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Painting by Martin Johnson Heade

“There are two ways to make a group,” says Emiliano Bruner, a paleo neuroscientist at the National Research Center for Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain. “First, you can rely on what people have in common, giving importance to similarities. Alternatively, you can stress the differences toward another group. Both strategies can work, but in the first case you bet on love, which is often difficult, because it requires the acceptance of our differences. In the second case, you bet on hate which is, unfortunately, much easier to do!”


The “takers are now our leaders (“mis-leaders”).
command the people what to do, only persuade.

Now, we can only choose from the “takers” of our tribe, who put their own interests in front of everyone’s. They have few, if any, humanitarian instincts. The system is set up so that only those who will compromise their integrity, if they ever had any, can be funded to secure positions of power.

These people are self-centered and ego-directed and exist in a reality in the public and corporate world almost totally inhabited by other “takers,” so to them it seems normal. Everyone they surround themselves with is compromised but “successful.” — Robert Roskind

The transit between the world of hate and self interest to the universe of inclusion and connection seems long and difficult. We look around and see how common and normal hate is. Differences between cultures and races are considered important somehow. We ourselves are lucky because we were born in a superior group, unlike those strange and misbegotten people over there.

Can human beings be called intelligent? This way of thinking seems to belie it. Are the gods watching and laughing sadly, hoping we’ll grow up before it’s too late? Are they worried about us? So far, we have engaged in a very long list of acts of blind destruction, and we carry on in the same vein despite warnings of ultimate ruin. What’s it going to take, a Mad Max kind of world before we wake up?

Love is so obviously the way to go. Is that so hard to see? Wouldn’t we prefer peace and general prosperity to living in a wasteland? As a matter of logic, even if it could be shown that hurting others redowns to our detriment every time, simply because all life is interconnected, would we change? Without a felt sense of consanguinity, without love and caring, I doubt it.

Everything lives. Everything values its life and wants to live out its time in the world. Is that hard to see, to imagine? We project our sense of disconnection onto a web of life so thoroughly interconnected you can’t see the end of it as we peer into our telescopes and magnifying glasses. And yet we deny it. We can’t believe it. Separation is our gospel.

Is it any wonder our politics is such a confused struggle? Can human affairs be humanely organized by such people? How bad will it have to get before we start to examine our hearts? Evidently a long time, for a culture such as ours.

The insane are close to taking over the asylum. Will enough of us raise our hands and say we don’t approve? Are there enough of us?

We’re getting close to finding the answer to that question. We’re on edge. Whatever the answer is, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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