2020-06-23 01:47 (Tue)
Out of the Flask
Out of the Flask
  • Yoo Hee Kang
  • Approved 2013.05.01 08:15
  • Comments 0
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In a fly genetics lab, curious flies make their way out of a small plastic flask filled with a mushy culture medium only to realize that the flask is in an incubator, and the incubator in a room locked tightly. This has been the truth for laboratory flies way before their birth for generations. A very similarly picturesque analogy applies to us humans and the society we live in.

We start out quite optimistically thinking that there is freedom in the world and, with it, ultimate happiness as a potential bonus. Regardless of our rosy hopes however, society abruptly decides what freedom is for us. Society brings upon us a seemingly acceptable and realistic idea that freedom is guaranteed only after making money, and perhaps greater freedom in return for making more money. In doing so, society traps us with the cruel and distorted concept of freedom, which is oddly challenging to get out of. Once we get used to what society gives us in return for giving in, what we get from society, ironically, becomes an impetus for our living. However, this is not a just way of making a decision: many of us are practically forced to take it as the way of life. In any case, money should be money for its sake; freedom should not be sold for money, for money cannot replace freedom.

The fact that our lives are within the boundaries of society makes it hard for us to dream of freedom beyond it. Yet just like the flies that are always eager to get a taste of fresh air, we still wonder what it would be like to dive into the world of real freedom: it could possibly be where truth lies. The problem is, we often mistake this real freedom for the aforementioned freedom defined by society. Consequently, we keep competing with our neighbors heartlessly, hurting them carelessly and contributing to the already high suicide rate.

In the “artificial world = flask = society” we live in, what we take in through our eyes cannot be trusted entirely. In other words, what looks glorious is not always glorious. The way we perceive this world may not be accurate because society itself holds the selfish purpose of maintaining its structure, deforming and erasing the faces of its habitants altogether. Sometimes it helps to stop believing in what we want to believe in, and step away from the lives we are so accustomed to, just like the flies that left the flask despite the safety and comfort it offers. The flies can now fly like their name suggests! Flies have successfully broken away from the flask that held them back from real freedom and from truth seeking.

We may find that tearing apart the world we know and stepping into a bigger world may only lead to limitations of the bigger world, like how the flies that got out of the flask came to realize the unpleasant truth that the flask was in the incubator, and the incubator was in a room. Yet they experienced freedom that they longed for; it’s much better than suffocating to death in the culture medium on which they were so dependent on for their whole lives. The truths we find may be shocking at times, but we get much closer to a huge spectrum of numerous truths each time we challenge the truths we hold onto at the moment. If not anything, this can help us discover who we are and what we want. We might be able to get a truer view of ourselves and the universe in all.

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