We're Here Because We're Not All There: An Observation Made by

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In the third chapter of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the author, Edward Gibbon, stated, History is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind. Moreover, lines in the poem, Know Then Thyself, written some fifty years before Gibbon's essays, expressed Alexander Pope's perplexity about Mankind: Created half to rise, and half to fall: Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! Why? Why is Gibbon's denunciation and Pope's perplexity justifiably directed at a species capable of producing the wonders of Stonehenge; the Pyramids; the great cities of the Tigris-Euphrates; the Great Wall of China; the glories of Ancient Greece and Rome; of the Alhambra and the Taj Mahal; the artistry of the Sistine Chapel; invent the miracle of flight and the marvel of radio and television; and land a craft with its crew on the moon and bring them back again. The list could go on and on - along with the dismal record and its perplexity. This book grapples with the Why of it all. It delves into the ancient wisdoms along with the various social, neurological and psychological sciences to search for an answer. Its writing is impelled by the urgent need to, at least, attempt an answer, and, with it, an understanding that can explain why Gibbon's observation and Pope's perplexity is as applicable now as it ever was. Virtually all we can now see happening around us is, in effect, this period's contribution to the dismal record and of being in endless error hurl'd. To use again the wisdom of Alexander Pope: Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of mankind is Man The book is directed by this belief and how its implications properly applied can contribute to recognizing what justified Pope's observation and Edward Gibbon's condemnation. Perhaps this proper study is an obligation in which we should all be involved? What greater reason can there be for writing this book and offering it for reading.