The Wellspring Library is a collection of digital content germane to the project of learning to be human. Now since anyone reading this is likely to have been born human, there may not appear at first glance much to learn about being human — especially to those who have passed through the stages of infancy and youth, and have arrived at adult estate. With few exceptions, and perhaps with a little parental guidance along the way, the young of all species on Earth quickly master the basic techniques of being whatever they are; and go on to conduct reasonably successful lives, generation after generation. Squirrels, birds, bobcats, and bears generally get the hang of things pretty swiftly, once they are born or hatched; and grass, mushrooms, shrubs, and trees seem to fulfill their life cycles automatically, with no coaching from anyone.
For humans, however, navigating through life is seldom so simple. The combination of large brains, stereoscopic vision, bipedal locomotion, and grasping hands with opposable thumbs may have something to do with it. In any case, there seems to be an awful lot more to being human than to being a turtle, or a fish, or a snail, or even a geraffe; and it takes an awful lot longer for us to "get it right."
Anthropologists tell us that genus Homo may have had a presence on Earth for the past couple of million years or more; and there are those who claim similar antiquity even for people who were anatomically indistinguishable from ourselves: Homo sapiens sapiens.
To some, that may be a pretty startling claim; but the point here is simply to underline that we humans have been around for quite awhile, as we normally measure time — yet we're still having difficulty sorting out how to live as gracefully as squirrels, birds, bobcats, and bears; and there are alarming reasons to imagine that we might not meet this challenge before driving our species to extinction. Although here at the Library we like to keep an upbeat, optimistic outlook on things, the human predicament, at the current stage of its development, does not suggest itself as fodder for hilarity.
On the other hand, a sense of humor is definitely an asset in confronting the human predicament. Is it not at least somewhat comical that we who consider ourselves to be "the crown of creation," and the smartest beings ever to have walked upon the Earth, navigated its oceans, and soared through its skies, find ourselves and each other to be our only natural enemies, and the most probable threat to our own survival as a species? If we're so smart, then why are we not able to live in this world as gracefully as squirrels, birds, bobcats, and bears? Those who can appreciate the morbid humor of the human predicament might be able to contribute something useful toward its solution. It may even be so, that approaches to the human predicament that do not include an element of playfulness, are not likely to advance the project very far.
This is what The Wellspring Publishing Group, and the accumulating collections in The Wellspring Library, are all about. For sharing commentary, seeking further details, or to contribute to the Library's eclectic mix, "give us a shout."
1. Michael A. Cremo, Richard L. Thompson, Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race, Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing, Inc., Los Angeles, Sydney, Stockholm, Mumbai, 1993, 1996, 1998, p. xxiii.