By Michael Scott
The human brain is as imperfect as every other product of evolution, an approximate device fashioned by chance and selected by a changing environment. Like all other biological organs, it was slow to develop once it was made. Our brains have changed very little since they appeared two hundred thousand years ago. We behave as though the brain is perfect, and we use it to gather knowledge, religious or secular, which we assume to be correct despite evidence to the contrary. It is a magnificent machine, as most organs and animals are. It is good at tools and weapons. We are delighted by its ingenuity. It is, however, weak on creating knowledge of how to live happily and honestly, regardless of how much it congratulates itself.
This book celebrates the way living organisms in their countless numbers and varieties, and the trillions of cells and lodger-organisms in our bodies, co-exist in a vast continuum, at once glorious and terrifying. This immense flow, the Freedom River, is rich with potentiality, and forms a virtual infinity of being. Unfortunately, because of our faulty minds, we confuse belief and behaviour. We just do not realise how free we actually are to develop effective being. We could, if we really tried, train ourselves to be good citizens of earth. But we’d have to stop being certain of unknowable facts and recognise how stupidly we treat this extraordinary little planet.