Sunday, April 08, 2012

Thoughts at Easter: Once I built a tower and now it is done…

David Seaton's News Links
Baboons
"We are so made that we can sustain our existence only in group life. Love is the essence of humanity, love needs something to bestow itself upon; human beings must live together in order to live a life of mutual love." D. T. Suzuki

"I sincerely believe that if you think there's a solution, you're part of the problem. My motto: Fuck Hope!" George Carlin
Between the two quotes above there is certainly some space and variance of tone, but they are by no means contradictory and Suzuki would have been the last person to deny George Carlin's Zen.
Carlin was certainly right when he saw "no solution" and "no hope". However, it is useful before even thinking about solutions, to identify the "problem".
In my opinion, the distance between the reality we experience in our daily lives and Suzuki's deceptively simple analysis of our species, (which could, in great part, apply to the troop of baboons in the picture), is humanity's "problem".
In fact the distance is so great that many might dismiss Suzuki's analysis as treacly and sentimental when he says, "we are so made that we can sustain our existence only in group life (...) human beings must live together in order to live a life of mutual love", which, in fact, applies as accurately to any isolated human being as it would to any isolated baboon. A social animal being a social animal.
Over millions of years, our species evolved, like our cousins the baboons, to roam the savannas of Africa in extended families, sharing whatever food we found and curling up together at night to keep warm. Over most of our history that was our life, only of late have we taken a sinister detour. That wandering togetherness is what our brains, inhabiting spirits and digestive tract are built for and look where we are now.
Over a relatively few millennia we have woven ourselves into hell.
Certainly, unless we can recreate the essence of our cooperative origins on a mass scale within our present technological development, there seems to be no solution in sight to this hell we have created.
Perhaps, it will be global warming that finally returns our remaining descendents to paradise. DS

1 comment:

Publius said...

Hey David. Interesting thoughts. (I read all your posts, but don't respond that often).

It's a strange world: my brother, who makes a lot of money compared to us, is unhappy and angry - at us, and many others who he feels victimize him. We who are poor, in his mind, have lives full of other people: friends, events, potlucks, house parties, bbq's, etc. We may be struggling, but we are evidently happier -not taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. We garden, try to learn new skills that enable us to do things for ourselves...
Blogs are definitely useful, but things like Facebook seem to be increasingly tools of isolation. I've decided to forsake them.
Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and insights.