“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense.” ― Frank Herbert , Dune
It’s in our nature to organize our lives and experiences in a way that helps us best make sense of an otherwise complicated world. We do this continuously throughout our lives, sometimes consciously, other times without giving it a second thought. We negotiate situations, compartmentalize relationships, judge ideas, accept what seems good, reject what feels bad, classify this, determine that.
Soon enough we establish a view point that governs how we understand the world and our place in it. We create a mental schematic of how “things are”, how they “should be”, and where we “should be” relative to those things. We refer to this view point often to remind ourselves of what to expect and what to do in certain situations. We build our beliefs and establish our values based on this reference point. It becomes central in who we are, it is our “reality”, our “truth”.
We rely on it when choosing our friends as well as our enemies. We reference it when deciding if tapping into our neighbor’s wifi is really stealing, and whether we care if it is. It helps us decide if life begins at conception or at birth. It gives us confirmation that we are doing the “right thing”, and helps us decide if doing the “right thing” is the “right thing” to do. It’s the reason why we wake up every morning cursing the drive to work, and why we give a dollar to the guy holding the sign on the corner. It’s what we think; it’s who we are.
If we are fortunate, our world view, reference point, reality, truth, or whatever we choose to call, is in line with that of those around us. Sometimes it’s not. Regardless, it is a rare occasion when we experience an event in our life so powerful, that it forces us to take a step back, reflect, and shift our point of view to one that offers a more clear understanding of the important things in life.
Things that I once held in high regard are not that important anymore. I chase after that which I have neglected and have taken for granted for most of my life.
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” ― Neil Armstrong