Black Holes


There are black holes in space, regions where nothing can escape, not even light. There was the Black Hole of Calcutta where Bengalis confined British troops overnight in such tight quarters that almost all of them died and none could escape. And then there is the black hole we carry around with us everyday, the black hole of what we don't know. Some things we may never know, some we may not know but may discover, and some we may know but prefer not to know so we ignore it. This is our personal black hole. How much do we actually know? It seems like we know very little when we come into the world. But, something impels us to explore this world we seem to have been randomly dropped into. If we happen to succeed in life, we think we are geniuses. If we don't accomplish much, we curse our fate and anyone else we think contributed to our failure. But, what do we actually know in the end? Probably very little. In many ways, our lives are governed by what we don't know rather than what we do know.

What do we want to know? What may we yet find out? Plato had his cave dwellers imagining what was outside by giving meaning to shadows, while we who live unconfined, in freedom at least as we understand it, carry our shadows with us and guess at what we don't know just as the cave dwellers did. From the cave they guess at us, while from outside we guess at what they're about. Life is a bit of a guessing game even as we go through it whether we are inside or outside the cave.

What did the British prisoners guess before they were forced into the Black Hole of Calcutta? What does someone guess lurks inside a dark alley? What about the ghosts under the bed? It is all unknown and is only guessed at until it is experienced. These are the products of our own imaginations, but are they safe? No way to be sure without first dancing with it. This is the dance of the unconscious, the other half of consciousness that makes us a whole, and that through our imagining creates events that are the contents of our lives. We live our lives everyday guessing what is out there, using our thoughts and our dreams as guideposts, using what we imagine to be true as a way to conduct ourselves in the world whether those imaginings are right or wrong, but we continue along this path as if it were the only way one can live.