Signs and Portents

Somehow I am still amazed at how much we take for granted. Life is full of little miracles that take place every moment of every day. We have become so attuned to the way things are that we no longer find wonder in the things that fascinated our developing imaginations as children. Time passes and we become jaded and sometimes cynical where we used to be dreamers. What happened to the dreams of adolescence? What happened to the magic that filled our minds?

Who said that there is an age where such things are inappropriate? Who decided that such things were foolish and a waste of time? Are not our greatest achievements given to us by the hands of dreamers and free thinkers? Are they criticized then for being what they are? Are they scorned for holding on to the essence of enchantment? No, they are respected for their contributions. They are hailed for their foresight. There is no shame in holding on to that which made us all young at heart. There is no defect because someone chooses to look at life through the eyes of youth and wonder.

I am reminded of a quote from Babylon5 when the technomages were leaving the galaxy. One of them explained who they were to Londo and it struck a chord with me. This is what the Human Race should be. This is what we should embrace if we wish a truly better world.–

“We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things. Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever, seven words to make them go without pain, how to say goodbye to a friend who is dying, how to be poor, how to be rich, how to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you.”

This is what Mankind lacks in sufficient quantities. Where are our legions of dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers? Where are the blacksmiths that will forge the future that we all wish for but never strive to achieve? Where shall we search to find our guides to a better life…a better world? I have the answer. In actuality, we all do.

They will be found every time you look into the mirror.

Some of us will have to dig and scrape to remove that which Mother Culture has used to bury our true selves. Some of us will already have cleaned away the dirt of this modern world to discover what lurks beneath. There is a child full of wonder and hope in each of us. This is the key to our true evolution, not the enhancement of technologies. Our technology has already outrun our maturity and understanding. It is time that we began to catch up to our creations. We must again move beyond ignorance to some semblance of intelligence and enlightenment. It is a task that will be long. The alternative, however, could be worse. It could be our own destruction as a Race.

The same reason one does not give a four year old a hand grenade and keys to an M1A1 tank is the reason the Human Race should not have the breadth and sophistication of our current technology. For all we think we know…we have no understanding. We are like diapered infants barely from our mother’s womb when it comes to our perception of the Universe. There is so much we do not know, so much we do not understand, and so much more that we understand incorrectly.

Faster computers and more accurate weapons do not make us advanced as a species. Knowing who we truly are to the Universe and what our role is within the Universe…that is where the evolutionary path lies. The other path is a much shorter one. It involves our Race removing itself from existence. This is what will happen should technology continue to outpace understanding and enlightenment.

Should that come to pass, what would happen to our stories, our poems, our art and music? What would happen to the real contributions to life that have been made by our Race? Where would the understanding we have managed to gain in some small part by the free thinkers and dreamers go? It would be lost for all time and the Universe would be made less by the loss.

Another Babylon5 quote comes to mind as a perfect way to describe the Human Race and why we should strive for this understanding.

“Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain. Perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station and the nebula outside, that burn inside the stars themselves. We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. As we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective.”