As the world changes and the requirements of living progress, the truly impressive thinkers must come to terms with the need to present a multitude of repeating lives in one body.

I’m not getting metaphysical here — I am merely stating a fact of living in moments — and this is not an easy thing to conceptualize because it means starting over from square one over and over again in order to change the intent of your life and to move upward.

Our parents were trained in the opposite methodology… “Stick with what you know.” “Become a master of one thing and the work will follow.”

Those ideas are no longer viable within a technological age that is compressive and bending and where, as the Great American Playwright Eugene O’Neill said in 1923, “the greatest problem of the 20th Century is the failure of science and technology to replace the death of the old God.” I will dare to amend O’Neill’s brilliance by suggesting “the greatest problem of the 21st Century is the failure of the mind to replace the death of the old life.”

In today’s marketplace of eating and breathing things change too quickly to slot yourself into a niche of expertise because you are only creating your own demise into irrelevancy. In order to survive we must be brave enough to confess we will never know enough. We need further mastery. We must learn something else and something else and something else. We cannot remain immobile.

Knowledge carries a foreboding future because the longer we live the less we know and the less we know the more we know we need to know. This vicious Mobius Strip existence is the curse of living a modern life. We are always starting over, never going backward but never traveling far enough ahead that we can stay there without beginning again.

Lives are no longer a means to an end. Life is a never-ending starting and within that module is the warm and comforting pause that with the crest of something learned comes a fulfilling of the mind’s promise and an expression of intent hitherto unimagined and unbeknownst in the darkness of our stasis.

13 Comments

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  3. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

    You say, “never traveling far enough ahead that we can stay there without beginning again” but in reality to travel to far ahead would be to be left behind, like a railway car on an unused siding, because the future isn’t a path anyone can map. Our future may be this, that, or a thousand other things, depending on so many variables. Think of what 9/11 has done to this country philosophically, politically. That was one guy + 19 guys + some money and trainers. He knocked this country out of one path into another that could not have been foreseen.

    In such times I think it is good to be a generalist with a little of this and that, and a synthesist, able to combine in the retort of the mind and distill new combinations.

    (I’m not sure that Möbius Strip is the metaphor you want here; trace along one with a pencil and soon you are going over the line you previously scribed, on both sides of the paper but without, of course, ever turning the paper over; the treadmill landscape of the Red Queen comes to mind, but that is not quite it either.)

    1. You obviously don’t believe in predestiny. SMILE! Many do. I believe in making your own luck. 9/11 was a predictable event — only our arrogance allow it to surprise us — and the cover up of the roots of it all are what has mauled the USA to the core. We are still living a lie of the mind as we try to rationalize our way out of that predictable box.

      A Möbius Strip is 3D, so tracing it with a pencil is impossible because then it just becomes an flat infinity symbol.