From Wonder to Tyranny
Back Again in Three Easy Steps
“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered
than answers that can’t be questioned. “- Richard Feynman
As I see it this quotation does an excellent job of illustrating both extremes of the human condition as we find it currently. Certainly it’s a bit of a reduction of the situation but that’s how the best sauces are made after all. Perhaps that same technique will be effective in this stew of awareness I’m presenting for your delectation. And, thanks to the nature of duality itself the statement above does serve us well whereas contrast, comparison, and hopefully, perceptual cognition are concerned.
I would also rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned. I’m quite comfortable with mystery and have been ever since I realized that not only was I surrounded by it, but was also made of the same stuff. Wondrous stuff really. I highly recommend to one and all the pleasurable and exciting exercise of truly allowing this endless mystery, from whence we come and of which we are made, to do the verifying for you. Some participation may be required. I do of course enjoy writing and communicating but nothing can compare to the awesome realization everyone can come to on their own through their relationship with that very mystery, and, in a sense, the mirror it holds for us all about our own deepest nature. What a relief indeed it is to finally drop the lie and accept one’s own mirificence.
That’s the heart of their scam, you know: they’ve convinced the human imagination, the human dream if you will, that we’re just a bunch of meat puppets, consumers consuming, and, of course, in turn being consumed, which is only fair after all. Humbuggery, I say. Fun word. Scrooge’s story comes easily to mind. The word itself seems to come from the 18th century, originally meaning ‘hoax, trickery and deceiver’. Humbug: deceptive or false talk or behavior, hypocrisy, fraud, sham, etc. Bit more meaning there as well, particularly at the end, bit rude mind you; appropriate for our purposes here: illustrative of the human condition without resorting to metaphorical expletives. Yet those same expletives, though costly in elegance, do work well whereas dramatically underlining one’s point and adding a touch of colourful humour to an otherwise suffering subject matter.
And here’s the rub: I get the sneaking feeling that most of the human folks sharing this world would say the reverse is true for them: they prefer the imagined security of unquestionable answers ‘handed’ to them by their ‘betters’, and the constructed, contrived and terribly convincing con they’ve bought into with the energy of their lives. What a clever self-perpetuating tyranny of ignorance! And to think that the simple freedom of being able to ask questions is enough to fill their pants with the fearful reality of their hard fought and hard won perspective.
Oh, certainly many would cluck-cluck their disagreement with that hard truth, yet I beg to differ. Actually, I don’t beg and differing comes naturally, thank goodness. My point being that all it takes is a quick and indeed honest look around at this ‘civilization’ to see the truth of which I speak.
Facing mystery, wonder, the unknown, takes courage. Facing one’s own doubly so. Imagine exploring that terrain. Imagine embodying it! Perhaps it’s the conditioning most of us are forced to endure. Perhaps it’s simply easier to believe what we are told is so rather than to actually dare to question what we’ve been led to perceive as authority itself. Poo-poo on authority I say. Bunch of clowns in funny costumes neither impresses me nor inspires me with anything but laughter. I’ve actually been allergic to the whole presumed affair since arriving, and personally drove my father quite mad with my endless, endless questions. Why, being my favorite of them. In fact I attribute my continual questing and evolution to that very practice.
Why? Why is it so? Why is humanity so cowed, so domesticated, so neutered and fixed away from the potential of it’s own magical heritage? How does this happen? The why is simple: keeps who’s doing it fed. The how? Well, it’s all self-importance you see. We are taught to respect and respond to it, to acquire it for ourselves, to trade in it, to mate through and because of it, to judge one another by it’s measure, to inculcate it in the next generation ad nauseam, to struggle mightily for our place atop that ridiculous pyramid. And in the end we die, never having been free.
“… most of our energy goes into upholding our importance… if we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen to us. One, we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and two we would provide ourselves with enough energy to … catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe.” – Carlos Castaneda
There’s a cure for this disease of the mind, body and spirit. And it too is all around us, within us even. There’s really no getting away from truth, no escape but a momentary one that quickly fades like the mirage that it is, leaving one with only a terrible thirst, seemingly unquenchable, and the awful certainty that there must be more to it than we were led to believe.
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” -Socrates
The cure my friends and family is as straightforward as the path set before us seems not to be.
“A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.” ― Carlos Castaneda
Simple, eh? Walk a Path with Heart. We know that we are on that path because we are greeted by Joy. Nice, direct and natural. And who knows what we might discover with such direction and intent? Sounds more intriguing than the alternative, I say.
So, we are born from Wonder (1), we are molded by Tyranny (2), only to use that very tyranny as a springboard back into wonder again (3). Of course, only after losing our self-importance. What an amazing mystery we are!