The significance of today, Charles Darwin's birthday!
Days are flowing into weeks, weeks are flowing into months, and I have not been expressing myself. My withdrawal? Yes perhaps. However observations lead me to a conclusion that perhaps my time is better spent just enjoying the moment, and saying nothing. Why? Because I've noticed over the past few months the common pattern of many interactions.
The common pattern being that under today's stressful times, people have retracted to their own personal levels of comfort and understanding. Perhaps to be better stated, that a society under stress retreats into their individual cocoons. It doesn't matter what's true, they're not interested in pursuing new knowledge and information, they just want to get through another day. This is perhaps no more prevalent, than in today’s seniors lives. The baby boomers? Yes, I think so. Each to their own striving to live through another day, without the confrontation of things beyond their understanding. Their understanding derived over their lifetime faced with what they do not know. Feeling lost and excluded by things beyond their reach and grasp. As time moves on, attention spans shorten, memories fade. The childhood state of mind to pursue the unknown, no matter how long it takes, just to know more, is a threatening experience. A common response, "why do I need to know that".
I thought about a recent interaction meant the days afterwards. After many random express thoughts of what I have observed and concluded over my lifetime, the person responded with the following. "Howard, why do you hate Christianity so much?" Wow! A person, perhaps in their midlife crisis, with deeply embedded hereditary concepts. Perhaps more broadly, a network, or a social structure, deeply rooted in hereditary "faith" concepts.
This aforementioned interaction is just one among. Many recalled interactions, therefore resulted in me pausing of my self-expression and writing. Giving myself a break. By the end of this coming March it will be eight years of my van life, and by the end of June 6 years of payments on my van will end. The need to push forward and do more, to always be busy, to always be thinking; maybe I can take a break from all of this? So perhaps as an excuse, this is what I have done. By the end of August, I will have completed my 75th year of existence on this planet. Survival skills gained over a lifetime have served me well. The childlike inquisitive nature to pursue the unknown, regardless of where-it-takes-you. This is probably the greatest asset and achievement.
I continue to enjoy my moments of observing people. It was once reserved for understanding complex electromechanical devices. That mental dexterity today applied to observing and analysing social structures around me. Perhaps on Darwin's birthday is a time to have just a little verbal diarrhea and ramble on. Even if I'm just talking to myself and nobody reads this, I guess I am enjoying my moment by expressing my observations.
Going back to that recent statement that was responded, "Howard, why do you hate Christianity so much?" I shook my head, almost laughing. It was a moment of realization that what I had perceived as a rational and logical individual was deeply steeped in the hereditary concept of reality. It was as though lightning struck. Perhaps best described by one meme found on the Internet. Thomas Paine, contributor to the writing of the US Constitution, and skeptic: "Attempting logic and reason with a person of faith is like administering medicine to the dead." It was my awestruck moment that everything that I said, either now or in previous conversations, was skewed by a faith-based perception of reality. People only understand what they hear, because of their knowledge and understanding. To the extreme of this, those that have attended weekly congregational meetings, and are absolutely certain that the teachings administered are of absolute authority, it then becomes clear. Weekly reinforcement of a sermon on "the doubting Thomas". How many times has the middle-aged individual heard this? Too many times to count. It is said that a concept need only be repeated as little as three times for it to be perceived as a foundational truth. Within much of our faith-based societies, they are helplessly tethered to their hereditary cultural past. As soon their mind perceives an idea or thought which discredits their lifelong adherence to their hereditary reality perception, the imaginary barrier goes up, and they only hear it from the faith biased perspective. The slightest hint that Christianity is not perfect is reason enough to have disregarded everything that has been expressed by an individual. The hereditary faith-based person simply sees the source as "evil". It must be evil, if it doesn't support a faith-based understanding, then it is the work of the devil.
And so it goes, too many similar stories to tell. Perhaps later this summer I will be recharged, find the energy, and begin again. Perhaps begin again, more critical and observant of those around me than before. Simple questions, and observance of behaviours, simply intending to walk away from any further interaction. Determine early If is a fundamental inquisitive nature exists? Has this person pursued new knowledge, or are they in their social network cocoon? Happy and easy-going, can be an indicator of both the inquisitive mind, and the closed mind. Carefully worded inquiries, short and concise can quickly determine the foundation of their daily existence. At age 75, perhaps the best learned lesson, is to analyze and determine the perspective of others, and therefore simply cut short the time spent. New knowledge, new understanding, appear to be always trumped by an assumed position of authority and knowledge when the following statement can be provoked as a response. "Everything happens for a reason." The sooner you arrive at the point, where this is a common response, the sooner you realize that new knowledge is simply administering medicine to the dead. Logic and reason, and an inquisitive nature, is the very root of our species. However, to be naturally inquisitive; has long been truncated.
I could go on, but perhaps this rambling will make sense to a few. Far better to be followed by those "on the road less travelled", than the deniers of the observable understandings; a result of their hereditary faith inclination.