The evolution of empathy

Could a greater sense of empathy change what it means to be human, and possibly even save the world?


NETFLIX | SENSE8 – OFFICIAL TRAILER

Sense8 tells a story that invites let us to play with ideas of self and relationship; identity and community; connection and diversity; physical, emotional, and mental feeling, consciousness and communication; individual and collective evolution. The Netflix show is a powerful, new, present-day mythology for a world that dreams of greater connection, meaning, and purpose.



Reference

Netflix | Sense8 – Official Trailer


CHRIS ARRANT (SPINOFF ONLINE) | J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI DISCUSSES COLLABORATING WITH WACHOWSKIS FOR NETFLIX’S SENSE8

We started out at one point talking about how evolution involves creating ever greater circles of empathy: You belong to your family, then you belong to your tribe, then two tribes link up and now you have empathy for your people on this side of the river, and you’re against the people on the other side of the river … on and on through villages, cities, states and nations. One day we’ll hit the planetary level but we’re not there yet… So what if a more literal form of empathy could be triggered in eight individuals around the planet… who suddenly became mentally aware of each other, able to communicate as directly as if they were in the same room. How would they react? What would they do? To what degree could they accept each other? What does it mean?


Reference

Chris Arrant (Spinoff Online) | J. Michael Straczynski discusses collaborating with Wachowskis For Netflix’s ‘Sense8′


JEREMY RIFKIN (RSA) | THE EMPATHIC CIVILIZATION LECTURE

Empathy is what allows us to stretch our sensibility with another so that we can cohere in larger social units. To empathize is to civilize. To civilize is to empathize…

We know that consciousness changes in history. The way our brain is wired today is not the way a medieval serf’s brain would be wired, and their brain wouldn’t be the same as the wiring of a forager hunter 30,000 years ago.

So the question I asked at the beginning of this study six years ago… is: how does conscious change in history? Because I wanted to imagine the following proposition… is it possible we could actually expand our empathy to the entire human race as an extended family? And to our fellow creatures as part of our evolutionary family? And to the biosphere as our common community?…

So when I went back in history, I asked: what’s the process in which consciousness changes and empathy develops? I believe… when we bring new energy and communication revolutions together, we shift consciousness [and] empathy extends to new domains.



Reference

Jeremy Rifkin (RSA) | The empathic civilisation lecture (51:46)


Related

Jeremy Rifkin (RSA Animate) | The empathic civilization (10:40)
Jeremy Rifkin | The empathic civilization website

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