Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sleepwalking to Nowhere

This morning the alarm went off even though it shouldn't have. That kind of thing used to really bother me, but not so much any more. Getting up in the dark when I could have easily slept for another hour. There must be a purpose for those twists and turns of fate besides giving me an extra hour to write. Maybe more than anyone ever imagined. I'm reading a book, Parallel Worlds, A Journey through Creation, Higher Dimensions and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku. It's a fascinating narrative of recent developments in cosmology and physical science, something about which I've always been somewhat curious, but had little to no grasp of. One of the new theories coming out of the quantum revolution in physics is one about alternative universes that arise every time there are choices to be made, sort of like Schrodinger's Cat who is alive and dead at the same time. Too difficult to explain fully, but nevertheless it  has been a revealing way to think about where we are as a country, seemingly stuck between two alternative views of the universe, deadlocked and unable to either defecate or get off the pot. Especially given the Mayan end of time, and the beginning of a new long cycle, it seems likely to me that what we are witnessing is the dying of an old way of looking at things and the rise of a new consciousness. Certainly listening to the fumbling in the media around gun violence and who or what is to blame for the deaths in Newtown, there might be some good come out of all the soul searching, if we can seize the moment and take some step forward. The people who claim that there are no outright or easy solutions, so doing nothing is the best option, I hope they can be effectively silenced by all the outraged people who are adamant that something needs to be done. Something in this case means taking a step despite the uncertainty, choosing between two alternative views, and moving beyond the current status quo that is really a black hole leading nowhere.
The same situation holds with every major issue, from our fiscal woes to global warming to the politics of the Middle East, doing nothing is giving in to the mistakes of the past that have led us to these impasses. Moving out of the comfort zone is the only way to ensure our survival. The question remains, will we be able as a species to find a way to organize ourselves and find solutions that do not entail a world of haves and have nots, higher walls and bigger guns? That's not a reality I would want for my children and their children, but it seems increasingly likely that that is the way we are going. Like spoiled children, we don't seem able to take even the tiniest steps away from our cherished ideas and favorite toys.
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