On Humanity with Tania Magennis

On Humanity

With Tania Magennis

So many questions, so many thoughts, so many ideas about this word/concept. I actually have done an entire smashbook on the subject along with my painting and have barely touched the surface.

This has been a long and winding road of ups and downs through blue sunny meadows as well as deep dark caves. I know I am not finished with this exploration of humanity but I feel I am done for now. All the input needs to sit for a while. There are a lot of raw feelings ranging from intimacy and love all the way through to to hate and torture.

I have found a huge duality in defining humanity. In the dictionary it pretty much sticks to one side, the lightness.

  1. The human race; human beings collectively.

  2. Humanness; benevolence

Most people tend to refer to the qualities of love and compassion and being creative, but there is a darker side lurking in the shadows.

I hear repeated time and again, “this isn’t the way we are or what we are made of”, when the not so virtuous side of humanity appears. Yes, it is. It is also part of human nature. It can’t be denied that humans have tendencies toward war and destruction, violence and bigotry, and even love that results in disaster for the other one involved. Since the beginning of time “the other” has brought out bullying, malevolence, cruelty, and strongman tactics. Even in love and compassion, humans can become blind or misdirected and force things and thoughts on others at a price, yes, even religion.

I submit that we need to acknowledge this dark side, not pretend it doesn’t exist. I think that might be where we fail. By spending time denying and covering up the fact that there are two sides to this story we lose faith and hope and the possibilities of cultivating humanity’s strong points.

When we find ourselves in times of big traumatic catastrophes, many automatically forget about all divisions and “other” labels and jump right in to help. All differences forgotten, everyone works together towards one goal, survival. No one leader, no one follower, but each person taking the lead from the one beside them. Unfortunately, as the emergency calms and survival is at least in sight, somehow the unconditional love begins to evaporate, disappear. Why?

Are we so anti-codependent that we are afraid of losing our personal identity in this synchronization? Do we have to stand on our own personal pedestal, or could we build a stage and put everyone on the pedestal all at once and shine together?

What is your lament about human behavior?

I am beginning to think humanity as we exist now is not a good thing. Humans have disconnected so much from other animals and nature and spirit and Universe that we might as well be “the robots”. The technologies and inventions to make life “easier” also cause us to disengage from the Earth and each other. No longer having to rely on each other (the pack, community), we are actually turning on each other, imploding like the cells in the petri dish that eventually kill themselves off in our science experiments. OR, can we simplify, energize kindness and love and create ripples, waves, a tsunami that can wash the hate away? Can we learn to leave No Human Behind? Can we help the next person find their way through the dark?

Can we learn to fly like the starlings, side by side, adjusting our direction together with no leader?

A new comparison occured to me in the night. This journey does that often. I think humans are like atoms. Just as atoms can join together or collide and form molecules that then form the essence of all matter of every ilk, so do humans become humanity in all its beautiful and ugly ways. It comes down to their arrangement and the negative and positive charges and what they attract to themselves. Some atoms are stable, others are not, but their combinations are the foundation of the elements of all of life. Two or more atoms form a molecule. Different molecules form a compound. How the elements come together is the determining factor of what results. How each isolated human joins in community and takes care of that community. Everyone has a piece. Two H’s and an O make water. Water is life. Small parts combined to form foundations will hold larger structures depending on how they are bonded.

If we start real small with particles of matter and atoms it can finish really big like the entire Universe.

The top left face is intuition, top right is Acceptance/Integration, center facing up in Harmony and bottom face is Wisdom. There is lots and lots of layering and overlapping meanings and understandings and more questions in this painting, in my journal and in my head, knowing what I know and not knowing anything at all, but at the moment these are the thoughts that are up front and center and in my face.

Thanks Tanya for a wonderful inquiry at the perfect time and place for me. It has been mind opening.

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