Yesterday, in the face of the failure of the Democrats to take the Senate and the possibility that Trump would win, I felt oddly buoyant. I was faced with the real possibility, even likelihood, of the extinction of homo sapiens. My attachment to preserving our species has derived, perhaps, from the egocentric belief that we are the sole guardians of beauty truth and love. That’s not true though. Other beings express those qualities; it’s just that we have the words for them. The languages of other creatures may or may not be comprised of words.
It was as if my hope had been channeled into the narrow conduit defined by imagining how a change in government could get us out of our mess. With that option seeming to dissolve I was opened to a larger vista in which deeper forces are at play. If love is a force and not just a feeling, then it must be in action at this moment, and my calling is to perceive that action and bring myself into alignment with it.
That calling stays with me. Even though I’m engrossed and invested in the outcome of the election and the subsequent actions of government, I sense that there are other levels of activity, other forces at work in the process of giving birth to an emergent reality. It’s possible that the fear of scarcity that has captivated human attention for the past several thousand years is giving way to a pious commitment to community.
In this emerging new world, the instinct for self-preservation is being supplanted by the trust that we are mutually supported. Mutual support depends on sound husbandry and is undermined by domination. Extravagant wealth is an embarrassment, not a source of pride. The concept of enough is restored to its place of primacy. The joy of sharing supplants the pleasure of indulgence.
Humans and our closest biological relatives, chimpanzees, are the only primate species whose communities are characterized by male dominance hierarchies. The implication is that the transformation of humanity entails the modulation of biological forces. We know about the plasticity of the brain and of genetic expression. Our great challenge is to exert our will and intention to guide our evolutionary trajectory. If we want love to prevail we must be its devoted servants, obey its commandments, surrender to its rigors.