Surrounded by infinity,
we’re here adrift in space
and simply breathing easily
inside this present place.
We calmly breathe, recalling we
have come here from afar
and grown towards humanity
from dust-specks that we are.
This place is where we’ve come to sense
our shared humanity
within a shared experience
of deep serenity.
We feel this present breath right now
that’s evidence of all
that had to happen to allow
these chests to rise and fall.
We’re dust that’s almost always been
adrift and purposeless,
until in us it could begin
to meditate like this.
Each breath of air we take gives thrust
to tiny games that drive
the process in each one of us
that renders us alive.
Whatever journey brought us here
is over. We arrive.
We feel we’re here and now and we’re
immersed in all of life.
The sprawling mess of life itself
grows everywhere around,
forever branching in a wealth
of forms and smells and sounds.
From out of all this planet’s life,
our species now has grown
so powerful we’re truly rife
to call this world our own.
We humans differ from the rest
of Earth’s great wealth of beasts,
as all of us here now attest
by breathing in such peace.
We humans here can feel secure.
That’s quite a special right.
Most forms of life cannot be sure
they will survive tonight.
The calmness of this very breath
right now is evidence
we need not fear a sudden death
at one another’s hands.
We humans built this place of peace
from nature’s sprawling mess,
since we can shape the world with ease
that only we possess.
To north and south, to west and east,
we made this world our home
more thoroughly than any beast
that we allow to roam.
We are so different from the rest
of nature as a whole,
our ancestors thought we possessed
some special spark, some soul.
Although we’re made of only dust,
there is one oddity,
a guidance known to only just
our human family.
This thing that makes humanity
unique and radical,
grew in our own shared ancestry
in ancient Africa.
We started as a kind of ape,
upright and throwing stones,
with special voices fit to shape
the songs we would intone.
We did not look like we would prove
a worthy enemy
for lions and for sabertooths
who ruled that territory.
The fights in which we were involved
we could not win without
a social instinct we evolved
to help each other out.
Although our kind was never great
in number, strength or speed,
our learning to collaborate
would help us to succeed.
A hail of many stones would get
a lion to turn back.
Collective shouts could voice a threat
a single voice would lack.
While many beasts and certain plants
do act collectively,
we humans learned what they still can’t:
to do so flexibly.
We learned to judge and to decide
who we’d be working with,
who feels like they are on our side,
who gets what we can give.
We’re bred to sense this. Those who’d trust
too little or too much
were outcompeted in our past.
We had to learn to judge.
We’re kinder than the chimpanzees,
more generous, more brave,
since human beings long have squeezed
each other to behave.
This helped us fight as stronger teams
and hunt effectively.
Since teamwork shaped us, now it seems
we do it naturally.
We grew to feel within our breast
an urge to be worth trust,
be good to those who know us best,
earn trust that’s true and just.
It is an urge to be found good
by those we find the same,
be allies that together should
pursue a common aim.
This leads to bonds so deep and good
they hold deep joy therein,
and sisterhood and brotherhood
beyond our next of kin.
The strength this gives us is absurd.
No word is great enough,
but lacking some more fitting word,
we’ll simply call it love.
Between us here, there’s some of it:
in helping out, at least a bit,
with whom we coexist.
So if we like, we can allow
ourselves to try and feel
this force between us here and now.
It’s old and very real.
To love each other is our niche.
This makes humanity
the only part of nature which
must strive for harmony.
Love comes with curiosity
for one another, so
we get to know us thoroughly
and let each other know.
This soon meant more than just to find
who’ll help us and who won’t.
We noticed someone else’s mind
can know things that we don’t.
And learning this we then could choose
to teach each other rules
that helped us to survive, like use
of fire, speech and tools.
The water bag, the flintstone scrape,
the spear, the scary drum
gave power to those ancient apes
we’re all descended from.
They loved their children, as we must,
and passed their knowledge on.
We all hold knowledge given us
by ancestors long gone.
Such knowledge as how ever more
developed teamwork must
be built on rules we now call law
and promises and trust.
Our human wish to be a part
of teams, to thus be bound,
is central to us like the hearts
that pump our blood around.
Because we’re bred to want to care,
it can be hard to know
this life is neither just nor fair
until we make it so.
There is no care for what we’re worth,
except the care we take.
There is no justice on this Earth,
except the one we make.
We are the only animals
who have in recent times
invented justice, criminals
and judgements for their crimes.
While nature’s law rules everyone
with bloody teeth and claws,
by now our species has begun
to write more careful laws.
We tried out laws for centuries
and most of what we tried
just led to dreadful tyrannies
and war and genocide.
We’re mammals, bred as murderers.
But we’re inventing peace.
The only predator on Earth
whose fights begin to cease.
Upon foundations shared with apes,
we build our own new way
that still continues to be shaped
by lives like ours today.
Unprecedented as we are
were great mistakes we made.
And still we’re failing! Yet so far
some groundwork has been laid.
From instincts driving us to beat
competitors we face,
we’ve built a world where we compete
within the marketplace.
We’ve found that when we give and take,
agreements we compose
relying on each other make
us draw each other close.
Most things around us now were made
by strangers and for sale.
Again it’s teamwork when we trade,
at even greater scale.
Our drive to work together leads
from families and tribes,
through cities, nation states and creeds
to global human rights.
The trust that lets us breathe in peace
within this place today
was built for countless centuries.
It is the human way.
How many labored to create
this trust and how it grows
from ways we can collaborate,
no other species knows.
We still have much to figure out.
We will make more mistakes
until we’ve learned to bring about
the form our purpose takes.
While many species’ history
is finished, lost and gone,
the story of humanity
has only just begun.
We’re growing ever better at
our self-appointed task
of answering the questions that
no other species asks.
The love that made us human and
gave us our peace and wealth
does let us know each other and
thus also know ourselves.
We’ve learned all forms of life to share
the same vitality,
but only humans seem to care
for life’s totality.
Of all the beasts, the human kind
alone can know that we
are part of something big, born blind,
that now begins to see.
This means we have a special fate.
It’s ours alone because
we do things such as meditate
no other species does.
The life that made us may employ
our ever-growing skill
to fill the stars with life and joy.
No other species will.
We’ll have those species ride along
and spread them far and wide.
They’re family and they belong
on life’s, on our side.
While we’ll teach games of entropy
to worlds we’re flying to,
spread life throughout the galaxy,
that’s not all we will do.
We few who grasp life as a whole
its other forms can’t see
have therefore got unique and sole
We will respond accordingly,
with what makes us unique:
the love that guides humanity
of which this sermon speaks.
The gift we give to future Earths
include the love in us that births
our shared humanity.
Along with life we’ll spread the source
of humankind’s great might:
this feeling in us that’s the force
that helps us to unite.
There is a union to be found
more deep than even love,
but love helps find our way around.
It helps look close enough.
The same dust played the same old games
and love led us to care
to look beyond our separate names
and see ourselves in there.
To see that we are much the same
is seeing truthfully
and love goes on to help us aim
for who we ought to be.
This fact was meant by all who’ve said
that love is like a light
that guides us on our way ahead.
They all were simply right.
For love alone can help us see
that in each other’s mind
there’s not just similarity.
We’re of a single kind.
We see we all are made of dust
and played by entropy
and there is only one of us,
just one humanity.
Within ourselves, right here and now,
with all that looms above,
we may wholeheartedly allow
ourselves to feel this love.
The love that guides humanity
is what here now reveals
this special kind of unity
no other creature feels.
The love that guides humanity
comes here and now more true
when we express it truthfully
in what we choose to do.
The love that guides humanity
is not a place to stay
and there’s no way to make it be.
Love is itself the way.
The love that guides humanity
can be the way ahead,
the way towards the mystery
of where we will be led.