It was another one of those nuanced, private experiences. You put aside your book, look around the ambient room and the familiar furnishings, and begin to silently muse. The familiarity of the room seems to lose some definition, and your sporadic inclination to ruminate begins, anew.
This time, it’s the many thriving houseplants, tactically positioned for maximum window sunlight, to partner, with our provision of water, in a successful leafy photosynthesis, producing indoor, verdant beauty, that caused the temporary transition. Vaguely noticing the indoor greenery, led to the contemplation of the great outdoors, and our contrasting, indoor lives, in houses and apartments. We sit indoors, in a safe, comfortable ambience, in nicely decorated compartments, in a shelter, apart from the outdoor ambience, the trees, shrubs grasses, and especially, the sun and the breeze.
Our ruminations lead, spontaneously, to the ultimate question, whether, our indoor lives are related to mankind’s early quest for shelter and safety; whether staring mindlessly, out of the window, effectively, is analogous to looking out on the adjacent environment, from a Stone-Age dwelling, by our ancient forebears.
Do the streets and avenues have their antecedent imagery in the naturally occurring roads and pathways, through forests and meadows, do the large, modern buildings bring to mind, hills and mountains? Just how far has the mindset of mankind travelled, unconsciously, and emotionally, from his Darwinian origins? What does the modern psyche continue to retain, and what does it eternally seek? It obviously does not desire to return to earlier days; not the dangers and deprivation of the Stone Age, certainly not the brutality and ignorance of the Medieval Era. It does not long for the period of the 30 years’ religious war in Central Europe, not to the American era of Slavery, or to the brutality and carnage of the two World Wars, not to Vietnam, certainly, not to the Holocaust, nor the incident of the Twin Towers.
Has mankind seen very much that is good and admirable, from the mouth of his cave, from the foxhole, or the cockpit of a jet bomber? It is not clear, at all, whether mankind has exploited the advanced brain, generously given him by evolution, to effect meaningful improvements through the exercise of reason, or to promote brotherhood and peace. By contrast, has he become increasingly divisive, bigoted and insular? The scene, from the cave mouth, or the window, seems to be as primitive and atavistic as it was in Cave Man times, apparently, with the exponential advances in electronics, travel and instruments of warfare, (ex. the impersonal, and highly efficient, drone bomber, in lieu of the up –front, limited, war club) compounding the universally perennial issues.
It may be preferable and perhaps, wise, at this point, to close the window, water the indoor plants, and return to my book, which happens to be “War and Peace.”