Do you know optical illusions? These images on which we can recognize something? And our counterpart sees something completely different? And if we can engage in the perspective of the other person, then we might be able to recognize what he sees? Maybe not? What about this picture of the young and/or old woman?
Most of the time we only see one of the two. If we sharpen (or widen?) our gaze and change perspective, then maybe, we manage to see the other.
We could compare this with life itself. We have a certain perspective on the world — based on our memories, experiences and beliefs. One point of view from which — and we often take this for granted with our first glance — we perceive everything we encounter. Ourselves. Our environment. Our planet Earth.
However, us, our environment, our planet Earth, we are not comparable to the two-dimensional drawing from a book. We rather are multidimensional. There are probably more points of view on an object, on a human being, on a situation than there are grains of sand in all the deserts of the world. And since we, humankind, perceive not only with our eyes, but with all the senses given to us, the spectrum of how we could understand life and the world is infinitely wide.
We would get lost in innumerable ways of perception and would have to let go of the idea that there is something called truth — if we would not find it, the ONE perspective, the ONE belief, the ONE explanation that would tell right from wrong.
In order not to lose ourselves in countless possibilities, we set up rules, we ask ourselves questions that determine the direction of the answer, we search for explainable reasons, we narrow the circle of possible perspectives more and more. In search for the truth. If we cannot do our own research because we have other important things to accomplish, then we let others do the research for us. And then we believe the researchers, because the newspapers write about it, the neighbours take it nodding and the scientists, themselves, believe it as well. We let this happen, because it is easy, nice and safe to be on a path that the majority of people around us are also walking. All other perspectives seem too shaky, too dangerous, even insane.
At that very moment of narrowness and “truth” we can suddenly say why there is an old woman and not a young one, in the picture. The headscarf is clearly not a veil, the nose is certainly not a chin, the mouth not a necklace. Concerning the picture, , we lose sight of one dimension of the drawing. Yet, concerning life and the world itself, we are losing sight of innumerable perspectives of the great whole. Out of sight. Out of mind.
What if …
What if we left the perspective from which we believe, that we, humankind, are responsible for the survival of the world?
… A possible new perspective could mean that the world itself is responsible for our, the human, survival. We would lose our sublimity and might regain humility and gratitude for our own existence.
… Another point of view might be that neither man nor planet Earth hold any powerful position in the game for survival, but the radiance of the Sun is impacting our climate most of all. We would lose our sense of power and influence on the climate and might work more intensively in fellowship among ourselves, globally, throughout the whole world, which allows us to deal with conditions that lie ahead of us, together
… Another new thought could be, that we, humankind, are on our own and the world does not have a role to play in our deliberations. Maybe the Planet is something like the board of a chess-game. Nothing more. We would become exploiters, collectors, guardians of our property and would quickly eradicate our own kind.
… An even different possible perspective would be that we are not only parts of the world, but that we are One with the others, One with our environment, and One with our planet Earth. We would become a humankind which serves each other, humans who serve the world and who would be served by the world in return.
What if …
What if none of these perspectives above would claim to be the absolute truth? If there were innumerable more possibilities? What perspective would yours be if you were allowed to choose? And which one was it yesterday? And what new perspective might it be tomorrow?