If we look at huaminty as a whole, what is there that unites us?
It’s hard to find an answer, but we all share in our fate that life is uncertain and ambiguous. Becuase of this we all have the desperate desire to feel safe and secure.
We often think this desire is hidden, but I see it all around me.
We create buildings to protect us from the elements, wear clothes for the same reason.
Looking at humanity as a whole you can see that so much of what we do is about our safety and security. It’s our nesting insitinct.
A preliminary task of all humanity is that of comfort.
The comfort come in many ways. We desire physical comfort, and we create clothing, building to protect us from the elements. Also agriculture to overcome the problem of starvation and hunger.
Where am I?
Scientific knowledge to helps us explain the and help operate in it.
Think of it like this.
When you go on holiday to an unfamiliar place. At first it’s all foreign, overwhelming.
But once your there your start to write stories and create maps
Your refer back to them, the restaurant where your are, the sights you saw, here your were chased by a cow, there your were drenched by a sudden downpour.
You write meaning inito existence. Weaving stories into the reality of before so it becomes part of reality of the now.
You create a map of where eveything is.
So next time to come it not so unfamiliar.
Like the ancient mariners, we create knowledge to help us navigate and this also has the effect of maming the world seem less threatening.
Making maps alows us to place ourselves in them. A certainty and safety that comes form knowing where you are.
Landscapes of belonging
Laws and morals to govern behaviour and protect us from each other. But once that lelve of safety exists then there more we need. A sense o meaning and beloinging.
We have a multitude of communities, so people can group together and find others who are of like mind.
Bodies of language so we can communicate and connect to each other.
It all comes down to protection and certainty.
Think of them as like buildings. Which protect us from the stormy uncertainty of existence.
So much of what we do is for that purpose. Which is why I call it The Humanity Project, a massive building enterprise to give us the illusion of safety.
We wrap around ourselves these comfort blankets of beliefs, knowledge, and society. Because facing the storm alone is difficult even impossible without them.
All organisms change their environment to be more conducive to their growth. For humanity, it’s not only their physical environment. But heir intellectual one as well.
We create environments of knowledge and ideas like religions, systems of thought. So we can place ourselves within them.
True freedom, free from constraints of any kind is terrifying to us. Without each other, language, knowledge beliefs we are left in a void. With only our ourselves to count on.
That kind of responsibility is what scares us. Because if something goes wrong there is no-one else to blame.
Think of it linguistically. Words like.
dis·o·ri·ent·ed [dis-awr-ee-en-tid, -ohr-] adjective 
confused as to time or place; out of touch: therapy for disoriented patients.
Synonyms: distracted, mixed up, unstable, unhinged.
dis·o·ri·ent [dis-awr-ee-ent, -ohr-] verb (used with object)
- to cause to lose one’s way: The strange streets disoriented him.
- to confuse by removing or obscuring something that has guided a person, group, or culture, as customs, moral standards, etc.: Society has been disoriented by changing values.
- Psychiatry. to cause to lose perception of time, place, or one’s personal identity.
be·wil·dered [bih-wil-derd] adjective 
- completely puzzled or confused; perplexed.
be·wil·der [bih-wil-der] verb (used with object)
- to confuse or puzzle completely; perplex: These shifting attitudes bewilder me.
Synonyms: mystify, nonplus, confuse, daze, confound, stagger, muddle.
What they mean is your’e in a landscape that’s unfamiliar. You can’t count on much or any of your knowledge to help you.
You have been removed from the familiar places and habits and now you can’t locate yourself on the map, even if you had one.
The most obvious example of this is when you are traveling round in foreign country. Without signposts, you would have no way to find out where you are. It’s why tourists are always looking around, to locate themselves on a map.
Imagine an existence without these landscapes?
No knowledge, ideas, or concepts, just you. How would you understand the world, and yourself?
It would be scary, confusing. You could not place yourself on a map.
Your self-identity would be nonexistent because there would be no way of explaining it.
I believe that culture is personal psychology writ large. Our own fears and hopes are collect together to form the fads, fashions, and building projects we see.
What is the landscape?
Examples of landscapes we create.
- The first is perceptual. The one we can’t not create, we are born it.
- Others include:
- Moralistic, what is right and wrong
- Value, what we consider to be important enough to keep alive
- Spiritual, such as the religions, system of though on the world and our place in it.
- Linguistic, so we can describe the concepts we have to others
- Intellectual. The collected knowledge of the human race. Including but not limited to the scientific. A broad landscape that involves the knowledge we have gianed about how these work. From biology to astronomy.
- Vocational. What you learn doing the job that you do. Beyond science as it involves unwritten rules.
It’s how we grow
Children develop by picking up words from adults. That convey ideas and piece by piece create those landscapes and find themselves in them. In so doing understand the world better and themselves.
You can see their identity grow as they develop to into young adults. We are then a product of our time and place, the culture we live within. A changing capsule of ideas and connections. We absorb from our surroundings.
A further point is that many landscapes change over time. As our understanding of the universe and ourselves changes. So we have to change as well. To continue to grow and adapt.
What it all means is that we create bodies of concepts and ideas. Systems of knowledge to be able to situate ourselves in them for safety and to get on in life. FAmiliarity is what helps us feel safe. So we name things, connect things together creating a map.
Religion, science, art, language, society, beliefs, and so on are man-made endeavors. A set of ideas that allow us to make sense of the world and ourselves.
Our self-identity is a collection of ideas that we appropriate from outside.
We describe ourselves in term of our job, the clothes we wear, the things we own, the friends we have. Our dreams values, fears and so much more.
In this respect religion, philosophy and science have the same purpose. To allow ourselves to create our own identity and a sense of belonging.
Humanities existence, the work we do and what we create is driven by a need to belong, to feel safe and secure. To find our purpose and place in this cosmos. I see it a a metaphor, the humanity project is the creation of an island of stability amidst a sea of chaos.
It’s the grand project of humanity.
There’s a problem.
It only works up to a point.
We can feel safer, but the basis fur that safety, the knowing, and you take a close look is false.
The uncertainty remains because we know we can’t see that is all an illusion.
We can’t really know how reality actually is so the uncertainty of the ocean is always going to be there.
 disorientate. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disoriented (accessed: August 09, 2014).
 bewilder. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bewilder (accessed: August 09, 2014).
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