Divide and Delineate: How we try to make sense of our world
Divide and Delineate: How we try to make sense of our world.
Delineation of any kind create a sense of disconnection. Yet we have as humanity created endless delineations to try and explain our world. We have named absolutely everything. We have labelled everything. It’s our way of trying to make sense of a world that we’re not quite sure we have any control over.
Delineations followed by sub-delineations. Cultures morphing into sub-cultures. All in an attempt to feel that we know what we’re doing here. Yet do animals name themselves? Does a dog call itself a dog? A zebra call itself a zebra? Do fossils and molluscs know that they have a name?
Does the earth know that it has countries and continents? Does it say this is where this country’s boundary ends and this one begins? Does it prefer this ocean over that river? That lake over that stream? To the earth isn’t it all just water and land?
This is the gift and the curse of our consciousness. We have used that consciousness to try to make sense of things we don’t really understand.
In spiritual terms there is only one consciousness expressing itself in myriad forms. That consciousness is the same no matter what form it takes. We as humans have named ourselves the head of nature’s pecking order because of our ability to be aware that we are conscious beings.
Abusing our awareness.
But what has that basic awareness really brought us? Through our naming and labelling of everything we have created discord. You are not like me therefore I do not feel safe with you. You speak another language to me, therefore I feel intimidated if I cannot speak that language. You have a different skin colour than I do, so how do I know if we’re really the same beneath that skin?
We created sciences and named them too. Each area of scientific study has been given its own unique label. We even give some of our illnesses complicated names that very few laypeople can understand, let alone spell. In fact the more complex the labelling the more it is perceived as a sign of true intellect to be able to understand it.
If we don’t worship at the feet of religion, the we worship at the feet of intellectualism. Yet each of these are about delineation and division. The more divisive we become, the more conflict we experience in our world. It’s called divisiveness for a reason.
Then we wonder how can we create peace where there is conflict. We explore how we can shift the imbalance of overly rich nations exploiting the resources of extremely poor nations. Forgetting that the only reason those nations are so poor is because we’ve exploited their natural resources.
Humans exploit nature just as the rich exploit the poor.
We become surprised when the macro becomes the micro. Carrying that same exploitation into our individual nations. How can we solve the problem of the richest 1% feeding off the labour of the rest of the nation? Well certainly not by denying that this 1% is nothing more that a macrocosm of how we treat the rest of the world.
Aren’t we as humans the 1% with regard to nature? Aren’t we outnumbered by millions of species? Yet we feel we have the right to control the destiny and evolution of these species. Why? Simply because we deem ourselves superior because of our intellectual resources.
If only we were willing to admit that we have no idea what we’re doing here. If we could just face up to our fear that we’re floating seemingly meaninglessly in a vast universe. We might then be able to get to the root of all of our petty human conflicts.
We might be able to see that our desire to delineate and label everything is just another expression of that fear. We wouldn’t need to court attack from some alien nation just to remind us that we are citizens of earth, not of the fake boundaries we’ve imposed.
Our endless machinations around race and gender, politics and sexuality, immigrants and natives, would reveal their ridiculousness. Well that’s my dream. A dream that we wake up from our nonsensical delineations and see that we’re simply part of a greater whole. That our feelings of connection arise out of creating less delineation and division, not more.
We might even, in this dream of mine, become aware that we are already the wholeness that we secretly and endlessly seek. And that wholeness isn’t and never was limited to our particular species.
This article was previously published at Good Men Project and is reprinted here with their permission
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