“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.”
– George Carlin
I was sitting on a pyramid looking around. It was early morning and the tour groups were sparse enough that it was actually quite outside. For a few brief minutes I got to pretend like I’d gone back in time to the high of the Mayan empire. In my imagination everything made sense. The entire civilization looked exactly like my guidebook had described it.
Eventually some dorky tourists interrupted my train of thought. I was snapped back into a word were I sat on an ancient and mysterious ruin. A place that scientists still know little about, built by a people who’s society and it’s history is virtually unknown. I was just a kid, sitting on top of something that could only be speculated about.
There isn’t much in our universe that we actually can explain. The majority of things are still pretty open ended. Vast swaths of history can only be speculated upon. Historic figures are elevated to mythic status, making the true details of their lives near impossible to discern. I’m reading The Accountant’s Story, a book I wasn’t expecting to learn a lot from, and am getting blown away by how little I had known about the actual Pablo Escobar. I’d known about his drug empire and I knew all the little facts, like him losing billions of dollars due to mice eating the paper currency, but I knew nothing about the man himself. Every page has surprised me.
It’s hard to admit you don’t always know everything. It’s easier to try and not think abut things. It’s easier to identify with a group and let them do the the thinking for you. You can proudly declare yourself a Democrat, or a Christian, or a Pastafarian, or a Manospherian. You can recite your pre-approved dogma and only read things that confirm what you already believe. You can sit around your clubhouse and look down on all the people who are less enlightened than you. They can’t think for themselves, while you have a special messiah to dictate how independent thinkers like yourself should behave.
You can march around and prattle away bout your one true path. You can treat your group’s books and philosophies as infallible. Or you can just admit that everything doesn’t fit inside some prepacked ideology. You can walk around a pyramid, or look at Coral Castle, or just star at the stars and appreciate the fact that not everything makes sense. A huge percent of the current population was born before we ever landed on the moon. We only learned how to fly a hundred years ago. There’s still plenty of mystery in the world. Claiming to have some kind of answer to everything is simply ridiculous.