Sunday, July 12, 2020

Coming to Grips with the Global Consequences of Human Behavior

Homo sapiens has made it so far. After over ten thousand years of civilization, the members of the species now number close to eight billion planetwide. However, the human world is terribly fractured, and the idea of a globally unified people has unfortunately not gained sufficient traction to become a reality. Instead, the existence of a multitude of sovereignties with differing and competing ethnic, cultural, and political ideologies has persisted in spite of the horrific ramifications of this kind of social organization. As a consequence, horrendous and calamitous wars of extreme aggression and destructive outcomes has persisted up until the present time.

It seems that humanity may be entering a time of great leveling- when the frailties associated with the innate structure and organization of the human brain is in collision with the cumulative impact of overpopulation and a technical revolution that has seriously compromised the natural environment. The prospects of this convergence are beginning to exert an impact. This new reality is exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and the ever-worsening prospects in regard to calamitous changes in the global climate.

In a human world so divided and fractious, it is difficult to envision the drastic and revolutionary changes in behavior required to forestall such a future. Nonetheless, my hope resides in the coming generations of humans to more fully recognize and address the worst possible outcomes of the cumulative impact of human activity. It will be their task to discover well-reasoned ways to address and resolve them.

I must, therefore, make my peace with the current status quo of the human experience in the 21st century. I believe that there is an intrinsic reality and significance to human existence that does not depend upon the artificial cultural, ideological, political, and economic constructs imposed upon human consciousness by the exigencies of the moment. In my mind that reality lies within the wondrous nature of perception and self-awareness of our individual existence within the natural world as it relates to self and other, our planetary home and the cosmos. Furthermore, the ability to examine our individual and collective situation within the human world and draw the appropriate conclusions ever mindful of our true relationship with the forces that shape our existence is an extraordinary aspect of our humanity.

I can help to encourage a mode of action that I believe will ultimately enhance and preserve this unique quality of the human experience, but, realistically, I cannot determine the future outcome for the humankind - that undoubtedly is a product of collective endeavor.

When I reach the end of my journey and my individual existence ceases, my individual self, the natural world, the future of humanity, the cosmos and everything else comes to an end as it will be for all of us, and all the humans who have ever lived on this amazing spaceship earth.

The future of humanity awaits, and it is usually bounded and determined by the cumulative impact of the choices that are made in the present. How it all plays out beyond my allotted time is for my descendants to experience within the vast and open terrain that necessarily unfolds within the inescapable passing of time.

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