Some Room At The Table, Part Two
Some Room At Table, Part Two is the fifth chapter in the free online serialization of my book, Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness (Click the link for an index of every chapter to date.)
One strange day, a man or a woman scrambled his or her gray matter and, for the first time, saw an external world objectively–as a thing apart. We take for granted, these days, an “out there” separate from us, but it’s not possible that we always imagined reality to be like that.
There was a time when, like other living things, we didn’t imagine it at all. Imagining was for innovating in the present, not constructing it. We were once absorbed in a complete natural universe, aware but not apart. We observed and reacted to what we understood was around us, always part of it. We participated in an ebb and flow in which we evolved and belonged. Then, one day, someone pulled or was pushed back, shaken maybe by fear or boredom, and saw an external world operating “out there.” Along with religion, poetry can probably also be blamed on the person who had this experience. Opera, too.
Jeu de Voiles
27.5 in. x 27.5 in.
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Have you ever noticed that animals we know to be sentient are turned on by novelty and fear? Our schizophrenic, first aware human must’ve been about as novel as anything the natural world ever generated. Strangeness draws attention. Attraction gains followers. Maybe this magician taught others that peculiar psychic twitch that forced a here and there. Maybe she only got them to want it. And if this meant getting invited out for more dinners and having more sexual relations, about which we were not then so finicky, the magician emerged with a quirky evolutionary advantage.
The Magic Circle
9 in. x 12 in.
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Conditions now defined as mental illnesses seem to be genetically transferrable, at least in susceptibility, but many centuries had to pass before we invented stigmas about it. Magicians became greater in number and learned to dominate, claiming to be closer to God and understanding that there could be manipulated by here. Magicians didn’t just let things happen. They took Godlike control and creativity emerged. Separation ramped community values. Ultimately, that from which we became separated, nature itself, dropped low on the charts of things we wanted for keep close at hand.
A characteristic of our time is a reverence for difference, individuality, even as something innate continues to press for conformity. Uniqueness is attractively disorienting. A magnetic discourse of pushing and pulling dominates our cultures. Separation made us who and what we are.
Separation fertilizes difference, but as with any illusion, it can’t be sustained.
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