Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#171 / Where We Live

I have always liked those pictures of Earth from space, with the designator: "You are here." In fact, this is, ultimately, our human situation. Our lives are wholly dependent on the World of Nature, a world we did not create, and into which we have all been so mysteriously born.

Most immediately, though, we do not live in the World of Nature. We live primarily in a world of our own creation, a world that we often call our human "civilization." Everything that we create continues to be dependent, ultimately, on the World of Nature, but our daily experience is with a life that takes place inside a human-made world: 

Our human "civilization" is a collective creation in which we all inevitably reside, as if it were a giant apartment complex. Looking even more closely, we discover that we live most directly neither in the vast World of Nature, upon which we all ultimately depend, or even in the immensity of our human-created civilization, upon which we also depend, but which is susceptible to changes that we direct.

In fact, we each live, most directly, in some individual place, behind some single door. We first identify ourselves as individuals:

And that identification is accurate, of course. We are, in fact, individuals - each one of us. But we are enmeshed with others. We do not live alone. We live together, first, in the jointly created human civilization that makes possible our individual existences, and we live ultimately in the World of Nature that sustains all life. 

That's where we live.

As a former politician, when I see a door like that blue door above, a door behind which lives some individual person, I think about "precincting," about going door to door for some political project. The human world that we create by our collective decisions and actions is a world that responds to "politics." We live in that "political world."

Because we do, because that "political world" is where we most immediately find ourselves when we open up our individual doors to venture out, we need to embrace, and not disdain, the "politics" that shapes our most immediate experience. 

Together, we can "redecorate" the apartment complex, and set up whatever systems we like. We can shape our human civilization as we collectively determine. That is what "politics" is all about, when you think about it. 

However, we can only shape our human civilization in a way that will make things good for us, and for everyone else, as long as we don't forget where we ultimately reside: 

Image Credits:
(1) - https://geopolicraticus.wordpress.com/tag/space-science/
(2) and (3) - http://www.oregonmetro.gov/news/you-are-here-snapshot-how-were-growing
(4) - http://www.cafepress.com/mf/69638391/alien-location-on-planet-earth-you-are-here_tshirt

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!