The other day I was having a conversation with a friend at work on lunch. We were talking about life and what about the possibility that this life is only one of many and what if a new life starts off each time we die in a different universe and we have no recollection of that previous life. And what if we only lived one life where time was only one continuous motion never advancing but being experienced simultaneously and the only time we are aware of it is when we have déjà vu which signals that feeling that we’ve been there or done the same thing before. My friend and I like to ponder the infinite. To posit what exactly this all means. He and I share a great enjoyment for looking deeper because we only have so much time in which to think about these things.
That doesn’t sit well with others.
While talking about this, a few other people were around us and listening in to our conversation. You could feel a disconnection in the air. None of them interjected with their own thoughts or feelings. They stood quietly amongst us, looking anywhere but at us, and then left without a word. We would have welcomed another voice in the discussion but when it came down to it, no one else wanted to say anything. I think because it scares them.
I think ideas scare people. If our conversation had been about the current season of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ or what the weather would be like in the next few days, I think a group discussion would have begun. Or if someone wanted to talk about their personal life, which some of them do in GREAT detail, they would have listened or added to it. But our conversation was not about how our grandma made a blueberry pie this weekend, or how work sucks, or that it may or may not rain in the next few days.
This was a discussion about life in the grander scale. About what makes us human, and what our purpose is in life, and how that makes them terribly uncomfortable because it isn’t a banal regurgitation of some ego-centric information. We weren’t talking just so people would listen to something about ourselves in some attempt to make our experience feel more important than someone else’s.
I could not count how many conversations I’ve had in my lifetime that revolve around the weather. Either how it is too hot or too cold, how it may rain or snow or sleet or hail, how it was nice in the morning but it isn’t anymore. I don’t mind this conversation once and awhile. Sometimes that is all there is to talk about and I find weather interesting enough, but I also want more out of the human experience than just something I can understand by looking out a window. I like to discuss the unknowable and question reality because it is exciting to think, to use my mind, to conjure ideas up from the depths of my imagination. Not only because it makes for interesting conversation but it also helps to connect us together, because none of us truly know why we are here and what meaning it is.
I don’t think the people who don’t talk about this are below me. I don’t think I’m better or smarter than them. Mostly it just makes me feel sad for them that either they don’t think about anything besides what is normal everyday life, they don’t want to think about that, or they do and are too frightened to talk about it for fear of some sort of society induced stigma.
Because to talk about these matters sets you apart from others. It wants to label you as ‘weird’ or ‘odd’. If you don’t fall in line and only speak of inconsequential matters you are seen as different. People come in and out of our lives at such a speed that if we aren’t careful, we can miss any value from them that helps us both grow and understand more about this gigantic universe around us.
We should not be afraid to ask questions, to discuss, to inquire about things that are deeper than what is on the surface. There is no need to be singled out because of it. It is important to ask and talk with each other about things that matter more.
Ask away my friends.