We live in a world, if truly understood, no one would ever want to escape from.
This is, I believe, the great task of life, the aim of the game, the meaning of it all: to cultivate a sense of wonder that is too resilient to be overcome by boredom, apathy, and hopelessness.
There are so many things that we take to be part of the background of experience. We do not regard space, for instance, as anything magical. It’s just the invisible container that houses physical objects. It’s nothing more than the stage upon which life’s dramas are played out. Matter seems to be no different. It’s just stuff we can taste, touch, see, smell, or hear. We could break it down into its constituent parts and talk about molecules, atoms, sub-atomic particles and so forth, but it’s just stuff. Time can be enchanting when we’re watching fantasy movies about time travel and parallel universes, but for the most part it’s just something we measure with clocks and calendars. Nothing special.
So much of life seems to be nothing special and we’re always looking for a way out of the cycle of monotony.
Humanity’s persistent suspicion that “there must be something more to life than this,” is almost always correct. One of our greatest mistakes, however, is that we hastily leave the ordinary world behind in search of answers to be found in another realm. In our pursuit of magic to be found elsewhere, our possibilities fall prey to the presumption that we have fairly and fully investigated the everyday elements of our existing environment.
What if there are questions, ideas, practices, and exercises that could open our senses and heighten our awareness? What if reality is like HD TV while our experience is still stuck on the black and white model? What if, through the mastery of technology and the exploration of our own souls, we could grow into a consciousness of the ever present awesomeness of all that is?
Ortega Y Gasset wrote:
“So many things fail to interest us, simply because they don’t find in us enough surfaces on which to live, and what we have to do is to increase the number of planes in our mind, so that a much larger number of themes can find a place in it at the same time.”
I not only believe that what Gasset describes is something that can be done, but I also believe that it is the thing that is most worth doing.
To increase the number of planes in our hearts, in our minds, in our relationships, in our routines; to so fill our accounts with philosophical and psychonautic captial that we never suffer a bankruptcy of wonder. This may not be the secret to living forever, but I believe it’s the key to bringing a sense of the forever to whatever fleeting moments we have.
As W.B. Yeats wrote, “There is another world, but it is in this one.” And this world is not only enough, but it is far more anything we can imagine it to be.