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What if darkness was light?

And vice versa.

What if everything we associate to darkness is in fact more illuminating than the sun itself.

For this to make sense and for you not to beat yourself up for wasting 5 minutes of your life reading this, follow the following steps:

  1. Try to strip away and down from everything you know about human conditions.
  2. Shove all your biased logic and understanding of open-ended and infinitely arguable concepts aside (i.e. light, darkness, good, bad)
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Imagine.

How can one lead a goal-free life? How can one walk an endless route not knowing where, how, when or why it ends. How can we stop dreaming. When can we stop dreaming? When can we live in the light of every thing we don’t know; of every thing we’re racing to know.

Knowledge, in its modern understanding, is all the previously formulated ideas and opinions one makes empirically.

Light and knowledge have always been two words used simultaneously or interchangeably, whilst darkness and ignorance have always been associated with a man-made monster called ‘the unknown’. We think we live in the shades of our ignorance protected against the brightness of the light out there; the light of knowledge, awareness, familiarity and what follows from the synonyms.

The need to know is the fuel that drives us forward, and in today’s ‘modern’ world, there is a lot to know. We are exposed to millions of dreams, opinions, views, experiences and information. As a result, our own version of all the aforementioned is dully blurred and clouded. Sometimes, we have no control over what gets into our minds and hearts, and what is even scarier is not knowing where/what your soul is feeding off. We read the thoughts of ten different people in a matter of seconds. How can we hold back?

Perhaps it is true, perhaps we do need to briefly live under the shades every once in a while. Perhaps it is necessary for us to do so today. The minute we step out of the shades and onto ‘the light’ we start to burn. Those rays can be back whipping, head burning and mind raping. Those rays can shake the core of your being, and it can also give your life meaning. Those rays are instrumental. They’re tools used to reach a place we think we know. It’s ironical, isn’t it? Using what is known to reach the unknown.

We depend on our own experiences, arguably; since we build most of our life plans learning from “others’ trials and errors”, and how can we not? Humans are conditioned to survive. We are conditioned to survive. But then again, there is that tiny voice in my head that whispers: maybe such behaviour is irrelevant to survival. Maybe we psychologically tie a state of completely not knowing what happens next to loss of control, and thus from loss of control our red alarms are fired! and our survival mode is instantly turned on!

I understand that I am dancing around a dangerous notion that a pain-free life is in some bizarre equation equivalent to a life free of knowledge hunt.

Maybe in some way I am, maybe in some parallel universe people don’t conceive ‘not knowing’ as a shameful disgrace to human brains. Maybe in that universe the serenity of the unknown is the antonym of ignorance. Maybe in that parallel universe, people learn to stay in the moment as long as they possibly can, to inhale every moment as it passes by. Not rushing it through previously conceived ideas, plans or expectations. In that parallel universe, there is no tomorrow, no weeks, no months and no calenders. Sense of time is extremely minimal. Let’s, for a split of a second, believe this is possible. That the only sense of time we have is now; today. In that parallel universe, people know no commitments, no obligations, and no one lives the cubicle life. There, they feed off the pleasure and yearning of mysteries. A life so different than our lives today.

Some of you, if not all, are probably mentally rejecting the theoretical and imaginable existence of that universe, which is absolutely understandable, because how can one live with no sense of time? How can one survive without the thirst to burst the bubbles around us? How can we cross our legs and watch the world around and not attempt to conceptualise it? It is like asking humans not to be humans, but to be tables instead, and we are no tables.

Human nature is driven by curiosity. They say curiosity killed the cat, but in fact, we did. We killed the cat, and we are the ones driven by the temptation of unfolding all that is covered. We live a life where knowing your 10 steps ahead is no longer satisfactory, we live in a world where it is a demandable requirement to know your 100 steps ahead today. This could be simply manifested in the way our educational system operates and the way it demands our 15 year old youngsters to narrow down their choices for undergraduate studies to one category, in another word demand them to shape their 50+ years ahead when they’re relatively new to the world. Then, Imagine how would a confused teenager feel when he/she has no idea what to major in.

I understand that some might think I’m arguing for or justifying an easy life of ignorance, but I’m hoping that some would see beyond that falsely-implied impression. I understand that I’m arguing for a fictional and extreme scenario, but sometimes all it needs for us to look the other way is to look all the way there, the opposite direction. Perhaps it is time for us to embrace walking a route not knowing our hundred steps ahead, or hundreds in my case. Perhaps it is time to let go and embrace the strength it takes for us to stand in the face of all the unknown; to inhale its magic and to take in open arms the different beams of light it consists of.

Today, we live for those 100 steps we ought to take forward in order to reach all the places we planned and drew. Today, we work relentlessly for the future, and curiosity plays a major if not fundamental role in that. We want to know where will we end up being. If someone handed me a manuscript of my life, I would be the first to jump to the last page and decide whether I like my ending or not and change my 100 steps accordingly. Today, we are all prisoners of the future. Yet, my mind seems to be constantly boggled by all the what ifs.

What if not knowing was a blessing not in disguise?

What if psychological classical (Pavlov) or operant (Miller) behavioural conditioning -as experimented on dogs and humans in the 1950s and 1960s- contributed significantly to evolution?

What if humans were conditioned not to be curious — remember the four steps.

What if we led a different life today?

What if shutting your eyes to hear your own voices did not mean you’re ignorant?

What if walking away did not mean giving up?

What if embracing the unknown is the ultimate form of strength?

What if what darkness was light in disguise?