Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mama Always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun

"Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun.
But Mama, that's where the fun is."

Driving home from work tonight, this song was playing on the CD. I listened. I really listened to it today. That one phrase stuck with me, as if to tell me to write tonight. So I am writing. . .

The eyes of the sun. That's where the fun is. Bruce Springsteen, Manfred Mann. Do you think they really looked into the eyes of the sun? I think the real question is have we? What are the eyes of the sun? Do they only exist in our songs? I think the "eyes of the sun" are a representation of that which is on the very edge of being both rebellious and harmful to ourselves. I think maybe it also symbolizes our reach for that which is unattainable, that which is unknown. It could be those all night parties we wanted to attend in our teens, the prom queen that we couldn't ask out-but secretly we rehearsed doing so, it could be the exposure of all of our secrets to someone we trust, it could just be that feeling of truly being accepted for being who we are.

I think that we, as humans, tend to define ourselves continually. And that continuum needs to be periodically updated. As social creatures, our social habits change, our social circles evolve. In with the new, and out with the old. But is that "where the fun is?" There's something to be said about being conservative in one's social circles. But friends grow older and you cannot expect relationships to remain static. You cannot expect life to remain static. Change is the propellant for the rocket of success, and success may lie in the "eyes of the sun." Change though, invariably causes pain and it is that pain which is the catalyst for some to seek other social relationships and social bonds.

What type of identity do we share? Am I not human? Do I not bleed? But does that make me any less human than you, or conversely any more human? I think not, therefore I am not. I'm amazed at how cliche some of the most basic ideas of the construct of humanity have become. I read and say them to myself and they seem to have lost the very meaning that they engendered. When was the last time that anyone you know asked you a question of substance, a question of thought, a question of intrigue?

We have lost the capacity to think. Not the capacity to learn, nor the capacity to memorize, but the capacity to think! I for one, question authority. I question the abstract concepts of rights, truth, justice. I even go as far as questioning the morality of right and wrong. Much to the chagrin of my parents who think I was raised better. The fact is that I learned how to think for myself, again much to the chagrin of my parents and much to my own surprise. I surrounded myself with a /alcohol induced fog when I was an adolescent. I hid from my intellect, I hid from my depression, I hid from the real me.

I didn't really learn to think until I was in the Marine Corps. And that, of course, really bothered my superiors. I have always known how to argue, but once I learned how to think, my view of the world changed. I read books that opened up new worlds to me, among them "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," "The Dancing Wu Li Masters," "A Brief History of Time," "The God Particle." I read religious tomes and philosophy. I read Russian literature, French Literature, Early American Literature. I wrote. I stayed awake at nights debating concepts and ideals which I had previously accepted as truth. I delved deeper into the mystery that is humanity. I created my own theories. I won't bore you with those during this post though...

I wish that the idea of University hadn't been corrupted. I wish that Universities today were still dedicated to the best and the brightest. I just feel that by incorporating "University" into the schooling process, we have dumbed down the education and turned it into a business. And the business end is very successful. Yet our graduates still cannot think for themselves. In the midst of a crisis they'd rather throw their hands up and say "What do I do?" instead of actually doing something. That's a sign which tells me that he didn't even try to look "into the eyes of the sun." Sad isn't it?

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