Orbifx's compendium


| | | topics: life | keywords: frontiers, humanism, life, mission
id: 887cbf3f-b17a-42ad-a253-d3c0a39ae283

If memory serves, thinking about the relationship between humans & frontiers arose after watching the film Tron Legacy Kevin Flynn, one of the heroes, said:

"a digital frontier to reshape the human condition."

Without going too much into the film, the character is referring to a project of his; a virtual reality which was going to have a profound effect on humanity. The 'human condition' is another of my curiosities.

A purpose in life

This spawned a whole train of thought: could this be a corner stone in the pursuit of deriving purpose in life?

And yes, I think people are responsible for giving purpose to their life; look into existentialism for more on that concept.

Generally, frontiers are political and geographical areas near or beyond a boundary. By considering a more abstract definition - probably because of the inspiring mood of the film - I realised that humans thrive near boundaries of all kinds.

An important note at this point: boundaries are not always identical to a mission. In brief, a mission is more defined, whereas frontiers can be more abstract and general.

Kinds of frontier

Physical frontiers come first to mind: from the mythological Icarus, Odysseus & the Hobbits, to the historical Marco Polo & Christopher Columbus. The human thirst for adventure found in challenging frontiers is abundantly obvious.

It isn't only the physical frontiers that excite us though. A great many of the greatest humans looked into expanding the frontiers of our understanding of nature: Aristotle, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Darwin, Einstein. There are also those who ventured to the frontiers of understanding our understanding: Euclid, Archimedes, Euler, Lagrange, Leibniz.

These people had a major influence in the fields and aspects of human life which resonate with me. Others will have sportsmen, travellers, cooks, etc. Their achievements in many cases occurred whilst venturing towards human frontiers, physical or mental; and they call out to the higher human spirit. Something within us can only be satisfied when we go to the boundaries we have an attraction for.

The first step is the hardest

Blatantly obvious as the benefits & belonging may seem, the average person is unadventurous. Between determining our frontiers and setting out for them, the direction is lost.

The major inhibition seems to be responsibility.

Deliberate long and hard about adopting responsibilities and the degree of their adoption. Over-commitment is rife; consider the bigger scheme of things before saying the cursed yes. Take responsibilities, but filter out the futile ones by looking at the commitments holistically.

Next, mark the daily territory with signs towards the frontiers. Start by not criticising the size of steps or even the progress, but by relentlessly correcting the direction.

The path to the frontiers is probably made up by the habits & efforts which channel towards it. Convention, a societal pressure, may be the biggest antagonist of habits & efforts during the early stages of change. Resist convention when it's not leading to progress. We need society and it needs us, an interdependency which is at an equilibrium when individual & society progress in tandem.

Only one way to know

Determining without trying is definitely not how to get the frontiers. Shun excuses themed around impossibility or difficulty, they are just excuses. Venturing originates in the belief of possibility, that there is a way.

Define your frontier wisely, tenaciously and don't stop their pursuit, unless maybe for another frontier.