An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of January 12, 2009
Issued from an undisclosed spot in the northern YUCATÁN, MÉXICO

ON A SYMMETRY IN THE
HUMAN CONDITION

Maybe there's a Natural Law that whenever evolving life reaches a certain stage of sophistication, it engages a certain paradox. On the one hand, eons of "survival of the fittest" have produced an organism that is profoundly aggressive, self-centered and indifferent to the welfare of other organisms. On the other hand, once a being reaches that stage of sophistication, gorgeous feelings, insights and spiritual yearnings spontaneously and irrationally blossom forth.

This dynamic, heavy on one end with ignorant cruelty and violence but ethereal on the other with artistic and spiritual awakenings, is structured like much of reality. In the real world every deed seems to hold within itself the seed of its own essential oppositeness. Too dogmatic socialism becomes fascist dictatorship. Eat too much good chocolate and you get bad fat. Pray on your knees too much, and your knees go bad.

Maybe when the sages speak of yin and yang, the Middle Path in a world of extremes, and maybe even salvation in the context of "original sin," they're alluding to this inescapable symmetry of reality's components.

And isn't it symmetrical, and maybe a good joke, that we humans consist of sparks of divinity incorporated in animal bodies?

The tricky part for humanity is to survive as we pass across that evolutionary threshold where we abandon our instinctual, genetic-based, unsustainable behaviors and begin living in rationally thought-out ways harmonious with Nature's imparted wisdom. Facebook Icon.