“I’ve never heard that question before!” I said to Linda. Stars, the bright early evening ones, seemed to illuminate the wall behind our chairs on the west porch. Or maybe that was just our happy hour red wine. “I don’t mean just from you,” I continued. “I’ve never heard that question before from anyone in my entire life.” And it was such a good question, a question so fundamental to the fate of humanity that I could hardly believe I’d never heard it.
“I have no idea what the answer is, “ said Linda. “I’m not sure there is one. But maybe that’s just cynical me.”
Well an answer was certainly stirring within me. And while it incubated (I have a lot of introvert in me) I told Linda how lucky I feel. “I wonder if it’s the Land, “ I said. “Maybe your connection to the Land inspired such a uniquely visionary question?”
Whatever the cause, Linda’s visionary question was this: “What is our purpose in this world?”
By ‘our’ she meant not Linda and I, but humanity. “What good are we really?” This last rephrasing, she admitted, came from her cynical side because frankly she couldn’t see anything we’re doing that’s particularly good. We’re good at taking from the world. When someone asks ‘what is the purpose of bees?’ what they really mean is ‘in what way do bees serve humanity?’ Thus the answer must be ‘they pollinate much of our food’. Ours is a dualistic, selfish, humanity-first approach, which ironically isn’t well-serving humanity either, except for making more of us.
“There are many, many individuals doing their best,” she admitted. And many individuals striving, best they can, toward their own purpose. But she saw little evidence of any jointly shared binding purpose that moved the world forward to a better place.
Maybe it was the stars, maybe the wine, but for whatever reason I wasn’t feeling nearly so cynical. Not only that, but long before Venus set, my introvert completed his incubation. How arrogantly preposterous to believe I could answer her ‘meaning of life’ question. Not matter! I was ready to share. But now as I type, the sun outshines the stars and there is no wine within reach. So while I sit here and feel shy about my answer, perhaps you could ponder the question. What would you say is the purpose of humanity? What should or could humanity contribute to the betterment of the world? And if you dare, leave your answer in the comment.
“Consciousness!” I said. “The world gifted us with a level of consciousness as never before. So maybe humanity gives the world the gift of consciousness, the ability to ponder itself and its connection to the universe.”
“What good would that be?” said Linda. “What good has our consciousness been?”
“I’m not sure,” I replied. “It could very well be that consciousness will be deemed yet another of the world’s experimental failures and soon terminated. But perhaps not. Perhaps the world will harvest an amazing reward one day. My small mind can’t know what that reward might be. But the earth is genius, in so many ways. I just wonder what she could do if we helped her grow her consciousness?”
We sipped. We gazed at the stars gazing back at us. A heady conversation? Yes! And that’s a good thing. Maybe even an essential thing.
So why am I telling you all this? After all, what I’d really like to do is have the conversation with you, not type it.
What I’m really sharing is this. The Land and Home the Land Built are changing us, shaping us into…into something quite different than what we were. Linda just asked a question not only ask-able in our former life, but unthinkable. And then, under the gaze of the universe, we allowed ourselves the luxury of actually engaging the question.