Rational Religion

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So....!  Natural Prozac?


 It is possible that, bio-chemically, I can not only avoid getting uptight;  I cannot  -- in ordinary circumstances -- get uptight.


No more than a person on strong prescription tranquilizers, can I obsess enough about competing in the universal rat race to outrun any but the slowest rats. 


I am competitively handicapped!


And I can't even worry about it!


So, where is my Constitutional protection as a citizen of this self-consciously capitalist nation and society?  Is there a Bill of Rights for the non-competitive?


Or do we just fall by the wayside or get trampled by the crowd?   


Not much question where we would rank in a purely Darwinian world.  We're the guys that the predators pick out of the herd to chase down.  We're dinner.


But human societies have been only marginally Darwinian for thousands of years.  The value of some of us non-competitive types has been accepted, probably at least since our emotional and spiritual ancestors crawled into the bowels of some of the darkest accessible caves in the world and -- working with primitive lamps and pigments -- created works of art (for whatever reason) which still excite us. 


Excused by our inherited biochemistry from focusing on  "getting ahead," we are free to stop and look around; to think and comment upon what we see; to simply "smell the roses."


The strivers do not understand us very well; our mindset is alien to them and even if they can appreciate what we do, they cannot value it as ranking in importance with what they do..   And they resent the fact that a disproportionate share of history is ours; and that their share is so negatively judged. 


Alexander, trained by Aristotle to be a philosopher-king, once captured a city which was the home of a famous philosopher.  The wise man, being wise, did not live in his home town, but in a barrel just outside the city limits. 


Alexander, riding out to pay homage to this seer, found him sunning himself at the mouth of his hogshead. 


"I am Alexander.  What can I do for you?"


"Ride on:  you're blocking my sunlight."


Alexander, remembered by history for his obsessive conquest of most of the known world of his time, is honored for riding on; and other enlightened acts which demonstrated his understanding of the value of philosophers and other non-competitive personalities.


The rat-racers are behaving in a purely Darwinian mode.  Humanity - if it has any value and any future - is a great deal more.


The rat-racers are not to be denigrated.  They are the matrix; the framework of society.  They pay for it and they keep it going.  


But most of them -- even the most influential during their lifetimes -- are transparent to the light of history.  They cast no individual shadow into the future.  


Ozymandias is a pair of gigantic stone feet in a mythical desert.  Were he a real instead of a poetic ruin, we would be more interested in the techniques of sculpture of his remaining monument than in his vanished reign.


Meanwhile, a thousand generations of real humans later, we still marvel at the paintings in those caves. 


Our abandoned tool-kits testify that we had been human for perhaps a hundred thousand years before; but the paintings in the caves are the first unquestionable evidence of it. 


Until some of us could do that, we were just another clever animal, making a living.