I read someone write recently that they were
in, but not of, the world.
I have seen this statement so many (yawn) times, and I know that people intend it to mean good things when they say it… like they are relatively incorruptible, for example… 🙂
It struck me recently, however, as a dangerous idea.
What I mean by dangerous is that it seems to imply that the world is a distasteful, inferior place. Only someone who believes in heaven could even dream to think it. It can be used by the rapture folk to look at nuclear war and say,
Brrrringgg it onnnn.
I say to these honchos (and honchas?):
Hey! I kinda like this world and would like to see it go on as it is for a few more eons at least. I mean, I don’t expect to be around in my present atomic arrangement to see it through, but I’d sorta like to see at least some of my atoms put to decent use. I know that if I were, at this present moment, to cease to need my personal atoms, a few billion of them would end up as part of a spinner dolphin or a humpback whale, a painted lady butterfly, a cobra or a hammerhead shark. In fact, a huge number of those carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, hydrogen and oxygen atoms that currently make up my DNA would end up in the cell nuclei of basically every other living individual on the planet. Cockroaches even. But I wouldn’t want their “little atomic selves” to have their choices restricted to cockroaches and/or amoebae only – or whatever other tiny folk that would survive a human-facilitated Armageddon of any type. That would be so limiting.
Seriously, fellow humanoids, I have actually heard my 7 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 atoms cry out with a single voice:
I have it on good authority that no single atom or subatomic particle can exist by itself in isolation. The very concept of an isolated “particle” is a big, convenient fib told by scientists of the Western variety to oversimplify the dimly understood universe so that we can do things like chemistry and engineering, i.e. make stuff that separates us from the planet in, say, air-conditioned comfort. The more comfy or distracting crap we build, the more isolated we become from our ecosystem and the less empathy we feel for it. We are – really, folks – so intimately connected to every other animate and inanimate thing on this beautiful, sapphire-coloured planet that, to my way of thinking:
It is ridiculous to think of ourselves as not of the world.