by Kenneth Harper Finton ©2017
Some years back, I believed that people grew old and died because they became ill and their bodies deteriorated. As I age myself, I wonder if that is so. Could it be that people pass on because the world about them changes so much that they no longer feel attached to it? Can a person evolve to the point where withdrawing from the world seems the best logical choice? Does this changing of the world about us affect our consciousness and then our health? Does life culminate in the desire to no longer desire? Is death the natural end because we lose the desire and will to persist? Or is the will to persist yanked from us despite our rage against the darkness of the unknown night?
What is true for one might not be true for another. The sheer variety of humanity and the vast complexity of nature creates a different world for each entity that lives within it.
Inequality is everywhere because inequality is essential for movement. Inequality is gravity. It is that weak force that binds things together, feet to the earth and planets to the stars, friends to friends.
Each individual life is a cosmos unto itself.
As a young man, I easily saw the truth in the unity of all being but saw also that the world is a game of one-upsmanship. People compete to produce winners and losers. The world around us is stratified, socially and economically.
Social inequality is a constant, but nature demands a balance for stability. The highs must not be too high and the lows must not be too low. When things are too far out of balance, they explode and gravity is overcome.
Gravity is the result of inequality. When things are equal, there is no push nor pull.
Each side of the equation is different, but the equality creates the balance.
For most of us living on Earth, there is nothing as fine as the era in time in which we now live. How could this not be so, when this time is all we have? Are we not practical? We cannot live in another era.
Yet, eras change, and change brings new actors to the stage, new athletes to the field. Soon enough, we barely know the rules of the game because it has changed so much.
We spend our lives speaking our lines and doing our work. We seek what makes us feel good—through pleasures, work, pastimes, and relationships. It becomes the driving factor that motivates and moves us.
It is movement that produces the gravity that keeps us centered enough to survive. We—like our Earth, our Sun, and our Galaxy—must evolve and revolve as we orbit around something much bigger than us. Heinlein wrote: “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Love is one of the gravitational anchors that hold us in place.
Health does get worse with time and wear. Physical strength does deteriorate. Passion itself takes a tumble with age. We know this is so. Yet, our fast-changing world can become so unfamiliar that we can easily become those Strangers in a Strange Land that we heard or read about years ago.
Heinlein’s character said: “Thinking doesn’t pay. It just makes you discontented with what you see around you.” Time passes and consciousness is overloaded with evaluations and judgments made by past choices. It becomes harder to distinguish the winner from the loser when you know each all too well. We can become confused or dismayed about the directions our society and nations are going.
“Thou art god, I am god. All that groks is god,” Heinlein wrote.
Grok may be the only English word that is derived from a fictional Martian language. “Grok” was introduced in Robert A. Heinlein’s 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. It means to understand fully and intuitively with empathy or intuition. It is hard to grow old and not see the reality of these observations. “Random chance is not a sufficient explanation of the Universe—in fact, random chance is not sufficient to explain random chance; the pot cannot hold itself.”
Everything living has a blind instinct to survive built into its system.
“The only religious opinion I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land