The human body has been described by biologists as a colony of individual organisms living in concert like a hive of bees or a colony of ants. We hardly detect the individuality of those organisms, the cells, microbes and tissues that we know collectively as our body. In the same way we can say that a hive of bees is a singular entity. Everything that the individual bees do is for the purpose of maintaining the viability of the hive. That is no different than the individual organisms within our bodies, despite their wildly different forms and functions, all integrated into one system.
Isn’t it conceivable that from a higher level, all of humanity is a single being comprised of a wide variety of individuals? What do the concepts of individuality and privacy look like from this perspective?
Certainly there is individual expression in the cells and organisms of our body. What constrains that individuality so that the actions of some do not impair or imperil the lives of others, or are they in fact, so constrained? Is there any rough competition going on within the body?
What about privacy? What is the purpose of privacy? Intimacy requires privacy. Intimacy is a private experience. Is it necessarily so, or is it that at this point in our evolution we require certain circumstances to feel safe and supported enough to expose parts of our inner terrain that would otherwise make us too vulnerable? Is the trajectory of evolution to enable us to experience intimacy with each other more readily and more constantly? I say that it is.
The common implication of individualism in our American culture is that anyone can do whatever they want whenever the hell they want to. It seems that the caveat “as long as you don’t hurt anyone else” was added, reluctantly, later, as we ran out of frontier and started rubbing up against each other more closely. In that caveat is the crux of the matter.
In that caveat is the recognition that we are intimately connected to each other. Our social and civil morality is based on its Interpretation.