illusion of abandoning illusion
it’s rather simple to accept reality as that which the majority embrace as the truth. there’s no need to explore anything else and seek any other perspective or path to traverse. if the possibility that all paths are illusions and there is no goal, is true then there is no escape is there?
Niko wrote about escaping the matrix where he talks of choice. of choosing one’s environments; homes, social circles, and jobs as well as music, books, and movies. while the onus is on us to explore always new territories and play, i’m left wondering how much effort it takes for us to initiate such an adventure.
enter the jungle
hark back to a time when everything beyond the horizon was unexplored. what would compel one to cross into the great unknown; a sense of adventure and curiosity or a sense of desperation and desolation?
Steve Jobs left us with
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
and that’s probably because one is now likely to be fueled by desperation than desire in the quest for the future. and while we might try to imitate scarcity by fasting (food or feed), the challenge is minimal and limited. more importantly it barely challenges because we are in control of the game we play.
the real fun kicks in when we lose control. when we cannot decide whether we will starve or feast. whether we will explore danger or we will shelter in safety. whether we iterate on the bleeding edge or settle with a stable release.
the jungle was the best playground we could wish for. it challenged us in every way possible; physical, mental or spiritual. we didn’t need gyms to push our bodies to the limit. through the course of the day, one would be challenged cognitively to create new tools and templates for future use. the imminent and omnipresent danger would force us to make the choices that would stretch and test our spiritual beliefs.
you didn’t get to think about the Trolley Problem and go home to discuss and debate intellectually with your friends. well, you could of course. but you’d have all of 42 seconds to reach consensus, conclude and apply the decision.
playgrounds of the future
the concept of danger and death was not a theoretical take to be dabbled with as an exercise for intellectual growth. it had real and real-time consequences. the lines between playgrounds and battlegrounds were blurred. rather than choose to clearly demarcate the difference, ancient man embraced it as a feature not a bug. an opportunity gifted by the gods to grow.
Professor X created the danger room for the X-Men to test their skills; find their flaws and discover their strengths. do you have such a playpen created for yourself? if you do, it’s still not enough if you’re in control, if you’ve designed and developed it. like the training methodologies of school and university that rely more on carefully created syllabi than the raw wilderness of life in the wild.
while there aren’t many jungles left to surrender to, there’s the markets you can the play instead of studying economics. there’s the comedy club you can frequent instead of joining a course on public speaking. there’s that can of paint you can splash around instead of joining art school. there’s letters and words you can fling with a flick of your wrist instead of enrolling in a writing school.
we are tempted to take the easy way out, to implore someone to guide us to safety and salvation instead of playing through life like Zorba the Greek. if you are searching for serendipity then you might want to lose control of yourself, abandon the persistent illusions and trade them for an acceptance of reality, as it is.