MONKEY SHINES SO BRIGHT: YOU ARE ALL GREAT APES
Why are people such fools? Why are we all, you and I included, so ignorant, hypocritical, and self-centered? We’ve landed on the moon, but millions still starve. Nukes and pollution threaten all known life. Are we designed to self-destruct? This great ape could use greater wisdom.
Anthropologists say that in the simplest cultures, when people screw up, first they are mocked. If they continue to screw up, they get the silent treatment, and if they screw up bad enough, they are kicked out of the tribe. We should mock humanity, without getting kicked out of the tribe, because we can always get wiser.
Life is like a box of orangutans, which means, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get. Heraclitus, my favorite Greek philosopher, Zhuangzi, my favorite Chinese philosopher, and Nietzsche, my favorite German philosopher, enjoyed comparing us to apes to keep us humble and open to evolution, to becoming a greater ape.
Human beings are the smartest thing found yet in the universe, and yet, we are idiots. We are DUMB…D. U. M. dumb! It truly takes an ape this smart to be this stupid. A Buddhist once said we are all insane, and few get much saner, which is a refreshingly honest perspective.
In Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat tells Alice, “We are all mad here!”, and explains that a dog wags its tail when it’s happy and growls when it’s angry, while a cat wags its tail when it’s angry and growls when it’s happy. Alice says that she calls it purring, not growling, and the cat says, “Call it whatever you like!”.
Whatever you believe, there is someone opposed to you who is crazy enough to think you are crazy. Is thought itself a form of insanity, the confusion of a dream with reality? It is certainly a useful hallucination, and you can use your illusion, much as Guns n’ Roses did in the 80s, but it doesn’t take any skill or smarts to believe what you think or are told.
The old way of being stupid is thinking religion makes you moral and loving compared to others. The new way of being stupid is thinking that science and technology make you rational and self-aware compared to others. Believe it or not, I believed in science when I was three years old, running around museums in a triceratops t-shirt, but I was not a genius boy for doing it.
I’m not religious, but if you use religion to become a better person, I’m all for it, and I’m not a scientist, but if you use science to help others, then I’m all for it, but if you merely believe in the religion or science you were taught, that makes you nothing at all, certainly not a revolutionary who will be remembered. It is not believing or belonging, but questioning and changing, becoming a better person, a greater great ape, that makes you the greater ape.