Humanity stands about halfway between gorillas and gods. The great question that looms over us, is this: “Which will we incorporate into our lives? Primate things or God things?”
Yes, choices are thrust upon us all our lives, accompanied with various levels of intimidation and threat, but at some point, all of us find ourselves able to choose freely. And it is then that we go in one direction or the other. We are able to change directions of course, but every time we choose, we move a step in one direction or the other.
What We Are
Please understand that I am not endorsing any specific theories here – religious, scientific, or otherwise. I’m merely describing the situation in which humanity finds itself. We are halfway between gorillas (or chimps, if you prefer) and gods: The worst things we do are primate things, and the best things we do are god-like things. Either direction is open to us.
Strange as it may seem, we are a lot like the lesser primates. Our bodies are built in the same ways, our body chemistry is nearly identical, and the worst aspects of human nature are essentially the same as the worst aspects of primate behavior.
We are also a lot like gods. We transcend entropy; we create. We can touch the soul in others, and the best aspects of human nature are essentially the same as the best characteristics attributed to gods.
This is not what we can be; this is what we are. What we become in the future depends on whether we choose gorilla things or god things, here and now.
What Are Gorilla and God Things?
Gorilla things are those which operate on a dominant/submissive model. Hierarchy (high-level individuals controlling lower-level individuals) is the blueprint of the primate world. Dominant primates seek status and the power to control others. The submissive ones seek to pass along their pain to the animals below them (females, juveniles, etc.) and to avoid punishment. They are servile toward the dominants and cruel toward those they are able to dominate. Females trade sex for favors.
God things operate on a creative model. Blessing is the blueprint of the god world: distributing love, honesty, courage, kindness, blessing, awe, gratitude, and respect into the world and to other humans.
Gorilla things are these:
- The desire to rule.
- The desire to show superiority and status.
- Avoidance of responsibility.
- Reflexive criticism of anything new.
- Abuse of the weak or the outsider (women, children, Gypsies, Jews, immigrants, homosexuals, etc.).
God things are these:
- Producing things that preserve or enhance life.
- Invention and creativity.
- Expressing gratitude and appreciation.
- Experiencing awe and transcendence.
- Adaptability and openness.
- Improving yourself and others.
The Two Wolves
You’ve probably heard the old story of the two wolves: A young boy becomes angry and violent, and then feels guilty about his violence. He goes to his grandfather for advice. The old man says, “You have two wolves inside you: one of them is nice, the other is dangerous, and they’re fighting inside of you.”
The boy then asks his grandfather, “Which one will win?” The old man replies, wisely, “Whichever one you feed.”
In the same way, humanity becomes like gorillas or gods depending on whether we build gorilla things or god things into our lives.
I’m not going to tell you this is always easy, but the difficulty hardly matters: Somehow, we’ve been given a choice between becoming like gorillas or becoming like gods. No other creatures in this world have been given such a choice.
Bring god things into your life, and reject primate things. You are defining your own nature between two wildly different options, every day.