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Trivial pursuit and human extinction

  1. Sep 7, 2007 #1
    Trivial pursuit and human extinction

    I was awakened last night by a loud knocking on my door. Fortunately the knocking was not reality but was a dream.

    When I “heard” the knocking I sat upright in bed with my heart racing and immediately tried to determine if what I had heard was the real world rather than a dream. I assume such things happen to everyone; such things have happened to me before.

    I was unable to go back to sleep. Instead my mind led me into contemplations that have resulted in my preparing this posting thus ending my attempt on going back to sleep.

    I am retired and have been using my free time for the last several years studying the human condition. I have been trying to comprehend why humans do the absurd things we do and if there is some way to change the direction our civilization is heading. As part of this effort I have been engaged in several of these Internet discussion forums writing my thoughts about our human propensity to self-destruct.

    Circumstances this summer have led me into becoming a bricklayer for the first time in my life. I needed to build a small brick wall in my front yard and I have been engrossed in this project for many weeks.

    When I look back on my bricklaying efforts I recognize that I have tranquilized myself with trivia. For many weeks I have narrowed the focus of my intellectual interests to the follies of amateur bricklaying. The loud knocking was my unconscious awakening me from my holiday of trivia. My mind was willing to focus upon the trivia just as before it was focused on the important. But a sense of guilt drives my intellectual activity back to more important matters.

    Have you experienced the difficulty sometimes of separating dream from reality?

    Do you think that such things as hearing a loud knocking is our unconscious sending us a message?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2007 #2


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    It's happened to me, yes.

    The creepiest thing is hearing your name called clearly and distincty. Nothing b rings you to wakefulness faster than that.

    Food for thought: can human nature by definition, be called absurd? If it's how we behave then it's how we behave, isn't it?

    Not seeing the forest for the tree as it were? Happens to me. Sometimes when I'm drawing. I'll step back, proud of my testure rendering or detailed still life, and someone (perhap me) will say "why does his head look like someone went at him with a shovel?"

    Certainly. Or it could be your conscious mind, making a big deal out of a random event, and using it as an excuse to take some time to examine anything of interest in your recent memory for flaws.

    If you're like me, you have some of your best problem-solving moments before breakfast - often in the shower, when unencumbered by the day's hurdles and pitfalls.
  4. Sep 8, 2007 #3
    I believe dreams can sometimes be symbolic, but I wouldn't over-generalize and say all dreams are symbolic. Nor do I think it matters. Perhaps what does matter is how you feel about your dream, which is obviously what has motivated you not only to post at this site, but also to focus your efforts.
  5. Sep 8, 2007 #4

    I don’t think human nature can be absurd but certainly human action can be absurd. The actions that we take are generally freely taken and thus ones that we are responsible for. Humans are meaning creating creatures. Values and actions taken are the result generally of our free choice and an examination of history would verify its absurdity.

    It amazes me when out of the blue my mind will present me with a solution to a problem. I think the mind is always at work and if we do not feed it problems of significance then all that brain power goes to waste contemplating the mundane.
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