Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Starting Over

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In order to learn and to progress to the next level of understanding, sometimes one must start again. Sometimes we must destroy what we’ve learned in the past, and begin anew. This does not necessarily mean forgetting or discounting what we’ve learned, but to learn to see in a new light, a different light. Only then, can we begin to truly understand what it is we have missed entirely.

Often it is the case that we build upon past lessons. We learn something, we remember it and then we save it for a later time when we might need it again. Eventually that time comes and we use that knowledge to aide us in a new pursuit or dilemma. Again, we learn something new and that too will one day help us to understand what may come our way. And so it seems that in this fashion there is a progression. One thing builds upon another, which builds upon another and so on. For some there is a belief that the lessons never end. For others there is a plateau and a belief that what a given experience has to offer is beneath them.

Who is right is beside the point for we each perceive our existence differently. Some see and express themselves as individuals. They identify themselves by their personality, outwardly and inwardly. They may also associate themselves with particular groups depending on their physical traits and or personality traits. Whether by race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, political identification, socio-economic status, occupation, nationality or age, they sort and categorize themselves. This need to label and self-identify, often does not end with themselves but causes them to categorize others as well. It causes one to choose their friends and those they associate with on personal and professional level based on these categories and bins.

There are also those who could be seen as polar opposites who not only do not identify themselves with any particular group, but see the common thread in all groups. They see themselves belonging to multiple groups that when seen from a particular view, seem mixed and homogenized. The distinctions disappear, and suddenly there is no race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and so on. Suddenly the things that were seen as dividing factors joins all of creation into a single entity. Some would say that to the individualist, identity has been lost. To those on the other side of the token, some would say that identity has not been lost. Instead it has been enhanced.

How can this be true if these groups that once brought cohesion, and sometimes disagreement and separation, were to disappear? How can the individual exist in a homogenous state? Some would argue that a true homogenous state is impossible if the individual still exists. Some would also argue that it is impossible for an individual to suppress that which makes him or her an individual in the first place. Further, even for the person who sees him or herself as connected to all things, they must also see them self as an individual otherwise they would not be able to contemplate the dilemma in the first place.

Where do the individual and the unity of all things begin and end? Is this a question one can even answer or begin to answer? To be part of that which we speak, one can only speculate and speak in conjectures or so it is said. This surely does not bring satisfaction to the most diligent among us for conjecture often leads to more conjecture.

Suddenly we are brought back to the beginning of the discussion. Must the individual be destroyed in order for progression to continue, must unity be destroyed in order for the individual to pursue progression, or is progression but an illusory state?

Progression suggests order, and order suggests a beginning and an end, again with each piece building upon the next. However if the beginning and the end become the same, or if all that is in between shrinks into nothingness, what are we left with? Are we left with causes and effects with nothing in between? Are we left with beginnings and ends, without context? Are we left with trials and tribulations without purpose? Or perhaps we are left with simply the Source? Is that sufficient an answer?

What source? What end? What purpose? We are left with more questions than answers. In a state of seemingly unending questions, we are left with nothing to quench the thirst of our pursuits. And perhaps that is the issue in and of itself. Each question of purpose or understanding leads to a desire for more explanations, and for a cause we can deem as worthwhile.

We each sit as judges against what we deem important and what should be discarded into the vortex of discontent and denial. Little do we realize, but all around us we are faced with the discarded. We are faced with the cast-offs of others, some of which we take in as our own and others that we see on its way.

Understanding becomes a personal choice. We can seek it in the refuse and in the discernment of others, or we can create it anew. If understanding is a personal choice, does that make progression a lever that we will pull that convinces us that our pursuits of it are not without cause? Could it be that we are running a race that has already been completed and so in that sense, the idea of progression keeps our focus on the race, rather than the reasons for why we’ve decided to take up that race in the first place?

Choice is a simple answer, perhaps too simple for some to accept. For in having choice, we have taken away blame on all others and have put the emphasis squarely on ourselves. For those who have been running away from their decisions all their lives, this can prove to be all too frightening. We are suddenly faced with the results of our own choices.

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