Those of us living in the first decades of the 21st Century are experiencing a human development, which may have considerable significance. It appears to be the kind of morphic development, described by Lancelot Law Whyte, in the morphic sense of promoting its own growth.
Human society is becoming more inter-connected, particularly for those in minority groups and who share similar interests and problems. The need of certain individuals to seek out others and to share, especially where they are trying to alleviate some suffering and perhaps where even their very survival my depend on making contacts, spurs them into better interaction and engagement, which in turn involve them in acquiring enhanced communications skills, such as networking and searching. The consequent mental activity is far more stimulating than former passive states of watching television and listening to radio.
Not only are minority and troubled communities interacting with others with whom they share common cause, they are also interacting with a few professional volunteers, often highly educated and skilled, who want to help them, thus acquiring even greater skills and helpful information.
Examples of such groups are all those regarded as social lepers, families in trouble with the state over their parenting methods, Travellers including Gypsies, those with special illnesses, victims of miscarriages of justice, and addiction and recovery groups. In the past, minority groups in need included homosexuals and emigrants/immigrants such as the Irish.
As this was being written, most individuals of the same age as this writer may have missed this morphic development, through old age or death or through simply not noticing it. One way to have become aware of it was to have engaged in voluntary work, helping those in great need - the dispossessed and the outcast.
The new inter-connectedness is operating at a number of different levels.
1. Popular culture. Entertainment such as concerts and sports.
2. Professional. Sharing ideas and research.
3. Minority groups. Social interaction and help.
4. General social. Friendship, chat and gossip.
5. Survival. Urgent or pressing need.
Numbers 3, 4 and 5 can combine into a powerful network.
It appears then that the most effective inter-connections are those driven by dispossession and need. Examples are fragmentation and isolation, such as when threatened with a break from one's wider community, from the unity of a group, the need for assistance, seemingly overwhelming problems, threats of danger to self and family, and perceived assault from an enemy or from the state.
This condition is remarkable for its similarity with the plight of the seemingly lonely or lost soul yearning for a connection with the divine.
Apart from the gateway of death (in the words of Robert Burns, 'the poor man's dearest friend, the kindest and the best!') how can that soul achieve some alleviation? There is, alas, no divine Google. There is however reverie, prayer and contemplation. But perhaps they are for saints only?
The only way this mortal, and far from saintly, writer knows how to alleviate the yearning for a connection with the divine, while still in this life, is by tapping into one of the inter-connected groups, the best being one of the dispossessed, not just as another lost or dispossessed individual, but as a volunteer willing to give some help or advice, no matter how small.
Is there some way that one can know if this has indeed closed the gap between the lonely soul and the divine? Will it be a greater awareness of Love, Beauty and Justice? Or of potentiality? Or a greater longing? Perhaps some of these or all.
But one can be reasonably certain of having achieved increased connectedness at both an earthly and divine level if one experiences even the smallest draught of that divine elixir we know as joy.
Modified: 11:15 9 Aug 2006