So what is Shattering The Lens? This is an important question, and one that I do not necessarily know I yet have the answer to. I know that we all live distinct lives which result in particular perspectives on the world. This seems very poetic, and it is encouraged because most value a rich and diverse marketplace of ideas. Although, from my perspective, this sort of development can become problematic, especially the way it is conducted in the modern world. We refuse to look into ourselves because we think our uniqueness is too valuable. We become closed off to other people’s ideas and thoughts, and the result is unreasonable conflict. We delude ourselves by pretending like we are open minded and respectful when really we just ignore what others have to say, cling to our own beliefs, and act like we’re being accepting. Instead, we are just being disingenuous. We become guarded, holding our emotions and opinions close to our hearts, because we fear that we will be rejected or that we will offend somebody. The most tragic consequence of this state is that we prevent ourselves from being able to love. We lose the capacity to be honest and vulnerable, and so we become unable to open ourselves up to others.
I call this state of existence The Lens. There is a conditioned perspective affixed firmly in front of each of our mind’s eyes. It forces us into our own realities plagued by unexamined assumptions and biases. It is my goal to shatter this lens. I have been conducting this effort for myself for several years, and I have found that I have learned a great deal about myself and about others. I have begun to understand why certain people do certain things, which makes a lot more of those things tolerable. My relationships have been more successful and fruitful, and I have become able to separate myself from those people that are harming me. My opinions on important issues have evolved, and I have become increasingly able and willing to articulate those opinions to others.
Shattering The Lens is, as best as I can describe it, an attempt to remove thought and discourse from the realm of bias and dishonesty. This is a place where we can talk about anything openly and freely, without fear of offense or judgement. Granted, there may be emotional and hot button topics on this site, and I do not expect everyone to agree. I do not expect everyone to accept each other’s opinions or encourage them. After all, a line has to be drawn somewhere. I really don’t think Charles Manson’s view of the justice system is legitimate, for example. However, I do hope that, because this is a venue for open articulation, people will gain insight into their beliefs and insights into the beliefs of others. Through this endeavor, I hope to build a community of thinkers who can eventually foster understanding and growth of the human community. I grant that these are lofty ideals, but I think it is possible to contribute to their achievement.