Throughout my life I’ve heard the phrase, Survival of the Fittest, thrown around as some sort of justification or badge of honor for our egregious actions and their catastrophic consequences. Those of us who are fortunate enough to enjoy the perks of living within the confines of modern life (industrial civilization) can easily use this Darwinian construct as a default mechanism to explain and justify our current living arrangement. It’s not that we’re the most intelligent or strongest of species but rather the most clever and shortsighted. In actuality it’s not fair to lump together our entire species since there are still some who live outside of the modern model and even more who are oppressed by it. Ours is a privileged culture within the human species – a species which unfortunately has become dominant and highly contagious. In the workplace it’s often said that only the incompetent get promoted. In life it looks like only the incompetent are oblivious to the impact of their sheer ignorance.
Privileged, civilized humans are not intelligent.
We may be clever. We may seemingly outsmart all of our adversaries but we are incredibly shortsighted. Lacking authentic wisdom and humility we’ve lost the most precious commodity for ourselves and all life: time left on this planet. Simply wiping everything and everyone off the face of the Earth for our short-term benefit is not only not an example of survival of the fittest; it’s an excellent example of supreme stupidity.
We are devouring the very habitat that supports our lives. In geological terms we are not the fittest but are the weakest of species. Sure we have big brains but that seems to have ultimately cost us our very survival. Our time here has been ever so brief. Our short time left is beyond the comprehension of many. The dominant industrial culture has robbed Homo sapiens of our life expectancy as a species. We would rather have instant gratification than long term prosperity. Instant karma is the consequence of being clever.
Nature bats last in the ballgame of life.
Our time here has been a brilliant flash of light on the continuum of Earth’s history. It looked spectacular. Observed closely, though, it’s been nothing more than a poor imitation of something that had so much promise, so much potential and infinitely more to offer. We chose a different route.
We chose speed, growth and innovative productivity over the sublime recognition of the beauty of things when slowing down long enough to notice. We chose extreme comfort over the knowledge gained from letting ourselves be uncomfortable at times. We chose sugar-coated experiences over the taste of deep inner wisdom. We chose poorly. We chose to never heed that constant, gnawing call from inner wisdom that told us to question what we were doing.
Near Term Human Extinction is the prize in the Crackerjack box of modern life. A cheap thrill for a rather ordinary snack. The scrumptious meal of life was passed over for microwave popcorn because we hadn’t the patience for what real living demanded. As a species we had patience for a very long time, but some of us lost the taste for it.
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