Thumb Butte seems to be waiting for heavy wet snow this morning. Some of its cracks and crevices are already highlighted by tendrils of white. The sun is hidden behind thick clouds that moved in during the night. They reflect the rays of sunlight away from the land and hopeful thoughts of warmth. The town of Prescott is hidden. The Bradshaw Mountains don’t seem to exist. The solstice has come and passed as winter has arrived. We tuck our chins into our collars and think of spring.

2023 will soon be a memory. It was a slice of the days of our lives that have passed. It is a history full of hopes, dreams, angst and nightmares. Deep in our minds are thoughts of disbelief: Things were going so well. We were solving our problems, weren’t we? A fortunate few of us basked in the security of plenty. So how could it happen that disruption, war, hate, ignorance, stupidity, and yes, even technology, were forces that eroded the very foundations upon which we built our lives?

There is an answer to all these questions, but it is not one we want to accept. There is something really wrong with our species. Deep within the evolutionary path reaching back over hundreds of thousands of years humans evolved traits that seem to welcome the destruction of good and the advancement of evil. Those traits have always been modulated by the human propensity to love one another, but only if others are like us and in the same tribe.

I have experienced 84 years that have fallen away like chapters in a book. My life started as World War II began to rage. By the time I was six over 80 million human lives had been brutally snubbed out. By the time I was 80, wars and human brutality had taken the lives of at least another hundred million humans. I wish it weren’t so. I wish I could continue to live on the top of my mountain and not be washed by the waves of human anguish caused by our species. I wish I could not understand what is happening in Ukraine, and Israel, in the Sudan, in China and almost every other place on our planet. But understanding rides on my shoulders in a head filled with the knowledge of reality.

Now the only hope for our species may be an alien life form that we have created in our own image to be omnipotent and omnipresent. This force is neither inherently good nor evil. It mirrors our species. Will it reflect love, good or evil? We are at the dawning of a new evolutionary period. This is the moment for humans to focus AI technology on the good and weed out our capacity to inflict horror.

2024 will be a pivotal year in human history. We pull into it with our coattails dragging hate, ignorance, stupidity, lies, and mob mentalities. Good and love are powerful energies, but are they powerful enough to create a spiritual awakening that shapes the future of our species? We will know very soon…