“Being, to a certain extent, one with this primitive ancestor, he is also solidary with all that descends from the ancestor in divergent directions. In this sense each individual may be said to remain united with the totality of living beings by invisible bonds.”—Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
Western philosophy has come a long way, and gotten ludicrously lost along the road in the process.
But there are certain voices who should be heard, yet aren’t it seems.
Bergson’s Creative Evolution is not exactly easy reading. But let me translate the above quote to a more ‘literate’ or ‘poetic’ rendering.
In episode three of James Joyce’s Ulysses Joyce’s alter-ego Stephen Dedalus imagines generation before generation stretching back through direct umbilical connection to the very dawn of Life on earth, the first navel-less Eve.
That is the direct umbilical connection Bergson is making between each one of us and our first ‘primitive ancestor’ some 3 to 3.5 billion years ago.
But if you make that connection and journey, and then, having arrived at the very beginnings of Life on earth, you do an about-face and then trace the intricately complex direct linking organic route back to yourself, isn’t every other branch flowing outward towards every other species on planet earth directly related, however distantly, to yourself?
Life is one.
It’s sounds mystically poetic, New Agey, and yet it is literally true as well!
The West is ever so slowly catching up with the wisdom of the East.
Together humankind may transcend them both…
And awaken to the oneness of all…
Which again is why, my brothers and sisters, I never tire of hymning…
Life is ALL there is.