“Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.”
— Blaise Pascal, Pensées
I, born ov the void
create my existence
beyond space, beyond time.
I seek the infinite
and reach with outstretched arms
to become both all that I am and
all that I am not.
Emerging from the void
I encompass the all.
— G A Rosenberg
We all contain the void. It manifests through the black hole of our imagination through which anything may emerge. What we can imagine, we can become. It may take many existences but as we gain in knowledge and imagination, we become more than we ever thought we could be.
“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”
― Bill Hicks
We evolve as people and as cultures. The dance is ever continuing. We live in an age very different from our parents and our grandparents and our kids are growing up in an even different age. Yet so many of our societal institutions stay the same. Our public educational systems are still basically the ones set up to teach a generation of factory and office workers in the 1950’s. Oh they have newer technology yet the techniques are basically the same. Yet kids raised on the internet and modern gaming systems are very different than the ones that were not raised on them. The statistics for kids with learning difficulties (i.e. kids who just don’t learn the way that teachers are taught to teach them) are increasing and yet the educational system has not caught up. The same can be said for medical systems, welfare systems, religions, care for the disabled and almost any other system that you can name. Yet by and large modern society is so invested in these systems that they would rather fight over the money to fund them than come up with new ways of doing things that fit the way we live and learn.
Political budgets grow thinner and thinner. They have to find a way to fund the additional costs of keeping these moribund systems going and about the only budget that seems to increase is the salaries of the politicians. This has the result that every one of these systems fight for their slice of the budget and end up having to do more with less all in the name of keeping things going.
It’s all very good to point out the problems. There has been study after study saying what I am saying here and yet people fear change even when they know it may be the best thing possible for ourselves, our children and for society. Maybe if enough people realized the need to change and demanded it, our systems could evolve to match the pace of our culture. Until then, it seems we slide down the slope. Because ultimately there is only one alternative to evolution. One way or another new systems will come. Even if they are built on the ruins of our current ones. Wouldn’t it be better if we decided to consciously change things?
“We Die To Each Other Daily.
What We Know Of Other People
Is Only Our Memory Of The Moments
During Which We Knew Them. And They Have Changed Since Then.
To Pretend That They And We Are The Same
Is A Useful And Convenient Social Convention
Which Must Sometimes Broken. We Must Also Remember
That At Every Meeting We Are Meeting A Stranger”
— T. S. Eliot
We are all influx. We change by the moment even when we feel that we are stuck. As we change so does everyone around us. We cannot take another person’s being for granted even if we feel that we have known them for years. For not only do they have sides that we have never seen but they are constantly manifesting new elements of themselves. To deny them this is to deny our experience of them and choosing to look at an old snapshot rather than dealing with someone fresh, new and exciting. We may not always respond well to the changes. That is only natural at times and how we respond may easily become a catalyst for changes in ourselves. We are all changing evolving playful beings revealing and creating ourselves one moment at a time.
“The chess-board is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.”
— Thomas Henry Huxley
The Player on the other side determines what the game is. Sometimes it is checkers where the moves are relatively simple and I only need to think a few steps ahead. Sometimes he rolls the dice and my next play comes out to a combination of luck and telekinesis (“Are there any tele-kinetics out there in the audience. Raise my hand”) Sometimes we play Chess and strategy is required and like the quote says, he is fair , patient and unforgiving. More often than not he plays Dungeon Master and my life resembles a Dungeons and Dragon game that combines luck, skill and strategy to win out. The best thing about those times is the amount of choice available including who I get to be in the situation. If I could I’d figure out how to be a Magician Warrior Bard but then part of my nature seems to want to explore as many options as possible. Still Circumstances as well as whim determines the Player’s choice of game.
You may think that I abdicate responsibility when I speak of the choices of this player. You may even think I don’t have the courage to decide myself and so I embrace this ridiculous dichotomy. Yet its it still duality when we realize that the player on the other side is myself and every game and move designed with my evolution in mind?