We are constantly forgetting trivial experiences. What did lunch taste like last Tuesday? Strangely enough, we can also forget important experiences. We can, in fact, forget the most experiences of all. We can and do lose touch with the most profound truths of existence.
How is this possible? Why does it happen? It seems tragic. It may be adaptive. This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems conceivable that our evolutionary survival is at odds with our spiritual development. Evolutionary fitness need not be congruent with spiritual fitness. That is, the strategies encoded in our genes through natural selection may promote behavior that increases the likelihood of those genes being passed on, but that’s no guarantee of happiness or enlightenment. If we are prone to forget profound truths, perhaps it’s because keeping mindful of such truths has little evolutionary value. However, it may have great value for individuals and communities. Passing on genes ain’t everything.
What do you think? Is individual spirituality adaptive or maladaptive for the human species? What makes you think that? And what does that mean for our individual spiritualities? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
In addition to writing the A Pedagogy of Gaia column here at HumanisticPaganism, Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband and a father. An award-winning videographer, he is co-creator of ROX, the first TV show on the internet. As a media artist and an advocate for faculty development in higher education, he is interested in current and emerging trends in social media, blogging, podcasting, et cetera, as well as contemplative pedagogy and integrative learning. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Corridor, sometime contributor to Rising Tide, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. See Bart Everson’s other posts.