Posted: Tue, July 30, 2013 | By: MILE
If we woke up tomorrow on a pink planet with walking trees, birds that flew backwards singing in Latin, with rivers that flowed candy pine cones, and all kinds of marvelous spectacles and randomosities, then we would need to figure out what was going on. We would be looked upon with shame if we weren’t deeply interested in figuring it out. We wouldn’t be worthy of the senses bestowed upon us if we didn’t heed to the triggers that they pulled in our brains, outlining the baffling incomprehensible mystery that this would be.
So what would you do? If you awoke on this planet then would you be indifferent to it and be content to live out the rest of your life on that planet without trying to figure it out or get back? Would you sleep on cup cake beds, fish vegetables out of the sky with nets and watch the birds fly backwards as your body slowly decayed away into oblivion? Could you be content with that? Would the big picture mysteries be less important than your leisure time, than the hobbies and habits you would develop among the scenarios?
That pink planet with all of that stuff is what this earth is like, and you are still currently set to die before you can even begin to understand what is going on. Just because we have gotten used this place here, it doesn’t mean it’s normal. This existence is an off the charts, baffling, seemingly infinite mystery. In a world that doesn’t put very much time into teaching children how to spot fallacy out of theirs and others thinking, this can be easy to understand, but it is still not an excuse for death.
A version of one common fallacy that people succumb to, in bowing to death without batting an eye, is called the Stockholm syndrome. Another version of a fallacy that is currently holding people back from fighting death, with science and technology’s expanding, growing, proven tools all around us, is called Plato’s cave allegory. Those of us who view our entrapment, and as-of -yet inevitable decay on this earth, as unquestionably acceptable, need to realize that we have succumbed to this syndrome, are trapped in the cave.
During a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, hostages were taken and held over the course of a few days. They talked to their captors and overtime were not only endeared to their them but even defended them during the trials. This is also common during war time in which you can find many instances of captives helping out their guards, sometimes even taking guard shifts themselves.
In Plato’s cave allegory, two people are trapped in a cave, shackled down and facing a wall with a fire behind them. Objects are passed in front of the fire to project shadows on the wall in front of them. Having never been outside the cave, they conceptualize the entire world and all of existence in terms of these shadows on the wall. They don’t try to find a way out or strategize ways to find any. All of the potentials outside of the cave are lost to them.
We cannot afford to side with our captors of death and the diseases of aging. Like the people trapped in the cave, we cannot ever remain content to live out a life with limited understanding. We must continue to seek to uncover the mystery. We must do this until we finally know, and can decide what to do next, live or die, and other things, based on the big picture. We can’t be eager to jump into our graves. We cannot be content to let go of life based on such a limited understanding of what is going on. The Buddhist in China, the car bomber in Afghanistan, the human rights worker in Canada, the industrialist in the USA, the bushman in Zimbabwe, everybody everywhere, they all make life decisions based on a limited vision of the big picture, and they all think they are right. All of them are dying in a Stockholm cave, not working to know more of the big picture.
The possibilities are endless, and its not like there isn’t anything going on out in that vast mystery. Something is going on. The mysteries of the nature of infinity, dimensions, black holes, quantum mechanics… it all dances tantalizingly out of reach. As the marvels, depths and layers of History are uncovered, will you not care? Humanity will, after all, continue to pursue the answers. We can uproot much more definitive answers to things like how people got here and how the universe got here.
Do you want the answers? Mature priority setting comes from thinking about the big picture. We must seek more of it until we finally understand. We must escape the cave, we must escape our planet, we must escape traditional and form fitted thinking, we must continue to pioneer existence until we know the big picture of what it means to live, or until we are crushed by the randomosities of existence. We will never know what it truly means to exist until we figure out what is going on.