I’ve been strangely silent on recent matters of our common humanity.
As a bit of a perfectionist, I like to reserve judgement concerning the trajectory of our human endeavors. I know civilization and all its parts all have lives of their own.
I look for points of intervention, where a few well-chosen words might make a big difference. I am at a loss. Maybe I continue to expect things to automatically settle down into that much-needed New Normal. Maybe I wait for Godot.
Deep in my heart I hope I am wrong about us having reached the apex of civilization and its imminent demise. I want to believe I am wrong when I assert that the human brain was not evolved to manage such complexities as we must wrangle in this 21stC.
I must be wrong to believe in civil entropy, the drift into random disorder and collapse. Yet much has been written in physics and Natural law. I long to be right that it is still possible to find simplicity in civil complexity so we can buy more time and once again get on top of our game.
We need imagination to reinvent. But imagination driven by fear or by hope produces very different results. Both are very active right now, in search of a future. The destruction of selected old wrongs can precipitate a destruction of the whole. Hope may be a denial or a delusion.
I fear that though there are answers no one is prepared to listen. The window of opportunity lies between two poles — to have enough shock to grab attention, but not so much that people cannot listen. If you are listening, let me just say that there are answers and solutions within us and the framework of our Nature. Our brains naturally seek simplicity and order, but we are preoccupied with the emotional business of the day. We must pause and reflect on our place in Nature.
Within each human heart is a vacuum the size and shape of community. Community is the largest natural social order. If we lose it we cannot function properly. We need strong healthy pairs, families, groups and teams, organizations and communities.
Only from these solid foundations can we scale-up the social fractal of Nature in which we are inevitably embedded. The giant metropolis, nations and global corporation are not natural. They are artifacts, soulless artificial extensions without capacity to support an authentic sense of trust or belonging. They sit on top of our organic relationships as a distraction from our human purposes.
As currently constructed, we are not at home in the modern global civilization. This is not where we do our best business. This is not conducive to our best behaviour nor our pursuit of meaning. Gone is our civil public dialogue. Gone is the benefit of the doubt. Gone is our sense of connectedness. Replaced by accusations, suspicions, isolation and loneliness.
No one is to blame, though there are many who will exploit the confusion for personal gain and glory. These gigantic artificial constructs are collective outcomes from collective actions.
What we must do to rectify the unfolding disaster scenario is to systematically raise our collective intelligence to match the complexities of our global civilization. We know how to do this inasmuch as we can raise the intelligence of a dullard committee to that of a high performance team. Simply scale-up!
We may get lucky and things may settle down on their own. But sooner or later, civil complexity will become unmanageable unless we make concerted efforts to raise global collective intelligence from our natural pairs and small groups upward.
This initiative will not be instinctive like love and friendship. It will demand a learned appreciation of both human diversity and human integration.
Boldness has genius in it. Begin it now!