The people at the time of Elizabethan England knew from their history that trial-and-error will build a better windmill. And yet, in the sixteenth century, everything needed to build an electric power station was there in front of them. Nothing needed to build that source of energy comes from outer space or the spirit world. But the electric power station at the time was unimaginable.
The world of 2012 is a very different world, not so much due to five more centuries of applying the method of trail-and-error, but mainly due to a very few individuals scattered throughout those centuries daring to imagine the unimaginable. One such person was Max Plank who, in 1900, concluded that radiant energy did not flow continuously as it 'so obviously did' from the sun, but flowed in tiny packets. Now due to his totally counter-intuitive idea, we have a lifestyle that is becoming increasingly dependent on transistors. Trial-and-error works as well as it ever did, but technological revolutions arise from entirety novel perspectives in pure science.
However, there is more to be seen behind the curtain that Plank pulled back. There is much, much more! His idea has enabled more clever people to discover that our minds can influence subatomic particles as if they and we are part of the same thought. Our minds and matter as one! Consciousness as the ground state of the universe!
Is that unimaginable - or is it only as unimaginable today as the transistor was in the year 1900?
I like to mentally trip back to the life of our First Peoples as depicted in the excellent SBS feature of 2006: Ten Canoes. They become my reference point in my attempts to understand what modern life is about.
The thinking of the Aboriginal of old was linear in its purest form. What did not fit the model standardised by group-think to fit all individuals in the group, was automatically dismissed. Hence, his lifestyle barely changed from one millennia to the next. His every forward move was based entirely on what had happened in the past.
Linear thinking is no problem when circumstances are unchanging. Circumstances in an Aborigine's life were very unchanging - except when there was the drought so prolonged that it dried out the land. That event may only have occurred once every ten or so generations, but when it did his numbers fell to near-extinction. It was then that he paid the price for his linear thinking.
In today's complex and world-wide interconnection of human activity, there is a wider variety of processes which could go badly for us than that which threatened the Aborigine. And yet we are still blighted by linearly thinking management. This thinking continues to set us up for disaster.
Whatever unexpected survival-threatening crisis lies ahead of us today, our culture as it is currently structured will be as incapable of dealing with it as was the culture of those who, as they sat on the rocks around what is now Sydney Harbour, watched the arrival of 11 strange-looking floating objects.
Consider the nature of time:
The Aborigine had no concept of time as we have. He thought in terms of periods between events. A period either felt long or felt short - or somewhere in between. The colonists who arrived here did not think like that because over the previous few centuries, the clock had restructured the European brain. It is the regular and incessant ticking of the clock which creates the delusion that time flows regardless of anything else happening - no matter where in the universe one may be standing.
It was a fortuitous delusion because it enabled him to manage his life with precision. The modern world would not be here without the clock.But absolute time is a delusion - it is simply a model of reality that so far has worked for Westerners as they struggled to not only survive, but to improve their level of comfort and safety.