A vision for how life should be

A hopeless in love friend was oozing his worries yesterday, and said in the most beautifully tragic way:

I have this vision for how my life should be. And my real life doesn’t match it.

If there’s anything I uselessly specialize in, it’s letting worriers know that they are symptoms. You are never ever alone in how you feel. You are a statistic, and odds are, most other people feel this way too.

Even more hopelessly, I replied is this not the human condition?

I reflect on this now because of how beautifully sad that original statement was. And how relatable it is. That vision, those images we see play in our minds of how our life should be—that’s the driving force of our inner evolution. It’s like being totally happy with your current iPhone and then seeing the new iPhone X and not being happy until you acquire such physical sorcery. Once you see it, it ruins everything you love about the present.

I’ve always thought, but hold no substantial evidence of or scientific backing for, that this sort of fundamental “visioning” we play out in our mind is a fundamental property of all biological life. All life evolves, and we’re sort of mystified by it. But given the fractal nature of the universe, we need not look any further than the process of our own evolution to understand how it happens at every level.

And if our consciousness evolves through wanting, through seeing a different version of ourselves, then perhaps it is not too farfetched to say that the fundamental unit of life is ambition. Surely you can’t quantify the ambitiousness of a cell in your body, but I believe what holds for you holds for me, and what holds at one level holds at every level.

All this to say, the way you feel regarding your health, your wealth, your work, and your future, is symptomatic of the times and tied closely to the health and wealth of the entire system. You are never alone.

This sounds like common sense now, but I did not understand this concept well until my early twenties, when I began to develop the partial lens to understand what the hell Emerson was talking about, like all the time.

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost,—— and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.

Emerson in "Self-reliance"

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