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You are here Editorials Alex Baer The Perspective of Placeholders, Scribbles, & Squiggles

The Perspective of Placeholders, Scribbles, & Squiggles

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Scribbles on a page are just placeholders for errant thoughts and daydreams, drifting here and there, looking for anchor points of purchase.  These symbols and squiggles we call writing are feeble things, unable to hold a candle to personal observation.  It is a shame we haven't evolved the ability to directly share our observations with one another, whether singly or a few million at a time.

In a science fiction film, there would have to be wires, connections, and a massive control panel choked and jammed with clusters of lights and switches.  In my version, it would be accomplished without machines or equipment, but be done by a simple thought process one could learn early in life -- and be about as complex and demanding of you as having the inspiration to move across the room in order to get a drink of water, and then doing so.

Perhaps that broadcasted-direct-empathy ability would make the Game we all play, the one we typically call Life -- and Our Lives -- just too easy for a species on our particular trajectory. That ability, if we had it, would allow us to communicate too much, too deeply, and too fast:  It could blow out all our circuits.

(My theory, you see, to sidetrack us all a moment, is that there is no human learning without experience and empathy having occurred first.  It is true that some people are very empathetic, but I have a hunch most of us create empathy via our experience:  If we have burned our hand on a stove, it becomes a situation in which we have empathy for others, as well as having learned to be more careful around stoves.)

But, such a super-ability of sharing the combination of experience and empathy -- the ingredients and the resulting sensations -- would certainly allow vast seas of empathy to be instantly created in us all.  Lightning fast, we would increase our experience-and-empathy sets, via one another's first-hand experiences, sensations, and after-effects, be they of pleasure or pain.  That sort of hyper-jump-start might bring too much understanding, awareness, and development far too quickly for us to fully absorb and store, being merely human.

Maybe. But it's an interesting line to ponder.

It's also an interesting philosophical sidebar, whether Evil would exist or not in such a world, and if forces such as the Koch brothers, say, could continue as before, or would choose to do so, after their individual beings had been personally blasted, exposed to the full-force trauma and brutal impact of their actions, and to the rapidly-dawning awareness of the pain their follies and schemes create all around them.

On a lesser scale, outside manipulative billionaires, the question becomes this:  Could we still treat each other as we do, knowing first-hand -- by way of this new ability we'd all have -- the deep razoring pain some of our actions would bring?  Or would we be substantially different beings overnight, suddenly aware of the abiding pleasure and joy we could share? Would we avoid bringing pain to others, fully aware of what it was we would be bringing?

Would -- or could we -- we change, even if suddenly made aware of the deep, inner peace, contentment, and satisfaction we could bring to one another with relative ease?

Would we opt to share happiness -- or do so only if it required less effort and energy of ourselves?  Or, would we change at all?  Are some of us so invested in doing what we will, to the exclusion of any possible care what happens to others in our wakes, that we'd not change at all, even feeling that direct-empathetic jolt of pain?

Less esoterically so:  If we could today convey the beauty of our planet to everyone, missing no-one, and doing so as plain old human beings without extraordinary powers of empathetic connection, would people stop dumping busted refrigerators, bald tires, dead water heaters, and all their varieties of consumer garbage and waste all over the countryside, rivers, and lakes?  Would we stop hauling metal tailings and plastics out to a dump zone in the sea?

My answer is I would hope so -- I would hope that having the ability to directly share one's experience with others could change the activities of any species capable of learning, even our own.

There is a reason I stopped and asked myself such things, and am now passing them along and asking you.  I happened across a 19-minute video.  It's a mind-and-spirit-refreshing bit of imagery and sound that I think every person on the planet should see.  Call it an investment in the future, our species, our planet, and you would not be wrong.

There are no axes being ground here, just the presentation of an image, and the undeniable truth.  That's all.

Oh, there is plenty of lingering awe.  And, people prone to feeling a prickly, tickling sensation when stumbling on cosmic wisdom will probably find lots that is happily prickly here.

If I still dared to dream or have hopes, one of them would be that every human would find and view this video, and let its contents dwell within them, then simply allow whatever changes they felt natural come to pass.

One other hope is that a very high percentage of viewers would, having seen the film, make enough of a change to help make a difference for our world, the Earth.

With luck, you will come to see this video as I did -- as a timely gift given you, as one you happily stumbled upon.  It's a pretty nice gift:  No assembly required.  Batteries not needed. No thought control.  No propaganda.  Widened perspective presented free --no extra charge!

You might even see this video as some sort of second chance for the species.  But, in order for that to happen, I suppose many more people would have to view this short film than those who do not.  Seeing this film as a second chance requires one to be in the company of those already in tune with the contents, and who are starting to ask themselves some of these same questions I've busied myself with today.

If nothing else, by seeing this short video, you will provide yourself a pleasant-enough diversion to help make most of the day's mayhem recede into the background by a few raucous decibels and by a few dizzying blurs.  Perspective is everything, as they say.

It's a gentle experience, even the momentarily jarring part, if you should feel one.  Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you this video is enough to remove most concerns of the day and help refocus the attention somewhere driftingly pleasant.

The film is strong enough to have made me stop wondering about the psychotically microscopic things many of us concern ourselves with -- no small feat.  I've managed to successfully detour every thought, from finding a job in order to maintain some level of life and living, all the way to being utterly convinced Americans, particularly, and humanity in general, as far as that goes, are all headed in the completely opposite directions that would be most helpful and sane.

Not that it's my day to watch the species, but I imagine you know what I mean.

Rather than boring you by sharing which specific current events have placed barbed wire in my underwear today, I'd rather finish out this small space by encouraging you to take the time to create in yourself some thundering, soul-shifting awe.

It requires you to forget all you know, for 19 minutes at least, and become quite childlike again -- you know, back when you could still be utterly awed and transformed, and as easily as blowing the fluff off a dandelion.

Here's the link, which pretty much says it all:

And, even though these are all just squiggles, placeholders, and scribbles on a screen, too, I'd like to add one more sensible, pertinent thing:


Today's bonus, for the armchair adrenalin adventurer, is a look at what it's like to be shot into space and then splash back down again:

P.S.  Yes, of course:  Some people see a forest and think of all the beauty Nature has placed there, and some will see board feet.  Some will see only a fee-free dumping zone in the oceans, too, one supposes.  However, here's hoping that seeing the Earth, and having that Big Picture Experience, will capture enough people to make change not only possible, but in fact probable -- if not downright inevitable.












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