Wednesday, June 11, 2008

looking in the mirror

Our social evolution impacts our personal lives as well as our society as a whole. The movement away from integrated community toward radical individualism has birthed a whole spectrum of new reactions to old stimuli. One clear example is the tendency to draw away from others when hurt. I've seen this in myself as well as in my friends and clients. We seem to think that there is comfort and/or safety in being separate. But all this does is lead to greater separation and further frustrates our hunger for connection. 

When we look at the animal world for reflections of our own nature, we tend to think of the "lone wolf", the eagle, the lion or other predators with little or no tie to community. But the closest real reflection of us in the animal world is the ape - a very communal animal. So - why do we so often chose to see ourselves as an anti-social predator, rather than a communal omnivore? Whatever the answer, this certainly reflects a long standing movement in human consciousness. I don't know when it began, but there is a long history of predators being chosen to symbolize nations. 

Perhaps we need to consider what it would be like to have a nation whose symbol in the bonobo ape.


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