One book on evolution is enough to make me question my daily life. Reading two at once can make reality slippery.
As much as we think we know, we're still very much in the dark about our history. There are unsolved mysteries, particularly how we acquired these big brains and what we're meant to do with them. In the middle of reading both Terence McKenna's Food of the Gods and Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens, I'm left scratching my head about everything. This morning, the itch was meditation.
Just five minutes of focusing on my breath is enough for my mind to run wild. All sorts of odd thoughts bubble up, challenging me to melt back into the everyday. It's like the faint whispers of my monkey ancestors urging me to open my eyes and stay alert.
What I don't quite understand is why meditation can be so beneficial now when it would most certainly make monkey me a target in the forest. It feels like we're trying to calm the eras of us being animals. Meditation gives us a moment before the snap decision to show our teeth or sprint in fear.
In Dan Harris' 10% Happier, he explained:
Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism is True, says we're rebelling against natural selection. He told NPR, "Natural selection is the process that created us. It gave us our values. It sets our agenda, and Buddhism says, 'We don't have to play this game.' "
With a monkey mind in a human world, we're left with only pieces of the ultimate puzzle. All we can do for sure is take a deep breathe and keep on searching.