December 7, 2010

The Shadows On The Wall

Stepping back once in awhile is good. A different perspective often reveals truths that were impossible to see before. How often do we step back from our lives in order to gain clarity or consider the path that we are on; the big picture so to speak? Are we afraid of what we may see? Are we afraid of being unimpressed? One exercise I find extremely interesting is to sit alone in a crowded place and observe those around me. Many people seem to be looking for something. Perhaps they are looking for some sensory stimulation; perhaps they are looking for someone. Others seem to be very concerned about everything with the exception of where they are at that particular moment. Perhaps they are preparing themselves mentally for something in the future. Perhaps they are replaying an event that lays forever unchanged in their past. Like most other human beings, I have participated in both pastimes. I am amazed at the extent to which we live from our desires. This, I assume, can be bad or good -- depending on the desire. I wonder how many of us really scrutinize a desire before we let it steal a piece of our lives. And what is our criteria for letting it in? Even if we live with a moral code, how often do we make exceptions? There are many "gray lines" in this world -- I imagine we get pretty good at rationalizing the gray lines of our own moral code as well.

As in all societies across space and time, there is a great need for analysis. Analysis of the self. Society and its structures. Ideas, whether they have an apparent complexity or not. This analysis flies violently in the face of lies we are told to believe. Often times, no matter how convinced we are of our findings, the results can be hard to fully accept. Fully in the way in which we not only mentally acknowledge their existence, but also adopt them and make them permanent parts of our personality and ways of thought. Philosophers refer to this phenomenon as a "lifting of the veil". I believe it was a "cave" that had to be left behind in Plato's writings. Neo experienced it in The Matrix. Tyler experienced it in Fight Club. We somehow identify with this "other world" concept. But the systems and organizations we have come to despise are nothing more than human constructs. This tells me one very important fact. No matter how badly we feel called to join in the fight against this pseudo reality, we will most certainly be lost if the truth that first awakened us from our soulful sleep is not ignited with a spark every so often. Not only must we undo years of unquestioned learning, but we must also continue to dust and clean the new objects of truth. We must subject ourselves to constant reminders.

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