How I came up with Homo illuminare
From the recent email conversation with one of my friends, let’s call him Jim, triggered by recent post here:
Dan: “I was running in the rice paddies last week. Often, intriguing ideas land onto our minds when we run. This time, I realized that our world is truly a mess. Fascinating mess. One guy builds his own rocket and flies to space and another goes to his rice paddy every day to grow rice. Both homo sapiens but their lives could not be more different from each other. How is it possible? How comes that some people have everything and more while others are struggling to make enough money to feed their families? (On a completely different note: who knows which one of them is happier?) Anyway, something does not add up here. What to do? I don’t know. I feel though that everyone of us could do something. E.g. buy less stuff we don’t need and do something useful and compassionate with the saved cash. Support a social project. Donate to sea turtle protection organization. Help the neighbor to repair their old windows. We all have capacity to help others. Miraculously, engaging with people around us and supporting a good cause will usually lead to us being happier than before. It seems to me that if we do such small gestures of compassion, the world around us could (slowly) become a better place. How do you feel about it?”
Jim: “I would say I have to agree with you that the world “is a mess” in so many ways. I try not to be pessimistic. I remember my father becoming pessimistic later in life, and I found it frustrating. However, I also saw that the issues he was pointing at were generally accurate, even though I certainly didn’t want to become like my dad (as a pessimist). And now, I see those issues accelerating. Regarding consumerism, I just turned 60 and I am definitely in a “less is more” mode. I sold my house, and now live in a small apartment. I drive an older car with 250,000 kilometers on it, although I try to ride a bike and walk more and more. My financial needs are mainly focused on providing lovely experiences for family and friends close to me, and providing funding to non-profits, mainly Christian, who are doing amazing work across a spectrum of areas of need.”
Dan: “Indeed, the world seems spinning faster and faster, not always in the right direction (IMO anyway). At the same time, it makes sense to remain hopeful and do something positive. I read somewhere that neither pessimism nor optimism is healthy. As both may lead to inaction driven by the person’s conviction that “everything sucks” or “everything will be all right”, without personal involvement. Hope is much better as it brightens our horizon and perhaps leads us to contribute. Where to find hope? Religion, community, family, friends, walk in the nature, mediation, inner strength… Luckily, there are many options! Great that you have found yours. I am convinced that the only salvation for human life on our planet is actually evolution of homo sapiens into another homo, perhaps homo illuminare (means “enlightened”, I just coined that!). Why? Because homo sapiens is everything else than sapiens (sapiens = wise). Our ‘wisdom’ has led to amazing progress (and wars too) but it seems to become a stumbling block to further healthy development.
I hope that evolution will soon create homo illuminare, who will consume less,
connect more with others, appreciate nature and as a result actively strive to protect it.
Or, perhaps…we could influence evolution and move into another era by our will, to ‘willingly’ become such homo illuminare?”
Who will join us on the journey to evolve?
I am collecting ideas, supporters, comments, opinions on the new homo illuminare specie. How would we look like? What will be our values? Which new capabilities will we develop? Feel free to let me know in the comments or head to the Contact page.
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