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It All Started With A Large Bone
Dec 7, 2023

Reading time 3 min.

One of my all-time favorite movies recently made its way onto Amazon Prime. 2001 A Space Odyssey was released on April 2, 1968. Fifty-five years later, I still find it relevant. Having watched the movie at least 6 or 7 times, I was drawn to see it again. I was deeply moved by one of the opening scenes when a prehuman came in contact with an obelisk presented as an extra-terrestrial object. In that moment of contact, the obelisk conveyed a sense of self-awareness to the prehuman. That newly gained intelligence was manifested by picking up a large animal bone and realizing its potential advantage. An advantage that would allow him to better control his environment. This “tool” would help his tribe be more effective hunters, provide protection from wild animals, and have the ability to dominate other tribes.

We live in the 23rd century. We no longer need to hunt or protect ourselves from wild animals. The benefits of science, medicine, and food availability have an impact on the quality of our lives. Yet that impulse to dominate other “tribes” is no different today than it was for our prehuman ancestors. We as a species have evolved in so many ways, yet it would seem that impulse remains firmly intact. The only difference is there are more efficient tools of dominance and destruction.

Eckhart Tolle, a German-born spiritual teacher, and author of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, shared that “the human race seems to have a current of insanity running through its nervous system, and as technology advances, the human ability for destruction becomes more efficient.”

The availability of all forms of media allows us to witness human evolution in real time. We witness the most brutal and barbaric behavior human beings are capable of almost as it is happening. That behavior is shrouded in political or ideological justification. At its core, it is just unbridled barbaric behavior. What could cause a person or a group of people to be willing to let go of their humanity and perpetuate that behavior? It is hard to watch as people sink into a primordial need for dominance. How is that different from our prehuman ancestors picking up a large bone and swinging it without discrimination?

I’m not unexperienced to think that we should not protect ourselves. There are many ill-intentioned people in the world. There are people willing to do evil things. But we do have a choice. A choice to come together as a species and say this behavior is no longer an option? There are enough resources in the world today so we can all get what we need.

One blog reader commented that finding any sense of peace and well-being in the world we live in is increasingly more challenging. It is a sentiment I can easily identify with.
There seem to be three primary needs at the core of who we are as human beings. Needs we all seek. A need to feel safe, a need to feel loved, and a need to be counted.

Amid this onslaught of inhumanity, how do we restore ourselves and reconnect to the divine state of being human? How do we help others connect to these three basic needs? How do we fall back into the mystery that lives all things?

At the risk of simplicity, I aspire to live an impeccable life based on my integrity and accountability. Maybe, most importantly, a life based on kindness, compassion, and understanding.

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of life, I remain open to Grace and the gift of my life.

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