Where In The World Is Waldo?
Everyone holds a picture of their world-view and their place in it.
Everyone has this “Where in the World is Waldo?” concern.
Some base whatever beliefs they have on what their parents taught them. Some base whatever beliefs they have on mathematics and science, some on religion, and some do not know what the basis of their ideas is. Nevertheless, they hold some world-view and some place in it for them. Whether by osmosis, by merely being born into some group, or by conscious choice after deliberation & evaluation, the world-view and one’s place in it is important to everyone. Actually, it is quite important to every person.
It is a common concern that people express wanting to have a bigger sense of place, bigger than they are to them, something larger and more important to them than they are… to them. Meaning can be derived from the larger-sense-of-place than that held by each person’s own sense of self. They want to have a place in something larger than themselves to give a bigger meaning to their lives.
Now why is that a concern? One answer is that their own sense of self, their sense of world-view and their place in it is too small for them. They could expand it. There is no need to drop one’s self as important and replace it with a universal or global view that came from someone else… no matter how well intended they may be. I suggest that accepting anyone else’s world-view and “place for you in it” is actually to make YOU smaller than you want to be… precisely because it is not yours… it is theirs.
That does not mean that people offering their world-view for you is wrong, but, merely that if you want a world-view and sense of place for you in it, then why not create it for yourself? In truth, those offering world-views for others, no matter how well intended, do not actually have the capacity to create YOUR world-view and YOUR sense of place at all. No one else ever does. A world-view and sense of place for you is something that is intensely personal and can only be developed by you for you. No one else can do it.
There are three things needed to create your own world-view and sense of your place in it and they are:
- Curiosity – you do need to be curious to seek out your own world-view and sense of place. You can choose to be curious to see who else has one you like, or, you could be curious to create your own. One is “outer” and one is “inner.”
- Willingness to Adapt and Change – whatever you create for yourself works best in the field of: “today I believe this, and tomorrow I believe that, and sometimes I am wrong or not big enough for me and need to grow that idea for me. As I get bigger in awareness, my ideas have to get bigger too. Of course.
- Creating Your Own Is an Inner View – creating your own world-view and sense of place is an inner focus. It does not have an outside relationship to others at all and should not. It is the basis for your own inner realizations. Therefore it is not a social exercise and is not a group-think endeavor. Group-think endeavors are what you get from other people’s world-views and their sense of place. If you want your own, then it is your own and during its development it is best developed without discussions.
Then, add to this the fact that, once set in place, this world-view can become quite set in stone, or a crystallized place-setter-of-place and one’s relationship to the place. For some, and it does not matter if one is a blind-faith religious person, or a blind-faith scientist with data, computer models and accepted Darwinian theories, that they hold “a” world-view gets a very strong attachment to righteousness. So strong, in fact, that some people could, and do, tend toward protecting it vehemently and even with violence if it comes to that.
The importance of having a world-view, a Geography-of-Place, holds some degree of energy for everyone and that energy is important. Otherwise, most people would say:
“Well yesterday I believed this, and now I believe that, and tomorrow I could change my mind and believe this-and-that… who knows? I am fickle.”
But hardly anyone ever comes close to admitting such a statement. Once their place-setting-ideas are fixed in place, they remain fixed, often for a lifetime. How come? Why become rigid?
Some hold to their world-view quietly while others reach out to teach, to cajole, to argue, and even to force others to conformity with their world-view. Having agreement with others can be a key factor in how “right” one’s world-view is, or not. Attaining that “agreement” with others starts with argument. It could, and often does, wind up in forcing others to “agree” in one way or another as part of the world-view itself.
It is now very popular with large groups of people to use the government to pass laws that make someone else conform to a set of beliefs on some topic. That conformity of others is part of some people’s Geography of Place and their place in it.
Oddly it has everything to do with boundaries. Boundaries are like snakeskin, or, cocoons surrounding the developing butterfly. At various times, you grow beyond your current boundaries and start to become encased by the old boundaries. When the old boundaries begin to break one can become frightened with: “Who am I?” if not bounded by these boundaries? As though the boundaries themselves ARE your identity as opposed to being temporary containers of the butterfly that is about to take flight.
And all the defenses you can muster to set up against the cocoon’s breaking apart with you inside - with wings not exercised yet, not even opened up yet, trying to stay inside the cocoon because it is safe, will in the end prove fruitless. You will outgrow your boundaries, if not in this lifetime then in another.
There is a developmental stage for all people that is rarely faced up to.
That stage is to realize that now my
boundaries are for me to create.
Not to accept them because they are part of some religion, or part of some society with a long history. There is nothing wrong with those boundaries except that at some point you grow past them. This stage, the expanded boundary phase where the boundaries no longer are set by others, but, by you, and are created by you is a new phase. You cannot bring the old boundaries with you. You can remember them, perhaps cherish the memory of them, but they are too small now.
You said, a long time ago, that you wanted to be part of something bigger than you. Right? Well, how come most people INSIST on refusing to allow exactly THAT to happen? We carry our existing boundaries around with us, "say" we want to be a part of something bigger and then refuse to be a part of something bigger because our existing boundaries are stuck holding our butterfly in captivity. Now how come?
There was a day when I could sit in my crib and suck on my toes.
But that day is gone. Nothing wrong with it, but, frankly, reaching my toes like that is not comfortable anymore.
There was a day, when I was one year old sitting on a sandy beach, when I could be knocked over, even drowned by a teeny-tiny wave of water hardly a few inches high. Now, I search the world over for the biggest waves, some 60 feet high or more, and I have learned to ride the wave... and it is fun.
Where my old boundaries were fixed and rigid, perhaps for some good reason as well, now my boundaries can be, if I choose, temporary ones which suit me today, perhaps tomorrow, and probably not next week. No need to freak out. I am no longer defined by my boundaries. Now I create them, change them, and let them go if they are no longer useful.
Then, Who Am I?