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It’s really, really hard to be human, much harder than we give ourselves credit for. It is particularly hard to be alive on earth today.
I thought we were supposed to be evolving, that is the mindset I had about life here on the planet. Yet billions of people struggle with fear, shame, poverty, violence and hopelessness. It doesn’t matter how many lives you’ve lived or where and when you’ve lived them; you will suffer some random event that will cause you pain at least once in a lifetime. For many alive today, pain is their most common experience.
There aren’t that many happy stories here on the planet right now. There are more people homeless and hungry, living in fear, poverty, and misery than ever before.
More are killed by wars and violence than at any other time in human history. We are murdering millions this year alone with our dynamic new war machines, killing devices run by trigger happy "gamers" trained since childhood to find the enemy in every "other." It is really scary to hear people talking about "bombing the crap out of them" and "bombing them into extinction" when talking about other humans. The sport of hunting animals to extinction that has gone on in many cultures is also seen in war against humans. Violence against children, elders, and vulnerable women and men is an epidemic in many cultures around the world.
We have more slaves now than ever before; economic, political and religious slavery not withstanding. Mining, fishing, lumber and agriculture industries use slavery, including child slavery and the slavery of domestic workers, to keep the world economy thriving. The sex industry regularly buys and sells its boys and girls at market prices, and you can buy or rent a human of any age in pretty much any country.
We throw out truckloads of food while desperate people starve to death on prime time TV. We have more than enough food, and we know how to feed ourselves, but we don't. We rely on corporations to feed us, gluttonously, in some parts of the world, and "barely get by on what we can scrounge" in other places.
We have more droughts and floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, tidal waves and earth quakes of greater and greater magnitude. We continue blowing holes in the earth’s crust despite these side effects, to get more oil, just to add more carbon to the atmosphere. We are hell bent on destroying it all, taking it with us when we go it seems. "If we can’t have it no one will" is a popular earth phrase in many languages and I see this attitude in many a corporate action.
Some religions say "it is meant to be this way" because someone prophesied it at some time in history, or someone said they did.
Some say that is because we are supposed to know sadness to know joy, hate to know love, pain to know pleasure, as if our nervous systems are designed to function through extremes. Give candy when good, cause pain when bad, spare the rod, spoil the child, we truly believe we learn best through fear and pain despite any and all research that proves otherwise. Personal parenting experience for thousands of generations of knowing that love and kindness is the best teacher, is ignored in this kind of logic.
Some say we are here to learn of the suffering and require it to evolve! We must survive and learn the lessons to pass on to the next level they say; like some kind of school with a sadistic head master or a cosmic video game designed by a group of discarnate nerds in the sky. As if we are trapped in a virtual program meant to fast forward our spiritual growth and development, guided by some techno team setting the software for earth’s evolution. People believe some strange things on Earth today. You would be shocked, I am sure, at the ridiculous assertions we hear from our Gurus and religious leaders. Some say a band of angels are really in control here, but they can’t interfere with or personal lessons.
Some believe that good people get rewarded and bad people get punished and if bad things are happening, you must have in some incarnation been bad. You deserve it, the pain, the betrayal, the violence, the illness, all brought on by something bad or wrong you did at some point.
Some say Earth is ruled by a species of lizard who don human form to fool us. They spray the air with neuro-toxins to keep the real humans stupid while they gobble up all our resources. They own all the land and control all the money and keep it all in their elite families they say. They say the Queen of England is one of them and all her decedents.
I would think the ravens of the tower would know if she was human or not.
You would not believe the things people believe here. I am guessing maybe we are trying to justify, to make sense of the senseless horror too many here suffer.
I am not sure how it all works, but most of the theories seem rather silly to me.
I used to think if people knew what was going on in our world, if they had access to knowledge, teachers and philosophers and could educate themselves they would make different choices. I thought if people knew about each other, they would help each other. If you knew your neighbour was in trouble you would help, wouldn’t you?
I think a lot of us thought if we could make information and communication accessible to more people, we would become enlightened and would make a better world together. So many dedicated their lives and still work tirelessly to make education available to all people because we believe education and knowledge is the power that could free us from the cycles of pain here.
More information IS available for most people; you can "google" anything you are curious about and just as many more lies and distractions will be dredged up with the goods. We wrote the whole internet after all. It is a place filled with all our knowledge and our fantasies and falsehoods too.
Our school systems teach what each society wants its children to learn and we have societies where children grow up not knowing anything about anyone other than who they can see in their own world. Many are taught lies or skewed views of history and are not allowed to access world information. Education has become a tool in the hands of tyrants in many places.
More accessible communication is also matched by more mass misinformation, innuendo, and threatening comments trolling every truth teller. "Be careful whom you talk to, and who you listen to" is a brutal truth in many lands. You can be killed for knowing too much, and there are companies who are hired to put out distractions and to feed lies into the information system to distract people from ugly truths some companies and governments don’t want us looking too closely at.
No one has been saved despite education, religion, and all the gathered wisdom we have on this planet.
I think that most religions and beliefs are just bullshit, a way we have of dealing with what we experience, trying to rationalize it by appointing some higher power cause and effect over our lives. I believe we have made up stories we tell ourselves for why there is so much pain involved in being human. I think we create what we believe, over and over and over again.
We believe in good and evil and desperately try to align with one side, whichever one is offering the best deal of the time. Inquisition, KKK, Boko Hiram, ISIS, Nazi, They all believe that "God" is on their side, and will die for that god and the promises made for after death.
Our brains have organized themselves in many societies, to "mark" experiences as either positive or negative, pain or pleasure. We believe this is how brains operate, but I wonder if this is just how we have trained them to be. After all, all studies have been done on people from similar upbringings, so how would we know what our brains are capable of as far as sorting experiences? I expect duality thinking is trained, not natural.
We all think violence is inherent in humanity and that we need war or we would be over populated here. We tend to believe the worst in each other, that at our core we are violent and greedy beings. We have a lot of self hatred issues, we humans.
We do not believe in the human race, we believe that humanity is at root greedy and vengeful, rapists and murderers looking for personal power and pleasure, and we choose literature and movies and television shows that depicts this belief for our children to be raised on. How many generations of North American kids had to read Lord of the Flies, or Catcher in the Rye, The Day No Pigs Would Die, strange mythologies to teach our children about life!
Although many of us truly despise what we see acted out all around us, flashing across CNN and paraded on the streets of every nation, the violence, callousness and corruption is such an intricate part of our lives we believe it is normal. We continue to make movies and televisions shows glorifying war and violence, colonialism and sexism, all accepting this way of being as true human values.
I think many people are so ashamed to be human, that we hate ourselves and everyone else. Self hatred is so bad it turns in on us and we become all that we hated in others, we became the hate. The colonized become the colonizers, those treated with violence become violent, the repressed become the oppressors, all of us acting out our coping strategies for survival.
This is so true for many, but not all. Every now and then pockets of people rise above this status quo and act in decent and rational ways. We see them as heroes and share their wise words with each other. We also fear for their lives as many are murdered.
I watch people when I am in towns and cities. I wonder if you watch us from out there?
People stumbling along, many very overweight, legs jutting woodenly, heads jerking forward; the effort of pushing and pulling their body along wearing them down. There is no bounce in their step, no lightness of being, life is a struggle, a painful struggle.
I see faces lined with worry, mouths talking into hidden microphones, buds in the ear, distracting, engaging with something that feels more real than what the moment has to offer.
Eyes riveted to the screen, streams of bodies wrapped in winter garments waft by on the periphery, dodging each others’ mortal existence.
Juxtaposed on the giant screen street-side in every big city are waves of Syrian, Afghan, Sudanese, and Iraqi people fleeing rubble filled lands on ABC and CBC "Please let us in," pleading the airwaves as infants die in the cold waters of apathy.
What have we become?
"I just want a normal life" I hear people say. "Have a home, have kids, have a job, grow old."
What does that even mean? Is there any sane reason why only some people have access to everything while others have nothing?
Why am I still seeking reason within insanity?
How many people walk around in this apathetic sleep state? Most of us here it seems, yet I can’t fault everyone, it is too much to bear for most of us.
We want it to go away, all the pain, all the wars, all the misery. We want it to be nice here, friendly and good for all. We do not want to really see the world we have made. It is too hard to look at it and too overwhelming to feel.
We shut down our empathy, shut down our telepathy, and harden ourselves to the brutality of most people’s lives.
It’s their fault they suffer. It must be, we tell ourselves smugly to keep from feeling.
They are dying out there. Overflowing hospitals filled with the sick, our new environment killing us. Children are born sick and diseased; everywhere we live within polluted lands, water, air, and food. Millions of people flee war, terrorism, drought, and pestilence, risking their last bits of life for the hope of something better somewhere else.
Raving tyrannical politicians promise a hero’s way out, for the chosen ones, obliteration for the enemies, prime time.
We are afraid, we humans.
We are afraid of the future we are making.
Meanwhile, I am here in the forest, sipping tea, writing stories, keeping the winter fire going, watching the final blossom fall off a white orchid, waiting for spring.
We are alive. Maybe that is enough.