Human thought is extremely limited when it comes to grasping human potential. We have to remember that we’ve survived a million years. No baby books, no helmets or safety regulations, no health care—and yet we got to here. I remember watching my own little sister fall off our Dad’s work truck out at the lake. She spun and flipped and crashed through the industrial roof rack and when she hit the ground you could hear every molecule of air being dispelled from her lungs. And still to this day I’m as amazed as I was then that she just got up, rubbed her head and her ribs, and she got back to playing. I’ve watched babies being kicked into pools by their swimming instructors only to thrive. And as science does its research to discover all the other things we’re capable of, we just keep being amazing even ourselves. It shouldn’t surprise us then, that babies are way ahead of where we language-based creatures might assume they are:
This article is all about how memory—and therefore identity—evolves. I find it amusing that the scientists consider it “immature” for a person to not have a sense of time or place associated with their memories. Sounds good to me. How can you have a war if there’s no place defined as belonging to anyone? How can you feel old when there is no time in your world? Far from being immature, I would suggest these children are managing to stay clear headed despite our repeated—and eventually successful—attempts to get them to believe in ideas that we later come to treat as actual things. So there is no such thing as time, and yet we’ll feel like we’re late. There’s no such thing as a border, yet we’ll create discord with others fighting over who thinks what about where. An adult’s biggest challenge is matching their beliefs up with other people’s. I vote we go the baby way and surrender our beliefs in favour of joy and freedom and discovery. Let’s forget borders—let’s go for horizons instead:
And finally we’ll close off our fun with more babies. Babies mostly wriggle and squirm and consume and expel, so most of our enjoyment of them relates to thoughts we overlay over top of the actual child’s behaviour or circumstances etc. In short, they can’t entertain us because they don’t know there is a them and an us, but we can certainly entertain ourselves with them, as in this case (which I’ll admit, made me laugh out loud—feel free to p0st your own versions on my social media):
Now go be like a baby. Forget who you think you are, make a bunch of friends quickly and easily, and forget about meeting social expectations. Have fun instead. Enjoy.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own over-thinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.