Did the Paris attacks make you uncomfortable enough to change, or did you simply return to your daily routine, perhaps telling yourself that sticking to your habit defied the terrorist’s intent to rattle you?
Is there a ‘normal’ existential standard? Yes. But it is not, nor will it ever be, the social norm. The only true, existential normal is established by our brilliantly engineered physical beings, conscience, and innate intelligence. It is that primal consciousness we automatically turn to first when crisis strikes.
If you don’t believe me, just remember your first response to the Paris attacks. At the news, your mind went quietly blank with incredulity as the first sweep of shock took you inward where your body ran a check to make sure you were secure; and then, seamlessly, it also checked the outside of you, in your environment, gathering as much information as possible to prepare you, just in case. High alert. Thorough assessment. Acutely aware. Only afterwards, when you felt in control and stable did you call someone, or chat with a stranger. Correct?
You see, you don’t have to go to war to be at war. When an environment is dangerous the human organism lives in a state of alert. It doesn’t matter if you have a nice home, great education, make buckets of money, and get a yearly vacation. If there is the any inharmony in your lives, from constipation to domestic dissonance to the threat of failure behind missing your monthly quotas at work, your organism experiences your environment as dangerous and it will work tirelessly to bring you back into homeostasis.
So, how do you think your being feels when accosted by the social standards of racism, gender differentiation, sexual humiliation, educational and social elitism, body profiling, bullying, nationalism, religious prejudice, or even the architectural design of homes, offices, cars, and clothing that confine and distort the biological significance of ‘comfort’? (Biological comfort corresponds to the ease of exercising at peak performance.)
Society wants us uncomfortable. Society makes us uncomfortable. Society keeps us uncomfortable. Whatever I think, or you think, there is someone else thinking differently. Whatever I believe, or you believe, there is someone else believing differently. Who I am is not likely to be who you think I am, and who you are is not likely to be who I think you are. BUT who you think I am, and who I think you are, matters more than who I know myself to be, and who you know yourself to be.
And, this is very dangerous.
No matter how we decide to package our story, no matter how pretty our picture is or how many statistics justify our choices and make us seem palatable, desirable as friends, colleagues, and citizens, and no matter how much we call our dysfunctional lives “oh, so delightfully normal” we are not normal, not a whit, nor are we safe.
Our species has been sabotaged by a history of corrupting civilization. Without doubt, somewhere in our ancestral past, we came face to face with a grave threat that we countered – thanks to our adaptive capabilities – with a rigorous, short-term action plan intended to make sure we survived, and once the threat had passed we figured things would return to ‘normal’. Only that return to normal never came. Why? Did it take longer than expected and our survival tactic evolved into chronic habit? Who knows?
The fact is, our ‘civilization’ faces extinction by self-annihilation and this should indicate just how inadequately the social contracts of our nations serve us. Social imprinting has evolved to where it blatantly violates the organic codes of life our organism requires to live.
No wonder our civilization has evolved into an Era of Terror.
To end the senselessness, we must end our allegiance to and tolerance of senseless. We must remember the human being and the social being are actually existential antagonists.
Human beings are legitimate. The social imprint is a con. It’s actually safer if you know this because our contemporary social contract is not the only social option available.
To discover the healthier options we must, however, categorically stand in our power, whole, united, and free. This reestablishes our biological integrity and ecology, and resets our allegiance to humanity (where inhumanity does not exist). As a result, the rejection of all the toxic and corrupt social customs, idioms, regulations, and contracts that have pitted us against each other as individuals, states, and nations falls seamlessly to the wayside and our eco-sustainability re-emerges.
One species. One world. One citizen body. The end of terror. Nonviolence will finally be a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King will have his dream. Lennon’s IMAGINE will be our actuality.
Then, when we say,
we will mean it.