There are exceptions, such as when I travel, where I end up unconscious on some other horizontal surface, but it’s as sure a rule as any that no matter what kinds of wild or unpredictable events happen during the day, the conclusion is quite predictable: me, horizontal and comatose.
~ David Cain
Elsewhere, I’ve written specifically about sleeping. Sleep itself is fascinating, and a critical component to—well, everything; Life, quality thereof, the ability to think, and so on.
But until I read David’s piece, I’ve never had the vertiginous perspective of millions of people laying out horizontally and slipping unconscious. A rolling wave of countless people passing into unconsciousness as the world rotates. It’s eery, a third of all people are unconscious right at this moment. Also this moment. And in a relatively few more moments, I will be unconscious again.
I’m not certain, but I think my perspective upon first awakening may have shifted a little towards the, “oh! This is interesting,” end of things.
Social conditioning may have convinced you that sacrificing your happiness to maintain a certain bank balance, to send timely payments to corporations to which you’re indebted, or to pay for someone else’s needs and expenses is the proper way to live. Perhaps your parents played a role in this conditioning as well, teaching you the importance of being responsible and holding down stable employment.
~ Steve Pavlina
There’s a lot of value to the idea of, “and now that you are moving, you can steer.” Lots of metaphors here: A ship’s rudder doesn’t work unless the ship is moving; A car cannot turn around unless it is moving; etc. But there’s a vastly bigger picture that, “you can steer,” will never reveal.
It doesn’t matter how fast I’m “moving” or how well I “steer” if I’m on the wrong eff’in continent.
Steve often writes phoofy new-age mumbo jumbo stuff that I can’t even read. Why do I keep reading [you might ask]? Filter bubble. Perspective. Articles like this one which challenge the reader to wipe off the entire board and consider redrawing the plate tectonics.
For the first time in all of time, men have seen the Earth. Seen it not as continents or oceans from the little distance of a hundred miles or two or three, but seen it from the depths of space; seen it whole and round and beautiful and small… To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know that they are truly brothers.
~ Archibald MacLeish
The linked article is about Carl Sagan’s, Pale Blue Dot, but the quote is from a less well-known poet, Archibald MacLeish. He wrote an essay titled, Riders on the Earth, which appeared in The New York Times on Christmas Day, 1968.
I am well aware that this blog is a long sequence of my ideas which are inspired by others’. There’s a reason I lead with the link to the seed from which each idea germinated.
I recall exactly when, and where, I was when I had the idea to restart blogging. (Aside: Another reason I love my long-standing habit of journaling is the ability to look up things like this to audit my memory.) I cannot imagine where I would be today—frankly, there’s no chance I would have gotten to where I am today—if I hadn’t started this place to unpack my thoughts.
A nice example of this lesson, from a site which doesn’t normally go in for the philosophical perspective on things.
What made me link to it is the quote—you’ll simply have to click—about the glass being already broken.
Life is a solo trip, but you’ll have lots of visitors. I say this a lot and always will. Your life is one long unbroken experience, and you’re the only one who’s there the whole time. Visitors will come in and out of your experience. Most of them are short-term and you won’t notice when they’ve made their last appearance.
~ David Cain
I’ve had this idea myself. That I won’t notice when this instance—this experience right here, right now, with this person—is going to be the last experience with this “visitor.”
You might think, as I once did, that this state of uncertainty must always be the situation. Because, how would you know for sure if this moment right here was the last moment with this visitor?
Have you, perhaps, figured out that answer?
Everything there is, everything we know, hinges on this one bizarre, transient condition — existence — which just happens to be your current reality. We regard the miracle of existence as a goldfish regards water, which means we don’t regard it at all. But if you think about it, it’s an exceedingly peculiar fact — that we exist.
~ David Cain
My energy and drive to write waxes and wanes. But my desire for perspective is constant. Here’s a big ol’ chunk of a different perspective from David Cain.
My favorite sort of perspective—this has happened to me several times—is when I am completely exhausted. Not sleepy, but physically exhausted. Sometimes this has been when I have a slight fever, when a bout with the flu is beginning. But sometimes it’s just after a long day of physical labor. I lay down, and every muscle in my body is completely relaxed. There’s no urge to fidget, and no urge to move. When I’m completely relaxed like this, exhaling is such a delightfully emptying feeling.
…and sometimes my brain gets quiet enough to think, “oh! This is quite nice.”