Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Splashing Around in the Shallow End (of Utopia)

All I’m saying (in the last post) is that, when we believe something to be true, in our own reality, it is absolutely true.  You can’t unring the bells, even if they weren’t rung right. Duh.  Pop-Psychology 101 called and they want their cliché’ back.

Once you get all the facts, hopefully the real truth comes out, assuming you can actually get pure, perfect, empirical data.  And how often is that, honestly?

When Tom and I met, he told me that his biggest fear is that he become normal. I think he feels the antidote to normalcy (complacency?) is to always, always question assumptions.  It’s pretty easy with yes or no questions.  A kid is dead or alive.  That lady was Tara Morice or not. But how many of the questions that are put in front of us are that easy?

I think about how much the truth mattered to me in those other circumstances, the un-dead kid and Not-Tara, how preoccupied and moved I was to uncover the empirical (not just perceived) truth of those instances.  And it makes me think how important it is to aerobically question the assumptions I have about other questions.

Is this the life we should be leading? Are we developing our inherent gifts and building skills that contribute to the world in a meaningful way? Do we have a balance of happy immediate gratification and long-range investment in our futures? What is our footprint on the world and is it a benevolent one? Have we defined our values and are our actions undeniably consistent with them?  

Do you generally tend to have a blanket assumption of “yes” to these questions, and thus, in your own reality, aren’t they all true?  And are they really true?  Or do we mostly just accept that everything is basically fine, we’re just “living life”, keeping it simple, hey, what’s on TV? 

Lately, I don’t think I ask the tough questions enough and I know I don’t explore the answers fearlessly.  In fact, I mostly think about how things like how many orangecicles we have left in the freezer, where we should go on vacation next and how often we’d have to run the vacuum on our dark carpet were we to get a pet.   

I’ve heard the saying “live in New York but leave before it makes you too hard, live in California but leave before it makes you too soft”. It’s just this idea that somehow easily living gives you a lobotomy. Australia so far seems like reeeallly easy living. True or not, hard to say, but some have a perception of Australians as being vapid or shallow or superficial. It’s a bit like the movie Logan’s Run, when you live in Utopia, why would you question the reality of the situation? Utopia’s nice, but I wonder if it would be worth it to start probing deeper, to ask more meaningful questions of my life.  

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