Friday, April 26, 2013

Let 'Er Rip

I grew up in Orange County, an area of Southern California. (Specifically Fullerton, just north of Anaheim, site of the original Disneyland) It was only 20-25 miles to Huntington or Newport Beach and I spent a lot of time at both beaches as a child and teenager. I became quite familiar with the phenomenon known then as a "riptide." (today "rip current" is more precise)

This happens when two sand bars (piers and jetties can also be locations) are located off-shore and the receding seawater is funneled between them. Speed can range anywhere between 0.5 to 2.5 meters per second (1 to 8 feet). Getting caught in a riptide can be the cause of absolute panic. Once the mind realizes it is being taken where it does not want to go, the "flight or fight" response kicks in. A lack of understanding (ignorance) about riptides can be fatal. A swimmer can exhaust himself trying to swim against the rip and drown. As most of you probably know, the technique to be employed is non-resistance. You allow the current to take you out to sea where it eventually dissipates (beyond the sandbars). You then swim sideways (out of the rip) and head to shore.

I shared all that with you to illustrate an analogy. Some of the problems Life brings you are going to feel like emotional or mental riptides. They are going to cause you to panic. At some level, they can even make you feel as though you are in a fight for your very life. If you "freak out" and exhaust yourself battling what Life has brought you, you can metaphorically drown. Better if you relax into the situation, allow it to take you where it will, then swim parallel or diagonally out of the danger.

There's just one problem though; it is completely counter-intuitive to surrender to a situation where it feels as though your life is on the line. And the ego is more than capable of manipulating events where it seems as though your life IS at stake. You must resist! You must lash out! You must strain against the injustice of it all! And I say, okay!! Just as soon as you are safely back on shore. Once your heartbeat has returned to normal. And after you've had a chance to process, calmly, what has taken place. Then, by all means, do what you think is best.

Realize I am not suggesting there is a "one size fits all" spiritual answer. However, there are tools in our "spiritual toolbox" more adaptable than others. This technique can be viewed as a Swiss Army knife, versatile in the extreme. It's employment might just be the answer next time your emotional or mental currents take you inexorably away from shore. (your comfort zone)

Monday, April 22, 2013


Now that you've gotten a good night's sleep, lets tackle a big issue. Pain. Life seems to be an ongoing series of events where we are challenged, over and over, by physical, emotional, or psychological pain. And that your (our) ego magnifies and manipulates the event (pain) as justification to blame ______ (fill in the blank). Often times God is the number one scapegoat. Sometimes Life in general. (Life's not fair!) It could be your job, your boss, your spouse, your parents, a brother or sister, a stranger on the street. It doesn't even have to be a person; you get caught in a traffic jam of epic proportions and sit boiling with barely contained rage. There is a power outage and the football game between Barcelona and Real Madrid you've eagerly anticipated watching on TV is not available. Aarrrgggg! You are frustrated! Upset! Pissed off!

Depending on the degree of the pain involved (level of intensity) what are some typical reactions we as human beings employ? We sometimes self-medicate with alcohol, drugs or eating. We suppress by ignoring, overworking, shopping or frenetic activity. We often times lash out at whoever or whatever is close at hand. (even inanimate objects!) The question becomes, then, how well do you like your self-expression? Your course of action? Your behavior in general? My guess is, not all that much.

So, what's to be done? This web-site is an attempt to reconstruct the context of how we interpret our life experience. How the ego operates and what can be done to counteract it. That a reinterpretation of how to view events in our life will bring us a measure of patience, peace and self-actualization here-to-for unknown. That it is possible to view Life as a gift for which we could be grateful. Not some of the time. Not even most of the time. But all of the time.

Challenging? Without a doubt! Possible? Unavoidably so. Ultimately, eventually, you will come to terms with Life. The realization that more is going on than could be imagined. That you are a finely tuned instrument here to observe (not judge) and participate in the multidimensional, multifarious exploration of the unknown. That your WILLING interaction with whatever comes into your life and the level of trust you manifest is the alchemy by which "miracles" are wrought. I invite you all to investigate the truth of these contentions for yourself. I welcome your arguments, insights, and comments.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Good Night's Rest

Take care of yourself. Strive to get the amount of sleep necessary to operate at peak proficiency.

               Everything's Alright

Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to
Problems that upset you, oh
Don't you know everything's alright
Yes, everything's fine
And we want you to sleep well tonight
Let the world turn without you tonight
If we try we'll get by so forget all about us tonight

~Lyrics Tim Rice (Music-Andrew Lloyd Webber)

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.