Some Room at the Table
About Some Room at the Table…
One strange day, a man or a woman scrambled his or her gray matter and, for the first time, saw an external world objectively –- as a thing apart. We take for granted, these days, an “out there” separate from us. But it’s not possible that we always imagined reality to be like that.
Some Room At Table, Part Two is from Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness, edited for online reading.
By David Stone
There was a time when, like other living things, we didn’t imagine it at all. Imagining innovated in the present. It didn’t construct it.
Absorbed in a natural universe, we were aware but not apart. We looked and acted on what was around us, and we were always part of it.
We were in an ebb and flow where we evolved and belonged.
Then, one day, someone was pulled or pushed back, shaken maybe by fear or boredom, and saw an external world operating “out there.” Along with religion, poetry can probably also be blamed on the person who had this experience. Opera, too.
See related: Some Room at the table, Part One
Strangeness Draws Attention
Sentient animals are turned on by novelty and fear.
Our schizophrenic, first aware human must’ve been about as odd as anything the natural world ever generated. Strangeness draws attention. Attraction gains followers.
Maybe this magician taught others that peculiar psychic twitch that forced a here and there. Maybe she only got them to want it.
And if this got you invited out for more dinners and more sex, about which we were not then so finicky, the magician emerged with a quirky evolutionary advantage.
Inventing stigmas, reducing room at the table
Mental illnesses seems genetically transferrable, at least in susceptibility, but centuries passed before we invented stigmas about it.
Magicians increased in number and learned to dominate, claiming to be closer to God.
Magicians didn’t just let things happen. They took Godlike control, and creativity emerged. Separation ramped up community values. Ultimately, nature dropped low among things with which we wanted to hold close.
A characteristic of our time is a reverence for difference, individuality, even as something innate continues to press for conformity.
Uniqueness is attractively disorienting. A magnetic discourse of pushing and pulling dominates our cultures. Separation made us who and what we are.
Separation fertilizes difference, but as with any illusion, it can’t last.