There is everyday life, and then there is the world that exists in the imagination and the subconscious. The world that one wishes, or fears, to exist, and that feels more real than reality.
Can one fail to make a full connection with reality? In thought, in emotion, and in physical sensation, is there ever something lost along the way? As if a network cable was broken and not transmitting every bit of data. An exchange still occurs, but there is loss in transit.
In this way reality offers only an inferior manifestation of ideas. Good, evil, beauty, and fulfillment; reality offers only distorted versions of these ideas. Yet, our minds are able to imagine a pure, wholly realized form to each of these ideas. Beauty unsullied exists in the imagination; a search for ultimate manifestation of ideas in those things which are outside of our mind’s eye will be fruitless.
In this way are our ideas only fully realized within the realm of our imagination. Our means of outwardly expressing these pure ideas is art; that is the basic principle behind its importance. Through the art of others, one may be given a chance to gain a greater sense of ideas which are not one’s own, and perhaps gain new ideas through subjective perception.
The wave is endless, uncaring. The being of water cannot be changed physically; it is the same substance whether it is in the Pacific Ocean or in a storm drain, whether frozen in the Arctic or wafted from a steam engine. Nature cannot violate this rule; only the chemist.
The form of water will not change. In a similar way, plants grow as they will. If able to survive, the same flowers will bloom, regardless of environmental factors such as the color of objects around them, pollution, or the intentions of a gardener.
Existence, evolution, is a clash between beings as they are now and the forces, both internal (mutations) and external (environmental factors) that will force them to change.
Today I saw a sign thanking the residents of Edmonds for campaigning against the building of a water treatment plant on some of the cliffs overlooking town. That location now houses luxury condos.
Sometimes the answer is that there are no answers. It may be that one must simply accept the existence of paradoxes and contradictions.
I would put forth the idea that one must not only accept life’s realities, but embrace them. To live is to confront life every day; what else is there for a human being to do?
Some popular discussion has occurred on the idea of positive thinking, and how it can improve your fortunes. I am certain that positive thinking itself will not improve anything. But, looking at my own experiences, success and a lack of negative thinking do seem correlated.
Perhaps positive or negative thinking is a regulator for one’s actions; for example, the part of a mind that deals with leadership takes cues from the part of a mind that processes emotion and feeling in how it conducts itself. With this model, trying to go at something with a negative attitude will significantly hamper your chances of success, in the same way as trying to harvest wheat with a fork.
Relating back to positive thinking, art is an excellent medium for seeing things in a way that is outside of the “good things, bad things” paradigm. I could make a case for Edmonds being a good city; I could make a case for it being a bad city. In the end, no matter what we think about something, the fact that we are experiencing it means that it becomes part of us. If tomorrow I moved to New York, it would not just be me, in New York, walking around the city: my experiences in my previous port of call would walk with me.
I’m going to mention grunge right now. Why? Kudos if you can determine the connection.
Common sense is an illusion; there are no universal ideas, and there never have been. Only the most basic evolutionary drives would even begin to qualify, such as the desire to reproduce or survive, yet it would appear that exceptions to even those may be found. There can be found devout followers of various religions and philosophies that swear off the ability to reproduce, and many examples can be found of people sacrificing their lives for others or committing suicide.
I would identify common sense as being a self-serving mechanism of reassurance that one’s beliefs are not questionable. Reasoning and examination are not necessary, since everyone knows it to be true and only an idiot would consider thinking otherwise. Everyone once knew that lightning signaled divine anger, or that the earth was flat. To suggest otherwise would have been unrealistic. It has proved beneficial that Pythagoras and Benjamin Franklin were aware of the fallacy of common sense.
Yet ideas of universally accepted and valid knowledge persist. We still make decisions without thought based on common sense. We still make moral judgments based on common sense. We even choose our friends and mates this way.
Common sense, like other widespread delusions, will not be dieing anytime soon. In fact, that is probably for the best; all philosophical discourse aside, it serves a culture well to have a widespread standard of thought and action that can serve to unify many people with different personalities. Yet it is exciting, and interesting, when some realize the nature of common sense and are able to go beyond it. Thus is begotten art, revolution, enlightenment, and, most importantly, progress.
As a young child, a curiously high number of my dreams were lucid; I was consciously aware that I was dreaming. I even had a rationale for ending a dream that I didn’t like.
Nevertheless, such dreams are a thing of the past. I never experience them now. Were they a characteristic of the freely flowing creativity of youth? Indicative of a particular mental state?
Freud speculated that dreams offered the clue to our inner consciousness; through this medium, our deepest fears, hopes, and psychological drives would manifest themselves. How lucid dreaming, and differing patterns of dreaming over the lifespan, figure into this equation is a mystery. There seems to be very little scientific information on the phenomenon; a Google search yields questionable results.
Someone once mentioned that Edmonds, Washington has a secret. I have an idea, an inkling, of what this person is saying. Yet I cannot make a concrete identification. Either the secret is too arcane to be known without a serious investment, or the secret is merely a fragment of one’s thoughts. Perhaps the ferry is the key to the puzzle.
Despite my liking for this town, I sometimes that there are too many cars and too little people. Outside of the small downtown shopping area, most people on the streets are either walking dogs or are solo travelers going to and from the ferry.
Perhaps the birds know the answer? They have little care for our constructed realities.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.” – William Blake
I think that Infinity is the key word here. There is a quality of utter complexity and unknowing about the sand in this picture. It is as if one was looking upon the desolation left in place of a dead civilization.
As I walk around this town my mind always wanders elsewhere. As I said, I like it, but there is a pervading emptiness, something that compels the filling of one’s mind with other ideas, other places. Edmonds is known for the arts; perhaps this is the reason, as the mind of an artist must be compelled to explore beyond physical evidence.
This is when every second is a challenge, every mental and physical faculty that you are in possession of is being put to the test. And you love it; you’re winning. The world is your playing field and you’re in the zone.
I experience beast mode when I’m working, or when I have a lot of schoolwork. This is a reason to value work; some dream of an idle, easy life, but without stress and challenges to your survival, you don’t get an opportunity to experience beast mode. I don’t like the sound of that life at all.
What does beast mode mean to you?