Back in my science days I learned a lot about survival of the fittest. The competition for scarce resources. Of the human drive to stay alive. As I was writing this afternoon a few random snippets clicked together.
I can’t quite remember when but on the radio recently I heard someone talking about the guilt he had felt about his ability to think survival thoughts. He had been in a transport with many other prisoners, all cramped and starving, and he had wished that someone would die so he could have more room. A better chance of survival. Because only the fittest survive. The ones who can grab as much of the resources as possible. That’s the push behind trying to get the most we can. Before anyone else can get it.
After all, what matters most is that I survive. Not the most creative, or the most vulnerable or the one with the most necessary skills. It’s all about me. Somehow this energy has become a deeply entrenched part of the way we live. It’s ok for me to want the best home, car, phone. It’s also ok for me to do whatever it takes to get that. Of course I can dress it up by saying I work for what I have. I can tell myself that I’m providing an income for others who work to provide what I want. Even cutting across someone else’s livelihood or land or status is ok because my needs come first. I excuse myself by saying that my presence on this planet is greater than yours.
It’s why we turn a blind eye to the weak. Not being the fittest is a judgement that is acted on in every moment of the day. Because we think resources are scarce. So only the best at grabbing them deserves them.
There is a crisis in our health care, our education, our global financial system. It’s not that we are running short of resources. It’s that we have let the ‘strongest’ grab the most. I’ve also joined in that game. Panicked about income and material things. Convinced myself that if I don’t have such and such I will die. That my wellbeing will be severely damaged if I stop grabbing for everything. That death will get me. Because that’s the thing that pushes us all. If we don’t survive we die. But we all know we are going to die in the end anyway. It’s just we’d like it not to be yet.
Survivor guilt can be a powerful emotion. It links in with shame. And anger. Having had a thought I can’t take it out of my mind. In the same way that I can’t unsay words. Of course I can try to forget. I can hide the greedy, needy side away from myself. Yet it will still be there. Ready to jump out as soon as I find myself back in a situation where survival of the fittest comes into play. It’s a fundamental part of competition. So I’m likely to run into it all the time. Because we also seem to have turned competition into a virtue too. All day long people try to be better, more beautiful, more productive or more well liked than anyone else.
What am I fittest for? Does my life have to be lived on the edge of a fake drive to survive?
I was writing a piece to be added into my book. It was all about Spirit, Spirituality and Spiritualism. Something that I’ve thought a lot about over the last dozen or so years. A subject I’ve definitely tussled with as I’ve watched people do horrible things to each other in the name of a Divine Being. Or to grab at more of the resources they need. And I include adulation, flattery, money, power and control in that list of ‘survival’ items too. We have developed a psychological dependence on one upmanship that drives much of the tit for tat behaviour over who has the most of everything.
I’m not sure we are the fittest to survive right now. That doesn’t mean I’m writing the human race off. But I do feel that our survival has to be based on a new insight into our inner nature. There are better choices that could be made by all of us to ensure that everyone had the prospect of surviving most of the ups and downs of life. And I feel that our Guides are doing their best to remind us that the survival we should be interested in is the one where we head to the Afterlife. I can’t move away from the knowledge they have given me of the Spirit World. Why would I need to worry about surviving here when my death is a new beginning? Instead of survival of the fittest now it’s time to acknowledge that we all survive. Always.
Day 477 of my blogging challenge.