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Everyone has a voice, and a choice to use it well, use it poorly, or not to use it at all.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Un-known

Take a moment to ponder the profoundest experience of a little bunny: 2 years of intense simplicity, 30 seconds of hopping across a busy freeway, 2 more years of intense simplicity. Imagine the overload, amazement, fear, and awe he must have felt for those 30 seconds! And the relief and joy he must have felt at coming out the other side unscathed!

I am absurdly applying human attributes and feelings to a rodent, but only because I feel like that rabbit sometimes. It happens in the wilderness, at a wedding, or during a profession of faith. I call the  sensation "Cosmic Shivers". I feel as if I have briefly been admitted into another world, a world where the physical is more closely connected with the spiritual. My hair stands on end, a thrumming vibration fills my chest, and awe overwhelms my mind. Like the bunny, I feel joy and relief that I have been permitted to experience it.  However, I have another inclination which is perhaps foreign to the rabbit: I want to experience it again.

What is the cause of these feelings? Here are a few (there are certainly more).

1) Close contact with the uncontrollable.

Nearly everything we do every day is determined by our desires. If we want to do A, B, or C, we can do it, and even if we can't, we can choose D or E instead. In the uncontrollable, we are confronted with that which did not come about as a result of our choosing or wishing. Spectacular thunderstorms, shooting stars, and mountain ranges do not seek our permission or submit to our forbidding. They could kills us or move us to tears, and be unaware of us.

2) Experiencing something Bigger.

All of us suffer from IATCOTUD - the "I am the Center of the Universe Disease". This idea, besides being ridiculous (and an insult to the actual center of the universe), is very detrimental to us. It shrinks our minds to such an extent that we can only think about things in the context  of ourselves.  Seeing or experiencing something huge causes us to realize that there is much more than ourselves going on out there, that we are certainly not the center of the universe, are not even close. Standing beside a mountain, diving to the bottom of the ocean, or sailing on a spaceship to Mars will put things in a different perspective.

3)Perceiving  the Unknowable

The extravagant beauty of a sunset, the night sky, a woman, or any number of things impresses upon us that there is something "other". We know we could not have painted, designed, or made that. The solar system, plus a plethora of  galaxies and who knows what else, move and revolve in a kind of order. Yet we do not know how (seriously, we really don't). Other processes and intentions are going on, folks. There is no doubt that we are affected by them, but there is a great deal of doubt concerning what is causing the processes, and What or Who has the intentions.


Whatever the cause, I certainly enjoy these "Cosmic Shivers", and look to them as a reminder that something more, and above, and better, is going on all around us. To suppose that everything which is not controllable, predictable, and comfortable is not real, is to miss out on a huge part of reality.  The unknown is very real, and very involved with us.

The Challenge: Seek out The Un-Known! To do so is a very noble mission indeed. Without The Un-Known, the known cannot be fully or truly understood.

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