13 Apr Parallel Worlds.
Now something about reading a bit of Carlos Castaneda got me thinking about parallel worlds. Not in the cosmic inter-dimensional sense, but in more of a micro level.
We all live in this universe under certain laws of physics, chemistry, biology, etc. This we all know. What is interesting, however, is that these laws can apply differently to different states of existence.
What do I mean?
The world of the ant is completely different to that of the eagle and the world of the eagle is completely different to that of the elephant. It’s a matter of experience, perspective, scale. For example, from the perspective of the ant a huge fall of hundreds of meters is not dangerous. Gravity applies differently to something so small, because it has a tiny mass. Therefore, it is not a risk.
However, a tiny water droplet can be life threatening. Surface tension of water at that small level is extremely powerful, so when an ant accidentally pierces the tension of a droplet it can become engulfed in water. Drowning inside with little escape. Surface tension becomes like a membrane that can act as a barrier to entry, but also a barrier to exit, a watery prison for ants.
The situation is reversed for the elephant. It does not fear droplets, but gravity is a mighty and possibly dangerous obstacle. The perspective of the eagle fears neither, but it has different problems to deal with. Strong winds, electrocution from power lines, dangerous wind turbines.
Such large differences in the way we perceive and interact with the world also exist in humans.
The universe of the investment banker is vastly contrasting to that of the Amazonian tribesmen. They live and breathe by completely dissimilar points of viewing the world around them. For the banker, money is the life force of the world and therefore that’s the thing they live by. The tribesmen bow to gods, magic, nature and that is their life force. It is a completely different perspective. Black and white. Yet both are true.
So, what has Carlos Castaneda got to do with any of this? His books are quite strange, I admit. Some of the things are quite far-fetched and borderline crazy, but I digress.
Carlos was a modern man. He lived as many of us do, by the rules of modern society. Those are all well known to us. By chance he met an old native American medicine man, shaman or sorcerer (however you want to call him). They both took an interest to one another.
Over time, through different experiences, rituals and even psychedelics Carlos learned to see the world as the shaman did. This was sometimes traumatic as you can imagine the worldviews are almost opposing. He came to believe that magic is real, that parallel dimensions exist and that deities and forces from those places can influence our lives. People can shape-shift into animals, fly, see the future and all sorts of other things, which are completely absurd from the point of view of modernity.
Yet both of those perspectives, worldviews exist simultaneously at all times. The existence of one does not negate the existence of the other. Most of all, they make perfect sense to the one living through their chosen perspective.
So, what’s the point?
There are extremely significant ways that different people can view the world around them. To some it’s magic, to others it’s perfectly explainable by science and rationality. Some go with the flow, others work hard to achieve something. Some have faith, others take matters into their own hands.
What we need to understand is that everyone’s reality makes perfect sense to them. For the most part, that’s not a problem and these parallel worlds can coexist. The issue arises when they collide, when there is conflict. In such a case, reaching an agreement can be difficult if not impossible.
You cannot simply change someone’s belief system and their perspective on the world. Therefore, trying to convince someone that your worldview is right and theirs is wrong can be an extremely futile endeavor. Very few people voluntarily destroy their worlds, the rules they’ve lived by, the belief’s they held. These are things that make up their individuality and character, therefore, there is additional resistance to letting them go and finding agreement.
Let’s say you believe the earth is flat. Some people’s entire existence is based on the fact they hold a certain belief (god, conspiracies, money, etc). Therefore, this belief is how they define themselves. If they let go of that belief then, in their view, they will stand for nothing. Their personality is gone.
You can see why some people’s beliefs are so rigid. It’s because they don’t know who they are, if those beliefs invalid. It’s almost as if they will cease to exist as individuals.