They believe in a tide, but miss that they themselves are part and parcel of a wave. The great motions are invisible to those within their wake, as the movement of the earth is imperceptible to those who live on its surface. To be inside of something is to be governed by it. There are layers of meaning in such a statement, and within each slice there are fresh insights and warnings for the able traveler. A man fondly snuggles in the warm blanket of what is familiar. It is unlikely that he will ever wake from such a pleasurable swoon in order to realize what it is he is missing as a price to his ignorance. At our level, the different aspects and facets of perception are fragmented pieces which in theory unite somewhere above the clouds of ordinary awareness. By this fact we can experience only one at a time, while admitting the existence of all the others.
Men are born amidst civilizations and find themselves coloured by the culture of the day. At first thought and sight, and approved by the so-called common sense which is found amongst his neighbours, it appears that each fellow is unique. And in many ways this is true. Yet from the outset of education and a child’s knack for imitation, men are raised like cattle to believe in things such as countries, traditions and other cultural clothing which in reality are completely made up. It is with wholehearted care to our own sanity that we humour the possibility that nothing of our beliefs towards these human hives is of objective value. If anything, it is a man’s duty to struggle himself out, at least in the abstract, from identifying himself from a community’s baggage.
We are, so to speak, in need of going regularly to the desert. For such a place is an analogy to walking into a clean slate where we can rinse ourselves of the paint on our skin. There has to be a method and a way to retreat in this fashion and re-enter the world, moment to moment, with clearer eyes. It is possible, even now, for a man to look at the spectacle before him, be it of simple things like the splash of the rolling tides of water on the beach, and find it completely strange. It is by taking the ordinary and extracting from it a sensation of the extra-ordinary that a man is able to access his inherent nature of awe. For a man to assume that he knows what something is purely because he has grown accustomed to it is truly absurd. This is exactly the mechanism by which the layers of meaning in this world are closed off to us, for we close our eyes to them from the very start.
To forgo a sense of identity to a community does not mean to estrange oneself from the people themselves. It is to account for the fact that a community at its heart is not synonymous or inexorably attached to its branding. It matters not one whit whether a man is of one country or another, one race or the next, or whether one tradition says one thing and the other something completely the opposite. This is all the crust that has formed around the living being of a commune of people who are simply trying to live in the best way that they can. By forsaking the alleged holiness that one by default is expected to hold towards one’s surroundings, we are made more free to roam around as clearer thinkers. It is through this inner anarchy that we are granted the possibility to respond to the world as individuals unconstrained by labels and borders.