Our Pathetic State of Mind

If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch.” Jesus Christ

It is a commonly held belief that farm raised Turkeys are some of the dumbest creatures on Earth. They’re believed to be so because it is said they will stand in the middle of a rain storm and look straight up into the down-pour and drown rather than seek shelter in the barn. You see, a Turkey’s nostrils are placed on their beaks in such a way that when they look up into the falling rain, the rain fills their nostrils and they literally drown while standing in the rain!

Einstein, during his brilliant life, gave the world much, but one of the most brilliant things he ever uttered was this: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Yet we engage in that very behavior time and time again. Does this mean we, as a race, are insane? Or does it point to something more sinister about our base nature?

As individuals we hate to be wrong. Being wrong is an affront to our intelligence; or, at least the perception of our intelligence. Why do you think we’re one of the few species on this planet that will actively seek to go to war with one another? Apparently, we share this trait with our primate cousins, but even they seem to have the ability to exercise far more common sense than we humans. We will slaughter one another to the last man, woman and child, as history shows us.  Whereas our primate cousins are able to come to a point where they perceive balance has been restored and the war is over. Once again they live at peace with one another even if it means that one group moves off from their former lodgings to a new and strange place. For them balance and peace are more important than getting what they perceive to be theirs at the moment. They, by instinct, are not willing to sacrifice the group, or the individual, on the altar of pride or possession. When you think about it our basic needs aren’t much different than those of the great apes to whom we’re so closely related; metaphorically speaking.

We place so much importance on the here and right-now, that we completely lose sight and consciousness of the fact that the here and right-now amount to nothing more than the briefest instance of eternity; so brief that we can’t even be sure that it existed at all! Yet we will spend every last ounce of effort on that briefest of moments if we perceive it to have some value. Our want-to has become a gluttonous whore, and our need-to has been forgotten; lost in the hinder-parts of our existence because it does not feed our ever growing sense of entitlement and our insatiable need for instant gratification. We have allowed ourselves to become the poster-children of nature verses nurture. As a culture and a people we have mindlessly and willingly embraced the nurturing nature of the dark-side of technological advancement and a higher standard of living. Self-absorbed, with our Ipods loaded, we’re off, day by day to gather more. So focused on ourselves and those things which both afflict us and enthrall us we move through this life, one breath at a time, with our gaze turned inward.

So, onward and upward? No. Simply onward… and onward. We’re too busy; too fixated; too damned blinded by desire and the additive need for instant gratification to look up long enough to see what is right in front of us. Sometimes, what is in front of us is a precipice that we simply fall over and then curse the powers that be for our misfortune. We defy common sense simply by not paying attention. The signs are all around us! No one would ever think of driving down a road they’d rarely been on and deliberately ignore the posted road signs, yet we walk through life daily doing exactly that. Then, we have the unmitigated gall to be upset and angry when things go bad. Einstein is either turning over in his grave or pissing himself laughing.

Sure, bad things happen in this life, but if one takes but a few moments every now and then to take inventory of themselves and their actions, it doesn’t take too long to find the source of a vexing problem as long as we’re willing to consider ourselves first as the source. Ah, but then there’s that wanton hatred of being wrong. Our base nature forbids us to ignore pride because fear has convinced us to be wrong is weakness, and if found weak we’re discarded; exiled from the herd so as not to weaken the herd and bring death down upon the group. We must maintain at least the appearance that we know what we’re doing and it’s the right thing to be doing lest pride be offended and we fall from grace.

Once again we openly and willingly defy common sense. Every fiber in our being is screaming at us to open our eyes and see the sharp, hair-pin turn in front of us, but alas, we are defiant by nature and choose, over and over, to do the same thing because it’s comfortable and familiar to us. To change would mean stepping into unknown territory. Fear stops us and pride forbids us, so we’re stuck in our self-imposed cycle of insanity.

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