Thanks to the ‘Masters of the Obvious’ | SierraSun.com

Thanks to the ‘Masters of the Obvious’

Bob Sweigert

Which came first, the little seed in the Styrofoam cup, the plant that grows from the seed or the Styrofoam cup?

Which came first, knowing how and why the little plant grows or the comet that hit earth billions of years ago, depositing the necessary ingredients to bring the little plant in to being?

Are comets responsible for life on earth or did God zap an ape one day and make it a man?

Are matter and energy the fundamental building blocks of creation or is it Divine Consciousness? Did the Universe begin from something or nothing? If God created everything, and God is good, why did he create litterbugs and mean people?

Don’t ask me, I just live here.

The last two Grasshopper Soups, one about what we learned in kindergarten and the other about widespread disgusting human behavior, received some great responses. Just as I expected, someone told me to get a high school biology text book. Then I was told we do know how and why the little plant in the Styrofoam cup goes up.

Thank God for Masters of the Obvious. I, too, have been awarded that title on many an occasion. It is a distinction one should carry proudly. Technically, we do know how and why the plant grows. At least, biologists know. I would have to look it up, again. I know plants can make water go up, which water does not naturally do on its own. This process has a fancy name, like suction, leaf-licking or something like that.

The 9/11 Report reasoned that one of the main factors in the failure of our intelligence and systems responses to prevent the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers was a lack of imagination. I think lack of imagination is a widespread problem for everybody, not just politicians, the CIA, the FBI and aviation control.

Imagination allows us to see different levels of meaning, and truth, in what, at first glance, appears to be a factual error. Some people just don’t have any imagination. Masters of the Obvious do not necessarily lack it, and I have no intention of accusing them all of being conceptually deprived. But science isn’t everything. It might be someday, but it isn’t yet, because Everything hasn’t been observed yet. Or has it? Like I said, I just live here.

Ultimately, our knowledge of the natural world, including the little plant in the Styrofoam cup, is all based on theory; partially informed speculation on how the universe began. In the grand scheme of things, therefore, it is perfectly legitimate, and imaginative, to say we do not know how or why the little plant grows from the seed in the Styrofoam cup because we don’t really know how and why life itself exists. The little seed, the plant it produces, and the fact that we humans are all like that, is an obvious mystery, an imaginative observation, of spectacular and magnificent proportions.

Anyway, although it was obviously not obvious, that’s where I was coming from. Poets don’t need textbooks.

The most insightful response to Grasshopper Soup recently shed some light on the natural phenomenon of litterbugs and others whose behavior is not in tune with the mystery of nature’s music. The response simply said, “Scripture tells us that slobs and fools will be with us always”. Thanks, God. Do you have to be so right all the time?

Some of you shared similar experiences with such deprived people, much to my relief. I was afraid I was just unlucky and not seeing all the goodness in the world. Thanks for reassuring me that I’m not the only one witnessing a flourishing of fools on the planet.

Yes, we have to live with these poor, unimaginative creatures. We can’t change them or breed them out. We will need a lot of patience, and a universe full of imagination.