This morning I've been reading about human history's separation from animals (not pets), from emotions, from our bodies and all things soft. In addition, history itself is the story of the hard things that did not disintegrate - tools, weapons, statues, etc. We know nothing, except by conjecture, about the meaning in the long gone lives. One study, for example, tallies the church attendance in a village from church records in the middle ages. However, it does not and cannot say why these people went to church (social connections, custom, fear, hope, seeking, religious experience) nor what they experienced there. All hopes and dreams are banished from history.
Prior to about the 1600's, humans had animals around, even sometimes horses in the house. Animals were regularly part of human life. There were no stuffed animals for children, for they had real animals in their lives. Connection to the past was through emotions evoked in dramas, comedies, poetry, myth, parables, storytelling, etc.
After the enlightenment, scientific method, industrialization, urbanization, all things shifted away from the life experience of humans for hundreds of thousands of years into a new life cut off from animals, emotions and all things not hard facts. Humans began to feel alienated from the rest of the planet and from themselves.
So we find ourselves in this awkward position - animal species dying off, planet polluted, at odds with others different than us, self-destructively building more and more extreme weapons, addictions of all kinds on the rise, meaning stripped from our lives in most areas.
Can we bend the arc of history back toward meaning? Can we find more of a balance? Can we reunite with Spirit, with animals, with deeper meaning in the stories? Can we ignite in ourselves the full quest for love and life and deep meaningfulness? Where shall we go from here?