“Civilisation occurs and maintains itself when the two forces – the striving and the ordering – approach equipoise.”*
When one of these becomes considerably heavier than the other, we have problems. The striving part of us has to bring this into some kind of order, else what has been discovered or created will be lost, and this ordering must stimulate the our striving else what has been formed will stultify. Most of us prefer the order part of this to the striving.
‘If you know, in the morning, what your day looks like with any precision, you are a little bit dead – the more precision, the more dead you are.’^
I’ve just been checking online to see whether Second Life is still around and it is. Describing itself as a way to “Explore Multi-User Fantasy Worlds” and means to “Meet Your Wildest Dream,” Sherry Turkle writes that it is another way to ‘escape from ourselves.’**
What about escaping to ourselves rather than from?
This kind of escape means to become more our true Self, escaping to the big world and to those people who fill our smaller worlds – beyond our heads, and even our hearts, into action, our noblesse oblige, our noble obligation.
This isn’t escapism, it includes escaping to something that connects us. One of the ways we can find it by wandering off the well-trodden paths where we’re able to listen for the whispers.
When we create our own path we make it possible for others to create theirs: to ‘create the conditions in which others will motivate themselves.’^^
‘Ask a friend to give you wandering instructions. Tell your friend to write a location in your journal. Do not look at it until you are ready to set out.’*^
Beyond the world of scarcity there is a universe of possibility:
‘Did you suppose there could be only one Supreme? We affirm there can be unnumbered Supremes and that one does not counterfeit another … and men can be good or grand only of their supremacy within them.’^*
(*Clark Emery, quoted in Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)
(**From Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.)
(^From Nassim Taleb’s The Bed of Procrustes.)
(^^From Edward Deci’s Why We What We Do.)
(^*From Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(^*From Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.)