Assignment: A Brief History of My Worldview

“For this assignment, I thought I’d experiment with a multimedia qualitative expression of my worldview. So, I started writing and ended up with three segments of perspective: one on the foundations of my worldview, one on how I imagined the universe began with a query about the sound of the first laughter and one on God.

I recorded all three pieces of writing in the form of reading/telling and then got immediately bogged down in the act of trying to sequence images to what was being spoken. So, I have only one video made and it is not all that it might have been, had I not also been writing a paper on epigenetics.

I considered adding other sounds – keyboard or banjo, wind – if only to cover the occasional shuffle of paper or the strangled beep of the smoke alarm that needs a new battery. I didn’t though. It’s just voice.

This video does not offer a concise articulation of the content of my worldview. It does, however, give indication of the basic structure and topography and provides backstory as to why I have an acute and troubled awareness of the Military Industrial Complex.

If I had to sum up my worldview, honestly, it would be that human beings are – objectively speaking – a disaster. It pains me to write that, because – subjectively – I understand the deep and beautiful triumph of a child’s smile or a wrong made right.

Still, I have to admit that I have had a broad streak of misanthropy that has run through me since I was a kid.
We used to hide in the woods at the edge of the river and when the boats went past, we would shake the palmettoes and make strange howling noises, animal sounds. I was consciously aware that I did not want the people in the boats to ever come near my home, because I understood – somehow – that they did not know it as I did, that they did not see it as I did, that they did not love it.

We found their beer cans washed up on the banks and I do believe that I experienced a true paradigm shift on the day that my brother and I found the burlap sack filled with very young boars. Their mother was taken and then they were drowned. They had flies at their eyes and their feet were tiny, surprisingly smooth.

Someone had done that, right near my home. In the woods that my brother and I played in. Woods that I knew were once home to other people and that they, Native Americans, had been killed.

When I went to school, the adults were cruel. Ugly even.

So, there, I have admitted it. A deep and profound unconditional love for all humanity is not a part of my worldview. Yet, I somewhat do love everyone – and I certainly don’t hate anyone. Even the person who killed those baby pigs didn’t really know what they were doing. They just wanted to kill something, because that is what men do sometimes – to prove they are men. They were probably intensely sad for a minute, right before the bag under the water became finally still.

I do think I love all children, and because we were all children at some point…I do love all people, and there is a part of them that I do love unconditionally.

One part of my worldview is that we all have the innate capacity to be deeply and joyfully human. Another part of my worldview is that I am not entirely sure what the utmost human potential is…but, that I am pretty sure it doesn’t involve killing people or hurting things for sport and leisure.

In terms of power and meaning dynamics, I believe that the vast majority of human beings have been affected by lies and manipulations through culture, economy, and relationship. I feel that people have been and are being misled.

I try not to think about my worldview too much. I find it upsetting at times, frustrating and anxiety producing. I have to remind myself, often, that it is very likely and infinitely possible that this will be the age of the great undoing and the beginnings of reparation, that perhaps science, conscience, consciousness, and necessity will find themselves in a perfect storm of paradigm shifting realization and sudden humility.

I see, in my view of the world, that such a shift has been building, struggling, for…thousands of years?

That’s not really such a long time, in the broad scheme of things, but it is all the human history we have…dark and light, man and nature, love and fear, progress and destruction, the search for truth and the denial of truth.

I really try, very hard, to ground myself in the present. To focus on the day, its abundance and opportunities, bird song and meals. I haven’t watched television in over 10 years. I hardly read the paper. I live, right now, in a strange sort of extreme micro/macro state…washing the dishes and thinking about the history of the future.

I don’t think that there is anything much wrong with that, as I don’t expect I’ll remain the same. My thinking will change, my relationships with ideas and their subjects will change. My perspective will change.

Everything changes.

That fact means that I never get bored.

In my worldview, the world is interesting…tragic and beautiful, mysterious and so simple, old and yet new again every single day.

So, here is a video of me speaking about the beginnings of my worldview, with pictures I’ve taken (and one that was taken by somebody else) and a few old drawings that I drew during my “I’m going to draw a picture everyday for a year!” project.

Thank you for the opportunity for me to further consider my worldview, which has been a topic that I have always been curious about – to the point of narcissism at times. I think I have made my preoccupation with figuring out what I think and why and how into an act of service, almost an act of contrition at times.

That is why I keep such an honest archive tucked into the corner of the ethersphere of information that we call the internet.

Another component of my worldview is that I am, in many ways, an open book out there and that there are people who have read of my most humiliating ambitions and failures, the tragedies of grandiosity. There are people who have read accounts that, unbeknownst to them, are of days that were pivotal in my life’s unfolding.

So, again…a juxtaposition, the Self in isolate and yet exposed.

I guess my worldview is incoherent.”


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