Robert A. Wilson’s “Prometheus Rising” was riveting, funny, enlightening and disturbing all at the same time. He captures the essence of our potential incredibly well, while at the same time mocking our mammalian tendency for wanting to fall into the hierarchical animal pack.
Humans are born with the ability to understand the self, and therefore consciously able to switch interests, personas, even worldviews.
Yet most of us gravitate to one kind of music, one particular worldview, one type of food.
Ants do it because it’s a part of their genetic code. Humans ‘specialize’ for reasons of ‘comfort’ – hence the term ‘comfort food’ – what we know and understand gives us security.
We’ve even built a society around the idea that every human plays a particular role. The human capable of so many wonderful ideas, visions and emotions is reduced to being a small screw in a greater machine – and we, more often than not, let the societal tendency to specialize drown the soul in monotone gray of sameness.
But, given the gift of stepping out of our own specialization, why not indulge in that gift? Why not surround ourselves with others who understand, who ‘get’ what it means to be fully human? In Sheldon Vanauken’s heart-renching love auto-biography “Severe Mercy”, he writes that he and his lover suspend judgement and read, listen to, and try to experience everything the other has ever read, listened to, enjoyed and experienced – because they wanted to become as close and intimate as humanly possible.
A challenge to you then. Step out of your favorite music. Step out of your view of the world. Force yourself to learn why it is that others who don’t think like you think the way they do. Step back from judgment, and erase your criteria for living.
Maybe, just maybe you’ll realize there’s an infinite dimensionality to this reality we’ve only begun to understand, appreciate and love.
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