Shining a Light

There is a saying: “Man stands in the shadows and wonders why it is so dark.” This saying implies that man even knows he is standing in darkness. Humankind has lived a relatively short time. We have achieved remarkable things: engineering, medicine, computers, rockets… there are many things to celebrate, for sure. However, I wonder if we are still living in darkness. All the outward achievements and human progress do not equate to a light shining onto the question that truly matters: What is our purpose? Science, medicine, computing, space exploration… these are examples of the spotlight pointing away, as though the answers are out there, somewhere. To be fair, we have not ignored the queries pointing inwards. But those queries seem to be less frequent, ironically, as we become more connected globally via technology. It’s like we have become less interested about ourselves because we know more people. What do we do? Well, we can’t stop “progress.” Whatever progress means, I wonder if it even needs us. Maybe humanity has a shelf life, like the dinosaurs. What was the purpose of the dinosaurs?

(From the free-write at Angel City Zen Center writing workshop, October 20, 2018.)