If you're determined to dive down this rabbit hole, then you have to be honest about it. You have to start from a point of nothing, which is next to impossible because you would have to wipe your mind entirely clear of anything you assume is truth about God, religion, spirituality, humanity, time, life, death; everything you know. The question is, how can you do that when you tend to believe that these truths are actually a part of you?
Many of us are descendants of migrants from America's southern states who came here for many of the same reasons people immigrate to Chicago from other countries.
Providence of God Church, Chicago's Pilsen Neighborhood
The fact is, you might not be capable of an entire factory reset without some blunt trauma to the head. But, if you’re going to be real about this, then you try your best. You make an effort to focus on similarities rather than differences. You resist the urge to shut down or drown out when you hear about the beliefs, customs and ideals of others. And you force yourself to hear the other side of someone’s story instead of the one you've been told and continue to tell yourself.
I like to think about the men and women who settled in my city over the many decades of this nation's Great Migration, and how they created the beautifully vibrant and soulful communities we all enjoy today.
Why are you doing this? Why bother? Because what you're trying to get at is the truth, right? That is what you’re searching for, isn’t it? And how can you say you’re getting at the truth if you don’t know anything about anything else aside from what you already know? The fact is, you don’t really know what you don’t know until you learn it. And how will you ever really learn anything different than what you already know, if you aren’t willing to suspend disbelief in your currently constructed reality to see the world through the lenses of others?
31st Street Beach views of
Adler Planetarium, Chicago
Exploring these areas, these frontiers for human exploration throughout my city - the waters and the skies - offers the perfect white space for a liberated mind.
The frightening this is, when you really look at the world from another lens, the truth you’d been so certain about begins to appear less certain. And then what? That is where you have to make a decision. You can go ahead and jump and say, “Screw it! I want the truth, whatever that may be.” Or, you can hold onto what you already know is true, because it’s you, so it must be the truth.