The human community is exploding and imploding at the same time. What we know about the world outside of ourselves, and inside of ourselves, grows exponentially every day. But the part of the human community that knows this knowledge grows daily further away from the vast unknowing majority of the human community whose daily labors produces the wealth that sustains the whole community.
But there is no “whole community”.
Humanity was cradled in community. Then it exploded out over the face of the earth, diversifying into innumerable communities that, discovering the roundness of the globe, now converge implosively upon each other in the global market. But the global market is not a community. It is an arena within which the diverse communities of humanity encounter each other with both brotherhood and fratricide.
Science, the machine of worldly knowledge, forms its own community. But in their hubris, the community of science eschews the questions community responds to: how to live a life and die a death that both have meaning.
Religion responds to these questions. But, being vane and jealous, religion fractures the human community into competing orthodoxies.
Along the shore of the unfathomable sea, an old man walks along the beach, mulling all this over, playing with the rippling waters with his bare feet, watching for the waves that might sweep in, waiting for the final turning of the tide. He holds in his hand a bauble, a toy, an intricate new device that can serve an old purpose. Put a note in a bottle. Cast it into the sea. Wait for an answer.