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in Metaphysics

Ocean and Waves

“Our practical projects have run into confusion again and again through failure to see that individual people, nations, animals, insects, and plants do not exist in or by themselves. This is not to say only that things exist in relation to one another, but that what we call “things” are no more than glimpses of a unified process. Certainly, this process has distinct features which catch our attention, but we must remember that distinction is not separation. Sharp and clear as the crest of the wave may be, it necessarily “goes with” the smooth and less featured curve of the trough.”

There are things that we call differences with which we are able to differentiate one another, but we are too close to the subject at hand in order to perceive it objectively and to see it with certain clarity. Perspective. We lack the perspective when considering our place on this earth, and especially in this universe, as being separate from one another, and separate from our environment. This we are not.

Consider the example above, taken from The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts, people and the groups in which we place ourselves in order to differentiate can be considered an ocean. Each group of people can be construed as a wave, but we do not see all of humanity as a totality that is am ocean, much less a wave. No we do not. We see ourselves as individual drops of water. We lack perspective of how we fit together in order to form a magnificent force that is an ocean. We are unable realize the comparison in seeing our efforts in groups akin to the waves hitting the beach. Only imagine if we realize our potential to act as one. The force of waves, the force that is the whole ocean. What a glorious feeling that is.