Where The Edges Blur
There are certain matters that we must attend to. The practicalities and mundanities of everyday life, the things we need to do in order to participate in the societies and systems of this surface world where we find ourselves.
There are activities we must engage in, sometimes reluctantly, whereby we give up our time and concentration in exchange for money. This money then enables us to put a roof over our heads, food on our table, and shoes on our feet.
In this same version of reality, we have routines and procedures. Etiquettes, formalities, spoken and unspoken ways of doing things. We hold our knives and forks a particular way. We greet each other a particular way. We say please and thank you. We adhere to a polite and inoffensive social contract in order to get along. We become entangled in meaningless trivialities which seem to be of utmost importance, but which are truly irrelevant. Mostly.
In this reality we are measured by our position in a hierarchy, by the size of our car and house, by our bravado, the loudness of our voices, and how much we can puff out our chests. In this reality, this shallow surface world, we put on displays of grandeur, displaying our holiday photos on social media just as peacocks display their tail feathers.
Sometimes we do this for acceptance and approval. Other times we do it for status and ego.
This is how it is, and this is how we are. We buy into and partake in a system of routines and regulations, that keep us busy and occupied, distracted from those places where the boundaries become blurred.
There are places, you see, where the normal rules don’t apply. And if we immerse ourselves in them we can transcend the edges of this shallow surface world and escape this reality altogether. Your store cards and gift vouchers aren’t welcome in this place. There’s no parking. No gift shop. Only another way of seeing and being.
These places, where our familiar reality dissolves, are all around us. But they’re hiding in plain sight. As consumers we are programmed not to see them. But as humans we find ourselves intrinsically drawn to them.
Sometimes we find these portals to other realms in art galleries. Sometimes we find them in an unexpectedly beautiful sunset. Sometimes it’s in the rhythmical tapping of shoes on the pavement. Other times its in the sound of the wind in the trees, the breeze on our face, and the swaying of the grass.
But almost always we pass them by. So institutionalised are we by the shallow surface world, that we have been blinkered to see only what’s in front of us. Only what’s measurable, quantifiable, affordable, and deliverable. But in these other places, where there are no KPIs or NPSs, we find a different kind of connection. One that reaches deep into the heart of us.
Some people find it through physical activity. Others through love. And others access it through simply breathing and quieting themselves.
But as we cross over these into these ethereal planes and glimpse the another side, we find ourselves inadvertently addressing that question we ask ourselves so often. Yes. There is more to life.
Indeed, this is where life spends most of its time. In the magical, impossible space of dreams and feelings, of connection to the universe, of imagination and play. It is this place we yearn to be, like some primordial homestead that we long to return to. This place, this other side, is where we can be free of all the entrapment of the surface world. It is here, far away from our bodies and the things we can touch and buy and accumulate, that we are truly free to be ourselves, without any of the trappings we have accumulated every day since the moment we were born.
It is only in this other place, that we can truly find ourselves.