Stepping Forward

Lope de Vega’s verse, written several hundred years ago, could now be applied to life in the 21st century.

City Liana Davidyan

 

This world must be glass,

It is cracked, and less by the hour,

Its fragments will fly…

Lope de Vega’s verse, written several hundred years ago, could now be applied to life in the 21st century. The world is still glass and therefore still fragile. We try to gird it with the protective layers of utopian ideas. The ideas are permeated with the desire to save the world or improve it, either protective, or else disastrous. Perhaps it isn’t only that we’re peering into this world, but that it’s also looking back at us. And every time a new world is born, it reflects us and our attitude towards it. Liana Davidyan presents her thoughts about this theory of the world and human synergy.

In trying to make sense of what life is, my childhood self came up with a theory of embedded worlds. It was an intricately layered infinitude, in which, on Earth, a person could presumably be the Higher Force to an ant, whereas, to some other being in some other world of the Universe, the ants themselves might assume the Higher position. Worlds, like myths, formed one into another, again and again, ad infinitum. It was fascinating. Only later, at university, did I discover Kant, and his attractive and incomprehensible thing-in-itself theory.

Whenever I’m in an interview, I’m always awaiting the questions that are most important to me. How do you want to see the world? Do you really believe the world could be perfect? What inspires you to do what you do? Why be ahead of the times? Wouldn’t it be easier just to follow the path of the majority? Maybe so, and it’s only natural that the answers to these questions remain out of the box. That’s because they sound both romantic and implausible. Simply put, I want the world I live in to be a better one. I want to know that, for any little girl walking to school every morning, year after year, the harmony of the world and its balance are more than just an elusive utopia. And even if I am just an ant from one world’s perspective, from another, I could be an important decisive force. Because, it seems to me, the world is a turbulent ocean, constantly changing beneath its mirrored surface. It reflects whatever is gazing at it. If you listen to the world, if you pay attention to signs, if you accept reality as it is being revealed to you, then the real one takes on real features and starts behaving of its own accord.

My first driver would silently sulk at length as I made comments on his actions behind the wheel. «Slow down!» «Watch out!» «Not so fast!» «Careful on that left turn!» «I know you have the right of way, but let that guy in!»

One time, when he couldn’t stand it anymore, he asked, «Liana Lenserovna, why are you telling me to let the guy in? I mean, this is how everyone is driving. Nobody’s letting him in».

«Are you saying you like it when you’re the one not being let in?»

«No».

«Well, take the chance to set an example. Be kind to someone».

Every action is like a stone thrown into water, forming circles of ripples and waves. Actions create inertia that inspires the steps of others, both on a visible and subconscious level.

After that short dialogue, we started playing a game. «Let’s see what happens if you let that one in». A couple of months later, my driver admitted that people on the road had started being more polite to him since our game began. And, my favourite part, he had changed his driving habits for good, even when I wasn’t there. It was a small, seemingly insignificant step on the road to utopia. That’s how I see it.

In the end, utopia remains utopia, yes, in that it’s impossible to reach. It’s just there, beyond thehorizon. Ideal. Hidden. No matter how you close you come to it, you can’t quite get there. But if you just stand still, the distance between us and it will only grow. If you take at least one step closer, and then you do that every day, you can feel its breath, warm and reliable. It’s a thing in itself. It’s insideyou and everywhere. It contains the answers to all of life’s questions. Even those you’ve never askedyourself. Some might call it paradise. Some, a utopia. I prefer to call it an oasis. It’s a mirage. Veryreal. Man-made. Created by your thoughts and actions, intertwined with expectation and memory.

The more you «cultivate» it, the more it grows, the more it lets new people in. They’re infectedwith its light energy. And at the same time you nourish it. It feeds off of you. It’s like the Avatar planet, in which everything is one. On Earth, bonds are torn; on the other, that we create, parallel to our reality, good always overcomes evil. Because there is no evil. There is life, woven out of ourinner worlds.