The dark forest
Imagine that you are on a trip and the more you walk the deeper you get into a large forest. It is a naturally grown and very old forest. And it is full of life, offering a diversity of animals, plants and insects space to live. No tree is like the other but all are quite unique. And there are you, surrounded by trees, countless trees, with countless eyes of hidden creatures watching you. And what do you do here? What is your place? What is your meaning? What is your destination? What are you supposed to do? You are simply confused, overwhelmed by all these trees blocking your sight, blocking your understanding. You have lost the overview…
In Germany we have a saying that someone cannot see the forest because of all the trees surrounding him. This means that when you focus on details, you are not able to see the greater whole, the complete thing, the system or complex, the sum.
And this is exactly the situation in life which we all experience. We are in the center of “thousand things” which we hardly understand in their dynamics and which makes it hard to keep an overview or a target in focus. We can easily lose the sense of what we are doing as our minds are not prepared for this amount of information.
For example, we go to school. Why? Because everyone else goes to school. There is no question about the sense and if the sense is accomplished. Why do you go to school? To prepare yourself for life, for a happy and successful life? To learn what is important for life? Not really. Not at all. Indeed, you go to school to fit into the role which is meant for you. To be a functioning part of the worker class. To do not put dangerous questions but to stay simple and satisfied. To behave like all others.
We find this forest everywhere in life, this overwhelming situation which can easily make us feel helpless, powerless, which makes the error sign occur in our minds for a shut down of brain activities. This situation of being overburdened with information makes us do what everyone else does. And this helps and gives peace and a good feeling of doing the right thing. It is the mass psychology. Sheep follow sheep.
Now the point is to understand that you are in a forest and that its complexity is simply too much to comprehend and that this state of being powerless with a shut down mind is only the simplest choice but not the best one. When you understand this then you can work on getting into a position where you have an overview, where you do not see any longer the single trees but where you see the whole forest, the system, the complex. It is like looking on a map for orientation. And then it is important to ask yourself where you want to go, what your destination really is. Do you want to go where all sheep go? Or do you have individual aims?
And when you have set your goals, then the next step is to look for the best path, best way to reach your goal, your destination.
And this is what it is all about in life, to become aware that there are individual goals which are better than the goals fitted for the masses of sheep and that it is all about to find the best way to reach your goal in the large, dark forest.
Goals are finding the fitting job, the fitting partner, the fitting place to live, fitting hobbies, the fitting spiritual path and so on.
Don´t care about the forest as you can never change the forest with its countless trees. Care about the path through the forest. Find your own one. Simplify the complexity of different trees, animals and whatever and whomever you might meet and focus on the greater whole, on the forest itself on your map. On the map the complex forest is a small area on a paper with marked paths and marked destinations. It is simplified and comprehensible.
In fact, facing a complex topic and finding ways to make it through is the never-ending always repeating challenge in life in every incarnation. Adapt yourself consciously to it and become a winner of this game.