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Monday, October 17, 2016

The Deplorables

Deplorable is a deplorable word to say about someone. Hillary apologized for using it and well she should apologize. Yes, Trump and people who are like Trump are deplorable in many ways. But the people who like Trump are not.

They feel deplorable. They feel like losers and want to hitch on to someone they think is a winner. They do not understand where the world is going. They do not understand the new economy, the new technology, the new morality. But do any of us, really? And this guy comes along with the answers and the promise that he will make them great again.

They see very wealthy people with high university degrees having lots of opportunities while they have none. They see women, people of color, and foreigners pass them by in education and position. (Whether statistical facts or not, they are felt facts especially when you see a black man with a muslim name become master of the White House.) They see little hope for their children and grandchildren certainly not the hope of those bygone days when there were secure jobs in mines,  farms, and factories--union jobs with decent pay and benefits. They feel themselves shoved around by forces they do not understand. But along comes a guy who knows why and how. He will fix it. Only he can. He says. And she says that she has a plan.

I have met many of these red-state folks. And now much is being written to explain them. Books trace the "white underclass" from the beginning of American history and before. Some by journalists or intellectuals who got out when they could. They demonstrate how they have been caught in an economic system that favors wealthy real estate and wall street moguls and their heirs, but leaves poor whites out.

John L Lewis and his UMW, Roosevelt in his New Deal, Kennedy on his focus on Appalachia, Johnson in many of his War on Poverty programs recognized the issues of the white poor in rural, mining, and mountainous areas. But the shift since the 70s has been to the urban poor, mainly black and brown. And our neighbors in these outer areas feel hurt. And the new economy, the new technology, and the new morality of urban dwellers rub it in.

White nationalist politicos use these hurts to exploit them, as victims of blacks and browns, of university elite, and urban media. Populist demagogues say poor whites need a savior who can fix their problems. And liberals hold them as victims of conservatives. Liberals blame their backwardness and lack of education which prevent them from adapting to the new economy and technology. Most of the books about their plight, even when sympathetic, describe them as angry, pessimistic, and victims. And TV sitcoms and late night comedians ridicule their religious faith, their traditional morality, their cultural ways.

Pollsters describe their out-of-sync values and attitudes. Intellectuals prescribe policies and programs to help--tax cuts, job programs, free education. But few work in a sustained way with them to design their own programs and form their own communities.

We who have been organizers (usually in an urban setting and with black folk) see a people that are ripe for organizing. From within or from without. Outside-in as the politicians are doing when they troll for votes. Or inside-out as social justice organizers should be doing. But are not--with some remarkable exceptions that need to be supported and expanded.

If I were younger today I hope I would go live in the Appalachian, Plains, and rural white communities, the way we did in black and farmworker communities, and urge and teach the ways to organize themselves. I, with a team of trained organizers selected from leaders from their own communities, would spend time listening to them--their woes, their prejudices, their hopes. We would not tell them what they must do or who should lead them. We would give them no answers to their questions. But we would provoke them to keep asking those questions and discover the answers. We would ask them what they want for their kids and themselves. And we would ask them what is keeping them from getting it.

I would not try to write their stories or solve their problems. I would urge them to tell their own stories and analyze their problems. I would challenge them to take responsibility and action for getting in rather than blaming those who are keeping them out. Because when you blame others, foreigners, strangers, enemy agents, you give away power instead to taking it for yourself from within yourself.

We would not write another book about them, but assist them in writing their own book, using their own research and analyses, using their own photography and poetry, in their strive towards dignity. We would not judge their culture, their values, or their religious beliefs unless these restrained them from action, made them wait passively for some outside power, whether supernatural, governmental, or charitable, to save them.

We would not try to get public or private resources for their communities until they created the independent power base to harness their own resources and demand the ones they deserved. In fact we would urge private foundations and government agencies to invest in education, jobs, and other social and economic development projects only when the people organized themselves and determined the projects they want and take responsibility for. We would urge them to choose allies of whatever religion or color, and thus to grow their power to get what they wanted to strengthen their communities, their families, and themselves.

We would urge them to tell all political parties to go to hell until the parties supported their agenda. Nevertheless we would urge them to develop a strong voting block so that all political parties give them what they want, not just what the parties think they should want. No quick fix like electing a master or overseer to take care of them. We should help them see that they are being used by self appointed leaders in political parties or in ideological hate groups who have their own agendas.

We would help them see that the white underclass in rural areas, in the mountains and the plains, and in cities are powerless until they are organized on their own terms. And acting on their agendas which transcend liberal and conservative labels and, most of all, which are based on a positive vision, not fear of novelty and hate of others.

That will take time, much longer than an election cycle or a PhD dissertation. But it will happen once the sparks are ignited.

And once this goddamned election is out of the way.

(PS I write this after reading White Trash and many Atlantic, WP, and WSJ articles most of which identify cultural differences without treating the political-economic dimension, and offer solutions that provide benefits without building power in the people being benefited.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Soul Growing and Community Building

I did not add a meditation on community building and spiritual exercise in my collection Soul Growing because I make the connection in almost all of them. However, by way of an afterword, let me make that connection more explicit.

Soul-growing is important, essential to community building. Community building is essential to soul growing. Or in other words, we are not growing our souls if we are not building community. And to build community we must practice, teach, and foster soul growing.

I've read on, been taught about, and practiced organizing--neighborhood, metropolitan, labor, election, party, voluntary association organizing. I know the techniques including personal interviews ("one-on ones"), house and other small group meetings, power analyses, action research, leadership training, translating private interests to actionable public issues, tactic and strategy, public actions, negotiation, coalition building, press and public relations, evaluation, etc. But I'm not sure I often taught spiritual exercise as a technique and, more, a condition for community organization.

There are certain attitudes and values that are distinctive of good organizers and leaders. They like people; they believe all person have worth; they get angry at injustice to anyone; they know how to focus anger into winning strategies; they treat people as subjects not objects of action; they don't do for others what they can do for themselves; they value power as the ability to act together for all people; they are oriented to those left behind or out. I want to add another attitude and value: they have soul.

Community building is more than organization. Good teachers build community in their classrooms; good parents build community in their families; good neighbors build community in their neighborhood; good bosses build community in their offices; good coaches build good community in their teams; good citizens build good community in their cities and countries.

Community building is not merely converging on shared interests. It is more than having a common culture, language, value. And it is more than desiring to take care of one's own family, friends, and affiliates. The essence of community building is growing and sharing soul. Solidarity.

Solidarity is the foundation of community. Richard Rorty notes that solidarity is shared suffering. Suffering can mean both painful and joyful experience. Our ability to share suffering consists in our evolved capacity to enter into and mirror the very activity of others in and to their world. Human being in and presence to the world occurs through media (words, pictures, models, ideas). And in that same moment there is unmediated subjective presence. The act of being present to the outside world becomes transparent to itself. We call that immediate subjective presence consciousness; and when we enter others' actions in their world, we perceive, indeed share, their consciousness, their suffering, their soul, and their world. We become soul mates.

Good novelists like Dickens, Morrison, and McCarthy, good teachers, leaders, caregivers can conjure up that consciousness so that we feel deeply what the other feels. But even for this to occur, we have to interact with others, body to body, face to face, speech to speech. Interaction grows our own soul and the soul of others. Interaction creates solidarity in suffering and thus builds community.

We organizers often wonder why so many organizations with which we worked so diligently die out. Could it be that we didn't go deep enough as we were building these communities? Did we have the concern and take the time to put on the other persons mind, look out from his eyes, feel her hopes and desires, identify with their sense of inadequacy and powerlessness? Did we set up the process where all persons could experience the worth and potential of each other? Did we discern with them, not only an emerging vision for themselves and their community, but also a common character, consciousness, conscience--the soul off our community?

Spiritual gurus often counsel private meditation, prayer in church, walking the labyrinth, personal experience when taking communion, and feeling the Christ or the Buddha within. And that's fine. But it is not soul growing if we do not mess with the murky conditions of matter, if we do not probe the pathetic practices of power, if we do not grope with the grunge and gridlock of governing. Being pure by avoiding power and its complexities is the antithesis of spiritual growth.

Power is not force. It is not domination. It is the gathering of souls to confront force and domination. It is based, not on fear or hate, but on solidarity where all are respected as shapers of their lives and organizers of their communities.

When spirituality is separated from social justice, it is a sham. When we hide in the cave of individual spirituality instead of the city of justice to find hope, we lose it. Go to your heaven above and your remote paradise! Leave us to celebrate the paradise we have in each other right now, messy as it is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Acknowledging Donald Trump

I just completed a draft which I am calling Soul Growing: Spiritual Exercises in Postmodern Times. It is a collection of meditations that build on one another and culminate in a summary describing the stages of spiritual development. What I mean by postmodern times, I clarify in the appendix. 

As I attempt to understand the spiritual dimension of human nature, I am in dialogue with masters of spiritual development, ancient and contemporary, to whom I am most indebted, as well as philosophers, neuroscientists, and psychologists. I had in mind many of my heroes who are "great-souled." Some of these are famous: The Socrates portrayed by Plato and Xenophon, Jesus as described by the evangelists, Buddha Gautama, Francis Assisi, Gandhi, Havel, King, Mandela, Romero, Merton. Others will never be famous, but I knew them: Father Ray Ellis of Detroit and Father Jack Egan of Chicago, my own father, Roshi Tanouye, Rabbi Marx. These all exhibit transcending consciousness. And there are many friends and acquaintances, students and teachers, with whom I still interact as models of spiritual growth for me.

I recognize myself with weak-souled ones who still need lots of work. In fact this little book I just finished will never be finished. It will be my last work because I will hopefully be refining and improving it until I die.

I wrote my reflections on soul growing while the American campaign for presidency was happening. I now realize how that event was influencing my thinking. When it came for me to discuss the great souled ones, I also came to question what a man without a soul might be. I had a living model in the campaign for president. I never knew or even thought about Trump before. (I never watched the Apprentice or read his ghostwritten Art of the Deal).

I disagreed with many candidates and found them petty and misguided. But Trump was a man uniquely distinct.  Not a villain, not an evil man like Iago or Richard III or Atilla, Hitler, Pol Pot. Satan, as Milton describes him, at least has a soul. I also understand how so many weak-souled ones like me have hoped in him as having the key to success that he advertises. But as I listened carefully I realize he has nothing to say.

Adolf Eichmann was described by Arendt as banal. And so I describe Trump. Certainly not a mastermind. Not an archfiend. He is a man without character, without a center, without consciousness. Focused on expanding his Ego while diminishing his soul, he builds towers for himself and walls between neighbors. Therapists see a man very insecure fearing his inferiority. I don't know about that. But I found myself pitying him.

Pity is an ignoble emotion because it demeans the other and keeps him other. Great-souled ones have compassion. Compassion is, with a plethora of mirror neurons, taking on and appreciating the feelings, the worldview, and style of the other. I try to have compassion for him, but compassion is a mingling of souls and I cannot find his soul. Or when I think I find it, there is nothing there. Except Ego. Perhaps I am projecting my own fear of gaining the world and losing soul.

In any case, I thank Donald Trump for helping me see who I do not want to be, how I do not want to define success, and the country I will act to avoid. More positively, he helps me see the community and communion for which I strive. Thank you, Mr. Trump.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Meditating Contemplation

Still I work on my project on spiritual exercises.

Meditation and contemplation are exercises from ancient through modern times in the East and the West. For many they are the most important of the exercises to stretch the soul. For some these are two different exercises. For others one is the culmination of the other. For me they are two aspects or traits of one, unified human existence, i.e. corporeal being in the world through symbolic activity.

1. Meditation and contemplation as different exercises. Meditation is thoughtfulness and contemplation is spirtuality. Socrates describes thinking as that discourse with oneself before and after discourse with others in the public place or city. He describes his verbal battles with opponents in the city; and then he says that he meets his biggest opponent of all when he retires back home alone. Plato on the other hand discusses the transition from the shadows of forms on the wall of the cave to the direct view of the Good which like the sun is the source of all the pure forms. This is the philosopher released from the prison of opinion to the direct perception of the Truth in all its glory.

Thinking occurs through ideas or concepts, i.e. the use of words and other aural, visual, and tactile media that stand for and/or slice up experience of the environment into patterns that shape a world. Thinking is, therefore, symbolic behavior which the human species has mastered over all other known species. When somebody forms concepts and considers their utility in answering questions about the world, especially over a period of time, weighing the concepts in relation to other concepts, we call that meditation. When thinkers speak of meditations (e.g. the way Descartes, Spinoza, or Badiou do), they are talking about exercises in logical thinking on certain topics.

Contemplation has a religious connotation, as in the "contemplative life." It implies a more direct  or intuitive method of beholding essences without the use of media, analogies, or figures of speech or symbolic behavior. It goes beyond (or above or outside) words or other human artifacts to the essence of truth itself perhaps through what is called a vision or revelation from within or from outside nature. Contemplation leaves the realm of logic, science, and ordinary behavior. It is the provenance of the seer, the saint, the prophet, the ecstatic, the mystic.

2. Contemplation as the fulfillment of meditation. A life of meditation may lead to contemplation, the spiritual masters say. In mindfulness meditation, the sage permits words to run through consciousness while focusing on creating those words or maybe while reciting a mantra in order to leave the land of words and move to the pure land of illumination. The novice prepares through meditation in the world and then as sage is lifted to the heavens in contemplation. Thus, contemplation is a higher form of spirituality than meditation. It is a gift of the muses or other gods while meditation is the worldly labor of the corporeal mind. In Neoplatonism it is the difference between philosophic discourse and seeing the light coming from within or without. In Christian dogma, it is the difference between theology and beatific vision. It is vision unfiltered by matter. The purity of spirit.

3. Meditation and Contemplation as aspects of the same activity. The postmodern insight arising from both phenomenology and neuroscience overcomes the gap between thinking as mediated knowing and consciousness as direct knowing by giving evidence for an epistemology or theory of knowledge without the matter-spirit or body-soul dualism. This theory of knowledge is based in the understanding of the human organism adapting to its environment by the use of artifacts (thinking) while at the same time being present to itself in the act (consciousness). Its all part of the same package. One cannot be without the other.

And so with meditation and contemplation. Whether we meditate on death or our breathing or our belly buttons, we are in touch with our body so doing. When we discuss and focus on things in the world through discourse or art, we are in the same moment directly in contact with our selves and other selves acting symbolically in and to the world. Meditation that shifts the focus from things in the world to person, social, and world consciousness is contemplation.

Whether or not we are putting words to it, when we experience consciousness passing beyond our thoughts to further thoughts we experience the transcending feature of consciousness. When we do put words to it, we are shifting our focus from figure to ground, from my objective experience of the words being typed on the screen before me to my subjective experience of typing them and of my shoes filled with feet even before I thought about it.

We are intentional animals thrusting out, in, and up in the same moment. When we catch that moment, we feel that consciousness itself is revealing itself to us. We might even capitalize Consciousness or call it Spirit or God. It is sort of the pause in the meditative process that pulls us into and outside and beyond ourselves. It is the pause that refreshes. It occurs sometimes when we do not expect it perhaps while considering the vast panoply of stars, the patterns of an autumn forest, sexual intimacy, a triumph of artistic genius, or a resounding victory in battle or finishing a race. We call that experience ecstatic, mystic, and divine. It is there before we know it (focally).

Only poetry, not science, seems to capture intending, transcending consciousness in its glory. Yet the latest neuroscience is attempting to account for and explain consciousness without resort to multiplying entities unnecessarily (i.e. Occam's razor). The postmodern has no need to appeal ex machina (or in this case ex corpore) for an explanation. Nevertheless the postmodern person, unlike the modern one, realizes that the explanation for intentional, transcending consciousness can never be totally explained objectively. Yes, neuroscience might demonstrate the chemicals, the neutrons, and the synapses involved, that is, the wirings of the brain. The evolutionary psychologist might demonstrate how the brain developed in its cosmic and evolutionary journey to produce consciousness.

But the subjective experience of consciousness will never be explained objectively. (Again this does not mean that the subjective can be divorced from the objective or consciousness from the body, or spirit from matter. In fact just the opposite!) And so poetry, drama, philosophy, even religion, the kind that pulls us into the act of the poet, dramatist, philosopher, and visionary will always have their place in our life, action, and pursuit of greater wisdom.

Meditation and contemplation enhance that pause that refreshes. It is getting over the seriousness of the already formed objective world, by returning into the personal and communal consciousness that is creating the world while, in the same moment, pushing back into that world to re-create it. All the other exercises I have mentioned, breath control, remembering death, cognitive therapy, myth and ritual, reverence, discourse, humor, questing, and action, especially contemplation in action, are tools and manifestations of the soul-growing exercise of becoming more conscious as a person, a community, a nation, and a world.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Man With the Gun

The Man With the Gun
(See WP Sept 17, 2016)

Stolid he stands on his hilltop
Cradling AR15 in tattooed arms,
Surveying the scene of his household,
Walled by cameras, lights, and alarms.

Sighting a stray dog on the plains,
Knows he could kill with one squeeze.
Control and feel of cold metal
Puts ever sense of disquiet at ease.

Tomorrow he'll carry open to Walmart,
Drive his truck NRA sticker select,
Cops even to check a drivers license,
Would approach with care and respect.

Parking to traverse the great mall,
Where shadowed unknown terror lurks,
Watching perps from sides of his eyes,
Mostly robed women and brown Turks.

Shoppers will stare out in silence;
Armed he strides aisles of the store,
Some slip hands in purse pocket or holster,
Making room for the stone faced warrior.

Most he has they will get if he lets them.
Much they have now stealthily taken.
Wages, fruits, and the pride of the nation
All liberal enablers have left forsaken.

Back to moated fortress he carries
AR open for everyone to see,
Fearing none who want to slay him,
Ready to fight on the side of the free.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Apology for Political Correctness

PC is taking lots of hits lately, especially in the political campaign. 

Here's Ted Cruz after the Orlando shootings: "Enough is enough. What we need is for every American—Democrat and Republican—to come together, abandon political correctness, and unite in defeating radical Islamic terrorism." He condemns Obama for not using the words "" radical Islamic terrorism" and says that instead we must speak the truth. And here's Trump: "With Hillary and Obama, the terrorist attacks will only get worse. Politically correct fools, won't even call it what it is - RADICAL ISLAM!" 

What his followers say they like about Trump is that he tells it like it is. He is not afraid to call Mexican immigrants "rapists and murderers." And he clearly confronts the language of feminism in line with Rush Limbaugh's attack on the femiNazis. He counters anyone opposing his positions as falling into political correctness which he equates with covering up the truth.

When he was rebuked for saying that President Obama started ISIS, he responded that he was just being sarcastic. He dismissed his critics as being too politically correct. Which I guess for him means taking him too literally or maybe for telling the truth. 

"I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time, either." The irony is that Cruz and Trump are making political incorrectness political correct. 

Now I suppose there is a PC to oppose. It is the PC that avoids speaking the truth as you see it for fear of being criticized or that misleads and misstates the truth for some personal advantage. However, those who oppose PC are often those who want to go back to the good old days when you can call a spade (i.e. or speaking in PC "a person of African American descent") a spade. Or Protestant Christianity the true national religion, the religion of the founders. Or when boys could be boys, i.e. whistle at girls, pat them on the butt, or identify them by their body parts, i.e. "cunts," "boobs,"  and "asses" which they want a piece of. 

PC, they say, would have us treat girls, coloreds, and even unbelievers, illegal aliens, and unAmericans with respect even in our supposed free speech. That has us always walking on ice afraid of the word police. Feminists, Coloreds, Freaks have just gone too far, We watered down the nation with Catholics and Jews. Now we have to accept Muslims, atheists, and illegal immigrants. We appreciate those who say things the way they really are. Straight talkers bring back our exceptional nation in its original purity when it was really great. 

The PC that Cruz, Trump, Limbaugh and their disciples and ditto-heads are opposing seems to be civility, caution in judging, and understanding the effects of words especially in the public arena. (Really, can't you understand why it is important not to brand all Muslims as evil radicals?) They seem to be attacking those who are thoughtful and take into consideration how their words might hurt, disrespect, disdain, or dehumanize others and recognize how words influence behavior. And this is especially so in discussing religion, sexuality, race and ethnicity, immigration, disability, education, achievement, occupation, and status. It is PC as civility that I want to defend against those who oppose it. 

Civility is the mark of citizenship whether or not persons have the legal documents for citizenship. A citizen is a member of civil society. The first act of civility is recognizing one another. It is smiling and saying hello on the street to everyone you meet. Or even helping out another person in trouble. Respect for another is a more basic act of civility than voting. Participation in associations for mutual self-help is probably the strongest act of civility and the best mark of the citizen. Recognizing, respecting, and participating with others, including those of diverse beliefs, traditions, ethnicities, and sexual orientations, creates the civil society.

Words and behaviors which divide, demean, and dehumanize others for whatever reason destroy civil society. I guess you could say they are "politically incorrect." But let's not.

I suggest dropping the phrase "political correctness" since it is so misunderstood and usually used as an excuse to be uncivil. Let's just talk about political truth and civility. These are concepts on which we can all agree. We can discuss our various opinions of how to achieve them in our nation. Most of the people who use the term "political correctness" are really using it as a way to attack someone's position. Let's just argue about our opinions and positions but do so civilly, with respect.

So I started out this essay hoping to defend PC and instead I say we should drop it because it is so misunderstood and misused. Civility and truth in politics, however, we need to defend if we would defend our democratic republic. 

I think it would be so PC to stop talking about PC.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Art and Science as Spiritual Exercise

Art is the act of making--artifacts. All that we make, including images, ideas, and words are artificial. The word for art in Greek is techne from which we derive "technology." Evolutionary psychologists have articulated and gathered evidence for the theory of the natural selection of our species' capacity to imagine, to fashion images, to extend them, and to present them orally and visually for communication and collaboration. Neuroscientists are demonstrating this capacity in the neuro-networks of the brain.

In so far as we, through our words and ideas, slice and organize the external experience of our environment into a patterned world, the world itself is artificial. Making a house, a weapon, or a meal is an art. So is writing an article or paper. So is designing a neighborhood or city. Language, paintings, sculptures, icons, architecture, forms and formulas, plans, and models are the tools we construct and use to make and exist in our world.

We usually reserve "fine arts," as distinguished from "useful arts," for the making of things that are beautiful, i.e. that discern and put patterns in nature that are pleasing and which satisfy our desire for knowing. Knowing the patterns of nature, e.g. how the climate works, how animals behave, and especially how humans act gives us the advantage of conjecturing and planning for the future and weathering change. So the distinction between fine and useful arts is itself artificial and arbitrary.

Science is the developing body of knowledge which art produces and which in turn produces more art, i.e. technology. Science consists of the words, formulas, and models that explain the world and ourselves. Science is the answers to our wonder, our questions of what, why, and how in order to satisfy our desire to know, our desire for patterns in existence. Knowing these patterns not only help us survive, they help us plan and decide what kind of a world we want and who we want to be in that world.

I suggest that art and science, the act of expressing and the collecting and communication of expressions is also a means of spiritual growth. The artist driven by the songs of the Muses and the scientist driven by the light of Truth are themselves expressions of the human spirit yearning for integration and transcendence.

Language, religion, art, science, education, and philosophy are elements that constitute our culture. These elements provide the artifacts that can be handed down (tradition) to future generations who can add to and modify their artifacts and thus their world. What science adds to culture (including religion, education, morality, and philosophy) is verification, that is, evidence and proof that the patterns of meaning in nature and in ourselves are more than beautiful constructs, but useful predictors accessible to all human persons. In science truth and beauty coincide.

And, to complete the ancient transcendentals (Unum, Verum, Bonum, Pulchrum), so does unity and goodness concide with truth and beauty, should we so decide. And this is the duty of philosophy. We know that science and technology can be used badly, that is towards disintegration and reaction. The secondary reflection of philosophy can discern the directions and highlight the options by critiquing culture including its art and science, its religion and morality to ascertain whether the human spirit is growing or dissipating in our personal and social behavior and institutions. Deciding what kind of a world we want and who we want to be in that world is the work of ethics and politics from which no human behavior, including science and technology, is immune.

The One, the True, the Good, and the Beautiful as capacities and desires are discovered in structure of human existence as an imagining and expressing embrained body. They are expressed in culture and passed on for further refinements as physical and social environments change partially as a result of human expressive activity. Therefore both natural and cultural selection contributes to the evolution of humanity and the world.

As Teilhard de Chardin and others have noted, in humanity evolution becomes conscious and begins to direct itself. Human existence is not only given but chosen. In our ability to imagine and express, we have the ability to choose to continue our given projectory by deciding to follow the road map that evolution has given us. Or not. And this is where we turn to philosophy.