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Searching For Bigfoot
The better humanity gets at sharing information about our world the fewer miracles and magic beasts there are in it. Before the world was explored and nature scientifically documented, there could be anything out there. Dragons. Giants. Witches. Sea serpents.
Until smartphones became ubiquitous people were still able to cling to some of the magic and mystery in the form of cryptozoology. Sure there are no elves or goblins in the lands over the horizon, but maybe there’s a giant ape walking upright in those woods by the mountain. Maybe there’s a monster swimming in the depths of that lake.
The prevalence of pocket cameras that can circulate video footage around the world spoiled all that fun, because people understand that if cryptids like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster were real, people would be getting them on video all over the place now.
Instead the prevalence of online video footage led to more mundane revelations. Police brutality is more common than previously believed. Palestinians are subjected to horrid abuses. People are more talented, creative and hilarious than we had ever realized.
But the magical beings are nowhere to be found, and we can retrospectively conclude that they probably never existed at all. People who claimed to have seen angels and witnessed amazing miracles performed by holy men throughout the ages were probably making it up. Your eccentric acquaintance who told you back in the nineties that he saw a space alien in his window was probably telling stories. The people who claimed to have encountered sasquatch and Nessy were probably lying.
And there’s some dissonance with that in our society today. People hunger for magic and mystery, and they’re desperately reaching around for it wherever they can in a rapidly shrinking world. Spirituality. Psychedelics. UFOs. Ghosts. The Mandela effect. The occult.
Something in us intuits that there must be something more to this thing than we’re seeing. We know there are no leprechauns or unicorns hiding in the shadows, but we sense that there must be something magical happening here that’s evading our perception. It can’t just be the dull humdrum of office drama and stress and horniness and Netflix and food and family that consumes our waking attention from day to day.
But what if that’s a mistake? What if that assumption is based on an erroneous premise?
What if this experience right now is just as earth-shakingly novel and miraculous as if the heavens parted and you were lifted up into a cloud of angels right this moment as you read this? What if the only thing causing you to see this waking experience right now as any less breathtaking than a dragon’s treasure trove is your mind’s habituated response to it?
I mean, what’s yearned for in that sacred space within ourselves can’t really be in the discovery of some hidden magic out there in the world, can it? Because even if we discovered it, that would quickly become the mundane norm. If extraterrestrials came down from space and began openly walking among us, it would be a really big deal at first, but for how long? After a while they’d just be one more mundane thing happening in the world; oh there’s Vipvorp, he’s an ET, he’s my manager at Costco and he’s a bit of a prick sometimes.
And then you’d be right back to yearning for some magical hidden novelty.
Now imagine if you were seeing your own life for the very first time. Imagine you’d never experienced this world before; that you’d always been a disembodied consciousness with no world to experience and no sensory organs to experience it with, no neurons to think with or form memories with and no nervous system to feel with. Then imagine after eons of this you were flashed into your current experience right now.
It would be pretty mind-blowing, right? Seeing for the first time? Hearing? Touching? Feeling? Thinking? It would be experienced as appearing inside a giant universe made of miracles.
Is it not possible, then, that whatever’s happening in the world right now is not the issue at all, and that the real issue is our own perception? That this yearning we feel is summoning us not to seances and weird TikTok rabbit holes about otherworldly experiences, but toward a different way of perceiving?
And is it not possible, then, that we could learn to see the world with fresh eyes all the time? To meet each moment like we’ve just been born into all this from a yawning infinity of emptiness?
Is it not possible that this way of perceiving life as an endless barrage of brand new miracles is far more attainable than reaching around in the world hoping to brush up against angels and divinity? Is it not possible that the only thing causing us to miss out on this way of experiencing is a series of mental habits that can be willfully deprogrammed through conscious intention?
Is it not possible that this, right here, is the miracle we are yearning for, and that it always has been? That we’re not really searching for Bigfoot, but for a different kind of relationship with the ordinary?
It’s a possibility that might be worth exploring. Maybe that exploration is the real adventure we’re being called to here.
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