Still Life #16: Exposing an Imagined and Unreal World

I think we have forgotten what it means to be human: Industrialization, accelerating technological advances, and the increasing specialization of what we do with our time have caused us to live in a relatively automated fashion. Although seemingly efficient, it leaves us further and further removed from what we are. Our children are brought up to conceive of chicken as a nugget in a take-away box, not a winged creature bred for food rather than flight.

Today I tried my best to fix a broken tap. That is not a part of “who” I see myself to be; DIY is not my thing. But, without the luxury of just calling someone or popping to the hardware, I was forced to make an unsuccessful day of it. The water mains are still off. Lock-down gets a bit more real with no water. “How can this be happening, now” I thought to myself. As if the world owes me something. I wanted to blame somebody. I probably wasn’t very nice to be around.

We have conceptualized a world where we get what we want, where the basics are taken for granted and where things should always make sense. Especially bad things, they should not happen at all and if they do, they must have some sort of reason, some greater design. We have conceptualized a world where we have assumed that our human needs are central

*Enter Covid19

“We perceive the world in a particular way and confidently expect it to conform to its appearance. But we fail to recognize that certain aspects of the ‘reality’ that appear to us are nothing but figments of our own imagination. In this confusion a conflict ensues between the world as it is and the world as we believe it to be. And the more we insist on our infallibility, the more frustrated we become as the actual world again and again stubbornly refuses to live up to our expectations.”
― Stephen Batchelor, Alone with Others

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