Humanity is unique in its ability to learn and to teach others. This ability is what allowed us as a people to learn and to grow together. This evolution allowed for us to next question the existing paradigms; with questioning, we can identify biases and further our understanding of the world. While these are incredibly important parts of humanity, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. ” (Eden Ahbez). Love is the most important thing we can ever receive, and through it we can do many things. Humanities great wish for immortality, can be realized through love.
As the closest we can get is to create something that will outlast ourselves, children. Through them a piece of the parent lives on, and through their children as well. It’s an unbroken cycle of love, that lets humanity get a glimpse of immortality. Humanity’s place in nature is one of love and understanding your impact on the world. Our ability as humans to teach and learn from others is what sets us apart from other creatures. As we saw in “Ape Genius”, the apes could observe others and learn how to use tools, for example, as we saw them with sticks used to retrieve insects; but they couldn’t teach others this new skill they had acquired.
The apes could merely learn from observation, this meant that there is no furthering of these ideas. The ideas could not evolve, and were stuck at the primitive level that they were originally learned at. In the documentary, we see scientists attempting to teach apes and in turn have them teach others by performing a variety of experiments. Even with human intervention the apes still could not teach others, this ability to both learn and teach seems to be purely a human one. One that allows for us to grow and evolve together, as a people.
Meno also shows us how we can learn from other people, Socrates leads Meno on a journey of understanding the correct meaning of virtue. Socrates asks Meno many questions that help to tailor his thinking and push him in the direction of understanding the true meaning. Together they can reach a definition that suits them both. This ability to learn from others is shown in The Celestine Prophecy, as we see the narrator use this unique to an’s ability of learning, to discover the first eight insights.
The narrator goes on a journey to Peru to find out more about this mystical manifest that has been found, and on his journey, he meets many people that help him discover more about the manifest and its eight insights. The narrator learns each insight with the help of others. Reading an insight never fully conveys the concept of it, the narrator relies on the help of others to fully understand it. Whether it’s a mother, priest or scientist, all took the time to help the narrator work his way through the manifest and come to a better understanding of its teachings.
Through this, he learns about himself and his interactions with the world around him. He learns that his energy can affect many things from he himself, to other people, and even the plants ability to grow. In addition to the ability to learn and teach others, another important part of humanity is the ability to question. We see this in The Celestine Prophecy, as the manifest is a tool used by the people to question the pre-existing institutions, like the church and government in Peru.
The manifest says that we are in the final stage of evolution, and to get to the point that we are at, we previously had to question everything. The first stage of evolution was in the dark ages, where the church was in control and said that they had absolute knowledge about our place in nature. Humanity questioned religion with the advances made in science, there were discoveries made that religion alone could not answer. Then came the age of science, where they too assumed that science had all the answers.
Science was then also questioned because it couldn’t explain areas of the oul or psyche, leaving holes for doubt and questions to arise. Now in the last stage the church and the government are again afraid of questions that the manifest brings to light, they want to destroy it to keep the status quo. The narrator is told that we must question the current structure of power, only then can we continue this evolution. The manifest is not destroying the church or the form of government, but offering questions that to lead to a better understand of it, and humanity. Nietzsche also thinks that questioning the status quo is necessary for a true understanding of the world.
In “On the Genealogy of Morals” he explains that it is necessary for us to question beliefs that we hold to be true, he starts with questioning the ideas of good and evil. How we came up with our definition of each, and how they affect our understanding of the world today. Nietzsche even criticizes other philosophers, like Schopenhauer, for not being critical enough of the existing paradigm. He seems to believe that humanity has a responsibility to question our beliefs, because this allows us to understand the meaning behind them and with that understand any potential biases we may have.
Once we understand these biases, we can attempt to dismantle them and therefore further ourselves and humanity in the process. While learning and questioning are important parts of humanity, we cannot forget love. For “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. ” (Eden Ahbez) and we see this theme throughout many of our readings. In the Symposium, we are given a story by Socrates, one that he originally received from Diotima on the origins of Love. That Love is not a god, and that it wants what it does not have, that being beauty and immortality.
This idea that we love what we cannot have is seen in humanity, we desire to be immortal, and so we do what we can to become as such, which for us is to procreate. In the movie Kate and Leopold, we see a woman fall in love with a man that is not from her time, so she decides to give up everything for the sake of love, as she feels that is the most important thing. The man who she loves, and leaves everything behind for, named Leopold, is a great inventor, one whose inventions stand the test of time. This ability for his inventions to stand even after he himself has fallen gives him some of the immortality that humans crave.
As a couple, they also attempt for immortality in the form of children. Their immortality comes from their children, as they will live on after Kate and Leopold are gone. Alexander Pope also addresses the idea of how humans attempt to gain immortality through procreation. He contrasts us to other beasts who only have a short time with their young. They are raised until they can care for themselves, but once that point is reached they are sent off on their own. Humans on the other hand create “more lasting pate “more lasting bands… While pleasure, gratitude, and hope combined, Still spread the interest and preserved their kind” (64).
Through our longer relationship of parent and child, humans create a stronger bond of love between the two. With the creation of children, parents can realize their immortality, and this bond of human and immortality is only strengthened by love. Humanities future has many possibilities, but we seem to be at a turning point in society, just as Redfield, the author of The Celestine Prophecy says. While it’s unlikely and unfortunate that we will not become enlightened like the Inca’s in the near future, his book does give us a good roadmap as to how to live life.
In this current political climate, it’s incredibly easy to turn on the news and see nothing but hate, and to be negatively affected by it. Redfield’s ideas of introspection, love, and being aware of what you project out into the world seem more mindful and necessary than ever. Hopefully all this hate and negativity that we are currently seeing will inspire people to look within themselves for positivity and love. Questioning this hateful status quo is the first step towards changing it. We as members of humanity have a responsibility towards both one another and the physical world around us.
By being introspective we can see where our faults lie, and where damage has been done by other people. With this knowledge, we can work to repair the damage that has been done and to change the way we act towards the world and others. The Celestine Prophecy seems to be the best example of both introspection and understanding how our actions affect the world around us. This book seemed to sum up many of the main concepts that we studied throughout the term. It exemplifies the learning that we saw in “Ape Genius”, Meno, and Symposium.
It also shows how to question the existing institutions that might not be as perfect as previously thought, challenging these ideas is what Nietzsche thought would help us understand our place in the world and how we came to reside there. The Celestine Prophecy also touched on love, just like we saw in Pope’s Essay on Man, “Kate and Leopold”, and the Symposium. To understand and appreciate everything from people to the trees around him the narrator had to purely love it. With this love came understanding, and then power from that understanding. Humanity’s place in nature is one that revolves around love and understanding.