The other day I went out for a hike. Up towards a steep mountain edge. For some reason, I found myself in deep contemplation during the entire experience. Every step I took almost felt like I was walking through multiple layers of history. Maybe because I know that the trail I was on was traversed by countless peoples throughout the centuries. Going back past the Spanish conquest, with signs of indigenous markings all along the rocky path.
As I passed the animals; dogs, cats, cows, horses, sheep, birds, and insects, I thought about us as a species. I thought of our complex history and evolution and the question that always seems to pop up into my mind, popped up again. That question is: Why and how have humans developed tools and technologies?
Certain animal and insect species have lived for millions of years longer than humans but I have never seen an animal create anything that can compare to what people have accomplished. I’m not saying that animals are dumb, but they do not have the capacity to create tools and technology. They will never pick up a cell phone and make a call. They won’t create a blog post or a social media account. I’ve seen five year old kids smoothly operate computers but these concepts are of no concern to the animals that live beside us.
In many ways, they are far superior to us because our very technology and obsession with consumerism has caused immense destruction and suffering across the planet.
Animals can live in the wilderness without anything but the fur on their back and their own natural instinct to survive. They are perfectly adapted to live in the wild, without the need for equipment or preparations. Some species even travel vast distances without making airline reservations or obtaining visas/passports. They freely cross borders and live off the land. It is a magical way to exist. I find myself envious of them at times, to be honest.
Back to my initial question; Why are we so different from them? Even animals, like dogs or cats, that have lived alongside humans for thousands of years haven’t adopted our traits. For example, I’ve never seen a cat put on a sweater by himself when it’s cold outside or ride a skateboard when his little paws get tired, (although they can jump and climb trees better than parkour champs!).
Scientists tell us that we simply evolved from the apes. Slowly adapting and developing over the passing millennia. Using our thumbs and big brains to eventually become the dominant species.
Religion says that we have souls and that they will go on past this life to live in the spiritual realm or return to earth in a new vessel after reincarnation. Many people have had out-of-body experiences. So there could be a spiritual aspect to our existence that animals do not possess ?
I believe that there’s something more to our species; something very special.
Maybe we are a species that had a magnificent past. A past which has been hidden from us or lost in time. Perhaps we have amnesia, and we don’t remember what really happened to us or where we are from.
When we stop to look, to analyze some of the ancient stone sculptures and structures that are scattered across the globe, many which still lay buried beneath the seas, glacial ice and the dirt itself. Megalithic stones that weigh hundreds of tons (and some weighing more than 1500 tons, that’s over three million pounds!), which were perfectly crafted and set in place by prehistoric man. This really makes me wonder of our once glorious past. We weren’t just simple brutish cavemen grunting at our wives and smashing rats with rocks so we could have dinner. There was (is) definitely more to our species.
Did we do something wrong back then that wiped away our knowledge and memory?
Is there anyone alive today that truly knows what happened to us and possesses the same skills involved in building pyramids and other monumental structures with colossal stones that resemble mountains?
And where is man headed with the abundance of technology that we possess today? How will we use it to encourage sustainability and the survival of our species and life in general?
These are just a few of the thoughts that ran through my mind as I hiked the mountains and looked out across the lush green South American valley. To the majestic birds hovering and calling out from above. With the tiny cars and buses riding by on the road below. As the wind swept past, softly rustling the leaves across the branches, and cooling my skin while I marched along the ancient paths…
What do you usually think about when your out and about?
Happy trails to you my friends!