Non-magical thinking

I have been thinking a great deal lately about what cause and effect truly mean. The world seems to sneak up on people but I never want to be caught unaware. I try my best to keep reality foremost in my mind. Lately, I have been doing that by attempting to view my own possessions and my physical surroundings as their raw materials. The plastic and metal smartphone in my hand and all of its components; I visualize where they came from and the energy, creativity and labor that transformed them. The clothing I wear, the bag I carry, the books or the electronic device I read from, the electricity and fuel that are carrying me home: they are all made from some part of the finite material of our world. The complexity of the systems that have created both the objects that meet my needs and the needs themselves is overwhelming but I am not content to simply leave it all alone and unquestioned. I need to interrogate my surroundings in no small part because I have elected to devote my future to preserving some portion of them. So much has already been taken to create the buildings and towns we already have that to demolish them or abandon them strikes me not as a sin but as a profound denial of reality. A denial that in the long term can only hurt us and in the short term only brings destruction to the world we share.

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2 Responses to Non-magical thinking

  1. Overwhelming that is true. But in the end all these things are just complex versions of the primary earthly matter. It’s funny how we can sometimes hold these items in such high esteem, like they are needs when in reality they are just a want.

    A profound post you’ve made Ellen. Very wise.

    • ellenbrenna says:

      Thanks. It is interesting that sometimes my chosen field of study, historic preservation, is treated as a frivolous, purely aesthetic or sentimental pursuit when it seems to me to be highly consequential.

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