Seeing is a Miracle - How we Normalize the Miraculous
We’re looking for a miracle. We’re seeking the next big thing. The next high. The new… well… the new new thing. It appears everywhere… The hysterically desperate dull roar of a society looking to be impressed like never before. Aside from the next technological advance (which at best tantalizes us for a minute), it seems we’ve exhausted all the possibilities in this world and have grown rather apathetic towards what, ironically, is a time more chock full with amazing shit than ever. Why then are we so unimpressed?
For example I remember when I saw the iPhone for the first time back around 2007… the way the photos turned when you turned your phone cause it magically “knew” what direction it was tilted… And I was like “Holy Shiiiiit! That’s awesome!!!” Well somewhere in the vicinity of 5 or 6 iPhones later, I can’t help but notice how normal it is to text a mile a minute on a relatively huge HD screen that fits in the palm of your hand and run a gazillion other tasks like take slow motion video, create songs, manage my calendars… on and on… and I can’t help but notice that I’m like, “yeah?… so?…” (spoken in a jaded, “whatever” kind of tone). Actually, I’m not like that. But generally speaking, doesn’t it seem like the “wow” of yesterday is the “norm” of today?
I was on a flight from Seattle to Phoenix the other day and found myself face pressed against the window, watching the ground drop beneath us, seeing us break through the cloud layer, and watching the most epic sunset from 35,000 feet, (even though I’ve flown dozens of times) and thinking, “Coooooooooooool :D <-(that was what my face looked like).” Then I thought it would be interesting to look around and see if anyone else was interested in what, just a little more than 100 years ago, would have been perceived as a sight only viewable by the birds and the Gods. As far as I could see down the row of window seats, it looked like everyone was more interested in closing the window shade and sleeping or playing candy crush. I thought, “Hmmmm…?” And then I went back to gawking :D
This is actually a photo I took on the flight from Seattle to Phoenix. purrrty.
If you took someone from 1898 and said, “hey, hop in my little time machine thingy here and check out 2015 with me,” that fine fellow or lucky dame would be awe struck at the AMAZING opportunity we have to enjoy a ride at 65 miles an hour in your slick Toyota Camry (high speed transportation device) and they’d likely be through the roof with excitement to see what the world looks like from 7 miles above the ground. Or to communicate with someone at a long distance through a handheld device and hear their voices sounding as clear as if they were standing right next to them. They may also require a sedative and possibly some therapy.
But it is not pointing out the general numbness to the incredible feats of man that I wish to focus on… that’s just a segue. What has fascinated me the most is how we have, as human beings, long since normalized the miracle of our existence… our myriad mind-blowing human faculties… the magic of living on a planet that seems to strike a perfect and yet delicate balance ideal for life to abound in a most hostile universe of seemingly inert stuff… exploding and colliding and… ya know… stuff like that.
My point? I don’t care how scientific minded you may be… it’s a freakin miracle! All of it! It’s Awesome… Mind blowing… Delicate… Precious… if….. and I do mean IF… we allow ourselves to really pause and perceive it. “It” can really be anything. Let’s start with anything that we see. See the world around you… recognize the timeless inconceivable greatness of the sphere you are on which is indeed hurling through space around an awesomely hot and bright star which energetically funds life here on earth…. right now…. not on a screen, or in a movie… it’s happening right now. Fact. Scientific fact. Awesome!
If I saw this scene in real life I'd ask the girl on far the right out for a date... just sayin'...
Look at a plant or a tree or something living. See that it is the result of intelligent life evolving out of a “dialogue” with it’s environment over unimaginable periods of time to appear the way it does now. And its growing. Too slow to see. But we know it is. Miraculously turning the elements around it into it’s physical body. It’s roots intelligently seeking water under the ground and even breaking through rock to get it. Amazing!
Watch the clouds and how they move and morph at a pace that is too slow to capture the attention of the everyday tunnel-vision mind… yet when we slow down for a minute the visual texture of the movements of those clouds can be felt inside of you somehow. Like they’re telling a story and you might just be the only one listening. Superb!
The “miracles” are all around us all the time. It only requires the perceiver. One cannot perceive in the everyday myopic mindset of “wake up, pay the bills, get stuff done, feed the kids, drive the car, on and on.” When you have reached a point in your life where you can honestly say that you want more (which is practically everyone… including me) you know for a fact you have stopped perceiving the reality around you. And not just around you... but IN you! You are a miracle!
We say, “I want to see a miracle… show me a miracle.” But seeing IS a miracle! Science can describe the components and process of what we call "seeing"… But that does not take away the fact that seeing in and of itself is AMAZING!!! I’m inviting you to really think about it right now in this moment. As you are reading this. You are taking for granted that you can see the screen and the words and making countless associations at light speed that allow you to not only smoothly scan over these symbols and connect them in to sense-making sentences but to hear me… feel me… receive more than just sense… but my vibe… attitude… maybe even my passion… Isn’t that awesome? When you think about how many things have to go right for that to work… isn’t that a miracle? Really ponder this…
We humans, for some reason, normalize things in this reality. By “normalize” I simply mean… we make something normal and therefore... no big deal. "Been there, done that." "next..." Now this is practical in some sense. If we were moving through the world awestruck all day long with are jaws hanging and making a big deal about how beautiful the green traffic light is when people are honking in the car behind us, that would be just plain silliness. But darn, haven’t we gone to the other extreme? Where so little seems to excite us?
Luckily for us… we can change that bad habit pretty easily. Just start making a point of remembering. You don’t have to gain more… aliens don’t have to appear… iPhone 7 does not need to come out in order for you to begin living in awe of existence. We just need to start practicing seeing it. As I see it, it’s rather simple. When you start to feel jaded, unimpressed, indifferent, you find yourself complaining more, whatever… these moments of inherent dissatisfaction can be like an alarm system. When you feel this way, you can be sure that you simply forgot to remember! And that is you… remembering. And then, “turn on the lights”. Look around… take a breath… remember not only is what you see a miracle. But seeing… is a miracle!