4 September 2013

timpeltje: (Default)
“Don't be afraid; people are so afraid; don't be afraid to live in the raw wind, naked, alone... Learn at least this: What you are capable of. Let nothing stand in your way.”
(Tony Kushner – Angels in America)

Oh traveller,

You are astounding, as you make your leap from beach to mountaintop, from jungle to savannah, from beyond the looking glass out to a world of fantasy. You dream. You rely on dreaming of the yonder deep, of what lies ahead. Discovering what might be really there is not something you were naturally born with.
Nobody is.
In more ways than one, Man is very much like the common mole, huddled underground, hiding away from danger as much as possible, only briefly ever exposing oneself to the Unexplored world when looking for food, shelter, or indeed a mate. Like moles, Man’s action radius does not stretch much further than a small garden, ideally protected by an electric fence (to provide entertainment when drunk neighbours decide to urinate against it).

However, we have the capacity to NOT be blind, to not lock ourselves up. It’s an emotion that goes against our instincts, but the colours one can perceive when exploring a new world are so spectacular and inviting that Man, once he started discovering, only ended up wanting to explore more. To break monotony, to shake off the burden of Routine, and to satisfy himself with a sense of being-in-control, rather than subject to the chains of being-under-control.
In light of the universe, there is no excuse not to explore. It doesn’t care whether or not we grill and eat one of our Sherpas on the way to the mountaintop, or whether or not we lick the floor in a McDonald’s bathroom. I don’t know why you would contemplate any of those things, but if that’s your twisted mind’s concoction, by all means go ahead.

Exploring is no longer solely literal. Gone are the days of Columbus and starting genocides. No, nowadays it is inside Man’s mind, inside one’s expectations of the world and what one aspires to achieve in it. Because we have, at least physically and in our solar system, defined our limits, our minds have shifted inwards, to focus on a determination to gain as much as possible from the present.

And so we gaze up at the night sky, because we are not moles hidden underground, because we can reach other worlds around us and enjoy the fresh air of something New. Life and opportunity in every direction, present in every bright light before us...

(picture of the night sky in a German forest - I was impressed at the amount of stars that got scattered on my sensor (no, it's not dust, I swear!))