‘What people can’t escape, they call natural. Once they escape it, they call it a formative experience. Given enough time, they call it primitive and outdated. They call it history and take it for granted.’ ~ EON
Everyone can sit back and pretend to be doing the hard thing by tending to other people’s needs. But going after what you want and making it happen, setting up a life where your success is measured by what you have achieved, not by the lack of disturbance in your circles, is what the future is made of. Everything else, including the wisest things ever uttered by the sagest and serenest of men and women, is noise: self-important, self-indulgent, opportunistic noise geared to lull everyone into submission and acquiescence.
The only sage currently making sense is a man in a wheelchair with the cerebral capacity of an entire universe. He speaks the harsh, glorious truth. His insight is focused on what has to be done on a global level in terms of Time, space and practical reality, offering his pearls of wisdom without the pretense of divine moralism and hazy philosophy.
Stephen Hawking is an outstanding individual. He has envisioned the rise and fall of the universe in ways that make the epic stories of Creation pale in comparison. His profundity is akin to divine, only sounder and more reasonable. His insights make religious and philosophical dogmas around the world blush.
Hawking claims that the future of mankind lies not on Earth but in Space. Out there, in the heavens, in the wilderness of the universe, where a new New World awaits. Life on Earth is looking increasingly bleak and unsustainable, if not unreasonable, he claims, and we must escape it sooner rather than later.
As things stand, the most pressing problem humanity faces is aggression. What humans are going through are streaks of hostility arising from life imprisonment. Like animals born in a cage, with no possibility of ever being released, humans take it out on each other. Terrestrials with nowhere to go, they are looking out to the heavens, imagining what lies out there while failing to reach out and grab it. Stuck in a rut, in prison, their resources dwindling, the temperature rising, they turn on each other and call it natural.
Those who sit back and take it peacefully and humbly are not better, smarter or wiser than the rest. They’re simply suffering from another cage favorite: Learned Helplessness.
Observe the sweet irony. The above insight on the state of humanity’s trapped existence stems from a man trapped inside a broken-down body, an individual who never gave in, despite his incapacitating condition. Hawking survived the deadly condition of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and survived his life sentence inside that black-hole of a body to tell a story far more inspiring than any religious foible or political manifesto. He gave everyone a brief history of time, a magnificent tale of creation by which they may understand the world beyond the rut in which humanity has been stuck. His unceasing struggle against paralysis and his luminary insight on the universe are a beacon to all those who share his affliction, be the sufferers of ALS stuck in their wheelchairs, professionals stuck in their routines and vices, or Earthlings of all colors and creeds stuck on a planet they seem dead set on not leaving.
Such are the paradoxes of human life, which Hawking brings to the fore with his life’s work.
He’s only the smartest man on the planet, Hawking.
Yet no one seems to be paying attention to his insights.
Perhaps humanity will pay attention to him one day, maybe after he’s dead, after the catastrophe he’s talking about strikes, when it will be too late. In the wake of disaster everyone will rush to heed his words, the ones they failed to mark when it counted the most. They will venerate him, deify him, make him a god among men, making up for their lack of understanding at the time when it mattered.
That’s how humanity operates. There is always a delay, followed by overreaction, overcompensation and hysteria. So very quaint. A species of opinion-driven, redemption-minded primates who make amends for their shortcomings by worshipping those whose words they failed to consider when the time was right. Their progress hinges on occasionally heeding the luminaries among them, luminaries they usually marginalize, ridicule, execute or destroy for having disturbed the precious status quo.
Socrates. Jesus. Joan of Arc. Alan Turing, Aristarchus of Samos, Hypatia, Galileo, Rushdie, Whitman, King, Paine, Woolf . . . the list goes on.
As things stand, in the wake of rising knowledge on how the world really works, the many have once again overwhelmed the few, the down-to-earth humility has blanketed the spirit of intelligence, and the spirited will have to rise up and throw off the suffocating blanket so that the world may breathe again. So that there will be something to aspire to; a new New World for the coming generations.
Intrigued? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE