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The Trouble with Tribalism

imageSteven and Michael Meloan in the Huffington Post:


New Atheist authors like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have declared that religion is the root of most global conflict. In our novel The Shroud, we explore the notion that tribalism is the true underlying factor behind these conflicts. It is part of our evolutionary heritage. Many physicists and other researchers believe that modern scientific developments resonate with spiritual pursuits and may lead to greater unity, allowing us to override some of our tribal and territorial impulses.

Quantum entanglement, or Einstein’s "spooky action at a distance", demonstrates that the universe is interconnected down to the most essential level. And the discovery of "mirror neurons" in humans and other primates demonstrates that simply seeing something happen to another creature lights-up the same neurons as if it were happening to us. In a very real sense, we don’t entirely distinguish between the self and others. And this is particularly true when witnessing suffering. A sense of compassion and empathy seem to be hard-wired in us.

From elementary particles to cellular systems to tribes, cities, countries and virtual communities over the Internet, science and our deepest intuition increasingly demonstrate that we are intrinsically interconnected. And this connectedness may even transcend the physical plane as we now know it. Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California demonstrates that the interconnection once thought to exist only at the quantum level may scale all the way up to the macro level — such that intention may somehow affect the physical world.

The challenge going forward will be to propagate these connections and thwart tribalism, using myth, memes and meditation.

Read the entire article. It is excellent: Steven and Michael Meloan: The Trouble with Tribalism

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