Our Uniqueness within Uniformity
We like to think in terms of technology often. We talk about our limited “bandwidth” and how much incoming information we can take in and store. It helps us find some common ground in a world dominated by computers, cellphones and high-speed data transfers.
I have been thinking about URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). There is only one URL per website (thus “unique” is another word we often use in place of “Uniform”) for it is not only unique, it also has a uniformity with all others. Only you live at the address that is you – the same with me. I have tried to give myself “the slip” on many occasions. It is impossible. Wherever I go there I am. But also, we are all somewhere – together collectively.
We – who live at these unique addresses – need certain things. We need shelter, food, water…and we need love. Did you know that a newborn can be given every physical thing needed to sustain life, but if it is not “touched” and loved it will die. It’s true.
In the world of computer addresses it is not surprising that the URLs for things we really need and must have are all taken (or so I thought). You can guess what these are: sex.com; food.com; water.com; love.com – oh and all the .org versions etc… too. Just as you would expect right?
Now imagine my surprise when it came to human meaning. We all need it right? So when I sat down to see what URLs were still available – what unique addresses were leftover – I was shocked!
Humanmeaning.org (and .com) were both still available.
Now this is very good news for me (and also for you as I will use it for the common good); but it is disturbing that such a glaring universal human need is so buried that no one even bothered to register the domain names.
Obviously we have some work to do.
Ernest Becker (in The Denial of Death) wrote of our plight:
Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever.
You are unique, but we have a uniform problem that we must face together – and that problem is the question of meaning. You are already asking it. It is just a matter of how creatively, consciously and productively you hope to engage possible answers.
In a very real sense we are all, uniquely, “Uniform Resource Locators” of a type. Not long after we are born and get self-organized we start to hunt for meaning and relationship. Unlike Internet URLs we are not destinations – we seek a destinationand and to create meaning along the way.
Why even as you are reading this article you are sifting it for meaning. Will it help you in your quest, or is it a diversion from it? In this, you are only demonstrating your unique and profound URL ability.
Let us keep exploring together.