Posted by Tom Kershaw in on -
I think modern civilization makes it even easier to do what’s easier. It’s no longer necessary that every family must work their own field and raise their own livestock and govern their own tribe. I write this, by the way, as I sit in my apartment, impatiently awaiting the delivery of my new washing machine.
Things are particularly easy in smaller doses. Of course, it’s unfathomable to our minds that everything “is one,” but we’ve gone even further. We’re not a species; we’re Germans or Indians or fans of the Philadelphia Eagles or Mormons or Republicans or BMW owners or someone who only listens to vinyl or whatever. It’s dizzying the number of ways we’ve devised to split and fracture ourselves.
One of the great maxims of science is that nothing should be conceived of as more complicated than is absolutely necessary.
From a wide angle, humans and their ways are quite complex. But from behind our own eyes, it’s all very simple. I am what I understand myself to be, everyone else rambles through my periphery, separate and distinct from my “self.”
But now these paradoxes are getting too complicated.
It’s only natural—too much sonder, as they say these days—would be confusing. Who’s got the time? To evaluate each political issue, for example, would be too time and energy consuming. Rather see what my favorite pundit has to say about it, or hold it up to my ideological scaffolding, see if it hangs.
I’m as guilty as anyone. My nickname is high school was “Commie Tommy.” I had a Che Guevara T-shirt. I listened to Rage Against the Machine, hung on every word that came from Tom Morello’s mouth. If only that was the most embarrassing aspect of my teenage years.
Now, I’m confused rather often. Where do I put new information? I’m no longer satisfied to accept or reject something based on previously held ideological notions. When something new arises, I think: “Is it good for me? Is it good for everyone else? Should I worry that it’s good for everyone else or just worry about myself? What do all the certified MENSA members in the comments section have to say? I should probably think the opposite to be safe.”
Of course, this paves the way for relativity, something rather dangerous in its own right. It’s quite good for some things, like what kinds of music someone likes or questions such as: “Do you more enjoy spring of autumn?” But for others, there does exist truth and falsehood, joy and suffering, creation and destruction.
The fact of the matter is we are more complex creatures than we are simple. Just inside our own minds is something seemingly endless. What is it? You don’t even know! If you did, please enjoy your tenured position at the Ivy League university of your choice and a legacy as long as the human race happens to survive.
Then, make it bigger. Think about society. All of those little microcosms bumping into each other, communicating, doing things, bouncing ideas and thoughts around, trying to reconcile their own will with their family, their community, their country, their race, their species.
It’s so much easier to say things like: “This group is good, that one is bad. I’ll do and think and say what they do and not what ‘the other’ does.”
But that’s not fair, it’s not correct and you know it. You live it, but you know it’s not at all accurate. It’s like a biologist saying that skin cells are good and liver cells are bad. It’s absolutely ridiculous. And it is counter-productive to the progress of biological science because it’s simply not true and it misses the whole point. Biologists absolutely must understand that it’s all part of this overwhelmingly complex system.
Is being human any different? Surely not!
The truth, the real honest-to-goodness truth is that “you” and “we” are complex. There are all sorts of bits and pieces to us, separate in their own way, but joined together to make us human. And man, it’s hard work getting down to the truth, especially when we’ve got kids and bills and surviving on our minds.
That’s why I understand why the work I do for TOP goes relatively unnoticed, why THEE in its entirety has yet to take off. Where to begin, right? How can a grand ordering seem so chaotic? What does “RH’7” mean anyway? How do I wrap my head around a spiral or a tree or an oscillating duality? I just clicked a link to get some insights on how to make my business profitable, expecting some pithy 10-step article about location and advertising and customer service.
I know what you got. I created the link!
We are always considering how to make THEE and TOP more accessible. Someday we might strike communicative gold.
In the meantime, take my word for it that what’s going on here is important. It’s truth and beauty and symmetry and, yes, even simplicity itself at times.
And if you’ve got the energy and time, talk to us! Challenge a claim I make in the blog. Ask for clarification or give your opinion in the comments section of thee-online. Have a conversation on Twitter. Leave a comment on Facebook. Watch a YouTube video and tell us what you think. I guarantee that conversing with you would be the highlight of my workday. And we both might learn something in the process.
- Tom Kershaw
- Hi! I'm Tom and I am a full-time writer, musician, and father to a firecracker of a four year-old. My wife and I lease our house and cars from her in hopes that her considerable talents of mess-making, princess-impersonation, and stuffed animal-whispering will pay off and fund our eventual retirement in the south of France.
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