Believing or Experiencing

Posted by Kitara Julian On 11:13 AM
Received an email from someone in New Zealand in response to our recent astronomy posts, to ask if I believed we’ve been on the Moon. Well, I’m not an astronomer. People who believe are at the mercy of the source that tells you to believe something. Believing is a tricky business.
My approach to life is doing, putting things to the test. (Not ‘blind belief’). Experience it yourself.
Everyone has their so-called truth. Believing, on a larger scale, belongs in a way to tradition and its rituals, which use symbols.
If you cannot experience something directly, then the next best thing is to seek someone who has, or a reliable source: Who speaks about What.
For instance, when the late Jacques Cousteau talked about the Oceans, he was a good source on that subject to learn from. Same with astronauts who have been in Space.
Whatever we believe, it will stick. Just look at all the religions, the problems, wars, atrocities and horrors, caused for a couple of thousand years, just by “believing”. And it's still going on, today!
Believing 'What'?
And as for us having been on the Moon, here again, we have to “believe” and trust those who say we’ve been there. Is believing faith, truth, trust?
Thirty years ago, in September, I was in Singapore and guest at a garden banquet of a fellow Circumnavigator Club member, a wealthy businessman. It was a celebration of the harvest Full Moon Festival.
The garden was decorated with colourful Chinese lanterns. Halfway through dinner, the Moon suddenly rose on the horizon, so big and near, you felt you could reach out and touch it.
One of the banquet servers, wearing a white uniform, prostrated himself on the grass in honour of the Moon. When he got up, and came to our table, I said, “Isn’t it amazing to realize we humans have walked on the Moon?”
“No, no”, he said, “All Hollywood fantasy and lies. We have not been there, it’s all pretence.”
So what is one going to do or say? For him, the Moon was sacred as evidenced by his prostration on the grass in his white uniform.
See what we mean with believing? It’s a very tricky business. Signing off for now, Henri

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