Reality, Terrorism, and Motives: Half-Asleep Musings
Later tonight, I watched the new Doctor Strange movie for the first time. In it, his mentor tells him he has been looking through a keyhole his whole life and seeking ways to widen it so he could see more of the reality on the other side; but then, when he finds out he can widen the keyhole in ways he can't even imagine, he immediately resists.
So many terrorist attacks recently. I'd like to see some data on how recent days compare to historical records as far as violence. It's helpful to keep in mind that there were plenty of wars and rumors of wars all throughout history - CNN just wasn't around to cover them. But what is it that drives people to commit such horrendous acts against other people? Why do they treat human life so flippantly, including their own? They have a skewed view of reality. They believe they will get whatever it is they want through violence and hurting others.
We all want different things, yet in the end they all turn out to be the same thing. We want fulfillment - to be satisfied with the way our lives turn out. Whether by saving up money to live the American dream (there's a reason it's called a dream) or by pouring ourselves into work, family, art, whatever... in the end we all make decisions based on the same basic motives. We want to be happy. The Epicurean wants to be happy. The Stoic wants to be happy. The Buddhist wants to be happy. The Muslim wants to be happy. Everyone may go about it in different ways and with different definitions, sometimes appearing to seek the exact opposite, but all of us know there is something beyond being driven by the push and shove of this physical world.
The real question is this: if we are all seeking the same thing (only in different ways), what prevents all of us from becoming terrorists? What reality, what path to a desirable state do we cling to that makes us view hurting others as the opposite direction from our preferred ending, rather than the segue into it? Do any of us see the whole sunset? Do some of us simply have a less distorted, less obscured view than others? Are there some worlds of unreality that are safer to live in than other worlds? Or does the test of reality vs. unreality permanently divide us all in the end, and must we wait to "see who is right, and who is dead"?