13. Scaling Up

Note: this is the next part of a book.

We thought we were kings and queens of our mountain of stored power, and that all food and tools and domesticated animals and subordinate family members bowed to us. 

Certainly, there was some truth to the fact that we were perched atop a mountain, extracting power from things below, managers of our own little economy.

But the bigger truth was that we were actually on track to becoming a part of something bigger on the rise behind us.  

The Mountain of Order didn’t stop with you and me or cute little households. The snowball just kept rolling, almost as if individual humans were merely a passing thought of evolution. 

Today, we are part of families, cities, and nations.  We are members of sports teams, friend networks, corporations, and even the billions of us connected via communication.  You and I are but another rung on evolution’s bigger ladder.  Only recently have we realized just how helplessly we are but a contributor to a Bigger Story that is not about us.

Whether individuals are the highest form of consciousness, remains to be seen.  But we are most definitely not the highest form of order.

That’s because we can’t stop ourselves from continuing to order the world together.  

Just look at us. 

The famous psychologist Carl Jung described it as being “possessed.”  We don’t even know any other way to live.  Once the snowball got rolling, it just plowed over us and we became a part of this weird, unexplainable ordering force at work all along. 

We are but a bunch of ordering freaks – running around like ants, ordering stored power all day long.

 What a fascinating species. 

We call it “work.”  And we can’t get enough of it.  It’s in our DNA.

We order bricks and wood.  

We order steel, rubber and plastic.

We order metal and silicon.  

We order numbers.

We order ourselves.

We order words and relationships and workforces and cities and nations and militaries and governments.

At your job, you order something.  You may:

  • Order raw materials into buildings (construction)
  • Order digits (programming)
  • Order synaptic patterns (education)
  • Order molecules (medicine). 

You may order transactions (sales/retail), order people and tasks (management), or order finances (accounting). 

On the weekend, or in the evenings, you probably let loose and have a little chaotic fun.  But over time, we are net builders of order, all scurrying around directing power where we think it should go to build more, on this helpless runaway train of order.

But why?

Why do we constantly, constantly order everything?  

We put cups into cupboards, food in our bellies, clothes into closets, and pictures on walls.  And we like it.  We order water into pipes, electricity into wires, cars onto roads, and Enya songs on our playlist.[1]

We love it.[2]  We don’t post Instagrams of this:

Why care if everything is in rhythm, secure, growing, healthy, and powerful?  Why order?

The only answer we can give is so we don’t lose the order we’ve already built.  You may think, “No, I just work so I can pay the bills and not die.”  That’s exactly what I mean, you big ball of ordered tissue friend, you.

Essentially– we’ve invested so much in our cosmic game of double-or-nothing, we might as well keep rolling the dice.  

Getting better.

We call it a “survival instinct” or a thirst for power.  But 100% of us are helplessly hardwired with it.  Is it even us – the human individual – that is seeking order?   Here we are, a peculiar bunch of ants on a giant blue marble in space, scurrying around mindlessly to get the best exchange rate on stored sunlight.  

All to build something.

But what?  We’re all fighting, trading, and slaving away, and have no idea why.

The more we have been able to zoom out and conceptualize the whole of humanity, the clearer it is that we are helpless pawns in a larger epic growing. 

We are attached to something bigger.

[1] Well, you might.

[2] Which is why I’m beating my body into submission to order the words in this book.

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