Not Knowing What To Talk About

Excerpt from "Music and The Ritual of Performance" an On Being conversation with Craig Minowa and Krista Tippett (April 14, 2016):

"I think you can be a part of any religion, or a part of any spiritual pursuit, and be a seeker. And it’s kind of a scale. There are those that search a little — or are just hungrier for it. But I see the evolutionary aspect as well. There’s the Carl Sagan book where he talks about how if you walked into a room and then your father walked into the room right behind you, and then your grandfather walked into the room right behind you, how long it would take before you hit an ancestor who was down on all fours.

And he was discussing it on the level of just evolution in general, but I was thinking about it in the context of, OK what if that did happen? And ultimately what you end up with is about 250,000 people — your dad, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, all of them in there, 250 — a quarter of a million people. And represented in that three million years of that would be hunter-gatherers, 10,000 years of that would be farmers, and, depending on your family, for my family, it would just be the last two generations that haven’t lived off the land.

So you’ve got a quarter of a million people that are your direct lineage, that if they could all speak the same language, they’d all be able to sit down and talk about living off the land and jabber on, and on, and on. And it would just be me and my dad sitting there not knowing what to talk about. 

So, there’s so much change that’s happening right now. And we have to keep up with that spiritually. So the requirement to grow spiritually at the pace that we are growing technologically is absolutely necessary...

If you continued to trace that lineage all the way back to the creation of life, us going back three million years to being on all fours, that’s one percent of geologic time. There’s so much more that’s before that. And there’s so much more before the creation of the earth. And who knows how many cycles the universe has gone through to get to the point that we’re at right now. But now we’re here, and we are incredibly advanced organisms who are not grasping our potential. And we have to be courageous about laying down our insecurities and our fears in order to get to the point that we can really embrace that energy in us.

There was a fact that I read. All of physical matter, as we know, is made of energy. And all physical matter can be converted back into energy. And it takes a tremendous amount of energy to make the smallest particle of matter. And so in the average human body, there’s 7x10 to the 18th power joules of energy. And that translates into 30 hydrogen bombs. Just this physical body right here, the energy in it, is equivalent to 30 hydrogen bombs I have right now. And that’s my only guarantee. I don’t know about tomorrow, but I have right now, and I’ve got this power. What am I going to do with it?"