Hidden Atmosphere

What are we aware of as we stride through the streets and halls, passing coldly by one another? Whatever affections we have in us to share, and could potentially use to warm up the days of others, is often left idle. Strangers walk and near each other through the tight walls of a thin alleyway, and instead of interest or curiosity welling up as they approach, they feel increasing anxiety and tension. It gets stronger and stronger as their atmospheres begin to mesh, with eyes darting back and forth, lightly making eye contact and then evading to give off the impression that neither of them are interested in slowing down to engage. It is a mutual conflict, one which we don’t normally notice or recognize as negative, but it certainly exists and is a tell-tale symptom of two creatures steeped with low self-esteem.

The plot thickens, as it usually does when we take a closer look. The planets high above our heads, out in the vast space where they revolve and move through paths which often touch against comets, asteroids, meteroids and other cosmic activity, serve to tell us something about our own lives in relation to the people in our midst. Aside from their satellites, these so-called moons, planets enjoy revolutions, full spins which bring about seasons and night and day, and an atmosphere which filters and contains all its life and activity. The planets move in their ordained directions, each around the sun, always pushed and pulled by the gravity which everything in the solar system emits. One planet nears another and the tension between them grows as they react favourably, indifferently or with hostility.

Whether we like it or not, we have an atmosphere and are pushed and pulled in this world by the atmospheres of everything else. All life vibrates and is charged by something electrical, molecular and cellular. Everything is animated by an impulse which colours the way we think, feel and react to the thoughts and feelings of others. Our attitude is composed almost wholly from all of these jumbling strings of gravity, though we may all the time fail to recognize that this is so. Yet there is a faint element of choice in all of this, reflected by our ability to struggle. This muscle is weak and decreprit from lack of nourishment and exercise, in a fashion exactly similar to a man attempting to stand and walk after months of bedridden rest. Its development can begin to influence the way we react when our atmosphere meets with those around us.

Men are fond of absconding from responsibility and passing the buck or ball to someone or something else. Imagine how bewildering it would be for him to be told that what he is, all the thoughts and emotions which dwell within him, are often not even of his own possession? That in fact they are influenced and prodded to the fore of his attention simply by the passing influence of that particualr lady and her child, the man standing in the elevator and the absent-minded professor fumbling his way down the stairs? There is so little we understand of psychology and its intimate relationship with the life which surrounds it. So little, indeed, is known of how we are influenced by people and how our reactions — whether it be affirming, negating, or neutral — reveal the landscape of our hidden atmosphere.

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