Hundreds years ago a small country born in the North America called proceeding to the West, developing there, finally reaching the Pacific coast and constructing a huge country Manifest Destiny. As history witnessed, America has become a superpower connecting the two oceans and to be sure, this destiny has come true.
It goes without saying that this slogan encouraged the people and gave the spur for faster development. But don't forget the fact that the bullet train ran over countless innocent passers-by, such as American Indians, their inheritance, buffalos, and fertile prairies and forest.
On the other hand, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, what goal are we human beings heading for? From the latter half of the nineteenth century well into the twentieth century, the bullet train became faster and faster, bulldozing, leaving too many victims in their wake, causing people to wonder if the twenty-second century would really come if rushing at this velocity.
Unlike Americans hundreds of years ago, the global citizens nowadays are divided as to where we are going now. Since no one is sure what is good for the future, any deviation from the conventional norm is justified. Now, at the behest of globalization, making money and accumulating wealth is encouraged as the greatest virtue. However, is getting rich the supreme goal for our kind?
Technological innovations accelerates, and what was once only a fantasy has become realized one after another, but what on earth is the final destination we are feverishly after? Assuming that our lives will have become convenient and abundant, and enable us to enjoy longevity without limit, how do these things make sense to us? And on top of it, what if all these things were built upon the suffering of the rest of us?
With all the environmental crises confronting us, we are nevertheless indulged in the further raising of our standard of living, and if the rest of the world should catch up with ours, there is no doubt about the end of our earth. Then how long are we to go on living like this?
Very few people have realized that the very effort to raise our standard of living will result in the global-scale disasters. Rather, those who talk aloud about the danger are regarded as the queer.
With exactly the same conviction as they had 200 years ago when they were enclosed in "a rural community", we are now living under the condition in which only technology is put an emphasis on. Unless we become keenly aware of the inevitable fate, we may well be called "the second dinosaur", that is, we are to be taken over by another species, as we see in the movie, "The Planet of the Apes"(Taken over by any creatures, it seems, will lead to the same catastrophe).
What is now needed is a definite goal which will enable human beings to go ahead. Unless this is a long-term perspective, not greed or material abundance, what did we come out of savannah, started walking bipedally and spread all over the world with unspeakable hardship for? And why do we make efforts to protect our environment?
In the limited space called the earth, what is the use of prevailing over other human beings and creatures? Already, oceans, forests, rivers and lands have been destroyed by their activities to the point of almost no return.
Monopoly of economics and technology is allowed to exist, no philosophy or policy or "tentative theory" to control them. Everybody thinks blindly of pushing ahead, only afraid of going back to poverty and inconvenience.
On the other hand, when we come to think of how human beings came into existence, we find how surprisingly the things have come to pass. It is true that all the substances in the universe have become more and more complex since the Big Bang, but it never seems to stop, and without anyone noticing, there appeared an ideal cradle called the Earth and life reaction has started to develop. Is it a chance or a necessity?
Some of the characteristics in nature seems to be a tendency to get more and more complicated and organized, provided an ideal condition. Flactal image gives us a large wave-shaped figure, but when we see it magnified, we find smaller waves are lined, and when we see the part much more magnified again, we find far finer waves there, and this goes on endlessly. The whole feature looks like rias coast.
If this tendency can be applied to the whole universe, the conditions being ideal, living things never fail to occur, and more and more complicated system comes into being.(though this is intuitional speculation)
That's why the steady tendency from the beginning of the universe is endlessly growing complication, so life on our earth is a typical example of this. But as we have already known when we explored the moon and Mars, most of the universe is a totally lifeless world because the condition is not fulfilled. However strongly we look forward to the existence of extraterrestrials, this universe is too futile to nurture lives.
Like in the case of a greenhouse, unless someone cares for the environment suitable for the life, only the eternal repetition of merely physical or chemical reactions will follow from the Big Bang to the end. Just as a small pool after a rainfall embraced by the boughs of an old tree can be found to nurture various kinds of insects, so this desolate universe may look something full of hope, provided the place where life can prosper.
In fact, variety and complexity is really valuable; from simple structures towards complex ones; from the few varieties towards hundreds of millions of varieties. Behold the sea. The number and variety of countless lives squirming beneath the surface is beyond our imagination. Above all, they keep prospering forever as long as the environment is under constant conditions.
Only human beings can recognize what these things are about. Apparently, there must be an assignment set aside for us. Life, the miracle of the universe, came into being on this earth. Such a miracle may hardly happen in this boundless universe. ( nay, may never happen.) On top of it, the places suitable for the survival is despairingly remote from one another, and will never be met or connected. There is an only one hope left; mankind with technology.
We have a children's story named "Seedfolkes". On a very cold day in winter, someone sowed seed in a desolate park. A girl happened to witness him from the apartment window and decided to go to the park on a warm spring day and found many tiny buds sprouting. Fascinated by the sight, she collaborated with her neighbors to plant many more flowers and herbs on the empty lot. By the end of the spring, there appeared a pleasant flower garden....
Mankind do have a mission to sow. We are propagating agents. It is a kind of agriculture tried in the universe. We immigrate into the places in the lifeless universe and each "island" bears new lives one after another.
To achieve this ultimate goal, we first have to get rid of anything terminating life. Bulldozer, chemical substances, garbage, greed and many other things contaminating our earth, and reconstruct the most suitable environment nurturing living things. And with the help of technology we have been very good at, we prepare for the voyage beyond our solar system.
Some day, countless "Noah's Arks" full of seeds designated for settling creatures in unknown stars, may spread beyond the horizon of the solar system just like seeds of dandelions fly away on a windy day, so many that they cloud the sky. If this comes true, the progress of our knowledge and technology will not have developed in vain.
First Written in February 2001