Our civilization has developed to it's present perilous condition out of the actions of human beings, not out of uncontrolled vicissitudes of natural forces. Yet we cannot excuse ourselves by claiming ingnorance or a lack of understanding. Our failure has not been one of the mind, but rather one of the spirit. It is not what we have not known that has been our downfall; it has been our unwillingness to live our lives out of what we do know. This is not a philosophical perspective for me but a relatively simple, straightforward conclusion based on my observations. When I watch parents relate to their children, it seems to me that it tells the whole story. We teach our children to develop restraint and judgement. We tell them it is important not to destroy things they play with. We develop in them the capacity to share. We observe to them that aggressive solutions to problems are only temporary, and that cooperation lasts forever. We justify instructing children by saying they can only relate to what is immediate and obvious, Yet we act as adults as if that is all we ourselves could perceive. As human beings we have the most effective tool of nature; we have a mind that is able to see beyond the obvious, even beyond itself. Still we live as if we were organisms totally controlled by our basest impulses and our most petty thought. For all it's history, humanity has lived in the world as if the survival of each of us depended on our getting what we needed and keeping others from having it. It is clear now that the survival of each of us as individuals depends on our sharing with each other. If resources are limited, my survival is assured only to the degree that I provide for you and me, not to the extent that I take for me and mine and deprive you. This, too, we have in fact always known. We have done ourselves the most damaging disservice by not treating this truth as a simple aspect of reality, but rather as a divine dictum that we could not discover, but only follow. That which reflects the highest levels of our knowing and the most genuine depths of our loving we have pretended does not exist in ourselves, but must be obtained from an externalized personified God. All that is God, all that we need to know to have civilization works is within each of us. We need only be true to what we know and who we are.
Sincerely, John Denver
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