Getting Used To

A really bad thing about humans is that they get used to things. They get used to anything, any new thing, however unique or peculiar or unforeseeable, provided the exposure is long enough. That is a bad thing because we forget to look at things in the proper, natural way, and realize how beautiful, how complex, or how incorrect they are.

For example, we have had the time to get used to all the numerous signs of civilized life. We don’t think twice about the most peculiar things around. Like a guy riding a bicycle. That’s essentially a vertically elongated earth creature wearing coloured fabric manufactured from natural materials of its planet and shaped like its body. It’s perched on a contraption of its own design, with two large circles which rotate when the creature moves its hind limbs. This whole creature + its contraption system moves around, and we never bat an eyelid.

Like spectacles. That’s two pieces of glass cut carefully and hung on a frame in front of the eyes. It’s an instrument he’s carrying around, and not just him, but many others. Burt we don’t look at spectacled individuals weirdly. Now if today a guy chose to wear a really large metal collar with an attached gyro-wheel around his neck, he would be ostracized, laughed at, and would generally garner a lot of interest. But if everyone started wearing gyro-collars, we would get used to it in around one and a half years, and there would even be roadside billboards advertising the latest fashion in gyro-collars. Even important and grave people would talk about gyro-collars.

I’m not saying that it’s not right to get used to new things. That would be stupidly narrow-minded. There is no reason to think that getting used to natural jungles, rocks and animals is any more justified than getting used to our inventions. I am mourning how we forget the proper way to look at things, how we forget to start from scratch, disposing all assumptions and conventions. There are certain things we should feel amazed at. Like trees and animals and ourselves, because life is such a wonderful and magical thing, even more so scientifically. Like aeroplanes and economy. There are things that are so peculiar that we should, following our natural impulses, feel funny about them. Like clothes and haircuts and boasting about cars. Just imagine a crawling alien creature population in an alien planet making a whole market out of different ways of shaping the slimy hair on their hindquarters. Don’t take this as a joke. If you laugh at it, you are laughing at you and your own civilization, and what you are part of. Really think about it.

There are things that are incorrect, but we have got – or made to get – used to them. And even though we would still have a nudging feeling if we think about them, that’s normally very weak and we really don’t ever give them a thought. Like exiling sex from normal conversations and making it a sort of half-taboo. Or different religious, or regional prejudices and narrow ideas about others. Or never thinking about the purpose of our existence and about the nature of this life and being. It’s all because of this deadly ability of being able to acclimatize and adjust, and fit into what everyone is doing.

Sometimes it’s good, as for a falling Level Zero, but not when Level Zero is going up, or including new points not experienced before. But this can’t be helped. Nothing can be done about it. Now and again I might screw my eyes and concentrate and try to look at things from a neutral and fresh – almost alien, viewpoint – and get a laugh or two, or maybe a couple of revelations that might make me pause.

But then acclimatization would again set in, and life would go on as ever.

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