The other day I watched a documentary by Tom Shadyac titled I Am. If you don't know who Shadyac is, he directed Ace Ventura Pet detective and a host of other comedy movies for which he made a pile of money. Then he took a tumble on his bike and suffered a concussion that threatened to alter the rest of his life and brought him to the brink of suicide.
This then led him to take a look at his own life and wonder what it means to be happy and to be human. There were two insights, among many, that really stood out for me. The first relates to the basic nature of humans: are we aggressive and war-like or are we more community minded and collaborative? The answer, of course, was somewhere in the middle, but leans more toward community and collaborative. The long and short of it is that to survive we require an ability to hunt and protect ourselves, but that is only a small pice of survival. Humans don't have tough hides, incredible speed or eyesight and we don't have claws and big teeth. In a world (prehistoric) what we did have was larger brains and the ability to work collaboratively and form communities.
Of course, if you've read Guns, Germs and Steel you may come away with the notion that humans are probably more aggressive than collaborative, more ethnocentric or tribal than communal, and there lies the contrast. If that is in our DNA, so is the ability to form communities and act collaboratively. What matters is that we make a conscious choice to see community and collaboration as in our best interest so that we work those muscles more than the others. I would add that part of this requires a really sustained exercising of the empathy and sympathy muscles.
The second piece of the documentary that stood out was the finding that there is measurable energy or waves that are emitted by our hearts and this energy is consistent with all humans. Whether you are a Syrian rebel or government supporter of a Tea Party member or Democrat, we all create this energy and it uniquely binds us all because it affects our behavior and how we feel. It is one of the reasons why people seek people out.
Ergo the God of fiction. The Bible is fiction and the God portrayed in it is of human creation, but there is a spirituality that has its roots in the tangible world. It is the energy emitted by all these hearts beating in the world. We just now need to exercise the right muscles.
Causes James Buchanan Supports
Expanding health care in the US, ending war as a viable tool of foreign policy, and issues related to social justice in general.