Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
When I was still small, I was certain darkness could hide terrible threats—especially under my bed. I would lie in the absolute center of my mattress, hoping the long, spindly fingers of the fiends beneath couldn’t reach me. To neutralize their powers, I kept my eyes shut as tightly as I could. If I didn’t look at them, they couldn’t exist—a concept not entirely divorced from quantum physics or propaganda channels disguised as news.
Ancient peoples often based life choices on observations they made of the world around them. Some learned to live in harmony with the earth in order to survive. Some tried to impose their will on nature. Certain individuals struggled to understand what they could perceive. Others didn’t want to see too much. They wanted a simple world based on might and right—both of which they would determine by their own means. Some came to despise understanding because it made them feel lesser—especially if enemies or subordinates understood something they did not. Wisdom was ignored and even destroyed. None of that has changed. The film THE CURRENT WAR depicts the rivalry between Edison and Westinghouse and Tesla, a rivalry based on ego and fame instead of the greatest good for humankind. Perhaps part of the reward for acting on conscience instead of ego lies in the fact that you may be the only one who recognizes your triumph, leaving it pure.
A fascinating aspect of observation is that insights change as observational methods change—at least that’s true for people who are open-minded. Many cringe at the thought of questioning anything they KNOW to be true, so they don’t. The close-minded have the advantage of certainty without proof. They can choose any source they like and shut out everyone else and all other observations—temporarily and sometimes permanently. Such is their life choice.
Meanwhile, greater technology and open minds can provide us with the option to have access to a far greater information base. The universe is not as we once imagined it to be. We bump into observations that are uncomfortable. For example, animals possess more awareness than we had assumed. Suddenly our feed lots and kill shelters and even our zoos look less benign. We glimpse our world’s dependence on what we had labeled as lower life forms. Moreover, the universe seems to be filled with life we can’t predict. We have to stop mocking and wonder which reports of visitations or life-friendly environments should be taken seriously. We discover life itself may not be tied to brain activity or oxygen levels. In fact, it may not be tied to an existence we identify as physical. How can we be certain? Have we misunderstood some of the teachings of the greatest sages? Perhaps certainty is antiquated.
We feel threatened by fresh information that invites us to change our habits, because we don’t like to change unless we see an immediate benefit for us in it. What if we embrace the excitement of new possibilities? We are gifted with many people who do. What if we delight in the idea that we are more or perhaps simply different from what we believed ourselves to be? What if we turn our backs on those who would set us one upon the other? Must we go the ways of lost civilizations before us? Can the fearless stand against the fearful and create a truly enlightened human society? Or not. Close your eyes really tightly and nothing seems to change. What we see in the dark comes from within us.