“This kind of coordination between constituent cells in a colony was taken a stage further, probably between 800 to 1000 million years ago—…when sponges appeared.”— David Attenborough, Life On Earth,
I’m thinking of our communities, the ones you and I inhabit. And it’s only been in the last hundred odd years that the connection between those impossibly ancient communities of coordinated cells and our own ridiculously recent communities of coordinated human beings has been broached.
Now the connection is undeniable, irrefutable, though vestiges, powerful and lingering, of our old and time worn way of understanding and situating ourselves in the world—above and in control, remain.
Those vestiges, largely of recorded history—civilization—have served as the foundation for everything we are today. They are our knowledge, our sciences, and our religions. They have carried us to unimaginable heights and triumphs, but who would deny that something is amiss?
“Since sexuality increased the possibilities of genetic variation, it also greatly accelerated the rate at which evolution could proceed as organisms encountered new environments.”—David Attenborough, Life On Earth
Attenborough is referring to organisms in the waters of our world over a billion years ago! I love that. Love!
But I was talking about our vestiges, our knowledge and religions. Outside and above the great Dance of Life we look down, and all the while sit uneasily—anxiously—upon our perch. The perch provides us with our identities, the idea of ourselves we carry around and present to our fellow citizens.
The idea of ourself, it gets in the way sometimes. Drives a wedge between the desire to act and the act itself, which I was playing with last post. Oh how we wish we could abandon it at times, forget ourselves and learn to do things—love—unhampered by thought. It’s a billion dollar industry, this catering to people’s desire to lose themselves, find atonement (at one-ment), act integrally.
Everywhere I look I see tentative efforts back towards a connection with the Great Passing Through that is Life. It is bubbling up all around us, it is whispering sweet nothings in our ears from somewhere deep within us.
We, you and I, are part of that movement back to a more holistic understanding of Life. Individuals all around us are climbing down from their perches.
“There is simply no problem of life; it is completely purposeless play—exuberance which is its own end.”— Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology