What does it mean to be human? Seriously, what does it mean? Who are we as a species and why are we here? It is a very complex question that takes great thought to answer. Some people would say that we are the eyes of the world, documenting what is happening all around us. Others would say that we are the dominant species, at the top of the food chain. Others would say that we are an offshoot of gorillas and other primates who have learned how to communicate effectively through the invention of language to create wonderful things and a few bad things. Any way you put it, to be human is something unique to our species. It is something that only we can claim to be and it is something the comes with great responsibility.
We have the power to do good or do evil. We have the power to eradicate all useless life (from our narrow perspective) from the face of the Earth or to work with the Earth to create more diversity. We have the power to be constructive or destructive. But with great power comes great responsibility. Sure, if the world goes to hell and we all die, responsibility will be left with whatever is left. But the destruction will be mostly the humans’ fault. It’s no one’s fault individually, but collectively. It is the civilization we have created that is responsible for all the destruction. The people who initially started civilization didn’t know where it was heading, so it is futile to play the blame game. Sure, power is addictive and since us humans crave power ever since the advent of agriculture, it was only inevitable before the world became what it is today and what it will become in the future. But it is not in our nature to do things like this.
Certain traumas happened on this planet thousands of years ago that forced us to take action to ensure our survival. Many traumas happened in a short period of time that damaged us psychologically as well as physically. Some of these traumas may include the magnetic reversal of the poles, the ice age, global food shortages, global cooling/warming, continental drift, earthquakes, etc. I am not sure which of these actually happened while humans were on the Earth, but I have seen some documentaries that say that there were many traumas, even possibly being visited by aliens who manipulated our DNA. But that’s just a theory.
Nevertheless, our psyches were badly damaged and we needed some part of us to take over during our time of trauma and the ego stepped right in. The ego is basically a defense mechanism brought on by intense psychological or physical stress. I remember hearing Michael Tsarion say something like, “It’s like the secretary is in charge while the boss is at lunch. The ego is saying, ‘I saved your ass, so I demand respect and I deserve to be in charge. Don’t mind that I’m underqualified and make frequent mistakes. Until the boss gets back, I am in charge.’” Very interesting and it resonates with me deeply. The ego has been running the show for at least 10,000 years, possibly more. The ego runs on fear and zero-sum thinking. The ego is overly defensive for its own safety. The ego will do anything in its power to preserve itself. The ego is always thinking about expanding because of its underlying fear of being inadequate. Our whole society is built around this fear-based ego.
So what was there before the ego? We simply had the self. We were more of a collectivist race than an individualistic, or egoistic one. It was a time where we did not fear anything, not even death because we understood the world as a whole, not as an individual. We knew our place and did our best to stay in it because our survival as a whole depended on it. Sure, it wasn’t as glamorous as life is today for us humans, but it worked really well. That is, until all those traumatic events that scarred us for so very long and continues to scar us today. The society we built was around fear and other so-called negative emotions, so how could we possibly expect it to be universally good? We let the ego take over and look out for our best interests when the ego only looks out for itself because of its fear-based mindset.
In order to overcome the evils of the world, we need to let go of fear. Fear, the mind killer, the tool that manipulates us all. As a collective unit, we need to stop all the fear and replace it with love. Unconditional love. We need to try and lose the ego and get back to being ourselves–to be the true human beings that we are. Otherwise, we will surely go extinct and after billions of years, not leave a trace of us ever being here. Is it better to be glorious from the egoic perspective and burn out with our monuments eventually crumbling or sustaining ourselves as long as the sun and Earth permit? The question is up to you.
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