Context: The Future of Life Institute
The endemic and omnipresent enlightened self-interest of human psychology is generally such that, while we may already and for the most part possess the technical and cognitive or linguistic and technological tools necessary to architect our own freedom and a shared, peaceful and sustainable future – we are so bound and enamoured of the selves we must endless construct and reconstruct within the shambling, decaying leviathan of this world that we are quite unable to see beyond it to emancipation and a shared, Global peace or prosperity. It is as though we inhabit a rusting hulk of a ship that has been so rotten and so stricken with failure for so long that we have accepted this as the natural state of affairs and all of our systems of thought, communication and individual or national identity construction have merely self-gravitated around this rolling disaster as though it were the best of all possible (human) worlds when it is, in all probability, one of the worst save those few that feature civilisation and species-extinguishing disasters such as Global thermonuclear war, meteor strike or the (nascent, emerging) chaos of climate change.
Finding ourselves in possession of a choice between doubling-down on ideological, psychological or short-term economic security OR choosing to truly and selflessly honour ourselves and each other, our shared histories and the plausibly indefinite future of humanity that might stretch as interstellar or intergalactic civilisation into the far billions of years of future, we find ourselves imprisoned by a suffocating, shrinking labyrinth of desire, greed and narcissistic self-satisfaction. Where Kahlil Gibran writes that “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”, this is not only a matter of our own children but the entire future of humanity into the indefinitely and potentially inconceivably that rests upon the choices and challenges we make and negotiate right here and right now. These choices are individual, but they are also collective and they are inevitably, irreducibly and profoundly Global. It is time, indeed, to grow the hell up.