The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of Earth taken Feb. 14, 1990, by NASA’s Voyager 1 at a distance of 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) from the Sun.

The Future, and You: ‘Perspective’

    Thinking about our potential and the road ahead is something unique to us as humans, and has a much more profound effect than simply preparing us for the worst-case scenario: it enables us to broaden our sense of perspective, and so to find deeper awareness and gratitude for what we have now.

(~4 Minute Read)

    We “know” now (as far as we ever do, with the ever shifting models of physics) that space and time are inseparable; that they are inexorably linked. While on paper this concept sounds a little fanciful and abstract, it is not so far from our everyday experience. Moving through many new places makes time feel short and fat, while sitting quietly can make the same amount of time feel like an endless space; months locked-down in the same environment (wracked with “Acedia“) feel warped and thin, compared to the healthy rhythm moving between work and weekend adventures.

    In my last post I talked about ‘place’, of how all the possibilities our minds now have access to can leave us feeling shaken-up, cast-adrift in a sea of uncertainty. It seems no coincidence to me that it is from an awareness of Time – your future – that your sense of Place gets shuffled around too. While General Relativity’s interlinking of space and time may be a claim/observation of physical phenomena, it is clear that our minds share the same association– we have a tangible means of “navigating” space-time through our minds, with imagination, as we do our bodies. Our feet may walk us to the moon, but our minds can lead us to other dimensions, and at any point in time. I am of course not talking literally, but there is, however, a clear and fascinating link between imagination and our ability to predict or make assumptions about the future, as well as to embellish our picture of the past.

    The point of this mental walk is to give some grounding to what I consider to be the greatest reward of reflecting upon (y)our future: that just as mounting a great hill helps us to better understand our land, so too does trying to reflect on the possibilities of our future provide perspective upon the Now. This is likely why there is generally such a noticeable difference in gratitude and conscientiousness between those that have, freely or by necessity, reflected upon the realities of their situation from a distant perspective, than those who have not.
    Whether it’s reading science-fiction, or going through trauma, when our minds are pulled into taking a different vantage point over our preconceptions, something tangible changes– your awareness gets a little broader, your world a little bigger. I can talk about perspective for a long, long time, as I believe it lies right at the heart of our nature of conscious beings, but for now I simply want to leave you with a feeling:
    Imagination, reflection, memory, foresight… Whatever the essence is beneath those words, we as humans embody it as a process and have the choice to enact it or neglect it. We can all too literally fly through every inch of this infinite space, to places that show us just how small (or big!) we really are. Much of modern life seeks to hijack this process, to cash in on the joy of imagination by convincing you to let it be done for you– but if the flight of imagination is a motion, the process of experiencing life beyond your immediate world, then how can you be truly alive when someone else is moving you?
 

    As an ending note, to try and draw you out of your typical perspective and to set the tone for coming posts, I thought I’d share this video from Kurzgesagt’s YouTube channel. If anything will stretch your perspective between being simply another creature caught in the wheels of the universal process of evolution, and the possibility that you may well be special enough to have made it this far, it’s the notion of ‘The Great Filter’… (If you haven’t already, I’d recommend giving their Fermi Paradox videos a watch too, as they may help contextualize just how likely it is we’re not so unique in this universe!)


    As always, a huge thanks for taking the (space-)time to read this, it humbles me that my words are coherent enough to warrant such attention! 

King x

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