I usually prefer to walk or hike alone to have an undistracted opportunity to think until thought is no longer helpful. These periods of meditative-silenced cognition bring my most peaceful moments, absent the standard lunatic ravings that bounce around my brain with no other purpose than to let me know that the ego is still firmly in charge.

Occasionally, I wonder if any thoughts are genuinely my own or whether they are reflections of those close to me, separated only by artificial habits that consolidate our individuality. Even people with whom I disagree, some vehemently, seem to mirror a part of me lying in wait at the periphery of consciousness.

I’ve begun to consider people’s opinions first in light of how they might mirror one of my character attributes, either past or present. It helps me better understand those around me and accept their beliefs as valid with a little less internal resistance.

We look to the mirror’s impression of the external self as clues of the inner person magnetically draw eyes to eyes. Staring into Nietzsche’s abyss caters to longings nestled deep in the soul of nature’s most curious creature.

What fall from grace precipitated the divisions that plague us, separating humankind from implicit piety, consecrating nature with the threat of horrific destruction, inuring us to the permanence of impurity? Believe that we can do better. Believe in the good that surrounds.

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