Do we shape history or does history shape us?

Question from the Internet:

“What decision made by a single individual had the biggest impact on human history?”

Human history has never been influenced by individual decisions. I mean we like to believe that we have individual choices and that history was shaped by the decisions and actions of great people, heroes and villains without whom things would have taken completely different turns.

This is a romantic view of reality that fits our egocentric and subjective nature and makes good novels and movies and gives us the opportunity to root for the “good guys” against the “evil ones” up to this day.

But in truth, those “great heroes and villains” of history and contemporary society are simply puppets, actors appearing at the ‘right place in the right time”. But if it was not for them, other, similar characters would have filled their roles reaching the very same consequences.

History and evolution are out of the hands of human beings. We are all playing out our parts and purposes in a “cosmic process” that has a very distinct beginning and a predetermined end. And in this process, we all have a very precise, unique role and purpose to play.

Our ole is not to change or drive and influence things. Our role is to come to understand the “rules” and the purpose of this process, we need to come to understand and fulfil our role in it willingly and consciously.

Obviously, this “version” of history and evolution goes against our illusory, egocentric, subjective and self-justifying worldview, but this is the actual, “Natural” concept and truth nevertheless. And the sooner we accept this truth and start adjusting, developing ourselves towards it proactively and willingly, the sooner we can rise above the seemingly recurring, blind and vicious historic cycles.

If we do not try to assert our own misguided authority over the Natural, evolutionary process, if instead of ignoring and resisting it we consciously flow with it, everything with us and around us will change for the better.

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Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.