In reading the monthly journal, The Sun, not to be confused with the daily British tabloid with the same name, I have been moved by an extended interview with the Black intellectual, Cornel West. It is rich and deep. I find myself reading it like a devotional, in small sections, so I can reflect. This passage in particular stood out.
West: There will never be a true paradise in this world. There will never be any kingdom of heaven in history. There will never be any utopian society.
The question is: Do we have the courage and tenacity and compassion to try to move beyond our tribalism and narcissism? That’s the best we can do. Biologist E.O. Wilson says our basic problem as a species is that we are just too selfish, narcissistic, and tribal. Anything that goes us away from those proclivities is a major contribution to progress.
There are different ways of overcoming our narcissism and tribalism: secular, scientific, artistic, religious. All of them are concerned with unsettling our ego so that love and compassion can flow.