I suspect the main problem would be the sudden division between the handstand cans and the handstand cannots. A dual levelled society would be utterly different. Or at least entirely different people would be on each of the two levels. Potentially a positive shake up.
The Tao Te Ching tells us, ‘in living, live close to the ground.’ I guess we’d all get much closer to that.
I wonder how the perspective change would make a difference to society. Things look utterly different from the worm’s eye view. Would we find it more or less desirable to reach upwards to the sky in our architecure? Would it make us more humble?
I for one cannot do handstands, so, depending on what has happened to my feet, I’d either be crawling along on hands and knees, or simply dragging myself along, like some kind of giant bony worm.
And for the handstanders, there’d be a massive constant rush of blood to the head.
Upper body strength would of course improve no end. Although it would mostly be lower body strength. And I imagine a whole new set of rituals based on shaking legs and holding feet.
And callused hands, or perhaps sturdier leathery gloves, would by necessity be all the rage.
One of the interesting things about the human brain is that it is good at adjusting to steady changes in stimulus, so I imagine after the initial period we’d get used to seeing things upside down, and possibly even automatically adjusting it (we already flip the image in our brain, as the convex lens of the eye flips it upside down to project it on the back of the eye for the brain).
Which is pretty cool.
Then there’s the song:
‘With your feet in the air and your head on the ground,
Try this trick and spin it, yeah,
Your head will collapse,
But there’s nothing in it,
And you’ll ask yourself:
Where is my mind?’
I guess there’d be a lot of that going on. Rush of blood to the head and all that.
We’d all be redfaced, looking for our minds and totally changing our priorities.
Life might be slower, until we adjusted, and obviously there’d be a lot of accidents, and a lot of construction work going, modifying the world.
I suspect it would be possible.
To turn the world upside down.
And part of me would want to, despite the difficulties. If only because it would teach all of us a few important things:
- Change is possible.
- Anything is possible.
- Even if it’s difficult.
- Society is malleable.
- We are society.
- Things look different upside down.
Which I think are things that much of us could do with remembering. Even the obvious ones.
Whichever they are.
Illustration by Anna-Kaisa.