This topic is one that is very close to my heart. I feel very strongly that one of my callings here on this planet is to help, in whatever way I can,
to try to end the suffering of living beings. This is a hard topic though, because I am back and forth between two extremes.
If we take a look around us, it seems hard to ignore that we are headed towards a brick wall at 1,000 miles per hour. But on the other hand, I see
great progress being made. Especially in the past decade, hell, even the past half-decade. I have strong hope that humanity can realize the precious
gift of life that we hold.
We have the power to explore the universe and feed and clothe every person on this earth, yet we continue to squander this precious gift in the name
of immediate gratification. Coming from this perspective, I want to close my eyes and wait for the crash. I know the brick wall is coming, and I
know it won't be pretty. But as T.S. Eliot once said, "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper." Somehow I don't think it
will be quick and painless.
On the other hand, I am inspired by the changes we are working towards as a race, but I am the first to acknowledge if we have a chance of making it
out alive, we need to pick up the pace.
Marshall McLuhan once said something that fills me with hope.
"Cataclysmic environmental changes such as these are, in and of themselves, morally neutral; it is how we perceive them and react to them that will
determine their ultimate psychic and social consequences. If we refuse to see them at all, we will become their servants. It’s inevitable that the
world-pool of electronic information movement will toss us all about like corks on a stormy sea, but if we keep our cool during the descent into the
maelstrom, studying the process as it happens to us and what we can do about it, we can come through. Personally, I have a great faith in the
resiliency and adaptability of man, and I tend to look to our tomorrows with a surge of excitement and hope. I feel that we’re standing on the
threshold of a liberating and exhilarating world in which the human tribe can become truly one family and man’s consciousness can be freed from the
shackles of mechanical culture and enabled to roam the cosmos. I have a deep and abiding belief in man’s potential to grow and learn, to plumb the
depths of his own being and to learn the secret songs that orchestrate the universe. We live in a transitional era of profound pain and tragic
identity quest, but the agony of our age is the labor pain of rebirth. I expect to see the coming decades transform the planet into an art form; the
new man, linked in a cosmic harmony that transcends time and space, will sensuously caress and mold and pattern every facet of the terrestrial
artifact as if it were a work of art, and man himself will become an organic art form. There is a long road ahead, and the stars are only way
stations, but we have begun the journey. To be born in this age is a precious gift, and I regret the prospect of my own death only because I will
leave so many pages of man’s destiny — if you will excuse the Gutenbergian image — tantalizingly unread. But perhaps, as I’ve tried to
demonstrate in my examination of the postliterate culture, the story begins only when the book closes." - Marshall McLuhan
That quote reminds me that mankind is adaptable and strong-willed.
We cannot let a few bad apples ruin the whole batch. It's up to us to decide to not let it happen. We are all responsible and we are all standing
by watching the car hurtle towards the wall at 1,000 miles per hour.
It seems clear to me that the advent of life itself desires to be spread far and wide. Perhaps the human race is not the final form, and perhaps our
time here is fleeting. But I think it is clear that life itself desires to spread and thrive. We have the ability now to spread life off this planet
into the space surrounding us. What an amazing time we live in.
Alan Watts once gave a talk where he painted a picture of a god-like being who desired to dream all kinds of dreams. He said that if we were gods,
what would we dream of?
"Well, what would you do if you were god? Or let me put it in a simpler way. Supposing that every night you could dream any dream that you
wanted to dream: what would you do?
Well, first of all, I’m quite sure that most of us would dream all the marvelous things we wanted to happen, we would fulfill all our wishes. And
we might go on that way for months. Besides, you could make it extraordinarily rich by wishing to dream seventy-five years in one night, full of
glorious happenings. But after you had done that for some months, you might begin to get a little tired of it, and you would say, ‘What about an
adventure tonight in which something terribly dangerous and exciting is going to happen But I’ll know I’m dreaming, so it won’t be too bad, and
I’ll wake up if it gets too serious.’ So you do that for a while: you rescue princesses in distress from dragons, and all sorts of things, and
then when you’ve done that for some time you say, now let’s go out a bit further.
Let’s forget it’s a dream, and have a real thrill!’ Ooh, but you’ll know you’ll wake up. And then you get— after you’ve done that for a
while you get more and more nerve. Until you sort of dare yourself as to how far out you can get. And you end up dreaming the sort of life you’re
Now why have we— why does one do that? Why would one do that? The reason for that, the Hindu would say, is that the basic pulse of life, the basic
motivation of existence, is what we call The Game of Hide and Seek. Now you see it, now you don’t. You see, everything’s based on that, because
all life is vibration—pulsing. Light is a pulsation of light darkness; sound is a pulsation of sound silence. Everything is going du-du-du-du-du
at various speeds. And in order to have—it’s like the motion of a wave.
Now a wave consists of two parts: the crest and the trough. You can’t have crests without troughs; you can’t have troughs without crests. They
always go together. You can’t have hide without seek; you can’t seek without hide. Just for example: you can’t have here without there.
Because if you didn’t know where there was you wouldn’t know where here was. You can’t have is without isn’t, because you don’t know what
you mean by is unless you also know what you mean by isn’t, and vice versa.
So in that way, they think that Hide and Seek is the fundamental game, as if the Lord God, the Brahman as they call it, said in the beginning, Get
lost, Man! Disappear. And I’ll find you again later. And when, you know, the disappearance gets very far out then the contrary rhythm begins and
the dreamer wakes up, and finds out, ‘Phew! That was a relief.’ And then, after a rest period, in which everything is, of course, at peace, uh,
starts all over again, because the spirit of adventure springs eternal."
Well, I don't know where we're headed. But if this all blows up in our faces, then at least I can say I am proud to have been alive in such an
important time. And perhaps, it's all part of the cosmic drama... the game of Hide and Seek. And when we awake we will say "Wow, what a ride!"
In the meantime, we should do what we believe in passionately and selflessly. We owe it to ourselves and those around us. Stay positive, we still