Essay, Reflections

“The snakes are coming!! Step away from the road!”…

“Knowledge” is a peculiar thing, really.  I mean, if you think about it.  There are different ways of “knowing” and different levels of “what is known” (aka knowledge).  At some point (and I can’t say when or where with any consistency or accuracy), hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies, facts, data, and wisdom somehow combine and/or crystallize into “knowledge.”  And by doing so, said hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies, facts, data and/or wisdom become something else entirely.  They become real…

Perhaps that’s all there is to it, then.  Maybe.  Maybe it’s as simple as becoming “real,” and “knowledge” (that which is known) is the accumulation of what has become real.  In which case the transformation between supposition and belief into knowledge occurs entirely at the quantum level, when an actual path is “chosen” and made real…

What intrigues me about this possibility is that all true “knowledge” becomes past tense the instant it transforms into said knowledge; no longer a possibility or a choice, but a path already taken.  Hmm…

Why does any of this matter now anyway (other than to amuse my self)?  Because this is the time of year when prophecies abound, when speculation looms heavy in the public mind, when everyone looks forward to what may be coming, and tries to position themselves accordingly.  We are a forward looking species, who make decisions and resolutions based on past occurances.  Trusting, somehow, that there is a consistency or pattern to reality such that there will be similarities between how things happened before, and how they are developing now.

It’s not our fault, really; it’s simply how our minds work.  We (humans, anyway) reason by analogy.  We see “patterns,” and those patterns allow us to extrapolate, to draw conclusions.  Not always accurate, of course, but accurate enough to allow us to learn.  And we are not the only species capable of such learning, though we often credit ourselves with being the “best” at it.  Higher order thinking.  Cause and effect.  Symbolic representation.  These are hallmarks of human existence, though not limited to human use exclusively.

There is a saying (I have no idea who to credit with it) that says “insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”  And “insanity” is, by definition, irrational; it does not make “sense,” it does not pass “go” or collect $200.  “Insanity” is the antithesis of reason and/or knowledge.

Or is it?

Because if reason is based on analogy, then it is, in fact, learning gained by mimicking past maneuvers.  Knowledge itself may be a past tense phenomenon.  So perpetuating “bad” ideas, habits of thought and action, and mistaken assumptions would be par for the course.

To be fair, of course, the key word in the saying is not “insanity” but “same.”  It acknowledges that true learning occurs when subtle changes are introduced, prompting different outcomes.  Sometimes those changes are not subtle at all, revolutionizing both our thoughts and our actions, and creating a whole “new” system of belief, action, choice and knowledge.  People (and their circumstances) can change…

Maybe…

***     ***     ***

So I’m wandering through this world today, observing Others (as I tend to do), and I notice things.  I notice, for example, that people are swinging on vines of belief between extreme certainty and extreme confusion.  The world we live in has become so adept at denying “reality” and sowing doubt that humans cannot seem to accumulate anything resembling knowledge.  They vacillate between shrugging their shoulders and shaking their heads in defeat, and defending, vociferously, that which directly opposes the observable.  Red is not blue, and blue is not red, no matter how much you want to believe, or how loudly (or meanly) you defend your point of view; it simply isn’t -period.

But the real confusion and chaos arises from the “fact” that it isn’t any one group or individual swinging between these extremes, but everyone!  Every single human I meet today exhibits these symptoms – one minute totally confused and unsure of what to expect, and the next minute defending the indefensible belief most currently guiding their actions!  Myself included, as I recently heard myself explaining to someone that my words, however confidently they were presented, should be taken as my opinion only; I don’t know anything, but I have lots of beliefs and opinions…

“Fake news.” “False flags.” “Doubt everything!”  “Research yourself.” “Ulterior motives.”  “Trust no one!”  Clarion calls and slogans for the “new age” of enlightenment.  And impossible to implement.  How do you truly research anything, when all data, all information, is merely an expression of someone’s beliefs?  How can knowledge exist if no one can make a decision about what is “real,” or if we cannot agree on those basic assumptions?  We can’t.  We can only create and defend our own little worlds.  But we cannot change others’ without some willingness or ability to achieve consensus.  And that would entail accepting belief and opinion over knowledge.  Until that belief and opinion transformed into knowledge…

But then, knowledge would not equal Truth…

So be it…  And change, if it is to be achieved, must occur pre-knowledge, proliferating only in the realm of supposition, belief and opinion.  Hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies become seeds of potential change; when acted upon they find resonance and connection in the “real” world, creating facts and data, acceptance of which mimics “wisdom.”  And when all of that combines into a quantum choice, “knowledge” is born…

***     ***     ***

I had a series of dreams today, all vaguely connected, though dreamed seperately.  They seem relevant to this discussion somehow…

Dream 1:  I am at some sort of huge gathering of people with my “group” (family, friends, tribe or clan).  Everyone is excited about what is about to transpire; hope, love and happiness infect the crowds like drugs or disease.  I’m wandering around, observing, but not engaging.  Eventually I arrive at where my group is gathered, unpacking for the upcoming events…

I notice at once that they are annoyed with me, even angry.  They tell me my role, my purpose within the group, is to speak (the/my) truth, to “inform” them about what is happening, and what is coming.  They are angry about my continued silence…

I try to explain that no one is listening, that no one wants to hear what I have to say, that I am simply wasting my breath when I try… but that does not appease them.  So I give in, I capitulate, I begin to speak of what I “know.”

And they completely ignore me, refusing to acknowledge even the sound of my voice, much less what I’m saying.  I carry on, valiantly trying to speak and be heard over the crowd and their personal chatter, but I fail.  So I wander off, to be woken by my cat entering my dream to get my attention; I wake to find my cat waiting expectantly, as it’s my normal time to arise…

Dream 2: (only vaguely remembered, as it was sandwiched between the other two)  I am somewhere with a small group of people, in proximity, if not in thought.  I am coloring, filling in patterns with colors that please me, not worried at all if they reflect reality.  Others around me are doing the same.  We occasionally glance at each others’ pictures, commenting on color choices and such, but none are affected by the others’ opinions, content to carry on in our own creations.  I am very happy…

Dream 3:  Another huge gathering on a beautiful day, only this one is not organized.  This is small groups – families, couples, individuals – out enjoying lovely weather in a pretty city park and surrounding streets.  Everyone is focused on who they are with, though pleasantly acknowledging others who cross their path.  The weather begins to change, skies darkening and wind rising…

I hear a distant announcement, barely audible above the sounds of crowd and wind, warning people. “The snakes are coming; step away from the road!”  Most people around me seem not to hear it, or react to it…

In my mind’s eye I see a water containment system (a dam, levee or water tank) let go, and a flood of water rushes down the main street, washing away everything in its path.  I realize the announcement is attempting to save lives, though most are oblivious.  A few random individuals have picked up the message and are attempting to pass it on, telling everyone they pass that the snakes are coming, as they, themselves, move away from the street.  But the strangers do not understand the message, first staring at the messengers, confused, then shaking off their warnings as irrelevant to them.

So I pick up the call, yelling at maximum volume: “The snakes are coming!!  Step away from the road!  For your own safety, move away from the road!”  I walk along the road, shouting, trying to reach as many as possible.  Some move away, if only to avoid the crazy lady walking down the sidewalk yelling about snakes…

Suddenly I see the water coming, rushing down the street, overwhelming all in its path.  As it passes me, I notice the foam in front looks distinctly like two snake heads roaring at all they pass.  Their fangs and their eyes flash in the fading light, while their intertwined bodies eventually merge into a single body of water.  And suddenly I understand the warning…

I smile as I move away from the road, unhurried…

***     ***     ***

Higher order thinking.  Cause and effect.  Symbolic representation.  All hallmarks of human existence…

Depending on your beliefs, snakes can represent healing, transformation, or knowledge.  And depending on your opinion, they can represent “good” or “evil.”

Knowledge is, after all, a peculiar thing…

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12 thoughts on ““The snakes are coming!! Step away from the road!”…

  1. Reading and re-reading. This is not a post that lends itself to any sort of casual comment. Somewhat related, I know that there are no such animals as “facts” – they went extinct long ago. I think you are saying that we create our own knowledge. If that is the case, I totally agree. We literally make it up as we go along, and that is the only “truth” we will ever truly know. The rest is fake news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, maybe that is what I’m ultimately saying.  But upon further reflection, I think I was just lamenting the loss of discussion and debate in our world.  I used to love a great discussion/debate between well-informed people – throwing ideas back and forth, trying to convince each other of different points of view.  It was intellectually invigorating whether I “won” or not; even if all parties walked away with the same opinions they started with, I inevitably “learned” something I didn’t know in the process.  And that was the point…

      Such discussions have become impossible today.  There was always a certain amount of scepticism involved, asking your “opponent” to discuss sources of info and such, but there was a common base of knowledge on which we stood, and there were acceptable forms of “proof.”  Those no longer exist. Today, if you state your opinion on anything (even acknowledging it as your “opinion” or belief), you are immediately attacked and caught up in trying to “prove” the most basic, fundamental tenets of your point of view.  Even if you take it all the way down to raw and personal observation: “I’m holding this object in my hand now, looking at it, and it is red.”

      “Well, it appears blue to me,” responds my opponent.

      “Seriously?!,” I ask, frustrated now.  “It’s clearly red.  Look at it!”

      “Prove it!,” they snap back.

      “I can’t!!”  And so the discussion must end.  Nothing can be learned here, nothing can be gained.  It’s pointless even to try.  And yet… And yet I know there are times when discussion is essential, to forward progress, in the case of warnings, and expressions of community and compassion.  If we cannot talk to each other at all, we cannot help each other at all!

      So I went looking for the source of the problem, other than the engineered extreme scepticism and suspicion of our time.  And what I discovered was this post – all “knowledge” is merely accepted opinion, subject to change over time.  All of it is past tense.  We must naturally start with what is “known” in order to build new knowledge; but such a process can only occur if all parties understand those ground rules, and remain flexible and open to change.  Otherwise, we truly can only operate in our own little worlds.

      So whatever happens to you no longer affects me.  I wash my hands of the whole interactive part of society.  That’s not what I want, but it seems to be the way things are for now.  If nothing else, it should help in bringing down this world much more quickly now…

      Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 6.

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      • I’ll discuss this with you, if you want. What you are describing is the overall effect of a species that nature and spirit have abandoned and that can no longer evolve as either a product of nature, or of the mind. What you are experiencing, and I can tell you that it is exactly the same for me, is the separation that necessarily takes place between the vast majority of a sheeple mentality that has lost all reason for its existence and the few who choose not to go down that slippery slope; who choose to continue, as individuals, to evolve towards full humanity status. I know I’ve said this many times but it bears repeating for those who rebel and cannot understand why they find themselves alone. Man’s global, patriarchal and grotesquely predatory civilization is collapsing; imploding and doing so exponentially. All that’s left upholding it is artificiality maintained by a sterile, inhuman technology. You are living in a world without any rationale. So how can there be intelligent, meaningful discussion about anything if there is nothing left, for the majority, that is meaningful, or intelligent, to talk about?
        I am “fortunate” that I was told of these coming times a long time ago and that I prepared myself for them. No surprises. I made the switch, from collective interaction to individual self empowerment and compassionate interaction and made all of it, my entire life purpose, about self responsibility; about living fully amongst a world made up essentially of zombies, with pleasant exceptions, but no expectations. It’s no longer about “family” or “friends” or “fellow believers” or ‘like minded individuals” with which to interact, but about me. Just me. I know I can trust me because I know when I’m lying to myself, or encouraging myself to push deeper into compassion. I discuss the world with me, and some of it I pass along in private conversations, or on these blogs, but how that is received changes nothing. What changes is what I allow me to change me. There is no truth “out there” and there are no “facts” to rely on. Only what I have created within my own mind has any validity. That doesn’t mean that I won’t listen to counter arguments. I will, and I will engage them seriously within my mind. I will run them through my trashing machine and collect any living grains from the process if there are any. I will not, however, continue to engage a “crop” that I know will yield nothing but chaff that must burn in the wild fires such materials tend to engender.

        This should serve also as a response to your dream interpretation post. You’re at dream #3. I would say this though, we must not only speak our wisdom, we must demonstrate it, all the time, and let whomever see how our changing nature changes the nature of that demonstration. We are the ones evolving, changing, mentally and spiritually. The others are becoming computerized systems running on pre-programed “apps.” You cannot have an intelligent discussion with a “Siri” or a Cortana.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I saw this reply a couple days ago, but honestly haven’t been able to “sit” with it; hence my lack of response. Today I want to say simply that I agree with your assessment. There is a vast separation taking place, and I, like you, am aware of it.

        That being said, there is still room for interaction and influence. I “know” this because, in spite of my lack of response, these words of yours have stayed with me these past few days, coming to mind specifically when my actions reflect a resonance with them. For example, I’ve been much more present in each moment, reacting as I deem appropriate, without regard to societal norms. I also have been speaking more freely, with less explanation of my motives or meaning; allowing people to interpret my words at will.

        But for today, I accept these words of yours as truth, and I honor them as such: “So how can there be intelligent, meaningful discussion about anything if there is nothing left, for the majority, that is meaningful, or intelligent, to talk about?”

        There is only this moment that is truly relevant, and it, too, is fading quickly.

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  2. And the dreams seem to capture the 3 paths available to us today…

    Dream 1: we can discuss our beliefs and opinions only with those who already agree with us, reinforcing our shared opinion without reason. But by doing so, we become fanatical, and incapable of even hearing anything outside our point of view. No learning is possible…

    Dream 2: we can live in our own little worlds, of our own creation, neither defending them nor being influenced by anything outside them. But then we live in a fantasy, untainted by anything “real.” Content? Maybe, but trapped nonetheless…

    Dream 3: we can speak our truth knowing most will not even hear us, much less believe us. But we speak it anyway, trusting that some might react, however bizarre they personally believe our opinions to be. In this way, at least, some interaction may occur, if only for survival purposes. All others we leave to their fates, unreachable…

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  3. Thank you for this very interesting post.

    The “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over….” saying is generally, but not definitively, attributed to Einstein. Other less certain sources include Mark Twain. However, Twain DID say this on the subject: “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting! Thank you for clarifying that for me, mistermuse. Just yesterday I was reminding myself that I love living in a “magical” world where such mysteries remain. And that, just hours after explaining to my boss that I cannot let a mystery sit without trying to solve it. Both true statements; both true reflections of who I am…

      Another mystery, as yet unsolved. :D.

      It’s great to see you here! Thanks for visiting…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am good, and very glad to see you here! Happy 2018 to you and yours! I hope things (health and life issues) are beginning to resolve themselves in a positive way for you. You are greatly missed around here!

      Like

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