I just read another press article, and whilst it expresses coherently some of the great things explored and achieved at Palomar 5, it completely misses the point. It perpetuates the myth of the individual above collective output.
What is it about our society that looks for the individual? That looks to place achievement on one head? That looks to highlight one person as responsible, for a project, it’s incubation, or creation. History tells us that it is individuals that had influence even when they are attached to movements. Could Hitler have achieved such horrors alone? is Dada merely Dali? even the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants” is normally incorrectly attributed to Newton. Individuals generate a focus and a human story, something we can identify with, because our social body is something that we struggle to acknowledge. We see where our body ceases, and we think that this is where the mind stops as well. That we are an island, creating alone. That one man or woman is responsible for great leaps. Individuals merely have the fortune or the nouse to occupy a space that requires filling, if they didn’t exist someone else would occupy that space (for example even without Darwin we would still have the theory of evolution).
The truth is hard to accept – that we are an expression of others, the thoughts and ideas of those around us. An interpretation of the ideas that permeate society, a translation, an articulation of possibility. Ego guides us to think of these as the expression of one being, and we respect this because we can then possess the same illusion.
At P5 we went beyond this. It was one of the greatest aspects – to recognise that such things came from US not ME. Yet still when it is reported, journalists seek the INDIVIDUAL, not the COLLECTIVE.
There is no such thing as “my idea”. We must learn to recognise an idea as an observation of what is possible, an expression of what can be. Spotting what exists already as potential in the chaos around us, highlighted by discussion and evolving social awareness within the infinite possibilities of the universe. The individual is merely an advocate of a meme, not the originator.