Through our lifetime, we experience things that sculpt who we are and then in turn also sculpt how we process those same experiences. In that sense, there is a never-ending on-going feedback loop between who we are and what the world is. Through this process, we acquire an image of what the world is with us in it – and ourselves in the world and its impact on us – and these two processes, while similar, are very distinct but still inextricable.
In order for one to learn about oneself, truly learn about oneself – oneself needs to separate one’s own mind from the world and engage with one’s mind cognitively and emotionally. At the same time – to learn about the world, one needs to entirely forget about oneself and merge with the world, cognitively and emotionally.
I believe that the key to a stable, happy and healthy mind is to find that boundary between – me and the world. This is no physical boundary, as it is a boundary in the mind, and therefore not limited by the body, or a suit of armor or any such thing. It is a boundary that defines one’s own beliefs, values, feelings, opinions as integral and untouchable and, which I find essential, outside of reach, by the world. It’s sort of like being a visitor in your own body, recognizing it as a vessel, a means of experiencing this world but not being defined by it.
If I was to use an analogy – it would be like – I need my eyes to see the clouds in the sky. But my body is so much more than just my eyes – and the world is so much more than clouds in the sky. Through this analogy – I am much more than this human body allows me to experience – and – the “world” is so much more than this human body allows me to observe.
This brings me to the subject of science. Where religion and philosophy have lost their foothold in explaining and even preaching about what the world is, what we are, what I am – there science has taken their place.
Back in the day – it used to be – if it’s not in the Bible – it doesn’t exist. These days it’s – if it hasn’t been proven by science – it doesn’t exist.
Another interesting point to be made here is when it comes to things that clearly do “exist” as they are observable by the human mind through its vessel – the human body. Religions, philosophies and science, all of which I clump together here deliberately – have their say in what a particular thing is and is not.
It’s a rock, it’s limestone, it’s calcium carbonate.
All of these strategies of “explaining” what something is or is not have one single purpose – and that is to provide the “meaning” of the thing being (or not being) observed.
This meaning then directly feeds back to what I’ve spoken about in the beginning – to what “I” am and what the “world” is. The meaning is what relates the “I” with the “world”. However, both the “I” and the “world” are limited experiences, human ones, and the virtue by which their relation has been construed is also limited as it came from either the “I” or the world or their interaction.
In the end – what is sufficient – is just the awareness that our sense of who we are and what the world is – is an illusion – both to ourselves and the world. Just to know that there is more to “everything” than you will ever know while you’re here. And then – you’ll still go in the kitchen and make some eggs and bacon without contemplating about what the egg is and who you are etc. Things don’t need to be that complicated. But just being aware, being conscious of the limitations of human experience, is enough.
An analogy here is that brushing your teeth in Denmark and brushing your teeth in Japan will still remain “brushing your teeth” – but the awareness that your body is in a different place is important.
Now imagine being aware that while your eyes are reading these words and constructing a meaning out of them – who you are and what these words are and what the meaning is – is so much more than you’ll ever be able to comprehend.
And science will not bring you any closer to the truth, nor religion nor philosophy.
This brings me to the point of how we interact with each other. If you’ve understood what I’ve said thus far – you will also understand that there is no-one that is more “right” than the other person. There is no one that is more “wrong”.
Someone might then say – “yes, but what I say is documented by science and what Joe says is just an experience that cannot be scientifically proven”. Nope.
What you’re saying is that “you” derive meaning of things through what science can prove and that is important to you. Joe derives his meaning by other means. But in the end – both you, and Joe and what both of you say – is limited – and both of you a part of a greater whole that you don’t understand – which makes you both – equal.
With this realization – how could we all ever do anything else but respect each other for what we are?
How could we ever fight about anything? How could we ever feel anything else for each other but love?
But I also know that when someone is determined to believe in something – they will find proof of it in everything they see. And by arguing about what is and what is not – nobody’s opinion will really be changed – quite the opposite – everyone’s respective opinion will in fact be strengthened and we will be that much further apart.
But that is also part of the love that I speak of – to understand that there are others who walk a different path than we do. And if we are limited in making sense of our own human experience – who are we to make sense of others’ experiences?