The Truth is Out There

Do we have any X-Files fans in the Heber Valley? I loved this sci-fi TV drama when it was airing. For the younger, binge and streaming-on-demand crowd — we used to have to wait until the program aired on network TV to view new episodes. I would count the days in anticipation. When that time arrived, I would make popcorn, turn off the lights and try to maximize the suspense and weirdness that each chapter seemed to unfold. All anticipation would build to a satisfying crescendo as the eerie and oddly low budget theme music and into sequence rolled out. What a fantastic TV series!

The series’s central characters were two FBI agents assigned to work together on ‘unsolvable’ cases, often leaning towards the paranormal. Fox Mulder, portrayed by actor David Duchovny, was a brilliant FBI agent pigeonholed because he believed in aliens and paranormal phenomena. Nevertheless, he could substantiate his work enough to give himself a job with conditional oversight. That supervision came from a skeptical partner, Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson. She came with medical and religious backgrounds that would counterbalance Fox Mulder’s tendency to gravitate to strange and unconventional case theories.

I always felt that the interplay between science, faith, and the unexplainable was fascinating in this series. Mulder and Scully were always trying to find the truth, even if that truth was bizarre and counterculture. Dana Scully went through an exciting transition as the cases piled up. Necessity tested her societal boundaries of commonly accepted occurrences and her dependence on factual data. She was forced, through difficult experiences, to utilize the full breadth of her imagination for problem-solving when observable variables would not align.

Cases became X-Files because caseworkers were resistant to entertaining the improbable. They lacked the ability for unrestrained and imaginative free thought. Throughout the series, the evolution of Dana Scully illustrates the human capacity to live in a world of imagination simultaneously rooted in reality.

Imagination is the precursor to innovation. When seemingly impossible scenarios arise, there will be two types of people: the critics and the innovators. Standalone critics generally cannot imagine new possibilities. Their perceptions stagnate in a pattern where flaws are acutely referenced, but no implementable solutions accompany the grievance. An innovator can see problems as clearly as the critic. The difference is that innovators avoid the negativity and futility of complaint patterns and embrace the creative thought process of action and problem-solving.

The American novelist Mark Twain stated, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” I love this quote because it can take on several meanings if you daydream about it for a moment or two. At face value, I believe Twain suggests that if individuals cannot think for themselves, they tend to believe anything they are told. The eyes alone can collect information, but it takes a mind to process it into something relevant. Deception will come very quickly to those who do not learn to filter what they see and embrace free thought.

Free thinking is a virtue, a skill, and an attribute that is all too scarce in our modern ‘age of information’. Our days are perpetually inundated with ads and messages that tell us what we should think and believe. Instant information availability has led to a lack of another virtue, patience. It is common to buy into a brand and accept the product as absolute without consideration of the motivation behind the message. Between the hectic pace of our daily tasks and the perpetual noise from the almighty messengers, there is little time for peace, meditation, and the free flow of creative thought.

The truth is out there — but it is reserved for those willing to search for it. Many of the problems that we face today are as absurd and improbable as a storyline from the X-Files. It will take the honest effort of a creative mind to navigate the minefields of agendas and half-truths set by those that would like to tell you how to think.

Spring is a time for rebirth. I challenge the Heber Valley to prioritize time every day for quiet and calm. Use that peace to think deeply about whatever issue ails you. In that quiet space, you will recover your capacity to think with clarity. The truths you seek will more readily come to focus as your eyes, mind, and heart align.

Thank you for being so supportive of Heber Valley Life magazine. I hope you find this edition as uplifting and inspiring as the landscape we call home.

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