Notices
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Waking up in the cosmos at 22

  1. #1 Waking up in the cosmos at 22 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5
    Hello all,

    I've run into a 'dilemma' of sorts and would like to gather some advice here. Here's a bit of my story:

    I attended a strict, fundamentalist christian school from kindergarten to 12th grade. Creationism was the rule of thumb. This resulted in a significant lack of interest in the earth and the cosmos. Partly because, if the earth was just a suffering cage, why care about it?

    Apart from the teachers who actively (perhaps not consciously) suppressed interest in the cosmos (for example, I had no idea that the light travelling from various galaxies took billions of years to get here), my decreased visualization skills made it all but impossible to grasp that I was living on a sphere. This was thanks in part to the endless barrage of entertainment media (videogames, movies, television) I and countless others were 'subjected' to in front of our televisions after school. Needless to say, I found myself in art school, working to become a comic book artist and animator. Something peculiar happened though.

    The decision to become a comic book artist was a strange one indeed. Quite frankly, I was too dumb at the time to realize how difficult it would actually be. After the first year of school, I found myself back at home desperately studying perspective theory to make my dreams a reality. This resulted in 2 entire years spent inside my room at home, every day consisting of nothing more than projective geometry and linear perspective studies. 1,500 pages of notes and one tired mind later, I finally made the connection. I realized that the perspectives I attain when walking about outside during my 'everyday life' are perspectives of the sphere of the earth commonly viewed in 'globe' and photograph form. Finally.... the connection.

    Combined with a few watchings of Sagan's Cosmos, I found myself filled with wonder, interest and anger. I was angry that I had been assaulted by television, videogames and movies (as well as mind-suppressing teachers) during the tender development years of my life. I was angry that they almost took away my ability to grasp the cosmos and the fact that I live on a ball.

    This has led me to a terrible dilemma. The perspective skills I've developed make it impossible to ignore the cosmos. I've raised my consciousness-level far too high. Currently, I'm signed up to start Geology at college this upcoming fall. I struggle though. I've really come far as an artist, but I nearly despise the consciousness-lowering effect that popular entertainment media has on the mind.

    From one angle, I push myself in my current artistic direction, because I feel that the cosmos (or whatever the 'thing' is that we're 'in') may have the ability to defy the infinite regress without external aid (essentially, the 'watch' without a watchmaker). If this is true, in my opinion, the 'worth' of actions from a religious standpoint discontinues. Morality is only perceived and so is the value in certain actions. Existing in the cosmos is just a choice, not a mandate which results in 'goodies' at the end of the trail -- almost as though we're on life support. Pulling the cord at any particular time doesn't necessarily mean anything, and it'll probably happen eventually anyway.

    I'm wondering if anyone else here has converted to the sciences in a similar way. I don't expect too many responses. This forum seems hardly noticeable amidst the vast ocean of activities which put us back to sleep, incapable of grasping reality and the cosmos.

    Thanks.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Thank you for sharing that with us. I followed you in detail up until you laid out your dilema, at which point you lost me somewhat. Could you clarify exactly what you are finding contradcitory, and what conflciting choices you feel you are faced with.

    A side note on your artistic skills. Even in this day of powerful digital cameras I think there remains a place for detailed drawings of things in nature. This is certainly true in geology. If you found that you were pursuing a career in that direction, your artistic abilities could be used to very good effect.

    Welcome to the forum, by the way.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5
    I agree with you. There really isn't a contradiction. I suppose I have mixed feelings about our future as a species. What kind of activities should we value if we wish to survive in this cosmos? I feel that many things keep us from finding interest in the universe, partly because the idea of the cosmos is too abstract to find interesting.

    It's more of a conflict between altruistic feelings and the desire to play. One part of me feels it's fine to 'play' in the cosmos, while the other strongly wishes to protect the earth and investigate the universe we've woken up in.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    5
    Glad you have found yourself in a position to enlighten your understanding of the world you live in. Unfortunately, as you describe, with the knowledge of our real position in the cosmos it is much harder for anyone to sit and "play."

    I find myself with the same sentiments you've expressed whenever I hear someone raving on about the newest video games, big-budget movies and tv series. It seems the population of the world is in the middle of a very large choice, some choose to find constructive things to do while the rest seek out their most self-gratifying forms of entertainment.

    Lucky for those compelled to be constructive, the world offers us almost limitless avenues to follow, some of which obviously benefit mankind (space exploration, medical research, psychology, etc) while others serve a more latent purpose.

    I, for example, spend most of my free time either thinking about or making music. Seems like "playing" and it often feels like "playing" but I will side with Kurt Vonnegut who said in an interview once that he believes music makes the world a less depressing place. This is the same for almost any activity you could choose, wether it be drawing, sculpture, writing, teaching, some would even throw athletic endeavors in there, as they serve to motivate us to work towards the best versions of ourselves.


    Your second to last paragraph holds alot of the realizations that come with a more secular understanting of the universe, although as humans we can still deduce moral guidelines to follow just by being good to each other.

    I do disagree with the "life support" statement though. Compared to religion, where our existence is owed to some higher being, a humanistic outlook can be very empowering. The future really IS in our hands, and and though our place in this solar system is a fragile one, we are quickly developing the ability to look beyond, and find (or engineer) new havens for our species.

    Hope this helps you some...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5
    Thank you Kyle, your words have helped a bit.

    This understanding of reality and the precariousness of our situation is such a heavy burden. I often feel like crawling around from place to place as opposed to walking. I know that if I continue on my current path, I'll depend on the creation of children just like my former self. It pains me without end.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •