Let's start with the assumption that we are all born into two other people's stories. Which continues backwards in time, of course.
At the level of DNA -- whether you believe in "past lives" or not -- we literally carry our ancestors with us. And at an "energetic" or "vibrational" level, here's my theory.
As infants, we are super sensitive to the energy around us and take it in through very fundamental and subtle vibrations in the environment. Almost as if -- in the first few months and years of life -- our cells start to resonate with the surrounding energy, through our environment and through the first interactions with the people we're exposed to on a regular basis.
This means that no matter how much mom or dad coo and cuddle us, if they're unhappy in their job or unfulfilled in their relationship or carrying some childhood trauma in some way... each of us, as new entities in the world with no "baggage" (except, of course, the sheer terror of living for nine months in a state of total bliss only to find that we're suddenly feeling constrained, then buried alive, then thrust into some alien world of air, light and sound) take this all in as the first "vibes" of our life on earth.
Our parents' stories start to inform our own -- as we learn how to be in relationship through the relationships we're most dependent on for survival.
As we grow into being as a child, we shift from a baby absorbing energy to someone actively engaging and responding. Creating an "impression" on the world as the world creates an impression on us.
And, paradoxically, as we grow our world gets reduced.
Imagine being in the crib... the window is open to a warm summer breeze that fills the room. Suddenly a phantasmagoric entity enters! Moving in ways that have never been seen before... total wonderment and awe fill your entire being. Your mother enters and says, "Oh my! A bird!". Suddenly, with one gesture, all that was filling your senses and soul with delight and curiosity is reduced to a word.
Over and over, mysteries become solved by some fact or other definition. Stories get told to make it clear why things "are the way they are." Behavior becomes defined, refined and confined by a necessary conformity if one is to be a "welcome addition" to any group.
But what is all this making of us? Why are we still killing our environment and ourselves? Structures, as they are defined as social, political or economic, don't seem to be working effectively for the majority of people on the planet -- not to mention the planet itself.
I believe we are, in some way, headed for a man made extinction event. These things happen all the time to this planet. It's nothing new and there's no reason that we shouldn't be the thing that creates it this time around. I just hope our hearts and brains can figure a way to slide through it fairly gracefully. But maybe "extinction event" and "graceful" never appear side to side for a reason.
Can't someone brilliant come up with a new theory of social cohesion? I think that could help us through. Less killing and hoarding, more....
Here are some building blocks:
What would be a Table of Elements for a new construct of human community?