I am thinking of the title to this post, and how it mimics the title of the song “The Way We Were”. Yet the Way We Are is more appealing to me, since it emphasizes the present moment, which is all that we have. Still, I found myself in reflection this Christmas Evening as I was brushing my teeth, and wanted to write down my reminisces. My mind was visiting moments in this past year where connections were made: beyond the mask and social distances, yes, my mind took me on a brief tour of those moments of connection that seemed to pass so quickly, and yet contained so much ~ those moments where you are with someone you know, or even an acquaintance or stranger and there is a feeling of a pause, or a point of acceptance, that we somehow really know each other, or know that we know that we are here, now, together ~ a feeling that each is aware that awareness is indeed the glue that binds us together – homo sapiens sapiens being together.
Dictionary dot com has this to say about our species : “Homo sapiens definition, the species of bipedal primates to which modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) belong, characterized by a large brain, a nearly vertical forehead, a skeletal build lighter and teeth smaller than earlier humans, and dependence upon language and the creation and utilization of complex tools: the species has existed for about 200,000 years.”
Modern humans have larger brains and lighter and smaller bones. We no longer hunt, but boy do we gather. One look at the spoils under the Christmas tree today confirms that!
Yet the hunt is still very present, isn’t it? It has changed forms. We now, having filled our bellies and pocket books, hunt for meaning and inner peace, entertainment and social safety. Perhaps our earlier species found meaning in the hunt and peace in the transient joys of life and that was enough. Perhaps our big brains have complicated things for us, and perhaps they have allowed us to do something entirely different ~ to create.
The attitude of the hunt – job hunt, partner hunt, the hunt for a cure, the hunt for game animals in the Serengeti. We feel compelled to hunt, yet it has lost some of its nobleness. How can we work with this instinct to re ignite its meaning for our primal brain? It may be that we still long to prowl and growl and bite and chew life as our earliers did, yet don’t know how. The social arena is for some a vast ocean of entertainment and for others a desert of thirst laden vistas. Viva la difference!
What if, in becoming aware of the urge to hunt and all of the adrenaline surges and competitive edges that go along with that endeavor were allowed to be neutralized somewhat? Would we risk our intelligence? Become prey to predatory forces? What if we are aware that we are aware, and only that? Homo sapiens sapiens? What would emerge?