“You must go beyond all that you see behind or ahead of you by going beyond yourself.”
Attar 12th--13th century
What could this writer from the Middle Ages be referring to? Could he perhaps be referencing the need for all of us to step outside our narcissistic points of view in order to expand our consciousness? Is the suggestion that to go beyond ones self, to consider knowledge outside of our singular experiences, the way to become enlightened? Our edification as individuals and as a civilization depends upon it.
Tom Hanks, in the movie Castaway, brilliantly demonstrated how his very survival was dependent upon him going outside himself. Being able to meet his basic needs with Macgyver- like ingenuity was not sufficient for Tom’s character Chuck. As a human being, Chuck needed to believe that he was not alone, which led to the personification, the naming, of the volleyball, Wilson. Wilson offered up the prospect that what we perceive is our reality, and as such, it was necessary for Chuck to believe in the reality of Wilson in order to survive.
So yes, we do need to look beyond ourselves and not simply consider what we know of the past or predict about the future based on our own experiences. In order to survive, prosper, and progress as individuals and as civilizations, we must open ourselves to observing and analyzing all that is around us in the present as well. Chuck met his basic needs in this way and satisfied his need for connection and community with the creation of an imaginary friend and sufferer, Wilson. Just as Chuck needed Wilson, we need each other. We need each other not only for basic survival requirements, ( not all of us farm, garden, and hunt). We also need each other to recognize, affirm, and ultimately love us. Like mirrors, others also reflect back to us what we present to the world, and for all but the extreme loners and recluses among us, this interaction is a necessary precursor to us analyzing our past, present, and future.
Peace, Love, and 360 Vision