Fifteen years between these two dates.
Seventy eight years since Kristallnacht….
Landmarks on the path to disillusionment. A road we’ve not seen the end of….
A road from complacency and an unearned certainty to humility. A humility we may feel we don’t deserve. A humility that brings us no where we wanted to go.
This thought experiment came to me while out sailing with a friend.
What if we discovered that our boat has a compass? What if we had no idea what it was, or how it worked? There it sat. And, at times we would notice certain apparent coincidences. Certain alignments with other things we were familiar with: the position of the sun, the direction towards home….
How would this unfold?
You might say we’re drowning in facts. We have enough information before us to come to valuable conclusions concerning how we’re trapped in a vicious dynamic that can have no happy outcome. A dozen times a day we can realize how a particular institution or corporation is acting to further destruction.
We click on Like or re-Tweet and scroll on down the screen….
If we have relatively good eyesight it’s easy to think that’s all we need, “I know how to see! Just open my eyes and look!”
One of the first lessons from learning to draw and paint was that I had no idea what was involved in seeing. Not just that I was lacking techniques useful for catching what was in front of me on paper or canvas; but that I had no idea that the act of perception could be affected by our awareness of it. It was my first introduction into a kind of proprioception. Into the basic concept of awareness of awareness.
Cognitive Dissonance occurs when perception shows us what we are unable to accept. We fail, actually refuse, to see something because to see it will break something we rely on for our deepest security. This challenge to our world view is too much to bear. It is felt… we just can’t….
Who would have thought that one of the greatest challenges to our world view for the last fifteen years would require that we refuse to believe our eyes when confronted by the effects of gravity on falling objects?