Gatekeeping Against a Shared Humanity

“Our separation from each other is an optical illusion”

– Albert Einstein

Great philosophical traditions as well as hints from quantum studies seem to reflect the above, that is, we are all part of a great sea of consciousness. We are simply perceiving this whirlwind tour of life as a unique and separate being, but in truth, all we do is connected to the other, who it turns out is not so other at all. This may be a little too woo for most, but the notion holds when brought down to a more familiar level. Few would be able to disagree that the actions of one hold consequences for all, yet we are mired in a society that tries to swim against the tide of this basic truth. Our ruling class subscribes to this rarefied individualism to a degree that threatens the whole in unprecedented ways.

All of our ills in society can be boiled down to the notion that some feel they are above others and have a unique right to resources, whether that notion comes from being part of a certain social class, sex, religion, or race. Those who have moved beyond those limiting expectations are all generally still bound to work ethic beliefs that one has to “earn” a living, so they are doing marginally better, but still afflicted. The fact that no animal on our planet has any such contractual obligations goes unnoticed. People are special, so the thought goes, so we have unique and unpleasant stipulations placed on our short time here.

Part of that need to “earn” a living and the beliefs that stem from it come from the very normal notion that hard work should have a dividend. It’s frustrating for those in life who work hard and often do not see the results they expected, making persons in this situation uniquely vulnerable to the siren call of fascism and any belief system that brands a lazy other group. Hating such a group can feel like a cold drink of water for those wanting to place blame elsewhere for all the pain they carry inside. In a truly healthy society, however, it wouldn’t be a case of one group working hard, another smoking hash and refusing to do dishes any more than a healthy society would have parents who care for their offspring and those who wouldn’t. A healthy society would beget healthy behavior without punishment scenarios to keep all in line. The overall would outweigh any outliers and a common purpose would unite should our mental health societal quotient go up even a little bit. There is just so much sickness and fear guiding behavior now; everyone is scared of being taken advantage of and wanting to grab what they can to feel safe.

Of course, what we need to survive is a worldview shift that we are all in this together. Artificial boundaries and lines drawn on maps have no true core meaning.  A paradigm shift seems beyond unlikely given present circumstances, but isn’t our very existence here fairly unlikely? What are the options if we do not move towards a different belief system? Probably flaming death for everyone. If we do try? Well, probably flaming death for everyone, but maybe not…….. and possibly a little more joy during the trip of life even if we do ultimately fail. Perhaps the goal at hand is to try, and that is the meaning of it all: to at least try.

But whether it be the child under rubble in Gaza, the university student with precarious debt concerns weighing out their broader internal thoughts, the man hidden under thick vegetation on North Sentinel Island……we are all connected by the tendrils of our unique ecosystem, our lovely blue planet. One life is not “worth” more than any other. To allow for that precious child’s death is to kill part of yourself and your own humanity. That life spent in the rainforest, the life spent in the cubicle—it’s all about what we do for the others we love and how willing we are to expand that love out exponentially. That is to say we are the macro-entangled particles, one turn of the direction in one will turn it for us all. To find meaning in all of this, to think in ways that at first may be uncomfortable—we have to consider that it is not normal or sane to allow for violence first national policy. That is the bare minimum start to move this human world towards something sane and kind.

But anyway– how did we come to a point where we have leaders who aren’t equipped to even have such conversations, let alone enact and encourage any commonality? We see the basest and most murderous behavior coming from the top and a definite need to continue with propaganda to keep the masses from discovering basic truths (as in we can’t treat others in this manner). In a selfish sense, what we do to those perceived as others will most definitely come back to us. Don’t even think for one minute that what happens in Gaza stays in Gaza (or Las Vegas either for that matter). It will come and find you and this is not some callous way to forward a perverted notion of karma when it does visit, but simply that we have to be aware of the cause and effect of it all. Best we treat others as we want to be treated. I thank the fates that I was not brought up with any religious system more complicated than the Golden Rule. I was able to shake off the cursory attempts at the other nonsense. The statements that it is all too complicated to understand or change generally come out of sophistry gate-keeping types. The Karine Jean-Pierres of the world. The so-called complexity only serves the goals of the oppressors. Whether religious figures, politicians—It’s all out of a self-serving agenda and a need to not see the whole. It can be just that simple…the Golden Rule.

So as we travel this place in shared space-time, let us connect however we can. The small things, as we interact with each other and plant seeds of commonality. I think many would be surprised how these beliefs and actions can take root. A basic foundation of shared humanity is enough to halt almost every ill. We need to advance the notion that the brave stance is this, not the false bravado, the chest-thumping that comes from internal feelings of inadequacy—the feelings that breed violence and compartmentalization. We can be so much more than our own insecurities. We have power, but it’s locked up in belief systems that benefit only a ruling class, and even for them, it’s a pathology of misery. If in the end, it truly turns out to be futile– planting these seeds with perhaps no long-term human survival on the docket…well, it’ll still make the trip around that much better for us all if we begin to erode this fallacious notion of separation. Bitterness and hate takes its toll. We don’t have to be mired in the horror of the world every moment;we have an obligation for joy as well, but we certainly never have to turn off our hearts and agree with the sickness. If we know a party is to end, it doesn’t mean we decide…. hey let’s murder the host of the party, take their stuff and shit on the floor. But right now, that’s kind of how humanity is acting at the party.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest. Her writing is collected on her Substack page.