Hate, the book: 050

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part Two
Chapter Ten
If?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.As the millenia rolled by our species got better at finding food, shelter, and predators.  They discovered that caves made excellent dwelling places, that fire scared off predators, and that large supplies of food could be secured by targeting herds of animals.

Some 40,000 years ago, give or take, our ancestors began to express these advancements through what we now call Paleolithic cave paintings.

We are very lucky to have found and preserved some of these paintings today, as they not only provide a window into the distant past, they illustrate perfectly the point I’m trying to make about individual points of reference.

The artist who drew these paintings had to decide his position in relation to his depiction of the animals. Horses are charging, manes blowing in the wind.  A lion is leaping, a bison is lowing.

The artist chose the angle, the distance, and the moments in time for each painted animal before drawing them on the skin of that cave.  He had to choose his frame of reference.

More recently, within the last thousand years, artists have become more detailed and artistically expressive. In addition, they realized that they could control the frame of reference for viewers of their art.

When artists first took control over our frame of reference, it stood the whole concept of art on its head.  Did they want us on the outside looking in?  Or inside looking out?  Maybe it was better to be suspended in the air and looking down.  Their decision resulted in all viewers of their art as having the same frame of reference.  Modern painters took this concept and turned it on its head, literally. Take Picasso’s “Dora Maar.”

This painting depicts “Dora Maar” from multiple perspectives, simultaneously.  Picasso’s art can be jarring at first glance. But once you understand that he and artists like him are showing us the power of frames of reference, their works take on new meaning.

Now it’s time to venture beyond visual art in order to consider everything else we observe.  In all cases, our frame of reference is equally critical.  We absorb and touch our world from where we stand, in a specific point in time.  No one, no matter how close they are to you, can stand in the same place at the same time as you.

Even if they could, their experience could never could be the same as yours.  Each of us are unique. No one has the same memories as you, nor life experiences, nor family history.

In fact, given how different we all are, it’s amazing that we can agree on anything at all!

This concept of a frame of reference becomes a legitimate scientific tool thanks to Einstein.  What Einstein realized was that every observer is unique, and the universe will effectively bend around that observer in order to make all the other laws of physics behave properly.

To be continued …

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