S. Paul Forrest
As I look upon the world and reflect on the current dilemmas facing our environment, and developing within the political arena, a recurring question rises within me: Why do so many people not realize the reality of our present situation? Do they live in a bubble? Why can they not see the truth? Then, one day it occurred to me that maybe some are not able to see it, not willing to see it. Maybe they exist in a bubble; a warm safe place where reality is perceived by personal experience and driven by the basic instinct of survival. Maybe they are products of an isolated environment, an insular world. The real question becomes then: How do we break them out of the bubble to face reality?
The Bubble’s beginnings
We are all products of our environment. It is the arena within which we develop as people. This environment ultimately determines our perception and understanding of the world around us. It sets the stage for our interests and social interconnections. Given the proper guidance and exposure to more developed philosophies, many learn the lost arts of perception, intuition and awareness of the natural world, as well as the social interconnectedness so intrinsic to survival. They can learn how to welcome complex reasoning into their own worlds, their individual bubbles, but help is necessary.
The stimuli surrounding us in the developmental stages of our human existences ultimately determines the extent to which we relate to the world, and is largely dependent on which type of environment we were raised in. Quite often, it is the determining factor in the way we interact within the macrocosm of our Earthly existence.
The strata of environmental influence is very deep, with the outermost layer representing limited exposure, while the deepest encompasses the greater world of experience and understanding. Each layer of the strata exists as a type of “bubble” where ideas and impressions reach to the edges of the individuals known world. Each of our spheres of thinking, personal development, and interactions with other people often are limited to the knowledge and experience developed within this realm. The world is perceived and accepted based on several factors, from basic survival to intellectual curiosity, and all stem from these initial influences.
As we develop in utero, we essentially exist within our first bubble. Upon arriving into this world, we are met with bright light and an alien existence. Our bubble gives way to a second Earthbound one, which begins as a malleable sphere of imagination and endless possibility. The stratum is quite deep in these initial stages of existence, but over time it begins to harden if the mind is not challenged with new information and taught to be open to new ideas.
The people around us, and the natural world within which we grow, ultimately determine how we function within the larger stratum. The richer the environment, the more diverse and informed we are as people and the more in tune we become with the greater macrocosm. Conversely, the more isolated the environment, the more apt we are to have a narrow view of reality.
The latter, depraved environment is best depicted by the case of the feral child. It is where offspring is left to develop in an environment without human contact. These children live in a particular type of bubble where they only have experiences with limited stimuli. As they develop, they haven’t any idea of bigger issues. The world around them is limited to animal instincts and survival mechanisms. They are the perfect example of what is known as an insular existence. The particular microcosm within which they develop inhibits them from communicating or functioning in what we deem as a “normal” society.
Surprisingly, many “normal” people have experienced similar environmental isolation. They were raised in a limited environment, a world of simplicity, where their only thoughts are of clothes, sports, eating, social acceptance, etc. They essentially function within a larger bubble than the feral child, but it is philosophically similar by nature. These people have had limited exposure to the teachings of the mind. Some of course have genetic limitations, but the capable ones, those who can learn, have suffered an injustice at the hands of those responsible for opening their minds. The capacity to learn, to accept reality, to stay informed has been successfully bred out of them. They have lost touch with learning, with intuition, with the innate abilities of humankind to commune with nature and other members of the social macrocosm.
On the other side of this equation, some people have been blessed with connections to the diverse spectra life has to offer. They have been nurtured by parents who themselves exist in the larger spectrum. They are subjected to being open minded, reading philosophy, and enjoying art and education. They live within a world of perception, a world of education. The bubble within which they exist has stayed malleable and has expanded to encompass a great many levels of the spectrum. Unfortunately, too many people today have become encompassed by the smaller bubbles of existence, which limits their ability to see through the walls of their limitations; they have been left isolated.
The Reality of the Bubble
Life in the bubbles of the shallow stratum is extremely subjective. Any opinions, data interpretation and regurgitations are centered around the teachings of an insular world. Facts are dismissed when they conflict with preconditioned opinions. When a person in this realm of existence is confronted with contradictory data they become combative. This phenomenon is not just related to informational data either. It comes also in the form of religious beliefs, racial origins, sexual orientations and political affiliations. When anything enters the bubble that appears to cause doubt or insecurity in their screened reality, it is shut out, disregarded, dismissed as crazy or inaccurate. This is the reality of the world today.
As the level of information available to the general public becomes more and more convoluted, I cannot help but think we are being led down the Rabbit Hole. Alice saw wondrous things there, and along the journey she found something within herself to release her from the social dilemma she was suffering. The reality is, though, that the hole was a prison of fantasy, filled with the dreams of a time of innocence, a time lost, a time that had abandoned her — or, maybe she abandoned them. Either way, reality crept into her microcosm and the bubble denied the truth of it, leaving her in a spinning conundrum of existence. The bubble was safely rooted in the hole, though. It was the reflection of childhood, of hope, of imagination. Sometimes, the bubble is a beautiful dream, but breaking free can easily become the nightmare.
The first step toward breaking out of our bubbles is in coming to a clear understanding of humanity and the goals we must make together. We must find a common ground, one without greed and profit as the center of purpose. We must break from the dream of a world within preconceived notions of a life of luxury, of Disney-like fantasy. There is no reality down the Rabbit Hole, only delusion. The longer we spend in this alternate world, the longer we spend away from the responsibility that has been given to us as the keepers of Nature. We must envelop, with all of our hearts, the true meaning of existence for one and all: Survival of the species through preservation of our only Earth.
I believe that many of the controlling factions in our society prefer people to live in the top-most layers of existence. To this end, it seems they have deliberately limited our children’s exposure to art, music, and even physical stimulation. They have taken education and used it to envelop our children’s minds in pointless endeavors. Slowly, they have created a limiting environment dictating that our children be taught to think within the shallow stratum. The goal now, which needs to be taken up by those of us who are able, is to help those who are otherwise incapable on their own to realize the dangers of life within the bubble.
There are larger bubbles, though, to which individuals gravitate. In mathematics we call these bubbles within the larger whole “subsets.” The larger whole envelops the subset bubbles and files them within a defined space of opinion, which represents a quasi-collective set of beliefs. Some of these wholes are represented by religious factions, political groups, conspiracy theorists, academics, elitists, fundamentalists, the list goes on and on. This is the natural inclination of the tribal spirit within the natural survival instincts of the human animal. Unfortunately, some tribal leaders only desire to feed upon the smaller bubbles, to control them like puppets on a string.
Time and time again, evolution has dictated adaptation as the fundamental catalyst of change. So now, as humankind marches down the exponentially increasing steepness of the socio-economic global hill, we must all stand together for a common vision of the future. We must stand together, hand in hand, if we are ever to break free from the bonds of Society’s Bubble.
Breaking out of the Bubble
The most crippling of all bubbles is the one we have come to term ignorance. It is the definitive embodiment of not knowing. This bubble develops for many reasons ranging from genetic dispositions, educational depravity, or the purposeful denial of available information. Though the former is often biological or conditional, the latter is deeply rooted in survival and the desire to cling to a comfortable life. The question then becomes: How do we effectively break individual members of society out of their bubbles and welcome them into a collective one where nature and man are functioning on one level?
Today, we are inundated with news stories outlining the realities of our present day existence. So much information is available that it is difficult to process and maintain an informed perspective. Those of us who have had the luxury of developing in a malleable bubble can take this information and process it through filters of reason and educational assessment. Those who have not, however, are at a great disadvantage and are at the most risk of falling victim to the reality of today’s world.
As global interconnections expand digitally, the information highway takes us to places where a plethora of data is readily available. We can read about the “truths” of the Gulf Oil Hemorrhage, the deception in the food industry, and the controversies surrounding God and Country. This information, if attempted to be distilled and interpreted by an untrained mind can pose a significant risk to a person’s comfort. If change is going to come, we need to find a way to redefine the bubbles and welcome them to the larger, expanding world without the controlling factors.
The truth of what is happening to our food, our livestock, our farms, our wildlife, our children, becomes more and more evident as time passes. We who live in the deeper spectra must help to awaken, to break out of their individual, smothering bubbles, those who are not so capable. We must all live together and breed a better tomorrow. To be a part of the future, one must first break away from prejudice, hate, ignorance and self-indulgence. We must now, more than ever, realize that the future is a moot endeavor without us, and that change is not only necessary, it is the only way we are to survive.
The future is here to be made, now. It is dependent upon understanding and interpreting reality. It is the actualization of our collective actions. Only if we stand united, against those who have us remain in bubbles, will we truly be free. We must help each other achieve this goal. We must together forge an alliance to combat the ever-changing landscape into a reality of truth, of human greatness, of freedom from the slavery that has so crippled our present world. We must let our predetermined insular worlds go, for they are the reason we will not only fall as a civilization but perish as a people.
As we come to the next corner in the road of our human existence, bubbles must come to burst and ideas converge to take us to the next level of existence. As it stands today, we live separately, existing within defensive mechanisms and self-protection, denying our very humanity at every step. The world will not survive this continued existence, this self-absorbed concentration of thought, without consequence. We need to open up, to accept fact, to realize reality. Alice was lost in a world of make believe, but we here today cannot let our childhood fantasies dictate our resolve any longer. We must stand together, united, as a people, as the founders of the future to liberate the human race from its own prison. We must break free from the bubbles that confine us, that define us. Possibility is not held within this realm, for it is an unbounded power, and only we hold back its actualization through fear and ignorance. We must together overcome Society’s Bubble Syndrome to ensure our survival.