The Illusion of Depth

by Victor David Sandiego | Published: Nov 25, 2022

If we can for the moment push the idea of human consciousness into the garden, we can see (anthropomorphically speaking) that a freshly planted tree understands – or at least believes – that its roots have entered the depths of the soil despite the fact that its penetration into the earth can be measured in inches.

When a human being explores the depths of their understanding and attempts to probe deeper to find previously unrealized realizations regarding the barrier between reality and the cage in which the human mind often finds itself, they are starting from a particular point, an island shore if you will, and they frequently do not have the experience and perspective to cross an entire ocean in one leap.

In a subjective sense, any journey from where one is at to an understanding that is more profound, more universal, more grounded in commonality, and more expansive in its ability to explain the day to day behavior of our fellow inhabitants is an advance.

But not all advances are equal. Our danger lies in thinking that because we have advanced, we have advanced enough. At times it is far too easy to think that once I was a snail and now I am a tortoise, and therefore must be content.

Most people dwell on the surface of existence. A thin but durable layer of reflective illusion sits on their judgment of how the world exists; it guides them in their daily decisions. They exist in a world of stimulus and response where the stimulus is that which is nearest at hand, most easily rationalized, the least difficult to analyze, and the response is however they were indoctrinated to respond, whether it be though compassion, indifference, or violence.

Those who seek to go deeper, to move beyond the illusion of depth and actually explore the nature of the world and how it relates to human motivation, must first realize that their excursion is not absolute. If you ask why, you must also ask why you ask that. When you find a conclusion, it’s not enough to savor congratulations of a job well done. You must also ask what drew you to the conclusion and is it enough to accept it. And, perhaps most importantly of all, you must you peel the mask off the answer to see if it hides another question.

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