Our slow but steady downward glide

Our slow but steady downward glide

Evolution, be it that of a living organism, a nation’s identity or an individual person’s character, is a fascinating process.  I am perhaps a little biased and maybe outright unrealistic when it comes to the evolution of a person’s character.  I would really love to believe that just because an average soul such as myself can shed multiple idea-limiting self or authority imposed rules and evolve from the confines of a very narrow world view into a state of universal enlightenment that any of my fellow citizens can do the same.  It has been a few weeks of one heavy news item after another with a sensational headline seemingly dominating each media cycle.  For the most part I have opted to keep my mouth shut and quietly watch while so many of my friends and those with whom I work around have been quite vocal regarding their opinion and position on any one of a number of pertinent issues, many of which have the potential to impact the lives of us all.  I have experienced as sense of perpetual restraint in that it seems that every time I feel an idea worthy of expression, another disaster either natural or man-made demands all the focus for the next few days on end.  Just about all these items evolve on their own time table.  Speaking of evolutionary time tables, the evolution of mankind seems to have reached its peak.  Actually, the development of human nature topped out on the scale some time ago but it has taken this long for its maximal exploitation and that of the planet and most every living thing on it to reach the point of noticeable decline.  That is one overarching concept that leaves many of us in deep thought and scratching our heads pondering the query, “Was this the best we could do?  If we figure out how remedy the terminal flaw(s) of our species, would Father Time grant us a reprieve?  If within the scope of possibility, would humankind still be worth any and all necessary effort to implement a repair?”

It is no state secret that all of us folks riding this spinning rock orbiting the sun are members of an extremely dysfunctional species.  Whereas there have been dazzling advances in the science of molecular biology and gene mapping such that many once fatal physical disorders are now not only treatable and manageable but curable, not enough has been done to achieve mastering the character flaws and personality disorders of human emotion and psychology.  It is a reasonable question that if defined characteristics can be bred in or out of certain animal species, can the same be done for people?  If genetic engineering can eliminate aggression from dogs or biting from rabbits can fear and greed be removed from humans?  Imagine a world ran by leaders who had no profit motive.  One would think it would be a great deal different from the here and now.  It is a beautiful thought albeit a mere pipe dream.

Even if the keys to all critical fixes to each and every character malady plaguing each living person were discovered next week it likely wouldn’t be until the generation subject to all the benefits of the discovery were finally in charge for it to make any real difference in the course of humankind.  We all who have watched our species max out on old ideas, wallow in its own excesses and refuse for whatever reason to transition to potentially life extending new concepts are pretty much screwed.  It has been said by more enlightened people than myself who have separated themselves from the herd and have no stake in the outcome that humankind is as far gone as to be circling the drain.  Sometimes that expression seems to be going faster than it may originally appear but at very least our species is on that slow and steady glide down from summit of our own self-importance.

Over the past two months Yours Truly has seen ample evidence of regression of our species, or at least strong signs that we very well may have reached our maximum evolutionary potential.  This is reflected specifically in a decline or dearth or vanishing of that one characteristic that separates us as masters of our World, that being humanity.  From open displays of fascist-inspired nationalism featuring bald faced racial bigotry in Charlottesville to elected leaders displaying callous disregard toward suffering disaster victims and spewing loose rhetoric about potentially nuclear armed dictators in a global forum to a seemingly otherwise harmless individual sporting a death wish possessing the wherewithal to murder and maim hundreds of concert attendees with fully automatic assault weapons in Las Vegas, these past few weeks have commanded a lot of attention, my own and most of the rest of the World’s.

Mind you, these have only been the latest installments on a phenomenon that has been apparent all of my adult life and well, ever since I started paying attention in my youth.  I am sure I could describe in intricate detail how I arrived at my conclusion on this issue and I sort of already have done so in the form of a daily journal for past forty-two years but I don’t think I could ever sum it up as tidy as it has already been done by one far more enlightened than myself.

Although he has been gone for nearly a decade, Mr. George Carlin beautifully articulated the state of humankind and explained how he achieved a degree of personal peace of mind by divorcing himself from it all.  He did this in one of his final interviews.  The meat of the interview comes down to this:

“Humans were given great, great gifts…..walking upright, binocular vision, opposable thumb, large brain…..making tools.  Make tools, large brain.  Make better tools, talk, learn language, brain got bigger, we grew.  We had great gifts and we gave it up to the high priests……..And Americans, who were also given great gifts….when you take the theory of democratic rule, self-government….okay, they started off wrong.  They owned slaves.  They didn’t let women to vote.  They didn’t let people who didn’t own land vote. Fine.  They got off on the wrong foot, but the ideas were good.”

Check out the entire interview.

The Genius of George Carlin

Yes, I feel us all on that slow, steady glide downward.  I love Mr. Carlin’s wish that he could watch it over a period of a thousand years…..but I’m not sure it will take anywhere near that long.  Let it never be said we have not lived in interesting times and let me go on record stating we were here at the beginning of the end.

A slow, steady glide

 

2 Comments

  1. Carl A.
    Oct 8, 2017

    It seems to me that the basic flaw in humanity is that we took a ‘wrong turn’ back when we first began to objectify the world around us, instead of internalizing our knowledge.

    For instance, we learned to amass great amounts of data in encyclopedias and libraries – but that information is only available to us externally, if we choose to utilize it, instead of being intrinsic to who we are as individuals or as a species. And as such, it never becomes a part of the human ‘blueprint’ through our DNA… it remains ‘loose change’ forever, instead of building up as genetic capital & increasing the overall potential of our species.

    As a result, we have great knowledge but only limited wisdom.

    Species survive only by incorporating worthwhile changes within themselves – changes that benefit not only the individual members within the group, but that benefit the group as a whole entity.

    Humans have never learned how to do that. We are too egocentric for that to ever happen as a persistent group trait… instead, we commonly fight each other – and to the death – over everything that is of value on this earth.

    And what is even worse, is that we do not have the ability to recognize our most common faults, and adapt our group behaviors to rectify them…

    Unfortunately, the inverse of “survival of the fittest” is ‘death to the inadequate’. And although – as individuals – we have great flashes of intellect and artistry, as a species we have fallen far short of any potential greatness.

  2. Tom
    Oct 8, 2017

    I wouldn’t say it’s the beginning of the end, but the beginning of a period of upheaval resulting ultimately in a large reduction in the human population. As an example, ignoring global warming will bring on the Four Horsemen to wreak havoc and chaos. Evolution will re-grow the species from the ashes, but so much will be lost in the meantime that it is still worth grieving the coming losses. This period in history is teaching us much about the flaws in human nature, and our inability to easily rise above our base nature, that is certain.

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