Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome To The Human Condition

Welcome to humanity! Welcome to the race of thinkers and dreamers. Welcome to that group of living beings who pride themselves as being the highest species on the planet Earth.
Welcome also to millions of years of evolutionary baggage which threatens to destroy our race, and many of our animal and plant brothers. Welcome to the legacy of survival instincts which we've never learned to live with in our enlightened mindset. Welcome to fear, denial, and greed. Welcome to excessive pride and apathy. And welcome to the glass walls we build between ourselves in our increasingly smaller glass house we call home.
We carry within us the ability to be great thinkers and doers. And in our genes we still retain the programming to be feelers and reactors. We are the rational human and the irrational beast: the angel and the devil, constantly at war.
And in the midst of all this we live in a world of great riches, for the fortunate, and terrible atrocities for the not-so-fortunate. We have the resources to feed, house, and clothe everyone on the planet, if we would choose. Yet, we continue to squabble over the limited resources of our home world in so many wars.
We kill our brothers and don't even think of them as our brothers. We kill for land. We kill for oil. We kill for food. We kill for belief. We preach that killing is wrong, and we kill those who disagree with us. And we take such satisfaction in each candle of life that we snuff out.
We have been sent teachers to teach us how we should live: spiritual teachers who can help us understand ourselves better and perhaps make a better world for ourselves and our children. We have recorded their words for many, many generations. And we can still read their words today.
Yet their sayings have fallen on deaf ears. For our world is still divided by belief, by class, by color, by everything we can find to disagree about. Our spiritual teachers have taught unity. And all we have learned is division. Clearly, we have not listened.
Or perhaps we have simply not understood.

The modern world grows smaller every day. For the first time in human history we can reach out to people everywhere on the planet. We can visit them. We can send them telegraphs, or speak to them on the phone. And we can share ideas in a moment through the Internet. Communication has become an essential part of who we are.
Yet we are still troubled by what we learn through our exchange of ideas. Many of us are descended from those who lived in more isolated parts of the world at one time. We carry the beliefs they shaped of the world they saw. And today we believe that our beliefs are the only "true" ones. Yet, our neighbors have different views shaped by their ancestors' knowledge of the world as well, and they belief their beliefs are "true". And so we are left with a quandary. For many times our beliefs are at odds with those of our neighbors. We need some way to cut through all this mess and make some sense of our world.

I propose that we can learn from the beliefs of our ancestors: all our ancestors. I believe that their beliefs are short-sighted because they are formed from the limited view what our ancestors saw of the world. Yet, I believe there is valuable insight to be gained from each view of the world. I believe we can discover the world through the many eyes of the many faiths we come from.
And perhaps our future history will be a bit more complete, and a bit less bloody.

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