And seeing with a different mind

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I woke up this morning to a piece on the symphony by Ann Litts. Soon thereafter, a new poem by Anna Breslin. Then on to a fantastic article on life as an experiment by Jeff Barton. The wheels started spinning.

There’s something of a hive mind at work here. But only if we intentionally share our personal experience with the rest of the species. We have this amazing opportunity. We can offer up all we know, and all we are. We can add to the education, entertainment and enlightenment of all the rest of humanity. We are just another bee in a hive full of other bees. We don’t have to share. But we should.

Life is not a race to be won, it’s a race to be one.

Each of these disparate experiences are another open eye on the world around me. Framed by the observer and delivered to me in another’s words. Yes, it’s a subjective view of an event, a feeling or an experience. But it’s no less valuable for that fact. I would argue that it’s more valuable for that very reason.

I can go to the symphony tomorrow and have a completely different experience. And later when I recall Ann’s words, it colors my memory of my night of musical wonder. That bit of color could be good or bad. But it actually represents yet another experience. One created by my experience, Ann’s description of her experience and how my mind combined the two.

This happens with every single thing we do. We filter our experiences through our existing mental and emotional infrastructure. That act changes both the experience and the mental constructs we carry around with us. We create anew with every experience, every sight, sound, image or word that enters our space.

We are gods and yet little more than disconnected bees all at the same time.

Of course there’s risk in this endeavor too. The signal to noise ratio in our culture is astonishing if you’re not careful about your sources. Chloe Cuthbert posted a great piece on this just this morning. It’s worth reading.

I would argue that content worthy of modifying your cognitive infrastructure isn’t found in the article “7 Ways to Become a Top Writer”. We’re all guilty of a bit of mental masturbation. Living in that world isn’t going to increase your contribution to the hive mind by much.

So, what do you do about all this? Well, I’m gonna make a suggestion that might offend half the audience.

Expect to pay for good content.

People can’t afford to put on symphonies for free. Real, unbiased news isn’t disseminated by advertising based television or websites. Yes, that means FaceBook, Fox News, MSNBC and any number of other ad based sources. Real thought and real time go into any effort to inform, entertain or create. Everyone needs to eat and pay bills.

Now, I don’t really care if people are unwilling to pay to read my words. I mostly write for myself anyway. But I put them out here on an “open paywall” because getting paid for my effort feels good. It also gives me a way to measure the value of what I write. And I make my contribution to read works by other people I respect. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement and it’s worth every penny.

If you think you have something worth saying, you should do the same. Contribute to the universe.

And get back something priceless.

Thanks for reading.

Written by

father, motorcyclist, old retired guy who’s just a little lost on a blue marble corkscrewing its way to oblivion

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