Monday, July 7


Patterns! For many, they're not so hard to spot. Sometimes, we stumble upon them by accident. Many people say that we form patterns and connections where there are none (thank the left brain* for that). Seriously, when they say we're born storytellers, they're not kidding. Actually, it's more like hardwired in the brain.

*Awesome conversation, by the way. A bit of variance on the topic but all of it very interesting.

I'm not exactly sure why we do it, make stories and conceive patterns. Some kind of survival instinct, I would imagine. I was about to say that I can't see how it would have any use, but I suppose that the story is where humans started making up for their lack of animal toughness (fur to keep warm, claws to protect). If we could recognize patterns, we could recreate them to gain something.

Even pre-historic human hunters used prairie fires to direct prey, or, in Alberta, directed buffalo off cliffs to reap the rewards(see here). This seems atypical from the 'hunter' niche in the animal kingdom: predator chases prey, and in some cases (such as the venus fly trap), predator waits for prey, sometimes with the help of illusion (see angler fish). However, humans use outside tools and factors, and even when we could try to lessen the importance of that claim with symbiosis, humans consistently create new ideas and form new relations. But I digress.

Actually, when I was browsing a new-age store a few months ago I started reading a book (that was explaining what? success, time, perspective?) and it illustrated the exact opposite of my current point. That is, that when events are separated by a gulf of time or location large enough, we don't see any connection between events: they become "coincidences". Obviously, though, they are still significant enough not to be dismissed as an everyday event, and, ultimately, forgotten, but the cause was not seen to be the same, and therefore, we relegate these events to the 'things that must not be related because I cannot see how they are related' part of our memories.

It was explained like this: Imagine a giant invisible hand in the sky holding a bunch of sticks. Then the hand releases it's hold and the sticks begin to fall, but they do not all fall at the same place or the same time. Now you, a human on Earth, sees a stick. When you travel to another continent years later, you see another stick, maybe thinking to yourself, that looks familiar. Throughout your life you may see more of these sticks, but you cannot see the giant hand in the sky causing these sticks to scatter throughout the world over such a long period of time. You cannot even conceive of it, that all these sticks are of one source.

If you want to, bear with me here while we go to yet another (possibly connected) topic.

This is about people with mental illness. Both someone I know who is affected by mental illness and a source about it (if only I bookmarked more places I visit!) made it known to me that, for some with mental illness, time seems to be a lot more fluid. It can slip by quickly, or the past may be experienced after the present. I'm not sure if this is a symptom of the brain malfunctioning, causing hallucinations, or maybe... they are being freed from their human perspective sometimes.

After all, the only reason we say that time is forward-moving only is that is the only way we experience it. And if those who experience it otherwise are crazy, it is very easy to discard their point of view. But then, some scientists and philosophers with shiny new ideas were rejected too! And it was usually heresy (any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.)

...Is it truly an evil thing to be heretic, or is this kind of law or rule simply a manifestation of the fear induced by new ideas and perspectives?

But maybe that's a discussion for another day.

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