The Way Of The Wolf

The wolf makes its living by way of the hunt. The wolf doesn't hide and wait for his prey like a snake, he/she actively searches for their dinner. Sometimes solitary but most often in cooperative groups, the wolf seeks its prey, the prey seeks to avoid the wolf. The wolf, like most of its prey, is warm blooded so both are driven to action by their relentless metabolic demands. The prey, be they mice, deer or buffalo, gathers its dinner from the more sparse floral protein in its domain. The predator gathers its dinner from the more concentrated protein of its prey.

Among the many ways of seeing and being, we in the western world often choose to use categories as our way of seeing. Our categories, though, are but arbitrary divisions of a continuous whole, they have evolved in our western culture because they are a useful tool in the triage of incoming information that might otherwise overwhelm us. Categories allow us to make quick judgements and to act on them. Categories, and other mental shortcuts, have been such a successful strategy that we westerners now do it unconsciously, but all shortcuts have shortcomings. One shortcoming of using categories, like predator and prey, is that we overlook the fact that these mental shortcuts are tools not truths.

The real world shows us that predator and prey are one. That their populations and the abundance of the their domain rises and falls in an intertwined dance. That the health of the prey depends on the health of the predator as much as on the abundance of the flora it gathers. The prey grow stronger and more efficient over time by the actions of its predator, the predator and the flora also evolve over time as each becomes a better dancer.

Thoughts and ideas too gain strenght and efficiency over time not by the action of the herd, but by the challenge of the skeptic, the outlier, the predator. The weak and the old, be they ideas or buffalo, fall first to the skeptic or the wolf. Like mice or moose, we men and our ideas only grow stronger from the actions of our predator cousins. We, mice and men, predators and prey, are all in this one life together.

We Might As Well Dance Eh!