Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Normal or Change?

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For the last couple of days I have been contemplating the idea of Normal.  I got  a new computer and worked all weekend to restore the back ups and files from the old one to the new one. No matter how good your backup or the cloud or Time Machine there are still plenty of loose ends to match up. So after 90 plus hours of getting things back the way they were, this morning I turned on a computer that looks exactly like my old one, it was back to Normal.
The fact is nothing is really the same. Normal only exists in my perception, everything else has changed. It is my comfort level that has become normalized. Normal is actually getting comfortable with change.
Change is the nature of the Universe.
Change is the fundamental process of the Universe. There is nothing in a physical world that is not in a continual state of change. Some of the changes are slow enough that we don't see them, we perceive it as normal.  Other things change so quickly that we get over the change just as fast and believe things are back to normal. 
The cells in my body reproduce themselves every 21 days.  In reality I am not the same physical unit from month to month. Although I think I look "normal" I can see some photographs from my younger days and realize I am not the same looking person. So what is normal? Just the comfort of familiarity. 
Mackintosh computers ushered in the era of making computers normal.  When the window based operating system of the 1984 Mac was introduced only a few realized that the computer was now imitating normality while completely changing everything.  
One of the members of the Xerox group that developed the icon based operating system said that the genius of the system was the trash can. Before this, to delete a file on a computer you had to execute a line of code that was complicated and if any single character in the line of code was wrong it would not execute the delete. The idea that now one could virtually drag a file into the icon of a trash can to execute the command. was pure genius according to that engineer. It is normal to throw something you don't want into a trash can, that is normal.  It makes us comfortable. After 30 odd years of that conditioning the virtual act of doing this on every computer has become normal.  
Slowly we accept change as "normal" after we have had time to morn the passing of the same. The seniors who did not participate in the computer revolution find the entire process to be intimidating. Clicking, dragging, copying and rebooting are just part of the "modern normal" for todays generation, but an older generation had not grown up with the digital metaphor. They find the process confusing and intimidating.  
To embrace change is the only way to really stay alive and vital.  Old people are sometimes described as being "set in their ways".  It only means that they want to do the same things they have always done in the same way in the same time, this is their normal.  But the world does not stay the same and soon their normal gets harder and harder to accomplish.  It makes them more and more isolated which means they want to hang on to the way it always was which limits their opportunities, isolating them even more.  
If one embraces change there will never be a time of stagnation. If one embraces change there will be more opportunity for growth. But mostly if one comes to see change as the normal, they will be in harmony with the entire universe. The earth is spinning constantly as it goes around the sun which is part of a galaxy that is expanding and moving very quickly to the next place.  We are not the same cellular animals that we were 21 days before. How can we cling to our normal in direct conflict with the nature of everything? 
The answer for me is holding tightly to the idea of Now. If one can come to the idea that being in the now is Normal, the past is gone and the future will be some now to come. With the idea that now is my normal, and actually is the only reality I can comprehend then I am comfortable.  And after all the idea of normal is just the idea of being comfortable.
As you were,


Pete Biro said...

been there, dne tat.. no fun at all

P. Grecian said...

Perfect. And normal.

voxleo said...

Normal is highly overrated and average.

Exceptional, however difficult it is to be, is totally worth it and far more interesting.

Normal is also boring, not to mention dismally unimaginative.

I've been weird as long as I can remember, and I keep some truly excellent company.

HOWEVER, I would like to note that it would be nearly impossible to comment this at all given that I have normal human vision capability - these word verification captcha texts appear to be designed for creatures with compound eyes ...