Monday, February 27, 2012

What Saved Our Ancestors Often Is a Hindrance to Us Now

Suspicious, among other things, is:

"inclined to suspect, esp. inclined to suspect evil; distrustful"

Paying attention to suspicion in my own mind that comes and goes, I'd like to add that it is a desire to pin down, fix, name, and control the unknown.

I have a fairly strong desire for clarity. I want to be able to see through the muck of the world, and live and breathe the truths of my life. Not a terrible thing, in itself. Yet, how much of this clarity seeking is really just trying to solidify what can't be made solid?

Furthermore, how much of this clarity seeking is just creating an artificial division between that which I deem "clear" and that which I deem "unclear"?

Take a simple sour looking look spilling forth from a driver of a car waiting for me to pass on my bicycle. Sometimes, it doesn't take much for my mind to be swamped in worst case scenarios. He's pissed at me. I'm in the way. He probably hates bicyclists.

At the end of the day, the reasons for that look are rarely fully made clear. Even if the guy shouts at me out his window, I don't know the true origin of his anger. In other words, clarity is something usually different than the fixed story I have about it. And whatever it is in a given situation, it's not knowing every last fact and detail about what's happening.

It's likely that this very mind - suspicious mind coupled with a desire for clarity- saved our ancestors from being destroyed by countless numbers of events or predators. however, now it's more likely to be used as a means of standing back from the world. What worked to keep our ancestors alert and clear seeing, now often works to keep us from being fully alive.

Time for some retooling.

1 comment:

Jomon said...

Succinct and clear! Thank you for articulating this so well!