“The task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what no body yet has thought about that which everyone sees. … But life is short, and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.” (Arthur Schopenhauer, 1818)
The Looking Glass: Amidst The Chaos
In all directions surrounding the small rocky planet we inhabit, the clockwork of the universe is at war. Small debris everywhere are traveling paths of inertia until collision mates them with larger material bodies. After thousands, or possibly millions, of cosmic conglomerate collisions, planetesmials both grow and shatter at the same rate of probability. Those surviving continue to build mass up to the point that the gravity of a nearby star pulls at and positions them into a spiraling structure. Expanding in/at certain points, and devouring itself at other points. From a finite and demanding point of view, we might fathom that it is all part of an elegant scheme. Man kind is now lifting up chaos driven rocks in hope that an underlying grand purpose resides there. Yet, none is seen without persisting in fabrications. Measured by humanity’s cumulative five senses, the scope of experience breeds questions with every problem it resolves.
As with the business of space – From an angle, we can see both the edges of our understanding expanding into incomprehensibility, and being crunched into meaninglessness at fine intersections meeting with our deduction. The chaos of our dealings is similarly apparent. Like the cosmos, we are at war – both internally and externally, as individuals and societies. Colliding, crashing, coming together and falling apart. And…as with the universe, forces at play serve as both the source of, and attempts to order, the chaos. Like each planet found in our solar system, social identities are distinctly unique and beautiful. This diversity can be seen in the ways in which societies communicate. Every cultural language contains a conclusive number of terms and values. Each word carries a fragmented meaning with it. Depending on the context in which each value is used, the meaning varies to a degree. Furthermore, the individual interprets each word through unique association(s). These associations factor in emotional values imposed by the subject upon the word’s discovery. Ultimately, language plays a center role in cognition and communication. Through social interaction, people share thoughts, feelings, ideas, and develop a limited understanding of the world around them.
Information travels through a neural transitory system psychologists refer to as cognition. The process of cognition involves the defining moment (or, millisecond) of the information. The data is then converted in preparation for cerebral optimization, and filed away in categorized pockets of memory. The primary uptake of sensory data is seldom used. Useful, or necessary, information, such as linguistic terminology, is retrieved from the files of memory frequently for utilization. Cognition is a multifunctional process and carries out a number of different tasks. Depending on the task, cognition carries out dissimilar functions that tap separate neural patterns. Cognitive processes include imagery, decision, conceptual, deductive, and reasoning functions. Thinking is a widely used term, but most people’s understanding is not synonymous with the actual cognitive pattern of thought. Thought process exceeds basic cognitive function, as it forges synergies between two or more functions to achieve its aim – namely, concepts and imagery.
Applying concept to imagery formulates an inductive thought. Often, thoughts drift through the conscious mind with open reign. That is, until a problem draws in focus. Problem solving/deduction and reasoning are central components of the decision making function/process. At birth, instinctual needs operate the body without thought, nor the need for it. As the brain develops, familiarity with the outside world expands and the intensity of interaction increases. Socialization is a natural feature of the human environment. Infants gaze up in wonder at giant faces and are comforted by an instinctual recognition of symmetry. Soon, they’ll be running in packs around the school yard or funneled into churches. It’s difficult being a child. Instruction is presented in a perpetual continuum by physical presentation of the surrounding environment and the solicitors of socialization. However, every attempt at building an absolute framework for understanding our cumulative reality is a cry to calm the chaos apparent in our consciousness.
“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe , a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty .. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” (Albert Einstein)
War, violence, famine, baseness, false entitlement, greed, separation, selfishness, poverty, exclusion, overpopulation, abuse…
These self inflicted wounds plague the world. Humanity; ill and misdirected. Our potential; lost on us. Time will judge whether we pass the test. A test not written in holy books as a riddle, nor handed down by gods or goddesses.
This is the test we face in ourselves and in each other that will decide on our place in the universe. No help is coming. We cannot be saved from ourselves. Choice is all we’ve ever had. Blind, deaf, and dumb and stumbling against the cold dark, banging an empty head insanely against unseen walls. Lack of sight is our plight, when we can see – there will be light. Perspective reveals our humane eyes, a greater purpose, and I speak no lie.
Our technology reflects genius dancing with impossibility as it exceeds our compassion by leaps and strides – as if leaving it to die. The tools of change linger at our fingertips – untouched. Accomplishment is a quiet accomplice when it is self serving – silent and devoid of universal meaning. Honored and remembered are the works of compassion – forever outshining the mundane.
Can the state of the world be changed? Yes, and it can start with one move of kindness – one simple and contagious practice of compassion. One positive change in perspective. There is no act too small. The message is universal. As Einstein noted, traditional thinking is no longer relevant.
It’s time to evolve.