core is ceaselessly generated as a condition of the passing of time. Core oozes out of the interiority of reality like magma oozing out of fissures in the Earth’s mantle. By following the path of least resistance, this fluid, dynamic substance eventually reaches the surface layer of reality upon which it cools and hardens into crust. As layer upon layer of crust is deposited, “volcanoes” are created—dense, energetic structures maintained against the forces of entropy by their own architectural integrity. In the human context, crust structures are the conceptual and physical institutions that tower over the collective psyche: institutions like marriage, government, cities or currency. The metaphysical nature of hardened crust necessarily means that it guides the flow of emerging core, channeling it onwards or blocking it completely in certain cases. Though crust is made of the same stuff as its divine parent, the core, it is no longer as dynamic or numinous as it once was. The crust is the shadow of the core: hydraulically coupled and yet distinctly “other”.

Crust is also the telos of core. As structured crust develops from molten core, certain crust structures prove themselves to be more successful than others. Success in this regard is determined by the amount of time a crust structure is able to maintain itself. This is because a stable foundation is the basis of progress, enabling further innovation and intricacy to assemble on top. One example of this is how energy became particles, particles became molecules, molecules enabled stars, stars enabled planets, and planets enabled biology. Another example is how sounds became word, words became writing, writing became legal contracts, and legal contracts became companies.

Despite being material entities comprised of crust, humans are finally awakening to our origins in the core. This discovery is only possible due to the emergence of the core within, built upon a requisite neurological complexity Homo sapiens has achieved. This process of awakening, gradually accelerating since the dawn of symbolic consciousness, is on the verge of accumulating enough velocity to achieve a singularity moment. This event horizon, known by some as “the great awakening”, will be characterized by a breakdown of the existing dynamics governing the complex system of cosmogenesis and the emergence of new ones. Visionaries from diverse disciplines including technologist Ray Kurzweil and philosopher Sean Kelly predict this moment will occur sometime within the next hundred years. Like a magnifying glass concentrating the energy of the sun to spark a fire, the increasing self-reflexivity of human consciousness is melting the crust of its neurological complexes into molten core. This results in creativity that is more essential and closer to the core’s intentions to coming pouring forth from the interiority of the human mind and out onto the material plane.

The nature of the universe is continuous differentiation. Crust structures that do not support this ever-greater diversity of thought and experimentation are choked off from the flow of core. Blocked from these revitalizing blessings, such crust structures rapidly deplete all resources and are soon extinguished. As an entity becomes increasingly crusted over, it becomes cold, hard and brittle; too rigid to endure the buckling tectonic plates of creation. The centralized economy of the USSR, planned by unrepresentative committees far removed from the core wisdom inside the beating hearts and discriminatory minds of millions of distributed soviet citizens inevitably shattered under its own weight. The constant, discriminatory pruning of crust is critical to maintain growth in the face of constantly shifting, molten core. This is the mandatory respiratory cycle of creativity, a boom bust cycle of growth and decay necessary in all systems striving to expand past established constraints. The more cleanly, accurately and reflexively a society—essentially another type of crust structure—can carry out this discriminatory gardening, the more molten core can be found surging through its canals. The success of a civilization depends on the degree to which it can intuit the flows of core under the surface layer and enact projects of crust engineering in directions that are in line with the striving of the universe to support ever-greater amounts of diversity.

Of all the frameworks developed by humanity to engineer the effective conversion of core into crust, the most reflexive and agile is the business paradigm. The very reason a business exists is for efficient metaphysical engineering—channeling core and grooming crust in ways that yield the greatest amount of stability and profitability over the greatest period of time. Business that fail to advance a useful possibility of reality as determined by the wisdom of humanity distributed across not only space but also time—considering how capital accumulated in the past is what is expended in future moments—will be unable to recoup the costs of operation and will cease to exist. This type of distributed decision-making is critical in invoking more core intelligence rather than relying on crust hydraulics. More exciting is that even those businesses that are performing in a generative manner can still potentially be eclipsed by organizations that are able to unlock greater degrees of efficiency; thereby having the capital position to developing new features, gain market share, and attract more investment. Compare the constant iteration of a competitive ecosystem with the stifling “rent-seeking” dynamics found in bureaucratic, hierarchical, and in many cases monopolistic governments, non-profits, and religions.

The flexible, feed-back driven dynamics of business make it ideal to expand to areas that have previously been reserved for other kinds of formats, such as governance, and even to spearhead the development of the spiritual technology required to support the great awakening. As general human consciousness wakes up from dim awareness, from only knowing crust causality to the recognition that there exists a radiant, numinous source in the core, the same spiritual and mythological interfaces that brought us to this point may no longer be sufficient to take us forward. Since the Industrial Revolution there has been a dramatic acceleration in the degree of manipulation one human can enact on the crust. For a world that largely believes that the only reality is crust, our rapidly sophisticating abilities to manipulate crust with greater scale and precision than ever before has edged out the role divinity plays in human affairs. For many, the human has become the God. We act as masters of our material environment, and rely on a reductionist scientific paradigm to support our position. Without the balancing power in the recognition of core, human consciousness has drastically inflated, flailing to achieve some degree of sanity with the new religions of materialism, addiction, and depression. Humans have been divorced from their true source in the core, and have attempted to fill this God-sized hole with an endless retinue of sense-driven activities and obsessions. This disconnection from core is the fundamental trauma gripping the collective psyche of the industrialized world. 

Without spiritual technologies evolving to keep pace with changing market conditions, the industrialized world is bumping up against a common set of problems that have been classified as “first world problems” In today’s geopolitical climate, there is a technological homeostasis occurring where innovations pioneered in the West are gradually seeping into the emerging economies. This transfer of existing technology rather than the development of new technology is what venture capitalist Peter Thiel refers to as going from 1 to n. Examples of this are the globalization of railroads in the 19th century, the globalization of automobiles in the 20th century, and the globalization of e-commerce in the 21st century. Going from 1 to n, challenging though it may be, is relatively straightforward compared to going from 0 to 1. Where 1 to n is the duplication of existing crust, 0 to 1 is the development of new crust from molten core. Globalization may address the material challenges of emerging economies, but those populations will inevitably bump up against the exact same spiritual problems the industrialized world has encountered. For this reason, obsolete spiritual technology is the greatest bottleneck facing the sustained prosperity of our planetary civilization. What might take individuals, committees, or elected officials decades to achieve could potentially be developed in a fraction of the time by social profit and financial profit teams diligently iterating through business models based on open market feedback.

If the planetary civilization of Earth aspires for sustained prosperity, it is crucial that a greater degree of effort be poured into developing and supporting new types of businesses that are broader in mandate, and expanding into arenas that have been thus far regulated by bureaucracies including government and religion.