Sunday, 3 October 2010

The sea is not blue

The sea is not blue.

Some time ago I sat on an old stone jetty a few metres above the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The sea is blue, said my mind. I looked at the sea. And then I realised, with a eureka-like shock, that the sea is not blue. That in fact the very idea that 'the sea is blue' was preventing me from experiencing the sea as it actually was, in that moment; a heaving mass of incredible matter that was absorbing and reflecting and refracting the sunlight in amazing ways..
And beyond that, I saw that there is no colour.

Colour is an idea.

I realised that we have built our entire idea of what reality is by using a battery of concept thinking, based on a set of linguistic cliches. We think in cliches. We experience life through these cliches. We talk in cliches.

These cliches are preventing us from actually experiencing life as it is.

If you live your life through cliches, your life will in fact be a cliche. You will have lived and died with almost no direct experience of the world you are living in. And what is profound, shocking and fundamental, is that reality, beneath, beyond, before the cliche, is more amazing, more vibrant, richer and deeper, than anything you can possibly imagine from a cliche-based perspective.

I believe it is our duty, as thinking beings, to wake up to this reality, and go beyond the cliche. Think about it. No, go on, don't just dismiss this idea, think about it. Think about how you define your life by stories, by sets of cliches; and I don't just mean now and again, I mean all the time.

Think about it.

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