“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein
Nothing is what it seems.
A few mind-boggling facts from the BBC series, Science You Can’t See: The Atom
- Everything in the world around us is made of atoms; we are made of atoms.
- An atom’s centre is a trillionth of a centimetre across and is called the nucleus.
- The rest of the atom (99.9%) is entirely empty apart from a few ghostly objects called electrons that skim about at a great distance from the nucleus.
- That means even the most solid-looking objects we see are predominantly nothingness.
- If you removed all the empty space from the atoms that make up all the humans on the planet, you could fit all 6 billion of us inside a single apple.
- A law called “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle” states that atoms are in more than one place at the same time until a conscious observer looks at them.
- Think about this for a moment – if no-one’s looking at the atoms that, say, make up your hand, they’re effectively spread out across the entire Universe. Then when someone, maybe even you, looks at your hand, the atoms instantly coalesce into the hand-like shape you’re familiar with.
- If ideas like this make your head hurt, don’t worry. Even Albert Einstein was horrified by the idea that we somehow “invent” the Universe every time we look at it. He said: “I like to think that the Moon is there even if I am not looking at it.”
In other words, we’re optical illusions on a magical mystery tour, sharing incomprehensible miracles on a regular basis. And yet few notice, fewer care, and most are so out of touch they can’t understand why anyone would waste time contemplating the mysterious.
How is it possible for seemingly intelligent people to ignore how everything we think we’re experiencing is actually impossible? What keeps us squandering our short time on earth obsessing over nonsense instead of experiencing the mysterious? And why are so many of us, according to Dr. Einstein, “…as good as dead?”
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein
Dopamine is responsible for the survival of countless generations of forebears who struggled, persevered, and passed their DNA on to us. Over time, the same neurotransmitter, that helped our progenitors survive and evolve, turned Homo sapiens into dopamine addicts who only care about one thing — protecting and triggering dopamine flow.
Every addiction can be traced to dopamine. And every addiction is accompanied by the same symptoms: self-deceptions, denials, and an overpowering dopamine-induced ignorance that makes it possible to overlook the obvious, rationalize the irrational, and deny the undeniable.
Dopamine-induced ignorance explains why so many common and dangerous addictive behaviors are considered normal, acceptable, and even admirable. Dopamine-induced ignorance also explains why miracles are ignored, demeaned, and dismissed.
All man-made problems can be traced to primitive ancestors who perverted the dopamine-induced survival-friendly behaviors (that we share with chimpanzees) into addictions to food, sex, safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, and status. To complicate matters, our more recent predecessors added money, gambling, belief systems, drug, and other addictions to the mix.
On a material plane, the costs of dopamine-induced ignorance include, as Einstein put it, prematurely ending up “as good as dead” and never understanding what Einstein was talking about or fathoming why being “as good as dead” is a penalty no human should be willing to pay.
On a spiritual plane, the costs include the inability to pause to wonder, stand rapt in awe, and experience the mysterious.
Every waking moment, conscious, aware, alive, self-actualized individuals are faced with a choice. They are free to pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, or waste their lives scrambling to score dopamine squirts in their brains.
For addicts there are no choices because our ancestors set things up so that dopamine usurps free will and reduces all options down to one — protecting and triggering dopamine flow.
What price are you paying for dopamine-induced ignorance?