We suffer from a collective grand delusion that while we feed on, use and exploit other creatures, nothing feeds on us and exploits us. We fondly believe that we are at the top of the food chain on Planet Earth, and that this planet is a self-contained kingdom, more or less isolated and insulated from the rest of the cosmos. We believe that except for an asteroid striking this planet, or some such cataclysmic event, we are safe from the universe because except for sunlight and starlight, nothing much comes and goes between here and the rest of the cosmos.
We believe especially that while there are all sorts of natural phenomena influencing the course of our lives, there is nothing out there with a will to exploit us, use us and prey on us. In other words, we believe that humans are their own worst enemies, and that they have no natural enemies that cannot be dealt with a shot of vaccine or antibiotics.
We try collectively to maintain this illusion by thinking that we do not ouselves exploit or depredate on anything that matters, but merely use “natural resources”.
That is unrealistic. Something out there — a wide variety or somethings, actually — is looking at you and me at this very moment and saying, “natural resources, ripe for exploitation”. And they are not really ‘out there’, they are ‘in here’, with us, among us… They are freely moving in and out of us, speaking our languages, doing our deeds, tapping into our deepest thoughts, beliefs and feelings.
Must we fear them? No, because, they are old friends. We have no cause to fear them because they are as old as time. They have been here all along, far longer than us, far longer than the most primordial living thing on earth. As the number of species on earth grew — as life on earth diversified — so did the entities, nurtured by their development, and nurturing their further development.
As intelligence developed, an elite group of entities began to cultivate some of the primates very much as we cultivated farm animals, poultry and farm animals. Rather, we were all cultivated together — exploiter and exploited, humans and non-humans. We grew together, advanced together. If we “living creatures” were the left leg, they were the right leg, providing the direction for our growth and development. They provided, and continue to provide the templates for our growth, guiding it like a trellis for creepers to grow on. And so, here we are…Homo Sapiens, laying claim to being master of all that we survey.
It may be said that of all the species on earth, we enjoy a special relationship with entities. We are the ones who developed a specialized organ for breeding entities. Indeed, many of us make a living from doing nothing but breeding, nurturing and propagating young entities, such as banking and investment, computer science and robotics, monarchy and democracy, religion or mysticism, desktop publishing and the internet.
All of which brings us to what I’m doing at this very moment…
Dawn of self awareness
There are defining moments in the history of each species, when an evolutionary breakthrough is achieved by the species and the entities that inhabit/power them. When the first humans used the self-referral ‘I’ and ‘me’ in thought or in conversation, there was such an evolutionary breakthrough.
Another such breakthrough is happening now, brought about by the great ‘Age of Communication’ that we are currently living in. Impelled by the sheer weight of numbers of human minds that are connected together in real-time as never before (thanks to the explosive growth of telecommunications, print media, internet, etc.), we now have reached a saturation point where it is no longer possible for us to ignore the existence of entities, or alternatively, for entities to ignore their own existence on the human dimension, as they appear to have done in the past few millennia. Hence, some of them have begun to speak — through me and maybe a thousand others, plainly stating, “I am here. We are here. We exist.”