New Perspectives

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From 250-miles up in Earth’s orbit on the International Space Station, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev said while looking down at our home planet, “from space you do not see any borders… you feel yourself part of humankind, not just man from one country or one city.” National borders and racial-ethnic distinctions disappear when one looks down from way above. As if from a height of incredible omniscience, (from my Jan. 2013 post: Our Family Reunion) Sergei points out that Earth is not a child’s sandbox to be selfishly divided and toys hoarded by the biggest bullies. Humanity MUST join together in more collaboration than ever before to change Earth’s current life-giving warnings in which mankind has created and exacerbated over the last century.

Therefore, for this New Year of 2015, I am posting a large collage of images showing Earth’s wonders and human ingenuity in hopes that over the next twelve months and further, all of us will try to gain a few NEW perspectives of our existence. Open wide your minds and let the entire world and its fascinating creatures inside and begin in earnest a lifestyle of conservation. Do it not just for yourself, but for your children, your grandchildren, and their children!

Happy New Year everyone!

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How big is your perspective? How much of your incredible planet have you yet to see and experience with others?

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Flux

perpetuum mobileIt has been nearly two months since posting last. The other weekend I packed-up…again, and again returned to the DFW metroplex as I’ve done the last three Septembers, to once again substitute-teach in three different school districts while tutoring 3-4 nights a week. I have become a good walking definition of fluid. I’m sure the Lakota Indians, or the Comanche Indians, or any tribes of the Plains which followed the buffalo, would undoubtedly take great admiration in my transience. I know what it means to have mind over matter, but I have learned even more what it means to be a visitor; a grateful visitor.

Continual movement is said to be healthy for the mind and body. Exercise and do it regularly, and you minimize or alleviate many illnesses and recurring ailments. From a purely metabolic, intestinal, or cardiovascular point-of-view, flow is good — very good. In that light, I am doing well. Yet, I miss my time writing and posting here. How then is that good? Why can’t I write and post while driving, moving, teaching for 9 hours then tutoring the last 3 waking hours of the day or while sleeping or eating? Footnote: that was the device of “literary dramatization.” But I hope you catch my point. This will be an update-post, not my usual egocentric cerebral literary stimulation my millions of readers and followers have come to enjoy here — yes, laughing is permitted.

After three summers of moving and fighting to remain determined in my pursuit of full-time teaching-mentoring in one of two fantastic districts, the kinks in my armour are beginning to show. I am questioning whether I should continue pursuing traditional teaching. The pursuit is becoming financially and physically unsustainable. Redirection is inevitable and considering another path and its consequences has been one of many thieves of my blogging time. Though these three years have been mentally and emotionally frustrating, in contrast they have taught me to realize the benefits.

Failure Is Not An Option?

My father raised me to not be a quitter. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, or privileged to know me personally over many years (wink), then you find the previous sentence very ironic. I do. Loyalty, determination, commitment, were all daily lessons; pillars of character that my father lived and taught until July 1990 when he quit. That particular month and year those pillars became further and less defined to me simultaneously. Yes, notice the irony again. Right there is the paradox of life; of how two distinct concepts actually become one harmonious system. If I’ve lost you, bear with me.

drill-sergeant-screamingWhat does it mean to never give up? Go down fighting? Have faith all things workout in the end? The answers are typically admirable noble traits taught through the ages, especially in professional sports, used to motivate underdogs. Those battle cries and speeches are well and good, but I have found them to be incomplete. Admittedly, I am growing weary of knocking and banging on assistant principal’s doors only to be told in the end “Thank you but no thank you.” I can hear my Dad’s voice, “do not give up! Do not quit!” Find more doors to bang on! And after my knuckles become blue or bleeding, the question eventually becomes what do I need to do differently, because this horse has been beaten pretty dead.

Why do I keep doing the same thing repeatedly for the same result merely for the sake of not quitting? I laugh, where is the glory in that? Why am I afraid of giving up or failing? In hindsight, I think what I SHOULD actually be afraid of is paralysis! Paralysis to adapt and change. Be more flexible and much less rigid in a Universe of flux! You see, those dramatic motivational speeches and battle cries are for the moment, like a narrow lens, and do not address or capture our origin of fear. If fear, disguised as failure or quitting, is allowed to become over inflated, it will enslave me and influence, perhaps dictate, my decisions. I would imagine that leads to a life of knee-jerk reactions. Sign around neck reads: This person kicks frequently. Stand close at your own risk!

Ugh, not good. Not for me.

The Illusion of “Complete”

In his theory of special relativity, Albert Einstein proved that time as we perceive it does not exist. Events occurring at the same time for one observer could occur at completely different times for another observer. That implies there is really no beginning or no end, just varying observers and various speeds of movement. A beginning and an end are illusions created by our brains to cope and survive in our self-aware world of experiences. All things emerge and all things decay. But all things will change forms. Over a century of science has shown on a microscopic or atomic level all things are moving, emerging and decaying, but they are at speeds and levels unseen by our naked eye. For example, our Sun is burning out, but in our lifetime it doesn’t seem to be.  The seven continents are surrounded by seas and oceans, but there were not seven before, and there will not be in the future.  Everything is constantly emerging and decaying. Perhaps the above sub-title should not read The Illusion of Complete, but instead The Reality of Incomplete.

Below are some pictures of my current home. Is my life at the moment really that bad?

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At this point I ask myself, what feels better…what gives me more hope and confidence, and less fear? Is it the battle-cry meaning of “Never say die, failure is not an option,” or The Reality of Incomplete? I know exactly what I would choose. One offers potential doom, disappointment, or pain, the other a never-ending story. One is fiction, the other reality. One stressful, the other calming.

In my procession of perspective I have come to realize there is still more, always. My situation is not complete, nor is my development. Is it ever? Is it wise to assume an experience has only a singular interpretation, one ending? Mmm, the paradox and irony continues.

Side-effects of Flux

I did not come from a wealthy family.  However, we certainly did not grow up in poverty. This middle ground has afforded me in my later years a simultaneous appreciation for what is had and what is not had. When one is required to move efficiently and often, you soon wise-up to what you really need to live adequately or comfortably, and what you don’t need. You learn what is fluff or extra weight, and what is truly important. half fullLiving in an RV for nine months then traveling over 300 miles to live for three months in relative luxury, soon teaches these gratitudes. My current life of embraced gratitudes are sometimes challenged or reinforced when others, with a different value-system, try to convince me my way of life is sub-standard or unappealing. I beg to differ. They’ve forgotten that all things change, both quickly and/or very slowly, both with intent, and just as much for them as for me.

My current occupational pursuits coupled with their illusive rewards, do not tell the whole story. I have found enormous amounts of value and gratitude for what I HAVE discovered, what I have gained. What I certainly know is that my story does not have an ending, and no destiny is set, especially mine. I can either work with it, embrace it, understand it, or I can fight it and be perpetually frustrated, angered, and bitter with myself and those around me. No, I have much to be thankful for.

I choose to be flexible, adaptable within my current means and unknown untapped means! Besides, am I not a visitor here? Am I not ultimately just passing through in this form? With that said and a grin, this is how I choose to end this post:

To Be Continued

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You’re Right

The state of meditation is a powerful vessel.  A connected state-of-mind and body to dimensional existence is about as meaningful a life as a person can reach; an altered or altering consciousness.  But a person cannot reach that point solo.  We also need the right surroundings.
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image Vladstudio

image Vladstudio

Growing up I loved playing my drum-set.  In our downstairs playroom I had my 15-piece drum kit setup along with our band’s Peavey amps.  Plugged-in to those Peavey amps was my stereo.  Through my stereo I played the songs from epic rock-metal bands with more epic – so I thought – drummers.  And within moments of beating the skins, high-hat, bass drum, and cymbals…I was there.  Much of the sessions I would reach a heart-rate and drive that I could barely hold my sticks from the perspiration.  I eventually had to place a fan on top of my bass drum to help cool my frenzied journey.  I would reach such a vibrational rhythmic state of meditation that I can only describe as fluid between here and there.  My sense of place and time, aside from the rhythm and beat, was lost; oblivious to anything in the house or outside it.  It was there that my expression, my place in the moment and in the world, was most creative and most lucid.  It was – and to this day as well – my way of belonging.

The years from 1990 to 1995 were the most devastating and most life-changing years of my life.  Here’s a summary:  My father committed suicide, my girlfriend-turned-fiancé abandoned me and our 2-year relationship without a single verbalized explanation, I was arrested by law-enforcement, I walked out of my wonderful psych-hospital job-career and out of my half-completed master’s program at my seminary, my daughter was born, a 5-month marriage ended, and I moved back to my hometown.  Often during those years I sought the solace in the one place I knew I could find it.  One song I’d play over and over and over, and behind my drums I’d play along…let go of my nagging thoughts and find my place of belonging.  It was the only song, music, and lyrics that would make sense to me where I could find my father and my daughter, both of whom were no longer with me.

 

I have since learned that finding the place of belonging is sometimes very difficult, even tragic.  But having survived it all, I have discovered just how powerful the state-of-belonging and connecting can impact not just a life, my life, but life around us.  This is how I’ve equated it in my mind.  As the lyrics of the song go…

If you open your mind [and soul]…You won’t rely on open eyes to see

My painful and beautiful journey would not have been possible if I had not had three critical travel-items:  my parents and extended family, a creative growth-model of education taught by my father supported by my mother, and then finally love.  These three integral parts must continue with us into adulthood.  They must evolve and grow in order to best manage in life the inevitable change and unexpected plot-twists!

If you have those three flexing growing components in your life – each illustrated mathematically by dividing 100 into 3 parts – the number cannot be emptied but goes on and on ad infinitum.  For me, Fibonacci’s Sequence, or Golden Ratiowould be the counter-part, if you comprehend my wackiness.

The three parts each need more than just the mind or cerebral cortex.  They need feelings.  They need the freedom of fluid creative passion!  Nature and the Universe (Multiverse) already create then modify, refine, then create more and so on like the Golden Ratio.  Human DNA, generation to generation, does the same thing.  As highly intelligent feeling beings, we have the passions to ignite life.  If fortunate enough to have loving, nurturing yet non-oppressive parents and family, then we are given the early tools to ignite a significant belonging life…not just for ourselves, but equipped to provide a general blueprint for others too!

If this parental-family environment is taught throughout the primary and secondary schooling – in other words explained via the table below – empowering the child and adolescent, then the state of belonging can be perpetuated outside of self.

Learning Method table

Assuming you are allowed how to think rather than told what to think, then a once very successful American icon spoke these words of enormous spiritual-cerebral wisdom to take on your journey:

“Whether you think you can or you think you cannot – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

If a young mind and heart are constantly denied the means to freely express, create, and recreate, learn and relearn for an eventual greater good, passing on a new fluid blueprint, then it would seem ironically, one becomes entrapped in the past.  That is most unnatural.  Ford recognized the power of self-actualization learned through and from our environment.  In other words, there is a connection between us and everything around us.  But there is more Henry – another force that is just as fluid.

Ford’s imparted partial-truth cannot be fully owned without the sticky fuel of feelings and love-ingredients to energize it.  There are some things that can’t be taught.  They must be realized.  Though it had a compass rose, I was given my blank map.  The natural aether in the lucid state of vibrant rhythmic meditation is an individual journey…for me discovered during my youth, rediscovered in my darkest hours, and now openly shared in wisdom and passion.  It is my primal home away from “home,” where I truly belong.

I swim in it regularly.

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Live Well  *  Love Much  *  Laugh Often  *  Learn Always

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