What does Albert Einstein, Albert Brooks, Lady Gaga, the Apostle Paul, and YOU, all have in common?by Posted Author on 08/27/12
By G. F. Smith
(Original Publish Date:
You have all been subjected to life. We have all been subjected to life. At one point in time, we just found ourselves here. And we--as a consequence of being here--are a part of this Earthly existence whether we like it or not. What is the purpose? Why are we here? Where is it all going? Who really knows? I do not know! But like you, I can imagine.
Albert Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Humph! One of the most knowledgeable people ever to grace this tiny planet, and yet he thought that much of imagination, above knowledge. Interesting!
Did you know that at a young age, Albert Einstein imagined himself pursuing a career as a violinist and a music teacher, and yet, around the same time, he wondered what it would be like to ride a beam of light? People thought he was crazy for that last part. Sadly, while in this life he was never able to do either. However, it was that same imagination that propelled him onwards and upwards to change the entire world's perspective of what light, energy, matter, time, and even consciousness might really be. In fact, his imagination changed everything for us.
When I was a kid I imagined all sorts of things for myself, but at every turn I seemed to lead the pack in shooting down my imagination, in lieu of what everyone else was saying was reality. For a long time I tended to believe them.
As we grow and mature we all have this perpetually changing image of ourselves: of what we wish to be, or imagine ourselves becoming, contrasted with what we (think we) are. I have come to realize that the most debilitating catalyst for shooting down our imaginations is fear and frustration--which, again, is usually put upon us by the supposed good intentions of others.
Albert Brooks, American actor (voice of clownfish father on Finding Nemo), comedian, director, writer, iconic anxiety-racked and frustrated worrywart, wrote a wonderful couple of lines for his classic film, Defending Your Life: "Fear is like a giant fog. Everyone on Earth deals with fear--that's what little brains do!" Little brains, I love this guy, Albert Brooks. He has made a living out of depicting through his characterizations a side of each of us that we, for the most part, wish to ignore, hide, and even deny (especially before intimate relations and at job interviews).
Mr. Brooks is also recorded as saying that: "I don't know if I can define fear. But one of the sources of fear is holding up some sort of model life that doesn't exist, and feeling like you are far away from it." I thought that was profound.
Fear and frustration takes its daily toll on all of us. Yet, some seem to be able to conquer this inner-challenge of the mind. If Albert Brooks is anything in real life like his characters, then he has done an amazing job at overcoming it, I think.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, or Lady Gaga, as she is known to the world, the enigmatic, contemporary, ubiquitous singer, song writer, and entertainer has a unique perspective on this. Ms. Gaga is quoted as saying: "I want people to walk around delusional about how great they can be - and then to fight so hard for it every day that the lie becomes the truth." She also remarked once, that: "We are nothing without our image, without the spiritual hologram of who we perceive ourselves to be or rather to become, in the future."
All this is why we so much love movies and books and news pieces about successful people, unique people, and heroes, especially the underdog or anti-hero types. We love them because we see in them, essences of what we want to imagine for ourselves: living a life of courage, of cause, of purpose, of on-the-edge-fun and adventure, lunging out into the unknown, conquering courageously the fear and frustration seemingly inherent to all stages of life.
Yeah, I know. It is not as easy as it sounds.
We do not like being subjected to fear and frustration. In fact, that is probably the root cause--above all reasons--that people get mad at life or at God (or at whatever you believe the source of life and animation is).
I ran across something that the Apostle Paul (you know, the one from the Bible) wrote regarding the subject. He wrote: "The creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."
Is the inference here that we have been intentionally subjected to frustration (fear), in order to, somehow, reverse a decaying process, and that it is being used as a tool of some sort to usher us into a new reality? As children of God? As children of the Universe?
Now, I consider myself a spiritual person, not necessarily religious. And when I think about this, it honestly makes me kind of mad--the existence, the allowance of all the bad stuff, the hard stuff in life. Yet, I find, in essence, that we did the same thing with our own children as they grew up. We just didn't give our kids everything. We encouraged them to apply their minds. Made them work. When frustrated about a subject in school, we didn't just give them the answers; when they were frustrated because they had not yet mastered a sport, or a technique, we did not tell them to quit, or give up.
We encouraged them to press on. We pointed them in the general direction, and told them to seek the knowledge and understanding on their own, for their own reasons. We taught them that nothing is ever easy. We taught them to face their fears, to choose courage, to embrace the frustration, to seek whatever knowledge they needed in order to overcome.
We taught them to use their own imaginations. And thereby become uniquely, them. They turned out pretty awesome, by the way!
Life has its Reasons!
Thanks to all those I mentioned (as well as all I didn't), for the inspiration and the illustration. And thanks to all of you for reading the Blog. Gotta go, having my hair spiked and streaked purple, and I have to pick up my plastic bubble-suit from the cleaners. (Just kidding...)
G. F. Smith