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The Impossibility of Comprehension

by Emma December 9, 2014 0 comment

Have you ever felt small?
Truly tiny, infinitesimally, and incomprehensibly small?

Maybe it happened when you were looking at the stars,
or swimming in an ocean,
or standing on a corner in a busy city,
immersing yourself in something greater than yourself?

I have this feeling most often when I’ve landed somewhere new.
Looking around, realizing that my “world” my “reality” is nothing but a small bubble of experiences and stories I keep within myself. The planet is vast, its population is so huge; cultures and communities have stories so different from mine that I could only believe them by seeing them.

Nyepi Night Parade

I also have this feeling when I am looking at the stars,
looking at a map of our known universe,
being held under by the energy of the ocean,
and rolling grains of sand in my hand.

There is a word for this feeling:
Acatalepsy.

It is a noun.
It is the impossibility of comprehending the universe.
Or rather, an incomprehensibleness.

Water

I find when I’ve spent too much time dwelling in what I do know, in the stories that are most comfortable, that I lose my way. I find myself falling into a chasm of insecurity, void of inspiration, and general dullness. Acatalepsy keeps me in check. It provides the fuel to keep exploring, discovering, moving past the boundaries of comfort.

If you have not experienced this smallness, I urge you, I beg you, to step outside of your zone of comfort. Whether it be stargazing or sitting on a subway train, feeling small and insignificant can do us all wonders. It forces us to enjoy what we have for the small amount time we are here.

Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.

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