Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Falling of Man

Pretty sure he's going to blame her for everything
From as far back as I can remember, Man has been falling. Growing up Catholic, I obviously got the goods about all the bads that comes along with being human. Turns out I had sins as soon as I was born!

Seems like a couple thousand years ago, they went on and on about how we screwed up and got ourselves kicked out of God's good graces. Since then, man has been struggling to get their shit together now that the odds were forever not in our favor. But it didn't stop there. The same old song and dance has been carried on from generation to generation and with each telling it seems that humans are getting worse. You'd think at some point someone would get the idea to put a stop to all this falling. We'd get our crap together and as a collective species say, "enough is enough". That is obviously easier said than done. In a world where the collective voices of human beings gets louder and louder, less and less people will be heard and those with something to actually say will be drowned out.

Humanity has made attempts to answer why we are the way we are. Religion likes to act like they got a handle on this. They lay the blame squarely on our shoulders, which is fair. We are to blame for our actions and inactions. The "why" becomes a point of contention. Some feel it's in our nature. Some feel there are external forces at work. Others stick their head in the sand and hope someone will come along to solve the problem with no actual effort from themselves. The scholars and non-scholars have struggled over this question since... ...well, since they looked around and noticed that shit was going south. I believe it's a combination of many things. For example:

  • Do I consider myself a good person? - Yes.
  • Do I try to do make the world a better place? - Yes.
  • Do you do enough? - Probably not.
  • Why not? - A combination of means, necessities, and wants that factor into what I can contribute to the world.
  • Are you a greedy bastard? - Not at all.
  • Then why would you put your needs and wants before the world? - Because I feel that by achieving the thing I want to do in life, I'll be able to better contribute to the world than if I just did any old thing, even if that "thing" would probably benefit the world in the interim.
Now if we generously multiplied that kind of thinking to about half the population, that's three and a half billion people who are trying to do something for themselves in hopes to make the world a better place in the long run rather than going out and building a house for the homeless or signing up for the Peace Corps.

Are we assholes for wanting to do something that'd make us happy and therefore others happy as well? For the sake of rhetoric, I'm gonna say no. But that's one less house for a homeless person, that's one less field that gets planted, that's one less kid who gets vaccinated. Add that up three and a half billion times; that's a whole lot of shit that gets missed, not to mention the other three and a half billion people who are actually assholes (probably not, but bear with me) and really let shit get out of hand. It becomes a recipe for disaster. So here we are. We soared so high with wings made of wax that we screwed ourselves and have been falling, with style, since the dawn of man. I guess my question to those out there flapping their hands along with me is: If we're falling, did we get pushed or did we trip?

Maybe he deserved it?

We are screwing up as a species. All you have to do is stick your head out of your Hobbit hole and take a gander. We are raping and pillaging every natural resource of this planet like, well, like us. We are killing each other for any reason we can find. We are destroying ourselves, our future, and any chance for humanity to continue on. And the crux of it all is that we know it!

Some people lie to themselves, they amass ignorance in forms of money, disinformation, and so-called "goods" then proceed to pretend that the world is just fine. They know they're falling, I haven't run into a single human who thinks the world is absolutely perfect the way it is. But instead of acknowledging it, they point their fingers and blame everyone else for the fall except themselves.

Others see the fall, and try to do what they can for the rest of us. They surround themselves with smart people, those who can make a difference. Like a blanket fort of change, all are welcome and together, we can try to save ourselves. But because these are very smart people, they know that no matter what, we are plummeting, even in our blanket fort of change, we are heading down.

You see, humans have made way too many mistakes, the point of no return was about forty years ago. The world as we know it is and will change, there's no argument about that. The important question is; when we land, will it be on our feet or on our backs?

About seventy thousand years ago, there was a thing called the Toba catastrophe. It was a super-volcanic explosion followed by a volcanic winter that brought the human population down to about ten thousand people. The seven billion people who are alive today are alive because of ten thousand humans who through sheer force of will, managed to land on their feet from a massive fall. They dusted themselves off, and probably managed to take a few steps before they were either pushed or tripped.

I think the one thing we can count on mankind to do is to fall. Whether pushed or tripped, it seems to be our shining grace. When we fall, we do so with such gusto that there's a morbid admiration to it. we are capable of so many amazing things, it's a shame that the horrid reality mars what could be seen as a beautiful fall akin to Douglas Adam's sperm whale.

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.
And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.
This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.
Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.
Er, excuse me, who am I?
Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?
What do I mean by who am I?
Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.
Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?
Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …
Or is it the wind?
There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?
And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!
I wonder if it will be friends with me?
And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.
Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.”

Here's hoping we meet a better fate.