Adaptability, a Blessing or a Curse?
By Chet Shupe
Copyright 2011 Chet Shupe
We humans take pleasure in the fact that our brains are highly adaptable. But could that be our problem? Have we unknowingly adapted to an unsustainable way of life? Furthermore, have we done it so well we are unable to notice something is fundamentally wrong? If so, then most of the problems we are trying to solve, such as domestic violence, poverty, religious and political strife, economic instability, and habitat destruction are only symptoms of the real problem, which is: In our attempt to fix the future by force of law, we have outlawed the human spirit by which we would normally be true to life. Having outlawed our emotional natures, we have deprived ourselves of the awareness by which our species knows how to secure a place for itself on this planet. That is the proposition that my book, Eden, lays before us.
We each think we know the truth. Though there are countless religions that project quite different versions of reality, every believer believes their particular version represents the truth. To some, the truth is that science and technology embody mankind’s purpose and hold the promise of our salvation. Just as “devoutly,” others see science and technology as leading to our self destruction. Some believe that to realize a viable future people must account to one another mostly through government edict, as in socialistic systems. Others believe that only by the free market, which makes us accountable to one another through the singular dimension of money, will we realize our goals.
Before addressing why there are so many beliefs, we might ask, why do we believe in the first place? As civilized people we exist in a “reality” where we presume control of our destiny - in our minds, the future supersedes the present. That is what governments, laws, and economic systems are all about; mechanisms by which we intend to realize the future we have in mind. Having thus rendered ourselves subjects of our dreams, we need a story by which we think they can be realized. That story becomes our belief, or belief system, if you want to think of it that way.