My Golden Retriever named Sam for instance, loves these two things: meat, and having something in his mouth. (To this day, he won't drop his tennis ball on command without pained reluctance.) One day he came up to me on the deck with an old work glove in his mouth; he held it as a piece of luxury. I quickly grabbed a piece of salami and draped it over his snout (he does this amazing trick of holding, and on command he snatches the salami out of mid-air). There he was, sitting with his two loves and having to choose between them: the grimy glove in his mouth, and the salami on his snout. He froze. The only thing that did move, was his drool which streamed into a puddle before his feet. Having garnered sufficient entertainment value, I ripped the glove from his mouth. Sam instantly snatched the salami from mid air with his usual precision.
In terms of the conventional ways we've come to use the word consider, we would say that Sam froze in his "consideration" between two of his loves. Our conventional use of the word though, is a weather worn statue of its original stature; Sam weighed the glove and salami equally, but he couldn't truly transcend his literal being and "see from the place of the stars"- which is the experience the word Consider was originally coined to carry. I'm often impressed by the depth beneath common words when I look into their etymology....
Okay. We really don't know how it gets here, but our ability to consider I would argue, is what allows us to transcend our biological literalness. The thing is, for us to experience consideration in its fullness, we need environments that let such a muscle flex itself: we need environments that can exist as uncertain.
Think about it: to consider is to experience perhaps our core human feature; but if there were no uncertainty, how could consideration be experienced? Consideration and uncertainty, together form a system that gives rise to an environment where our very humanness is felt, and flexed, and found. And this is the rub: We love consideration as long as it doesn't get too beyond our comfortable perches, and we love uncertainty as long as we can still touch bottom: we like conversations with colleagues and the anticipation of Christmas mornings.
We can't just live with colleagues though, nor can we compress a real future into a morning. No matter how hard we try.... And try. And try.
So if we can't make society homogeneous, and we can't shrink a future to a depth in which we need only wade, what's our next option? We have to develop the ability to understand one another with the same care we understand our selves, and we have to learn to navigate deeper waters.
And with this context in mind, we can get into the ideas of John Ralston Saul- ideas that let us further into our Human Complexity.