Human beings have one undeniable function….to evolve. It is both a biological and environmental imperative.
Other than minor adjustments, we as a species are probably done physically evolving, (until we start spacefaring anyway!) and our continuing evolution is now mainly centered in the mental, sociological/cultural/political, and spiritual realms.
Another is to study humanities past…..
Death and violence is the history of mankind.
It cannot be denied that we are a brutal, savage and often bestial species. From our earliest beginnings to the present day, we settle our differences by killing each other. Whether it be with rocks or with drones or by starving children to death with “sanctions,” it is who we are.
Despite the efforts, also throughout history, of the small minority of Humans who fight for peace and life, rather than fight to kill and destroy. Throughout the ages, that small minority of humans has steadily increased, it’s power has steadily grown. But still at the drop of a hat, Humans will rush off with blood in their eyes for revenge, for territory or for…no matter how well it is veneered, for naked greed.
Human emotion is strong, as is the power of rationalization and denial. MUCH stronger than human reason, that cries out at the destruction, horror and suffering of war. One need only look at the incredibly short time between The War to End All Wars….and the beginning of the next war. The war that brought us nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons that were also supposed to End All War.
It is who we are.
Decry it protest it, do everything you can to stop it. Try your very damn best to help elevate human consciousness to the next level, where the lip service we as a species pay to ending war and violence of all kinds becomes at least more of a reality.
But do not deny it.
Because to do so is to deny who Humans are, what we are.
And try to make some objective unbiased assessment of how far we have come from our early days of savagery. (For instance, we now use unmanned drones to kill each other instead of clubs and rocks, woohoo, we be evolvin!!)
And the third is to observe where the rubber hits the road for humans….our attempts to NOT kill each other.
One of the big steps in human evolution was the (purely accidental, I am sure) discovery of something called politics, wherein, for the first time in human history, the competition inherent in the evolutionary process changed from who could kill each other best to who could avoid killing and being killed best.
This development had such salutary effects on the societies that practiced it as, for instance, raising crop yields….by not having everyone die in wars and thus be unable to harvest said crops.
When it was finally widely accepted by most humans(except of course by the subset of humans referred to above, such as Dick Cheney and Bill Kristol) that at least SOME times it was a better survivals strategy to talk to each other than to just kill everything in sight, politics became, in my opinion, the best way to observe and gauge human evolution.
For centuries, and particularly after the Enlightenment, humans have tried to find Utopia. A set of conditions, rules and in particular, an economy….that would allow mankind to live in peace with each other while enjoying an equitable prosperity. From the Garden of Eden to Joseph Smith and Karl Marx, just about every Utopian idea has been put forth….except the one that works.
None of the previous Utopias worked for one simple reason, Human Nature.
Even in societies dedicated to a spiritual ideal of peace, justice and equality, the fact that humans are just not very far along the evolutionary path from selfish bestial apes has raised it’s ugly head….and then had it bashed in.
Now, humanity faces its greatest “Evolve or Die” moment yet. Up until the 1950’s, it had always been about whether a particular society or subset of humanity would survive the unmerciful ravages of evolution. When we acquired the capacity to wipe out all of humanity either through Global Thermonuclear War or now, befouling our atmosphere to the point where the earth is unsuitable for human life, evolution had always been sort of local.
Now all of our eggs are in one basket. And since we have managed (so far at least) to evolve far enough to not have actively killed ourselves, we will see if we can evolve enough to not passively kill ourselves. In the nuclear evolutionary exam, all we had to do was NOT push The Button.
In our current test, we have to evolve far enough and fast enough that we can learn to use foresight and actually cooperate to not kill ourselves. The medium for that will at least include politics.
But it will also involve evolving a new morality (since a large scale agreed upon morality is basically non-existent, having been most notably disposed of during the Bush Years) that we can all agree is valid….otherwise, it will just be more head bashing by whoever is greediest for the remaining resources on the planet.
Up until now, our mostly regional religious beliefs have furnished us with the morals that protect society in general from the worst excesses of the brutality inherent in humanity….to the extent anything has.
But as the planet has shrunk, now our various moralities and religions are at war with each other. And as they war, the planet dies.
In order to solve this problem humanity is being forced to evolve a new shared set of morals, which must necessarily be based on a new shared spirituality (Though I doubt that is the right word.)
And all of the kinks involved in 7 billion people finding a new shared reality, because a new morality and new vision of spiritual life will undoubtedly lead to a new and different reality, will be hammered out, ultimately, politically.
More soon, God willing! 😉