Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yesterday on the drive to school just west of Brighton we saw a pair of bald eagles in a tree alongside the road. This is now the third January I’ve seen bald eagles here in Colorado. I know there are nesting pairs around here now, but my guess is these January sightings are birds who are just passing through. It’s awfully neat that they’re making a comeback.

So I finished reading Guns, Germs, and Steel. It has only served to raise more questions. In a nutshell, he said that certain features of the land, in certain places of the world, gave rise to food production, sedentary lifestyles, city-states, advanced weapons, etc—all of which proved advantageous for conquering other peoples who lived in lands that didn’t possess these unique features. The rise of culture seems in this context to be an inevitable process of the earth, as does the conquest of less “advanced” indigenous peoples by more advanced ones. Yet, it’s so obvious to me that advanced people’s pillaging is not a productive trend; it only leads to destruction. So what are we to make of all of this? Where is this leading if not to extinction?

I guess maybe it all gets back to Jung and Wilber and our spiritual evolution. As we moved from clans and tribes to city-states to globalization and urbanization, we’ve also moved from unconscious mythic identification with the cosmos to becoming conscious and separate egoic individuals. Our concept of the Divine shifted from it being immanent in all things when we were hunter-gatherers to now (as we’ve urbanized and separated from nature) being an abstract concept—God as Other. The next step in our evolution ought to be a return to Oneness, as supraconscious beings. We needed this period of abstraction to be able to see what we had always been immersed in. Now we “know that we know” and can return in a state of supraconsciousness.

What will that look like here on earth? Consumerism must die. We must stop killing the earth. We desperately need a post-consumer paradigm.

A supraconscious individual—what does that person look like? He or she would not identify with the ego, not be interested in power, prestige, money, or material things, would base all of his or her actions on preserving the health of the earth and all of its inhabitants, would not recognize political boundaries as having any intrinsic meaning, but would recognize the equality of all people. He or she would live simply and focus on the nonmaterial side of life (beyond those things required for survival).

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