The Sea of Uncertainty

(Originally written on December 30, 2010)

There are, to put it lightly, unfathomable depths in each individual person's mind. A staggering complexity, shaped by an utterly unique set of experiences, that can only ever be glimpsed, from the outside, in pieces. Desires and motives that can never be fully comprehended. Emotions that will never be truly revealed or accurately understood. And each one is entirely subject to interpretations by each other. How can you ever really know if you've read something right? If you've displayed something right?

Take about seven billion of these, intertwine them in unimaginably complicated tangles, and you have an extremely vague model of the sum of the world's consciousness.  It's like a thick, sticky sea of uncertainty we're all flailing around in.

I think it's fascinating, the endless possibilities that exist among even a handful of people. And I find it SO incredible that any two people can get along on a deep level. I think this is one of the most fundamental and meaningful endeavors for us all: pursuing these relationships, and always expanding on them. If you can pass those boundaries that divide the good acquaintances from the wonderful friendships, then you're definitely onto something--one of the most rewarding things you can possibly have.

But so many people have built their walls with so much resistance. To some degree, sure, this is crucial. You don't want the wrong people mucking about inside your walls, breaking all your stuff. If you develop your standards, and stick to them, then the filtering process shouldn't be too difficult. Put some sensors, coded to your standards, outside the door. The ones who get through should be that much more worthwhile and genuine. And then you can share with them, open the deeper doors even further. Explore each others' minds. There is an unquenchable desire to explore. For me, at least, and I can only imagine that this is the norm. Everyone's mind is a treasure trove of mysteries and treasures to share with those who can appreciate them. It's all so interesting, what's inside someone's head. What occupies their thoughts, what interests them, what motivates them, what thrills them, what piques their curiosity? These are some of the things I love and long to share more fully, with anyone and everyone who will have it and give it.

But sometimes it's so hard to be granted access. For whatever reasons, some people have reinforced themselves so much that they can't even get out themselves. The right balance can be so hard to find, but I think it is pretty obvious when you know someone who has. Something profound clicks, and the treasures just start flowing effortlessly.

I try very hard to leave the doors open. Unlocked, at least. Rather than shut, lock, bolt and block them, I want to mount sensors around the entire perimeter. Laser-equipped, motive-sensing, character-judging sensors. This way any deceptions and unfavorable intentions will be seen and alerted to me long before the door is reached. Have them activate an impenetrable force field, so that the genuine people can still come and go. Put a spotlight on the evildoers, so they can't fool anyone else on the way in. This would be ideal, having a system so self-sufficient it can just operate in the background without constant intervention. If everyone developed this for themselves, I can't help but think that the general, day-to-day connections between anyone and everyone would be so much more efficient, rewarding, and understandable. I think it's important to not block the doors. You'll never know what/who you're missing out on. Just be careful…

I do sometimes worry that my own standards are too strict, but I've tried hard to work on that. I'm trying to be always reasonable and open-minded, and am always searching for the same.

Of course there are still some bugs to work out. Sometimes something still slips through some unseen, unprotected crack, and then it's like a virus… plaguing me with false hopes and doubts and confusion. When the level of trust is not equal… mutual… there is chaos. And you have to find a way to kick it out and fix that crack. Find out what went wrong, what slipped through the sensors, and hope that it doesn't happen again. Recalibrate the system. Improve it.

But sometimes, on those exceedingly rare occasions, someone wanders in who can provide a truly wonderful gem of a relationship. And for these, every bit of trouble along the way suddenly becomes worthwhile. All the struggles of weeding through all of the rest pay off, even shine light on those gems, those wonderful friendships. They'll shine so much more beautifully this way, maybe even illuminate things that you'd never have noticed otherwise. Even the deepest abyss, if they'll venture down there with you. Make use of their goodness, with your own goodness!

The bulk of trouble is in the filtering process, and in the effectiveness of not being fooled by false goodness. And the trouble with not being fooled by false goodness is at least partly in our understanding of ourselves. Exploring the depths of your own mind is just as vital and rewarding (at least!) as the depths of others. There are certainly depths of our own minds that we do not fully realize. The deeper, darker, better-forgotten parts. Those things you shoved away because you could never quite rationalize them into the bigger, brighter picture. It can be a scary place down there, and you can only explore for so long before the weight of all that is above you grows unbearably crushing. So you come back up, but those murky, shrouded depths never quite lose their curious pull. I think it's important to always bring something back with you. And never stop perfecting the defenses. And explore carefully. But never stop! And when you travel down those depths, bring some more light with you. The depths need not be so frightening!


Posted by Eli Stanley | at 5:08 PM


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