The KEY Questions: What makes me so perfect?

A tribe is out hunting in the arid grasslands of the Savannah. They carry sharpened wooden spears that they have learned to hurl at their prey with extraordinary accuracy. Nevertheless they must exercise the greatest caution, because the animal they’re hunting is quick, powerful, and deadly. It will take enormous ingenuity and skill, not to mention teamwork, to bring it down. Though they’re naked as they crouch in the blistering African sun they are not troubled by the heat because they have always lived and hunted on these plains, and besides their bodies are fully encased in a coat of insulating hair. They walk with a bow-legged gait, more ape than man, and signal to each other with a series of soft grunts and whistles. Their small, beady eyes peer out nervously from beneath the bony ridge of their massive brows as they lie in wait among the trees and shrubs.

It’s midday, about three million years ago, and they are members of an early species of human, perhaps Australopithecus.

Five of their number, all young males, have broken away from the main group. Being less experienced than their elders they have been following a trail and simply not noticed how far they’ve strayed from the other hunters. Suddenly, without warning, the ground beneath their feet shakes and before they can move or utter a sound a huge feathered creature, ten feet tall, bursts through the undergrowth, immediately flattening two of them as it charges. They are killed instantly. The enraged so-called ‘Terror Bird’ – we wouldn’t recognize it today, something like an overgrown ostrich but far larger with a beak like the blade of an axe – heads straight for the remaining youngsters. Only one of the gang reacts swiftly enough to save himself. His reflexes kick in and in less than a second he is halfway up the nearest tree, narrowly escaping the creature as it squawks and bellows in rage, attempting to reach him with its outstretched beak. Lucky for him this relic from the age of dinosaurs can’t fly. There he stays, traumatized, shrieking in fear, until the rest of the tribe arrives to drive off, or kill, his attacker. Later, they mourn, and perhaps even bury, their dead. But the young ‘ape-man’ lives to tell the tale.

He is your ancestor. And very probably mine too. I don’t mean it in any vague or fanciful way but literally. Naturally this was an imagined scenario, but something very like it happened, and has been happening since the beginning of time. That young pre-human ‘boy’ grew to sexual maturity and passed on his genes to the next generation. Those genes that had given him the edge, slight but significant, over his brothers survived and flourished where they died out. His offspring possessed the same athletic build. And now here we are. You and I stand at the end of a long line of survivors, of ‘winners’ like him. Each of our ancestors – going back millions if not billions of years – ‘made it’ to the point where they could reproduce. With their fellow survivors they found solutions to the problems of finding food and shelter. They used their physical strength and mental agility to avoid the dangers they faced whenever possible, and to prevail against those dangers when they had no choice. And you are the result.

When I say that I am perfect, I’m not being vain. And when I pay you the same compliment, it’s not really a compliment. I’m not flattering you. This is science, more specifically genetics. Don’t be fooled by the population explosion that we see around us today. With seven billion people wandering the planet it’s easy to overlook the fact that we all sprang from that small tribe of primitive humans on the African plains. As recently as the last Ice Age, perhaps 10,000 years ago, it’s estimated that there were only a handful of humans left. We could so easily have gone extinct.

And let’s not forget that these early humans were also ‘perfect’ in their own right because their ancestors, over hundreds of millions of years, had been playing out the same drama, all the way back to when the first sea creatures crawled onto dry land. We take all this for granted at our peril. The Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought are gifts that have been a long time in the making. They are your inheritance, your birthright, and your destiny. Guided by Universal Spiritual Intelligence, and crafted by Darwin’s ‘law of natural selection’, they are yours to use freely and, I hope, wisely.

So now that you know you are perfect, what do you want to do?