Having spent a quality amount of time away from publishing any posts on this space, it feels good to check in every so often. My time away has not been wasted. Rather than writing to simply publish, I have kept to journaling and reading new books and listening to fresh and new ideas (at least to me).
We look at the world around us, or rather we look at our immediate surroundings and believe it to be the whole ecosystem. The whole universe. But that is not the case. At all.
For you or me to believe that we have all the facts and knowledge of everything going on around us is burdensome.
It’s ultimately foolish.
I believe that Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is present in all phases of our life. We only realize the frequency of such phenomena if we scrutinize it properly. While this can lead to over-contemplation, I find it necessary to maintain a healthy level of skepticism in all facets of our life.
It’s the Platonic viewpoint of ignorance and intellectual freedom that I believe we must keep at the forefront of our minds throughout our day. Escaping the cave has immensely diverse implications for each of us.
I have left many “caves”, so to speak, only to find myself in new ones. Some I’ve wandered into with intention. Some I’ve entered unknowingly. Some I’ve stumbled into by mere inquiry and reflection.
Only upon having new experiences, self-reflection, and simply growing older can we all
1) Identify the caves we all used to inhabit.
2) Identify the caves we’ve emerged from or abandoned.
3) Identify the caves we might find ourselves in now. This scenario is particularly tricky because I equate this idea to complacency or comfort, meaning, on one hand, you could be very happy here and have no complaints. On the other hand, you could be very misguided, confused and have no idea which way is ‘up’ and which way is ‘down’.
Of course, by this point, the “caves” I am referring to are ideologies, narratives, relationships, life experiences and the philosophies that influence the way we live and guide the way we make decisions.
To travel from cave to cave means to immerse yourself (sometimes voluntarily, sometimes by force) in the ideas of such a dwelling and over time decide whether it is useful or worthless and no longer suits your personal growth. And for each of us, the amount of time spent inside that -XYZ cave is subjective. Extremely subjective.
Now with all of this having been said-
The Cosmic Perspective “cave” is where I currently reside. To tackle and reckon with this realization means to illuminate all of our shortcomings and insignificant traits without mercy.
The cosmos is unfathomably immense and we are but a grain on a rock drifting through it. When we realize it’s enormity and our tininess, it is stupefying, messy and near impossible to wrap our minds around it.
I understand that I am not significant by any means. The fact is 96% of our bodies are made up of the most abundant elements found in the observable universe (Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen) which makes you and me a blip. A mere dust particle in the constant expansion and collapse of all things.
So what use is it go about my day with this comprehension of my infinitesimal-ness?
I view many a thing with an open patience. I see on the grandest scale that whatever happens to me is merely happening.
My Cosmic Perspective is built upon the shoulders of my life experiences, my personal relationships, and philosophies, and it has aided me in clearing away the constant clinging sensation for temporary pleasures or sadness or happiness or danger or constant need for security.
And of course, I still find myself caught in the numerous traps of human nature; anger, impatience, short-sightedness, jealousy, loneliness. I also continue to feel the wondrous sensations of friendship, laughter, compassion, wisdom, relationships, courage, achievement.
I posit to you that by acknowledging the fact that we are mere drops in the ocean and by accepting that, on a cosmic scale, we hardly exist, we can realize the most of each moment spent today, good and bad. Make an effort to view the entire panorama of the human experience and view serious things and trivial things with equal parts skepticism, curiosity, and patience.
“We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.”
-Robert M. Pirsig