Our desire to search for this Archimedean point is human, because we seek to explore the boundaries of reality and to understand it in its totality. Amidst our human fragility we want to explore, to pioneer, to discover. However, I think the recognition of our human limits is also necessary. The tension between the desire to understand and the reality of not being able to understand. We are always tempted that the answer is in the next step. The next technological advancement. The next planet. The next job. There lies total comprehension, total control, total grasping. I think there is a serious danger in this. Extremely relatable, but extremely dangerous. The promise of the “next” keeps us from experiencing life in the “now”. The promise of “understanding” keeps us from receiving the “mystery”. The waiting for the “later” paralyzes us from “interacting” with the world. Stand somewhere and do something. Anything. Just act and be, wherever you are. This is the where living occurs. A relationship with life. The creation of my life. The drama of my life.
I think this quote from Carl Sagan’s book Cosmos captures the essence of these last two posts:
“Finally, at the end of all our wanderings, we return to our tiny, fragile, blue-white world, lost in a cosmic ocean vast beyond our most courageous imaginings. It is a world among an immensity of others. It may be significant only for us. The Earth is our home, our parent. Our kind of life arose and evolved here. The human species is coming of age here. It is on this world that we developed our passion for exploring the Cosmos, and it is here that we are, in some pain and with no guarantees, working out our destiny.”
Also, these rich lines from TS Eliot’s poem “The Little Gidding”… link to full poem at the bottom (highly recommended):
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”