With this writing, and with life in general, I’m often just trying to understand – to reach a point where ignorance, the lack of understanding, disperses and truth becomes clear. As if it were possible to dissolve all differences, all the confusion or misunderstanding, and get to a place where it all makes sense. A place where everything fits. Like a cosmic jigsaw puzzle of a picture we don’t yet know.
And I know that’s weird. Like some philosophical throwback or out-of-step seeker in a time where modernity’s wanting to sweep us along in its wake. It’s as if we’re no longer supposed to seek meaning, despite our highly cognitive nature. Personally, I struggle to imagine life without it.
Is there not meaning to society, to the relationships it establishes between us through economic or cultural realities? Is there not meaning to the individual, to those things that’ve shaped and made us who we are? Is there not meaning to the lives we lead, the choices we make, the impacts we’re having on the world and the people around us? Is all that not painting a picture we might seek to understand? (Notes One)
Modern life zips along at such a pace that the retort of simply not having time for such contemplation actually holds quite a lot of weight. It’s true. It’s far easier and more efficient to cut away those things we don’t understand or relate to, all those ways of being or thinking you’d rather not have around, that don’t fit with your idea of yourself or the life you want to lead. We can cull. We can curate and edit our lives to perfection.
Which is what it is. Human minds, and hearts, may have limited capacity. Perhaps we have to make choices in order to survive the onslaught of all that’s around us. In that light, it’s logical to choose what suits us and the life we hope to create. It’s focussing in on a small area, on our section of things, and working there. But then, do those sections join together? Are they compatible? Do they even fit at all? Does it matter?
I don’t know. It just seems to me that we’re all humans, carrying all this meaning within ourselves, encountering meaning in the world, and seeking meaning through the lives we lead (Notes Two). Everyone has those dreams of love, acceptance, belonging, recognition, understanding. Dreams of being held in the hearts and minds of others; respectfully valued for who they are and what they bring to the table.
Living in a way that’s inclusive of every single one of us is undeniably an incredible challenge, especially now the world’s so deeply interconnected in all these modern ways. How can we live this way while bearing in mind all the impacts we’re having? Is it even possible to remain consciously aware of all that it means without becoming quite paralysed in our actions?
But, what does it really mean to give up on understanding?
Notes and References:
Note 1: Relating to one another
Note 1: How we feel about society
Note 1: Meaning in culture
Note 2: Value and worth in our relationships
Note 2: Counselling, listening & social identity
Note 2: Seeing, knowing and loving
Note 2: The way to be
Finding meaning in what arises from the conversation between us and the world was also the thinking behind Working through mind & society.