Exploring Who We
Are and What We Want
(adapted from Johns forthcoming book with the working title The
New Human: Beyond the Naked Ape)
Some years back, before voicemail, a friend of mine recorded a memorable
message on his answering machine. As I recall, it went something like
this: Hi, this is _____. At the sound of the beep please tell me
who you are and what you want. If you think those are trivial questions,
be reminded most of us have been trying to figure this out all our lives.
These kinds of questions have been
the focus of philosophers, mystics, clergy and teachers of all varieties.
Anyone who has embarked upon some level of self examination, personal
development, vision quest or other form of inner exploration has most
likely ventured into this inquiry as well. Lyrics to past popular songs
such as Is that all there is and Whats it all
about, Alfie? come to mind.
When I look at the headlines and see
the things going on in the world these days - the violence we do to each
other with weaponry or words, attitudes or gestures, policies or prejudices
I ask myself the same question millions are asking themselves every
day: Why cant we all get along?
If any of you are tempted to say,
Come on John, weve always had wars and crime and violence
and we always will I ask you to hold that thought and allow me to
You can find more about
this topic in the