Today during our Sophie’s World discussion we talked about the unknown, and the tendency for humans to ensure their safety and protection through religion and philosophical practices. To me, it was interesting to discuss uncertainty. How was our world created? Are there other living species out there? And most importantly, what actually lays beyond outer space? I have spent years and years of my life thinking about this (well, as many years as I have had the chance to- 17 or so), and I think that it’s not so much the answer to the question that bothers us, but the fact that it is simply unanswerable. As humans, we constantly seek the end to things in order to form patterns of logic and move on to other thought. But how do we cope with the unknown? With truly accepting or having to bear the fact that we do not know the purpose behind our creation, that some things we just simply cannot piece together. I think the ways through which we go about exploring this area are individual. For me, I like to think of it as an adventure through outer space, something that I can have fun with and enjoy. I purchased Steven Hawking’s movie on iTunes so that I could listen to his theories on quantum physics, no matter how much it really bothers me to think that there is a fourth dimension (other than time) than I cannot see or feel. I know religion is also certianly one of these practices too. My family is somewhat religious, and I have never been orthodox but maybe will try and study Christianity or Buddhism some day just to explore what answers they have in store for the same uncertainty everyone tries to unravel. Adventure is fun, and this is my way of embracing the terrible uncertainties that nobody can solve!
As you probably guessed, I went deaf in philosophy class today! (actually yesterday, but I’m pretending like I’m writing this the day that I did it). Hearing is much more important that I originally thought it was. The sound of someone’s voice can be just as comforting as seeing them sometimes, and losing hearing and sight is just simply unnerving! However, I was much more pleased with my sensory experience this time: Mr. Summers took us to a park several blocks away from school, and there, we were able to sit down in a circle and simply be for about 10 minutes. The first lesson/challenge was to simply blindfold/earplug yourself, and sit in a circle. At first, I was perplexed at the activity. Were we supposed to pass some message along, walk up and go somewhere, or just sit there stranded, all alone? I was so confused and worried that everybody had left that I felt around for nearby consciousness, and thankfully found the left hand of my partner to grasp for certainty that I had not been deserted by others. The touch of one hand was enough to make me calm down and relax to the point that I even considered just taking a nap in the park to catch up on some sleep! For some reason, losing both hearing and vision was actually more soothing to me than just losing my vision, because I could focus more on my inner breathing and remaining in the present. The second activity was even more calming: we laid on our backs facing the sky with out palms facing upwards, and were instructed to remain in that position until Mr. Summers clapped 3 times to signal the end. Through this activity, I was able to truly zoom in on my thoughts, breathing, and just being and existing in the present. This type of metacognition enabled me to afterward remain more focused when speaking, and, as Mr. Summers pointed out, to be less distracted by my environmental whereabouts. Ironically, I lost a second sense, yet I gained more insight into myself! I now understand the real value of yoga; it’s important for humans to block off some of their sense every once in a while, decrease their distraction, and increase their awareness of their body and breathing.
Today in class we were instructed to bring along a blindfold so that we could eventually participate in an activity that disconnected us from our vision. Along with my partner, Karen, I was guided downstairs and out of the school completely blind yet still able to listen and hear to her walking instructions. It was definitely a funny sensation; I felt like I lost almost half of my sensory perception as opposed to just 1/5 of it, yet another reminder that I rely so much on vision to direct my every movement and make split second judgments that I rarely recognize. Even though I certainly trust Karen as a person, the fact that I had just completely lost my ability to see was almost like losing my trust in any movement. As a result, I freakishly waved my arms out in the air like a zombie as though something was about to attack me, even though I’m sure I was fine in the corridors of Washington and Lee. Additionally, I would slide a foot out in preparation to descend stairs, only to find myself in the splits position because I had started to feel my way around too early instead of just trusting Karen’s sound advice. These types of behavior are obvious signs that I lost my sight (or that I just went mental). Last but not least, not being able to see anything slowed down my thought processes: rather than ask questions lik Did I finish all of my math homework due today? Crap, I should probably go see Mr. Clark to ask some questions about that upcoming quiz! my thoughts were more focused on: What’s that slimy thing I just touched? Am I about to fall down an 1,000 ft drop that I’m just not aware of? and so on and so forth. I paid more attention to my movement, the physiological aspects of my body; and my overall awareness for myself and my surroundings exponentially increased. I started to really listen to the sounds of cars zooming by on Quincy St, the crickets that make noises in the bushes, and the texture of the soft grass as I tip-toed my way through a park. In a way, it was actually comforting to raise that awareness through other senses. Vision is boring anyways!