www.whyville.net Feb 20, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

The Box

Users' Rating
Rate this article

Before I get into my article, I'd like to remind you that your brain is a very wild tool for processing information. Please make sure your brain is in a state of mind that is very wild before you begin reading. Because I would like you to really think about what I'm saying, not just process it as an article in the Times that looks interesting. If you are already disinterested in the article, or can't really seem to pay attention, then there is the answer to the reason humanity is off balance: failure to communicate. I was not able to successfully communicate my idea to you; maybe I'm talking in to complex of language for your simple mind that is used to reading slang and abbreviation, etc. Or maybe it's just the fact that I haven't gotten to a point yet, but have rambled about something that you may think is very useless. But really, I'm using this opening paragraph to open your mind, because this is a very serious issue, and cannot be looked at from 'inside the box', as it were. So let me share one last suggestion before I begin: The world tells us, all the time, to 'think outside the box'. Perhaps we need to think further outside the box, outside of the box that the box is in, or maybe that box is a sphere. But forget thinking outside the box, I want you to take a look, a real look, at what is inside the box.

We've learned to live our daily lives 'inside the box' instinctively. We push on with our regular daily schedules, doing our daily deeds (eating, arranging our image to go out into public, school, etc.). We amuse ourselves with things like TV and video games, movies and media, adventures or parties, family and friends, crushes/relationships, drama within those, and individual hobbies/skills. Sounds like a pretty average kid, does it not? And we live on with this idea that we will one day grow up, mature, and become a part of a money-driven society. We'll need to get jobs, some of us will seek marriage and have a family one day, and we'll all run after our life goals, maybe travel the world or do a little something to try and make it a better place before your time on Earth expires. Am I wrong? This is what we've been taught is the path towards a successful and secure future.

But how is our future so secure when the very planet we live on is slowly falling apart? Because of the large amounts of human beings on our planet, we've thrown the very basic cycles of nature off balance, trying to exist at the same time while isolating ourselves in our societies, refusing to work with the rest of the world, unless, of course, they're humans, or if somebody sets up a campaign and advertises that they need help. Yeah, you've probably all heard this before, but don't stop reading; I want this idea to really process in your mind. This isn't a lesson, this is a more constructive way to explore your mind, and question the world, as we all need to do within our lifetimes.

Let me give you something to visualize. I'm sure you have a favorite band, or at least a favorite song. That song is beautiful and sounds very appealing to our ears, and although it has no reason to exist in invisible space, the sound waves do exist, and we seem to find it extremely moving when those sound waves are unified (meaning, they fit perfectly together to sound appealing to our ears, rather than a not unified song that would sound off-beat, out of tune, sloppy, and completely awful). If you've ever been to a live concert by your favorite band, you've witnessed something very intense. It seems magical, that those human minds all seem to be able to communicate almost telepathically, because they are very familiar with the scale and rhythm that the song is based on and can predict what will/might happen next. So since they have a general idea of how the song functions, they can do their individual parts. The bass line, the vocals, the steady drum beat, the guitar riffs, etc. And it seems that the best songs aren't based on simple and steady beats, but go off into more complex ideas, that we see has talent to be able to think of.

What I've found to be most magical about a live song, personally, is that each band member has the opportunity to go off on a tangent and completely change the effect of the entire song. When the guitarist throws away all conscious fears of destroying the unity of the song, and being publicly embarrassed, and just shreds wildly in the spur of the moment in the song that brings the best opportunity. Or when the drummer risks the unity of the song by adding in a more complex rhythm where he felt was too simple and boring, or not challenging/interesting enough for his mind to pay attention and do his part nearly as well as he was capable of. It's in those spontaneous moments where the musician isn't consciously wound up in our society's ways and fearing the insecurity of being wild, but subconsciously feeding off the rhythm of the song and energy of the band, that the most amazing and indescribably moving songs happen.

Similarly, we have parts to play in our own band. It's called Earth. One beautiful thing that Earth can do is sustain life. It does this through a natural cycle that has its own rhythms. This rhythm seems to be based around the sun; as our world spins, the sun rises and falls, causing the natural rhythm of day and night. As the Earth orbits the sun, you get the natural rhythm of the seasons. And so on. All life lives under this idea. The wild animals are very in tune with this idea; their daily struggle to maintain life, they have times of year for mating, birth, growth, hibernation, etc. Some animals even know when the right time of year sustains the most life for them to consume, or the right time of year that the most water is available.

So the animals live with the natural rhythms in their separate and very different climates, they all work together to follow one natural rhythm. And as humans, as natural creatures of the planet, we have an instrument to play in this band called Earth. But it's almost as if we've missed a beat, and gotten distracted by our own thing when we attempted to join back in, ending up over-powering them with this incredible noise. And this very noise is what has driven us to our insanity. We've gotten used to it, in fact, we like our noise. We subconsciously know that it's way out of tune with nature, but the effects of it don't directly effect our individual daily life in this protected and secure society that we were born into, so we don't care. Where most intelligent musicians would just try and blend in their mistake, fix it as best they can and get back on track with the song, we got distracted and decided to try and make it our own.

So, we all know that our planet is very special in comparison to the others in our solar system, because it is the only one that can sustain life. It has no reason to, but it does, and there's nothing we can do about it unless we want to either completely destroy it, or consistently support it. But we seem to think we can live in-between these two. We don't want to throw away our planet, but at the same time, we don't really feel too attached to it. Why not? I believe it's because society (also known as 'the box') has isolated us from nature. Humans, as natural creatures of the Earth, are instinctively attracted to things that are natural. We escape from society to go on vacation in Earthly paradises. We keep pets in our homes and gardens on our properties. But even through all these things, don't you still feel a little distant from nature? To think that we live on a huge planet, and we're only concerned with our own personal area of it.

Why did we isolate ourselves from the world? Figuratively, we fell out of tune and were too self-centered about our slight failure to face it and get back on our feet, we just denied it, because we're far too advanced of a species to fail (sarcasm). In reality, I believe that one huge factor that caused us to isolate ourselves is our fear of death. I once heard in a song, "Death is ugly cuz you fear it". It's true, death is not an ugly thing, we're just afraid of it because society has taught us that death is a problem. It happens in nature, it's part of the cycle, part of the rhythm. Yes, I am saying death is a good thing (unless abused by psychotic and corrupted minds). And since we're finding our life, conserving it, trying to stay alive and live together, not only with ourselves, but with the rest of the life in the world, we're ruining the natural cycles of nature. We're using up far more resources than we need; I heard a statistic that if every human in the world lived a consumer lifestyle like we do, we would need three planets of resources to satisfy our needs.

So this causes things like global warming, because we burn toxic fumes into our atmosphere, and cut down the forests that cool our planet and feed us oxygen. Species go extinct because global warming is messing up the natural tuning of the entire song. Plus, poaching is a major contributor to extinction. This throws food chains off balance, and more species go extinct. You have all this life, disappearing in very short periods of time, not being able to recycle its nutrients back into the Earth like it should. We even try to preserve our dead in cemeteries, or burn them and keep their ashes. We burn or chop down trees for money, destroying homes for life that should go on and recycle, which makes the nutrition starved soil completely useless if we ever changed our minds and wanted to re-grow. That's why death is beautiful, and should not be feared. It's what keeps those nutrients cycling in their portion of the song. Life thrives off death; some animals feed off dead plants, some animals feed off of dead animals, plants and fungus feed off decay, nutrients get recycled. So, since we isolate ourselves in society believing death is a problem, we have thrown off the natural process of life and death.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying death is ethical and we should all go out and kill each other/ourselves. I'm saying, that maybe there's a reason that such devastating things have happened. We saw that disease was a problem, killing a large number of our population, and we've come up with many vaccinations and cures to help the problem so that we aren't living in a dirty, diseased world. We saw war as a problem, and we still acknowledge its negative impact on the human population. We're personally effected by these large numbers of deaths, many people are effected because of personal connections to those who were lost. And that's why it's considered a 'problem', but really, if those populations of humans hadn't have been tragically killed off, the world would be far more overpopulated, far closer to it's doom than it is now. Loss and death just happens naturally. Animals lose loved ones daily, but they don't see it as a problem, they accept it and keep playing the song. They, too, have to deal with murders and diseases, and other fatal happenings. Even animals that live in 'the box' with us, we take puppies and kittens away from their families so that we can keep them as companions, and they don't start wars because of their losses. Maybe we're too self-centered, as human beings, to see how unnatural we're being, since we obviously know how powerful we can be.

We were all once wild little babies with these rhythms programmed into our nature. We were once natural animals, with all the potential in the world to exist happily for our lifetime. But society has taught us to ignore a lot of the instincts we were born with, told us that the natural rhythms we live by are our own carefully and skillfully discovered culture; 'The Box'. And it's to the point where it's considered paradise when natural, uncorrupted life thrives in an area of the world. To the point where we know it exists, we know we're in a box, but we aren't allowed to pull it out of the back of our minds and take a look at it, because we might get thrown off of our lighted pathways into the darkness of being a failure. We live in constant fear of failure, of rejection within our isolated society, of death and suffering, the emotions that we have to deal with when tragedy strikes. We can't accept ourselves as merely creatures, because we think we're superior to everything else, and we seem to think we can't handle dealing with these fears. Let me share with you a bit of a new possible way to think of us.

Yes, we are an 'elite' race, you might say. We have the ability to develop languages, medicines, vaccines, technology, education, architecture, etc., so many things that improve our quality of life on this planet, so many things that make it easier for ourselves (and a lot of wildlife, but...not nearly enough). We have a more advanced way of communicating, more curious minds capable of going far further than other creatures (as far as we know). But just because no other animals have such complex minds doesn't mean we're better. Every form of life has it's own special skill. Birds can fly, fish can breathe under water, some creatures survive not eating for months, some creatures don't even need sunlight in order to live; and humans, we can think. We have logic within our complex minds, but don't you sometimes feel jealous of other creatures and wish you could have such a simple mind, such a wild lifestyle? And don't you think it's completely illogical to be protecting our population, in a clearly over-populated world, rather than the planet we live on?

I heard an African farmer on TV say something along the lines of "We love the trees; we know they're important, but it comes to a question of whether you'd rather keep a tree standing, or feed your children." But ask yourself this, instead: What sounds more logical in the long run, cutting down trees to feed your children so that they'll have a future of global warming and lack of resources, or protecting your planet and selflessly choosing not to have children, despite our natural reproduction instincts and longing for family love, so that younger generations can have children to live on a balanced and healthy planet and know how to take care of it.

This article has become fairly long, but I'd like to cover a few more topics before I leave your mind to ponder them for yourself. One of them is rituals; our way of syncing with nature's rhythms. We normally think of rituals as spiritual, like praying to Gods, or performing a s?ance. But we have rituals of our own, so let me explain the ideas that I, personally, find to be most logical. We live our daily lives on pretty strict schedules, where we fit in time to sleep, eat, learn, work/run errands, play/socialize, and relax/reflect. Not because we have to, but because it's most convenient. But even this ritual links to nature, because the Earth spins, giving us limited daylight. We even have our own time zones so that different areas of the world sync with the daylight at the proper time, and we have 'daylight savings' times to help us sync up with the changing seasons (the Earth revolving around the sun). We have a certain number of days called a 'year'. During this year, we have celebrations, a lot of the time according to our beliefs. Such as New Years, which helps us progress in time with the rest of the world. Such as Christmas; the birth of Christ onto our planet, and Easter, his resurrection.

Which brings me to religion, and their individual rituals. Here's the way I like to see it. A very long time ago, humans used to pay a lot of attention to the sky and the stars, and the rhythms in time that nature cycles. They used the stars to create stories for themselves, perhaps to pass the time by, or perhaps to enhance their minds and understand the cycles of nature a little more personally. Let's take it back to the very first generation of human beings, if you can imagine. Seeing the sun for the first time, we celebrate it, because it gives us time to see the world clearly, and it feeds our crops, keeping life plentiful and luscious. Then, just as we fall deeper in love with its magical life-giving qualities, it decides not to give us as much time in a single day. The sun reaches its highest point in the sky closer and closer to the horizon each day. We get depressed, because we can no longer nurture life since there isn't enough daylight, and worried that it will never be that way again. So of course we would celebrate once it began to rise a little more each day, leading back to spring where life cycles all over again.

Now if you look at ancient myths, they all have this idea, with different seasons revolving around a central God or Goddess. The different seasons aren't always literal, though, but think of the patterns. Spring: birth, renewal, Summer: thriving life, happiness, Autumn: end of summer and happiness, turning to rest for the winter, Winter: a time of death and hibernation/rest, leading back to spring. Then, the pattern of a myth: the birth of a hero, on to a happy triumph or marriage, leading to a difficult challenge/quest and ending in a death or loss that generally leads back to the rewarding 'spring' where the cycle of life, emotions, and literature archetypes (meaning, common symbols in stories, such as the seasons I've used here) can begin all over again.

Now skip forward in time a little, to where our ancient religions were derived from. They seem to have a similar idea, where there's a superior being or 'God', and/or a hero being of God-descent, and their biographies sync up to the seasons. The birth, the thriving life, the challenge where everything starts falling downwards, ending in a loss or death, but cycling back to a renewal or resurrection (the sun thrives life until it sets low in the sky, and then 'resurrects' after the shortest day of the year, leading back to spring). Now skip forward, once again, to modern day, where we've created our own 'popular' culture. We try to have a central God-like character, mainly the government these days, yet still attempt to sync our lives with nature by living our daily and annual schedules and occasions.

So the sun and it's rhythm has actually caused stories, that once helped us understand, to be re-used and modified, and re-discovered for later generations that have no idea where they truly originated from. All they saw was that the stories sounded logical for some strange reason, a strange enough and magical enough reason for them to believe in it with their entire lives. I believe this reason is because they sync naturally with nature's rhythm, as they're based around the very logical, and very metaphoric, astrology, and felt a natural connection to the central life-giving 'God' (originally, the sun). That 'magical' feeling that many people mistake to through miracles to be the love of a higher form of being, they seem to happen when everything fits together, when life is balanced and good things happen, when that struggle through 'winter' is overcome and 'springs' to the rewards of 'summer'. Does it not sound absolutely logical, when you put it this way, since the sun does give us all life, and runs the schedule of our seasons and days? Why do you think we celebrate with a smile when we wake up and see a clear sky, but fall subconsciously into slight depression when the sky is cloudy for a few days? Maybe it's because we've grown to know unconsciously that with sun comes life, and when it's gone comes winter, so that they effect our conscious feelings like this.

The problem that comes with this idea, is that if I tried to tell this to people who practiced their faith in one of the many religions in this world, they would probably think I was telling them that they're wrong and they should be living my way. This is where I've come to an understanding for our religions, cultures, and rituals. We naturally celebrate the sun, we're naturally attracted to life, and things with rhythm. But as humans, we're merely animals, we're not as smart as we'd like to assume, and we need to have certain rituals and practices in order to keep our minds and lives balanced/in tune with nature. It's the myths, stories, and practices that keep both our creative and logical minds, keeps our brains functioning effectively so that they can stay open, learning more and advancing.

But it's religion that has actually done the opposite, because we've closed our minds to the belief. Instead of just seeing the rituals as a creative way to sync with nature, instead of believing it as a 'pretend' sort of thing. And I don't mean like "Lets pretend to be cats. Meow!" I mean actually pretend, where you do believe that something is real, but you don't take it too seriously, similar to how actors 'get into character' and actually temporarily take on a second life for the filmers. And so since we've closed our minds, because each religion sounds completely logical to an individual believer as it naturally syncs with nature's rhythm and gives them that sure feeling, we end up arguing about who's 'God' is actually real.

Whose religion is true, if all of them are logical in their own ways? And then there's those of us who don't believe in religion at all, but perform other rituals to keep our lives organized and balanced, and mark the cycles in nature/points in time (rituals such as baby showers to welcome new life, weddings to celebrate the unity between two beings, funerals to help us overcome the loss of loved ones, etc). We need these rituals to keep us going, to keep our spirits up, give us a reason to do something different and special and be creative; and subconsciously, sync with nature. And instead of welcoming the other lifestyles and beliefs to mingle with our culture, we've separated ourselves. All of us have, because we believe a little too intensely in our separate rituals, since we've experienced they effectively work for us and think it's only logical for others live the same way. It's like we've built up walls inside of our box, claiming that 'Division is a new world order'.

Take a second look. Division is a new world disorder. Not only do you have the instrument of humanity completely off beat and out of tune, completely overpowering the rest of the band, but they're going off and doing their own separate things, so that they, themselves, are like a band of individual awful noises that can't swallow their pride and unite for the take of their own ears. Our individual cultures and races are seen as, pretty much, each a different species. We will get nowhere if we separate ourselves like this, but I'll get back to this topic in a second. Because on top of that, we like to divide ourselves from our environment. We do support it, we block some areas of it off to protect certain wildlife.

But that's not going to be good enough, because our societies will keep growing and advancing, and the poorer countries are constantly trying to do the same. We can go to those countries that are low-energy that are using up natural resources and destroying the planet and say "Don't do this, there are other ways". But that's like saying "We are allowed to surround ourselves with goods and things, we have already accomplished quality of life in our society, and it's destructive and corruptive, so you're not allowed to make the same mistake because we need to thrive in it and there's no more room.". That's not fair, other countries cut down forests for energy and to create land to grow crops and agriculture, while we get to simply pay bills and somehow electricity magically flows through our homes. And neither are environmentally friendly.

Ok so now I'll get back to the topic of separating ourselves. This box that I've been talking about the whole time, we've isolated ourselves. Those who are familiar with basic psychology, you should know that isolation is a very effective step when trying to brainwash someone. A power-driven man will isolate his girlfriend from the world, from her friends and family, so that he can feed her his opinions and she'll have to listen because she subconsciously knows she has nothing to lose, there's nothing else influencing her but him. She'll actually start believing that he really does love her, and that she really will have the best life if she stays with him. So the man can go around behind her back, cheating on her, and she'll never suspect, or at least never be brave enough to suspect out loud. Or maybe he's more of a man to brainwash in order to abuse the woman, which then he'll go through rhythmic cycles that will get her more and more attached to him after each fight that ends with an apology, leading to each beating that ends with a greater apology, thinking he really does care if he keeps apologizing and trying so hard. She never even stops to think that maybe he apologizes because he knows the cycle will eventually bring back another perfect opportunity for abuse. She never takes a look at what she's thrown away, just to feel the happiness of the great apology, the 'love' that all humans need, and has no idea of it's falseness.

Or another example, the drug addicted hobo. He'll shoot up one day to experience a high, but one of the rhythms of a high is that it has to come back down. So, naturally, he'll want to get back up, by shooting up once more. And eventually, he'll spend all his money on it, his family and friends will worry and try to help but he'll say 'No, you can't be telling me I'm wrong, it's not your life, it's mine. It was my choice, I am perfectly stable, I don't need rehab.' So he isolates himself, and keeps the drug, even though he's on the streets and has nothing to live for but the next high. Now look at us. We've isolated ourselves from the environment, because it's dangerous and wild, too unknown (I'm sure you've all heard that humans fear the unknown). We've become addicted to the security and the leisure of our society. The basis of all addictions is when you start to believe that you need something, and your too blind and brainwashed to see it any other way. The woman believes that she needs the abusing man in her life, it's all she has. The hobo needs the drug because his body is so used to the high that it can't function properly when it's sober, and he knows he can go to rehab and fix it, but in his mind he has no logical reason to make such a sacrifice. And we believe that we need money and security in order to live a high-quality life. Who isolated us?

The government. Now, don't immediately take this as a proposal for anarchy. I believe that the world can live with both society and wildlife. It's finding a way to do this wisely that we're stuck on. Because people tend to take things very black and white, no grey issues; it's either right or wrong, it's either your way or my way; it's either humanity or the environment. It's the grey that we actually need to get, despite it's unattractiveness, forget about our natural appeal for contrast, we need balance, and unity. This is sort of starting to sound like a painting; the eye is naturally attracted to contrast, but when it comes down to it, the painting would look horrible without the artist's skill and understanding that a painting needs to be balanced and unified to be appealing to a human eye. Actually, this is a good visualization.

We all have different interests and hobbies that we like to practice our skills in. To practice skills, you need to have an understanding for the subject as a whole. You can't just pick up a guitar and shred an amazing solo without first experimenting with the pitches, and the feel of the fret board, and the most appealing tunings, etc. so that you know the instrument before you play it. You can't perform an effective surgery without learning about the entire human body and how it functions. And you can't have balanced life on Earth if the majority of the ruling species doesn't know how it's environment functions, because they've locked themselves in a box and refuse to come out of it, only think outside of it. You'd end up creating awful music from the guitar, and killing the patient getting surgery, and destroying the very planet that sustains our very lives. Because we're too focused on our little box to realize how all the different ecosystems link together, how the world all functions as one.

So, if you're now seeing 'The Box' like I do, as a negative thing isolating us and blinding us from reality, it's only logical to try and burn it down, right? Wrong. We can't balance life on the planet without first balancing out our box, and tearing down the walls that divide us. The only way to tear down the walls is through communication; not through war, not through preaching a word, or making a documentary about the horrible truths of our planets doom, but really communicating. The problem with simply telling people things, is that it doesn't usually process, or at least not deep enough. We'll sit in our living rooms watching news about people starving in third world countries, or even in our own country, and say "Oh, that's awful", then go on devouring our nutritious dinner. We're stuck behind televisions to vicariously experience the world, which obviously isn't effective enough. It opens our minds, it gives us something to think about, something to talk about, but we seem to think we can't actually do anything about it.

Which is exactly the purpose of my article; to open your mind, get you thinking, give you and your buddies a real topic to discuss when your bored. This article won't change the world, it won't make people suddenly realize the answers to the life. All of these are just my opinion, though, these are just ideas for you to play around with, since I obviously have not thought of any solutions. I was hoping that I could help inspire something revolutionary within us; the youth. A lot of our elders, their minds are far more closed than ours. They have already 'found themselves', they have closed their minds thinking they know who they are, and what they need to do with their lives, and what they need to teach us as young, oblivious, unexperienced children. Let's not close our minds to what they've been telling us, let's open our minds, because all of our minds working at once has got to think of a solution, or at least more ideas to keep inspiring more minds. Maybe one day in the near future, we can find a way to break down the walls, and keep our planet sustaining balanced life. It doesn't mean we can't have cultural diversity, it doesn't mean we can't have things like society, it doesn't mean we all need to be wild and simple like the other animals. The thing is, I don't know what it does mean. That's what we, as young and open-minded humans, need to find out.

I, personally, find it very frustrating to be trapped in 'the box'. Having all these wild creatures trying to be civilized, trying to deny their natural 'demons', if you will. To me, it doesn't sound like this little box of ours will work out in the long run. We were born wild animals, it's not logical to be truly happy and completely civilized at the same time. Please don't take this article too seriously, I'm not trying to manipulate your mind or make you think a certain way; these are my opinions and thought processes, and if you want to agree with them, that's really sweet. And if you don't agree with them, don't close your mind to the entire article, you might miss something that could open a part of your mind that you never knew existed. A part of your mind that could possibly be very life changing, you never know. If you pay attention and actually think about things in life, you'll find that a lot of the pieces of the puzzle will fit. All of the billions of cycles and systems in the world, how they each have complex pieces that contribute to the overall function, and how each system links back to a similar idea: the natural cycle.

So I'll leave you guys at that. I congratulate those of you who made it the entire way through the article, I apologize for it's great length, but I hope you've enjoyed playing with your mind as much as I have. I would strongly suggest to all of you to watch the Planet Earth series by BBC. It holds amazing truths about the beauty and brutality of nature, and has experts who know exactly what's going on and have an idea on how to fix things; its just that not enough people are willing to change. Another film I'd also suggest is Zeitgeist (www.zeitgeistmovie.com), but I do believe it has some inappropriate content, so you younger Whyvillians might want to wait a few years before you try and understand it. It has a lot of mind-opening ideas, although I wouldn't rest my faith in it; it's only media, anyone can say anything they want and people will believe it if it looks professional and logical. I

I am very interested in hearing your opinions in the BBS. But the daily cycle of light has brought me back to bedtime, so until next time, keep your minds open and dauntless.



Did you like this article?
1 Star = Bleh.5 Stars = Props!
Rate it!
Ymail this article to a friend.
Discuss this article in the Forums.

  Back to front page