I was watching this movie, Agora, yesterday and it got me thinking.
Not so very long ago people owned people. Some still think they do.
Not so very long ago women weren’t considered human. Some still think they aren’t.
Not so very long ago people thought the Earth was flat. Some still think it is.
Not so very long ago people were killed for their beliefs. Some still are.
When you stop and think about how very fast things are moving now, and how short the human experience has been in the known history of the known universe (known . . . wow) it makes you think about what things will be like in the future.
I have radical ideas. I believe all life is equal and important. Wow. That is insane. That can get you killed. It can get you beaten up, discredited, committed.
When I was watching this mostly historically inaccurate work of fiction ( . . . ?) yesterday, and I was feeling very connected to the heroine Hypatia, I realized just how dangerous it is to think.
I realized that I think a lot. Well, no, I’ve known that for a while, but I guess I realized just how much more I think about these things than many people. It’s difficult to put into words exactly what I am thinking. Partly because it is, as they say, a tangled web.
It all seems to come back to the rabbit hole for me, though. That there is this philosophical rabbit hole that I see as heavily related to Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration, and sometimes people follow a white rabbit and find that little hole. Some of these people take one look at it and run the other way, refusing to acknowledge having ever noticed it or even its existence, while others, like me, plunge cautiously in. Others, still, dive right through. Brave souls.
I’m living around the second of Dabrowski’s five levels: Unilevel Disintegration.
When I realized that, it both frightened and comforted me. I looked specifically at the outcome of hanging out in this mental state. Namely, psychosis and suicide. Two very real, very scary possibilities for me, thanks in part to epiphanies like the one I had yesterday. Sometimes it seems like it would be so much easier to just give up, but so far I can’t. Sometimes I worry I will slip away, but I fight just as hard to stay connected.
Because Hypatia fought. Because MLK fought. Because Mother Teresa and Ghandi and Da Vinci and Einstein and Madam Curie and Shakespeare and Helen Keller and Rosa Parks and Churchill and Buddha and Jesus and Confucius and Mozart and Princess Diana and Douglas Adams and Lewis Carroll and so many many millions more fought and fight and live on and touch(ed) lives and move us and some of them would be appalled to be included such a grammatically terrible sentence, but my point is that you have to be crazy. You have to be half insane and you have to dive into that rabbit hole and you have to be patient.
Because change takes a long time and it happens so fast.
I look back and see a mad world that I am glad I didn’t have to live in and years from now generations of our future will look back and see a hard, cold world that they might not want to have lived in. Yet I see joy and happiness and I just want it to keep slowly getting better.
“Hail to you psychoneurotics, for you perceive sensibility in the insensibilities of the world, uncertainty in its certainty. For you are often as conscious of others as of yourself. For you feel the anxiety of the world, its limits and its false unlimited assurance…For your fear of the absurdity of existence. For your awkwardness, for your transcendental realism and your lack of daily realism…For your creativity and your ecstasy, for your maladjustment to what is and your adjustment to what ought to be. For your immense possibilities not yet actualized…For what is unique, original, intuitive and infinite in you. For the solitude and the oddness of your paths. Hail to you.”
— K. Dabrowski