I am interested in expressing my own thoughts and reading the original thoughts of others. But too often writers feel obliged to offer up a digest or synthesis of what they have read rather than contributing anything new or original.
I am well aware that my own thoughts have been deeply informed by others. I am often unconscious of that fact when expressing myself. Yet I try to voice feelings and opinions which are genuinely my own.
What use if I merely quote Liebnitz or any of my other favorites? Better that than Trump or any of the other boorish ignoramuses of our time, but less of a contribution to society than something fresh.
It is far from easy to dig deep into one’s psyche and to offer anything new. Indeed, if you were to believe Ecclesiastes, you would come to the conclusion that there is nothing new.
And yet there assuredly is and from time to time a philosophy or view will pop out which is genuinely and alarmingly fresh.
Often as not the new will usher in something every bit as dystopian as the new of old, but just occasionally something genuinely useful and peaceful but also revolutionary may emerge.
Or that is my hope. I was reading through blogs on counter culture this morning. Whatever that expression means. I often consider anarchy, socialism, religious thought and even occasionally conventional centrist politics. Without much satisfaction.
There must be some good to be had somewhere. This morning I was reading an article from Sue Stevenson at Discombobula.
Whether she was joking or not, she suggested that politicians in Australia be served magic mushrooms on toast.
Researchers announced a few years ago that the psilocybin in magic mushrooms has the ability to foster “sustained changes in outlook and political perspective” for people suffering depression. Even better, those changes are “in the direction of increased nature relatedness and decreased authoritarianism.”
Now there is an original thought, although I imagine a few of the Flower Power mob back in the 60’s felt much the same way. Which, according to lore, was why psychedelics were banned back in the day. Some say because the newly awakened young were refusing to enlist for the Vietnam war following their psychedelic enlightenment.
But wait. Do not pass go, do not shut me down in fury and derision. For our Sue has a serious point whether she meant it or not.
Let me explain. We are the slaves of our Darwinian origins, our evolution. Even the mildest of us will fight tooth and nail for our own survival, when push comes to shove. We will trample over people on our way to the lifeboats on the Titanic, we will kill and maim and abuse any who stand in our way.
I am unable to suppress often felt irritation over all manner of things. Which is all very well when I am locked away in my hermetic recreation of Skellig Michael. Faced more closely with my fellow man, I am prone to behave less charitably than I would like. And I am no Ghengis Khan, no Donald Trump. I have no desire to dominate or conquer. I just want to be left alone, as Garbo is reputed to have said.
My point is that we need to recreate ourselves. We need to escape from our origins or no amount of good thought or deed will make for a better or kinder world.
We have had good religious thought for as long as man has existed and when you strip away the claptrap of belief, much of it has something useful to say about how to live in peace with each other.
But we can not. We did not evolve to live in peace with each other or our planet. We were bred, like the rest of the animal kingdom, for survival – ours – at the expense of everybody else’s.
And so back to Sue.
The out of the box, the unusual, the un-thought of. That is what interests me. Re-engineering our genome, altering our emotions for the better. Increasing our good qualia and reducing our bad.
Good on you Sue. I agree with you.