Making It Up

March 11, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Category: Myth/Story, Society

Humans are story tellers, metaphor makers, a species moved by symbol.  It’s not just that we invent mythologies or stories we believe to be true, stories occurring in another time or place.  It is the fact that these stories sit at the root of both what it is to be consciously conscious while at the same time entitled and clueless.

As creators of content where nothing before existed, we are an astonishing reflection of the greater consciousness that animates the all.  Yet, with an ability to disregard the larger interconnected web of the all, instead paying close attention to our own unique fabrications, we are also a bane of that subtlety and complexity that surrounds us.

Jared Diamond, in his book Collapse, describes several times over the last few thousand years that humans and their immediate environment suffered the consequences of the human gift with words.  Societies, unable to see the repercussions of their creations, engaged in destruction.  It’s a pattern we keep repeating.

We have an ability to make stuff up that doesn’t closely approximate the nature of the surrounding environment that is affected by what we make.  The cure for this uniquely human malady is directly related to the economic, political and social transformation that is underway.  We are in the process of learning to give up freedom, independence, liberty, free markets, autonomy and being alone.  It is necessary for us to do so in order to pay close attention to those we share this world with.  Observing how we are interconnected, watching, listening and feeling to how we influence and are influenced, we can make stories, metaphors, myths and symbols that more closely approximate the real world, not just a world that we make, because we can.

Our financial system has been founded upon a fairy tale that believes that the distribution of unlimited resources to a relative few is good for all.  Our economy has been built upon many layers of stories starting with statistics that have been adjusted so as not to distract from central story themes.  For example, contemporary inflation, abandoning metrics that were the convention in the 1970s, is almost triple the story told us now by the government and the news.

We behave as if economic growth is necessary to economic health.  No population in nature reads from that script.

As the credit unwinding picks up speed, so will the desire to compose a story that uncovers whom is responsible for the destruction.  Better we learn to deconstruct the mythologies, the tales we’ve created, that have made it seem that the acts committed seemed sensible.  The stories will all reveal different ways we’ve leveraged disconnection and invented fictions that did not reflect the real world.  As a species, perhaps it is time we learn to revere the creative arts instead of offering homage to the financial wizards that conjure creative vehicles.

The new economy, the new world order, must allow for the human compulsion to make stuff up in a context that reveres an ability to closely observe, listen to and feel the subtle and complex nature of the world around us.  Indiscriminately scrambling the two together, as has been our tendency as a species, will not work any longer.  The world is too small for us to continue to tell ourselves the story that the world goes on forever.

The astonishingly naïve idea that we are free, independent and require liberty needs to be replaced with the understanding that each individual has value, is interconnected and is creative.  This new story is one that reflects and respects the sensory-based reality that is our home.  The closer our mythologies can come to reflecting the way that evolution really operates, the easier it will be to integrate with the other life on this planet.

Humans are story tellers, metaphor makers, a species moved by symbol.  The time has arrived to integrate our ability to create with a reverence for perception.  As we offer respect to those individuals that can perceive the interconnections derived from the information of their senses, individuals that can tell a story that at its roots approximates that world as it really is, we will be uniting a species’ compulsion to create with a reality that craves to be understood.


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