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COOL Archives: Essay on the Human Condition - Part 2

Posted on Tuesday, November 14 @ 01:01:04 UTC by Wheels

The following is the second part of the personal narrative I will be updating from time to time. The first part is available here. I'm open to any and all suggestions, as this is a constantly evolving piece. I'm trying to avoid editing any prior work, but I may if this becomes large enough.

Essay on the Human Condition
A Personal Narrative

by Jordan T
Part II

One thing I'm learning is things rarely if ever turn out like you're hoping, rarely do they adhere to the vision in your head. It would make sense from every realist perspective that this would be the case. It naturally follows because the set limitations on human expression prevent us from fully communicating an inner vision into the outside, physical realm. And so they don’t readily manifest into our everyday reality exactly as we hope. We get inspired yet we seem to have such difficulty in communicating an inspirational moment beyond our selves. Inspiration is all around us, but the key to inspiration is recognizing when it has actually occurred. That recognition is the essence of epiphany. It took me a long time to realize this. In fact the revelation has just struck me. Its an epiphany of epiphany. Epiphany squared. I’m admittedly very young as a write this. I wonder if the idea that twenty-somethings feel they know everything comes from similar experiences to my recent ones. I feel I’m being bombarded by cosmic rays of ideas. As if my mind has become a radio receiver attuned to the frequency of the universe. This is new for me. Spontaneous thought is not my usual pattern. It strikes me now at completely unusual moments. Perhaps more interesting is the synchronicity with which things are happening. The cause of an idea is not a particular lyric or a piece of text, or a line of dialogue in a film. However it is no mere coincidence that a new thought initiates itself simultaneously as a passing moment occurs. These moments alone would have no significance to me as a singular event. But the simultaneous occurrence makes me take notice. What follows is an almost exponential cascade of consideration, leading me to conclusion upon conclusion that otherwise would never be present. I don’t know if my forays into the world of psychedelics have somehow retuned my mind. Or maybe this is just an unrelated opening of my mind or spirit, whatever you chose to call it. Well, I don’t necessarily believe in traditional causality, but rather some degree of existential interrelation, so there may very well be a connection. I think the connection may be so complex, so intricate that I can’t comprehend it. If comprehension sets in I will certainly never be able to relate that to anybody else. At least that’s the impression I’m beginning to form. My eyes began to open to the world when I first learned the difference between objective and subjective experience. It was that distinction that initially forced me to see that reality may not be a definite thing. However I didn’t understand it for myself for some time after that. Today, I stand firm in my grasp of human perspective. That is, my ability to recognize that individuals each experience the same events and locations from a slightly different point of view. That point of view is not only derived from physical position and physiological condition. It also reflects the sum of prior experience and that person’s reactions, memories, and associations to those experiences. This may seem like common sense, but too often we don’t recognize this fact when we try to judge someone’s actions, or assume their motivations. Too often I have been told what my motives are, and been mystified by how someone could come to that conclusion. So when I am put on the other side of a similar situation, I find it best to remember this, and make my best effort to leave these assumptions out. Many of us are taught, in resolving conflicts, to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. In my experience, that means many of us not only try to see from their perspective, but we also inadvertently bring our own motives into play. We cannot so easily separate from our own experiences as many of us would like. This is only natural, as it is difficult to draw on those of another when we have not experienced them ourselves. This is where the collective becomes useful. Although we cannot share everything with one another with much ease, there are certain aspects of life and experience which we do all have in common. I believe everything can be related in the right state of mind, but we are rarely able to reach that point during a time of conflict. So although we are unable to understand the exact position of our adversary, we can work from the basic assumptions and find common ground through that position. It may seem trivial, but I find it helps me to remember that someone I disagree with usually has some basic underlying aims that they share with me. These may be as simple as sustaining themselves, or as difficult as trying to unlearn a habit of getting easily distressed. While thinking about these things may not directly solve a conflict, they make it easier to keep a debate healthy. I believe many conflicts, especially those among like-minded individuals, come from an inability to communicate an inner vision to those outside ourselves. If we can just recognize this fact, then it should spur an effort to communicate better. It’s important in any joint venture for all participants to accept that each individual vision of the end result may not be reached exactly as envisioned. When it becomes clear that these goals are affected by the various perspectives, it is easier to reach a consensus that satisfies as many people as possible. This is a notion that will become ever more important as society progresses.

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