“Pearly Shells, from the ocean, shining in the sun, covering up the shore.”

These song lyrics are all about love and beauty, as the world is filled with love and beauty, if we humans choose to see it and keep it that way. If we don’t want to see things that way, then they aren’t there at all. And so, through the use of this simple rendition of our species mindset, as portrayed in the song, we can come right to the center of the divide separating human from human, and groups of humans from groups of humans, today. Along with the love and beauty comes opinion and perspective. No one living on this earth senses things exactly like anyone else. The senses are all about the detection of vibrations (seeing is light vibrations, hearing is sound vibrations, and feeling physically is simply being able to detect movement in collections of atoms around us), and then the interpretation of those vibration collections are assembled and analyzed in our brains.

And that is where the trouble comes from. Everyone wants love and beauty, but very few humans can define exactly what those things are to them. One human will see love and beauty as observing and allowing other humans and things around them to be completely free to do whatever they choose and to take any shape or form, while another human will see love and beauty as being those things that are the result of planning, control and structure. Our observations and conclusions, since they cannot by our nature be the same, must always be different.

In truth, human see both views and ways at different times.

Human beings are all about structure and control, and yet they are continuously at war with themselves, as groups and individuals, to highly value those things that lack structure and control. Humans want to control but not be controlled. Human beings want things to have structure while they also want them to be free. So the truth about love and beauty is much more internal, than it is external. “Out there,” in the world just beyond our senses, the ‘world’ of life and substance is so vast that we can’t possibly take it all in on a structured basis. It’s mostly out of our control. We are forced to accept the huge lack of structure it presents us with, and that we have almost zero control over it. There are so many grains of sand on all of earth’s beaches combined that it boggles the mind to attempt to consider the number. If you sit on an average beach and look up and down that beach, at the sand you can see, and the sand just beneath, that encompasses about a hundred trillion grains. Now think of all the beaches possible on planet earth. The number of grains of sand on all those beaches is such a stunning number it is not even worth conjecturing about, because there’s so little reference to such an enormous size. Look up. If it’s night, you’ll possible see a few hundred stars on a very clear night. In reality, there are more stars in the known universe (and we’ve neither seen nor measured them all) than a trillion times a trillion of those grains of sand on all of the earth.

Is my importance in looking at the sand I’m sitting in, in writing on this laptop, one of no consequence, because the ‘pearly shells’ around me enjoy great beauty and my love, but are beyond tiny when it seen in comparison to the vastness of the grains of sand on all the beaches, or the existence of so many stars? Not to me. Is my own battle with structure and control over freedom unimportant in the face of those numbers?

Again, not to me, and I’m all there is. There’s nobody else on this beach, and if I look up into the clear heavens, there’s no one up there either, that I know of. Right here, and right now, in this spot there is no such thing as selfishness. It’s all mine, because there is nobody else. When other humans come along, as they will, then I may have some decisions to make about love and beauty relative to what those humans want and believe, but not just now. Maybe that’s why beaches give almost all humans this same feeling.

The pearly shells are right here next to my feet on this beach; sunken six inches into the seeming eternity of sand grains; and I find them beautiful; and I love them. Sometimes, in our complex human lives of interaction with other human lives, it is good for it all to be mine and for me not to feel bad about that. Or you either. Sometimes.
~James Strauss


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