Humanity is Beautiful

Kindling Executive Director Peter Schulte’s upcoming book “Humanity is Beautiful” examines humanity’s limiting stories about itself; unearths a new, more helpful story. Here Kindling patrons can read early excerpts and drafts.

Sunrise over the savanna

The savannas

What if you could take a journey through time, viewing humanity’s growth and evolution all the way from your the first humans until today?

Human eye

“Modern” humans

For millennia, humans have had capabilities and capacities that proto-humans could never have imagined. These are the very traits that have propelled humanity into its dominant position in the world today. They are all unprecedented in the history of life on Earth.

Australopithecus skull


Proto-humans had many features and behaviors that would be very familiar to all us. But they did not yet have whatever makes us humans human.

a b e d d h

The anthropologist’s story

There is no objective definition of humanity. There is no objective time when humanity began. These are all stories we created for ourselves to help make sense of our world.

Brahmā, the Hindu deva of creation, emerges from a lotus risen from the navel of Viṣņu

The mythicist’s story

The mythicists’ stories are stories in the truest since. They were never intended to offer us historical truth; they were only ever meant to offer us symbolic truth.

The Dawn of Man Space Odyssey

The dawn of humanity

When did humanity begin? This is not an easy or even reasonable question. It is murky and debatable at best; subjective and unanswerable at worst.

Fountain pen on blank notepad

A new story

We need a new story: one that acknowledges both our accomplishments and failures, one that continuously motivates and inspires us into a better version of ourselves, one that unites us in a shared sense of purpose, one that acknowledges our capacity to grow and evolve as well as the many existential risks facing our species.

Sacred Valley, Peru

The Sacred Valley

I was in my late 20s, traveling in Peru for a work conference. Once the conference ended, I took a solo excursion from Lima to the Sacred Valley near the ancient Incan cities of Cusco and Machu Picchu

dominik vanyi Mk ls UBO E unsplash

Our fuel to drive change

Our story of outrage and despair at its core is the belief that we can only ever overcome our deep challenges by truly acknowledging and atoning for our deeply unwise, destructive, pathetic nature.

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