Saturday, May 21, 2016

Life of Metaphors

It is our nature that we view the world through metaphors.  We have literally evolved to process a world of mind that is an approximation of the reality around us.  We have models  of reality that give us the tools to make predictions and develop heuristics which allow us to be successful without having to input every miniscule detail of our sensorium.

Given this abstraction, it is so strange that we often don't understand how very much the mental models we choose have the capacity to completely change the power we feel over our lives and our reality.  When the only tools you have to manipulate the world are the models you build, of course you cannot do more than your model allows.  If your only model says that you can experience mind but not influence mind, then literally that is true. But when you update, upgrade, or replace that model with one which includes mental control, all of a sudden you have that ability.  You may need time to learn the controls, and it is likely to improve with time, but suddenly you are no longer a prisoner of the prior model.

It is the same with the world around us, and with human consciousness, and with the global awakening of the mass of humanity around us.  Once we have mental models which allow for our influence, then we create, and magnify our control in those spheres.

As I grow, I have been experiencing the effects of new models throughout my life.  A friend suggests that I can call in a talent that I do not currently possess, and with confidence, which I can also call in, I can function in a new space.  She says this with unfamiliar and uncomfortable words, and I resist.  Fortunately, her advice triggers a model update which runs as a background process for a day or two.  I add to my model of reality that I can call in confidence and skills I don't already possess.  A couple days later, I read a document I was sent, and the words I've been missing for a critical skill appear in front of me, and my ability to communicate in a new setting transforms and blossoms.  I have called in a skill that I did not already possess!  And this new skill brings with it confidence, or perhaps it just arrives beside the confidence that I've called in.  And I experience an epiphany.  Her words, ones I did not understand, and at the time could not receive have changed the model through which I experience my reality, and I now have the ability to call in skills and confidence.

Where before, I felt at the mercy of my ability to find a teacher, to convince a teacher to impart wisdom, that teacher's skill at imparting said wisdom, and my ability to receive, I now understand that I call the teachings to myself which I most need.  Because I have updated my metaphor, I recognize that I call in the lessons which empower me to continue down my path.

And so I go.  My path is calling me, and I call to myself the ability to see it, the strength to walk it, and the confidence to continue, even when I might doubt.

What models are holding you back?  Are you ready and willing to change them to empower you to be the best you are capable of?  Are you willing to continue down your path?  I'm waiting for you there.  Perhaps we can walk together for a while.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Humbled by a Wave

My first Christmas in the US Navy found me at the Defense Language Institute, on the Presidio of Monterey in beautiful Monterey, California ​at the end of​ 1990. From there, with only a few people still around for the holidays, we discovered Big Sur and in particular, Pfeiffer State Park. The beaches and surf of Pfeiffer State Park host house size and larger monoliths of stone jutting above the ocean and sand.

On one visit, I climbed over the top of this one stone mound which say half in and half out of the ocean swells. Starting from dry beach, I worked my way up and over. It was not an overly challenging climb by rock climbing standards, but as youthful adventures go, it felt dangerous and exciting, and was definitely me playing at my edge, a phrase that would take me decades to learn.

On the far side, back down near the water, I found long fingers of stone sticking out a good twenty feet or more into the ocean swells and waves. I was above the tops of the higher swells by at least five feet. I stood there, stone wall at my back, stone finger below my feet, watching waves come in and crash into the stone sending gusts of white spray into the air for I don't know how long.

​I had forgotten the people I was with, the world around me, the stresses of life, and lost myself in the ocean when suddenly a huge wave crested above and around the rock I was standing on.  I was covered head to toe by pounding spray, soaked instantly to the bone, completely losing sight of the environment around me.  The spray hit easily 10 feet above my head, and BAM, everything disappeared. In the face of the raw power of nature, my conscious mind evaporated.

​I entered a fugue state.  I lost awareness of the world around me.  I lost awareness of everything.  Confronted in an inescapable way with how futile my volition was, with how artificial my sense of safety was, I converted to a pure animalistic mind.  It was in this way that my body took over.
My next conscious thought was at the base of the stone, back on dry beach, realizing the sun had set, and that I had just climbed over and back down this mansion sized mound of rock, a not trivial undertaking, in the dark.  To this day, I have no memory of that climb.  I cannot recall navigating areas I found challenging the first time, nor how much different the climb was in the failing light of evening.  I learned, through clear demonstration, that we are not always in control of ourselves, that in the face of power we have no capacity to control, we can lose ourselves, and our bodies will seek out safety without the aid of the conscious mind.
I do not believe this is unique to me.  I see it in others, when faced with overwhelming emotions, or enormous spiritual awakenings, or whatever power has the capacity to toss us about in its storm, we can unconsciously subvert our will, and sometimes our greater good, to seek out safety and shelter from the storm.​

Being aware of this has helped me to hold space when someone seems to behave in inexplicable ways.  We tend to think everyone around us is always fully conscious and present, but at times, we are not even aware of our actions, much less able to really explain and justify them.​  And when it happens, not understanding what has happened to us, we often provide a plausible explanation the would seem to explain what just happened, because the thought that we are not fully in control of ourselves is a difficult pill to swallow.

Have you experienced this in your life, or have you witnessed it?  As it happened, and after it happened, were you aware of what happened, and did you understand it?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Random Haiku

Zephyrs flit unseen
But for the bent stalks of grass
Spring, the rains return

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Night of Unnamed Ponderings - Summary

It is not entirely clear how writing serves to lance the boil of my unutterably darkest feelings, but to some degree it does. I claim neither art, nor beauty, nor skill in their writing. The merely are. For you who suffer through them, I hope you come out the other side unscathed. It is necessary to pass them on if I wish to be free of them.

A Night of Unnamed Ponderings 9

​You try to fill the yawning darkness with many a pint of ale
And many a plate of the finest foods, hearty, halcyon, and hale
But ne'er a drop
The black gulf rises
Nor smidge if distance it finds as
The demons eat your insides​​

A Night of Unnamed Ponderings 8

From inside the cave, I shone my light, but teas not enough to fight back the shadows, and not a soul saw it 'fore the demons consumed my heart.

A Night of Unnamed Pondering 7

The horror of the tattoos writ cross my soul will not brook the paltry shadows of tattoos upon my body.