A balancing act suggests two sides to an axis, two sides to a flip, white and black, large and small, empty, full; young and old, us and them, good and evil, life and death, humans, Earth.
What if this is a misunderstanding? What if there is really only one side? One whole?
Dualism assumes a position of separateness. Western thinking along with its mechanistic interpretation of the world has conditioned us to believe separateness as fact.
Our ego is proof of this paradigm. We are told that there is the world out there that exists independently of us and frankly quite ruthless and indifferent to our fate. In this argument, we are fortuitous coincidences materializing irrelevantly in a cooling stew of possibilities, a kind of everyone for themselves.
On the contrary, when we are told that there is no separateness between each other, between us and the world out there, we encounter fierce inner opposition. In this apparently limitless huge dark void called the universe, we need to cling on to an identity.
We think that in order to survive we must defend this separate thing we call ourselves.
We experience the world by contrasting things, this from that, up and down, far and near.
This illusion of contrasting things is hard to give up, because when we assign names to each contrasting item, they become fixed in our mind. This activity defines the world that surrounds us cataloging all we experience into a library of recollections and symbols that represent them. All our memories and hard-die beliefs define who we are and we constantly reinforce these beliefs with our thoughts and daily actions.
Modern science has found it is impossible to determine where the “I” ends and the “out there” begins. The idea that we exist exclusively inside our skin is erroneous. Science has investigated extensively and not found the I within this shell we call ourselves.
A more current theory is that we extend “out there” and we are part of a larger web of inter-connectedness. In this new paradigm, whatever is “out there” is an extension of who we are. The environment is an expression of us and what we do to it we do to ourselves.
As a consequence of humanity’s obsession with materialism, we follow a pathological trend, a fine line where balance can tip and be broken. If we continue to identify with the notion of the environment as inexhaustible commodity put there to be torn down with arrogance and greed, we are in for ferocious adjustment.
This attitude is taking us to critical corners; radical change will replace this thinking and we will begin to heal. We can prevent further mismanagement of our home planet blue and realize its limited carrying capacity.
It behooves us to collectively wake up to the reality that environment and mind-body are extensions of each other, inseparably connected and more of a whole. Only then will the acrobat within us approach relativistic equilibrium, allowing our galactic navigation to complete its travels spiraling along the sun and milky-way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carlos Cuellar Brown is a New York City media artist and essayist who has written on new media, social theory and metaphysics. His essays have been posted online by Opendemocracy, The Global Dispatches, The Pelican Web, Kosmos Journal, and STARDRIVE.
In 2013 his essay “Intermedial Being” was published by A Journal of Performance and Art PAJ #106 MIT Press Journals. In 2015 Mr. Brown was nominated for the TWOTY awards out of the Netherlands for his essay “Blueprint for Change”. He has been a regular columnist for Second Sight Magazine and Fullinsight.
His book, In Search of Singularity: Reflections and Chronicles from the End of Time, published 29 January 2017, is a series of reflections on the current cultural evolution from competition to cooperation, from patriarchy to reciprocity between humanity and the human habitat.