Human beings put a lot of faith into the Future, putting it - not with their writing but with the meaning they put in - with the capital F. We project our desires onto it and expect them to happen, and what it doesn't happen, we become sad, angry, confused or startled. Sounds silly to do so: to make up our mind about a part of reality based on an idea we enjoy and find ourselves confused once the image in our heads doesn't equate to what exists.

We do the same with the past, as well; perhaps more so, or, at least, more tangibly so, since we have a more or less solid base to compare present with. We hold onto things that aren't here in hope for or fear of one thing or another, and when those things don't happen as we were certain they would, we don't understand how such a thing might ever happen: how our concept of reality doesn't coincide in reality acting on it.

Dr. Neil Tyson once said: "The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you". Astrophysicists being the modern equivalent of theological philosophers, what with the sense of awe one's brought to when observing the Universe, he is to be believed. It is our desire to make sense of things that happen - and bring to order things that don't follow reason or logic. It is our need to reside in an order, whatever order we consider most fitting for us.

For all the progress we've made in making sense of life - or, in discovering how little sense it makes on its own - we're still self-centered beyond belief. As sapient as we consider ourselves to be, we still view the world around us through the lens of our self, our beliefs, desires and needs. It's not to say that our sapience is somehow worthless or pointless in that respect: it's to say that we love the idea of the world belonging to us, stemming directly from the child's ego most of us falsely think we grew out of, that we accept it as fact. Can we ever be more wrong...

And when we see that the reality we witness doesn't act in accord with our desires, sometimes, we choose to simply believe with more resolve that it should, that it has the obligation to, as if it would somehow coerce the world into doing so. Whatever the reason, it is when we start to do so that we also begin to make up ideas about reality - or, if we are to be sincere with ourselves, about the way it should work according to our desires - and with that, we delve deeper into ourselves and further away from what things really are. It is then that we turn plans into predictions - the bigger the things we predict, the more certain we feel about them - and it is after those predictions fail that we experience various degrees of confusion.

Silly when you think about it. Makes a lot of sense when it's you doing it.


I was tempted set the community tag for this to #buddhism. Reminds me a lot of buddhist commentaries I have read about impermanence, clinging, and self.

posted by user-inactivated: 680 days ago