Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Beauty and joy are not just things we find in the world. These concepts are human creations. It's our own imaginative faculty that allows us to conceive of them in the first place. Beauty and joy combined with imagination and creativity create a sort of moral compass that directs us toward a state of consciousness where these elements come to together and captivate us in the process.
Allowing ourselves to feel totally captivated serves as the gateway between our ideals and the active creation of our values. Here, we experience a cultivated freedom of expression whereby our thoughts are in sync with the pleasures we experience while creating. When we use our mind in a way that respects our environment and ourselves, we are ensuring that we have the capabilities necessary for human flourishing.
Art, music, and literature enrich our lives by altering our consciousness. It is as if we have a deep need, if not a drive, to alter our state of consciousness from time to time. Like there's a natural force that motivates us in pursuit of captivating experiences, without which we'd somehow be living an impoverished if not unhealthy life.
Stare at the above picture for 45 seconds. Now look away from your computer screen. What effect did that have on your eyes? Did you like it? Was it fun? Was it painful in a strangely alluring way? Did it remind you of being a kid and spinning yourself around until you got dizzy and fell down?
Even as kids we are attracted to alternate states of reality.
And bubbles floating in mid air.
The drive to experience non-ordinary conscious states captivates us in a very basic way. The tacit assumption that we're all living in the "real world" when throughout history we have long since sought to alter our consciousness makes me wonder where exactly the line between the real world and the consciously enhanced world can truly be drawn.
Ending on a high note far above the city, our imagination carries us to new heights whereby we can see the vast expanse that is our world while simultaneously glimpsing what might lie beyond the horizon. What lies beyond is both powerful and compelling, captivating our hearts as well as our minds in the higher, intrinsically better, intellectual pleasures that coexist with being human.