Recently Marv H asked me if I am religious, or spiritual in any way. It is supposed to be taboo to discuss politics, religion or sex…but well, hey, what are blogs about if not to break taboos? So (taking a deep breath) after butts, boobies, bird poop and exploding squid, now we move onto The Meaning Of Life….
I am a preachers’ kid (yes, the apostrophe IS in the right place – BOTH my parents were preachers) but I do not count myself a religious person. But I do have a strong belief system that I have evolved over the few years since I stepped out of the rat race to get a fresh perspective on life. I have done a lot of reading and thinking – as well as simply observing – and have been especially influenced by Aldous Huxley’s “Perennial Philosophy”, “Conversations With God” by Donald Neale Walsh, and the teachings of Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer.
I believe that there is more to this world that can be perceived with the five human senses. It would surprise me if reality in its entirety could be witnessed through sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We evolved these five because they are what our physical body needed for survival, but I am sure that there are other dimensions to reality. Although we can’t perceive these other aspects directly, we CAN see the effects that they have on our sensory reality if we try playing around to make them work for us – like, for example, the Law of Attraction.
The way I see it, one of these other dimensions that we can’t physically see is a kind of pool of energy that unites us all – call it God, the Source, the Oneness, the Universe, or whatever you will – and that this force exists in every single living being in the world – or even the universe, if there is life on other planets.
To try and illustrate this… in a sense we are united physically by the Earth. We all stand on it, sit on it, or lie on it – or in a building that rests on it. We’re not floating several miles above it, or off in space somewhere. We are all in some way physically and directly connected to the Earth. Similarly, we are all united spiritually by this unifying force. We are connected to it by whatever that magical thing is that makes us into living beings rather than just inert lumps of flesh. That spark of life force, or your soul, or your heart, or your energy – whatever you call that thing makes you a living, moving, sentient being – is what connects us all to each other.
And this energetic field that connects us all is also, I think, where we can draw things to ourselves that cannot be explained through the laws of logic or the perception of our five human senses. When we act, talk, or think, our actions, words and thoughts reverberate through that field and create consequences in the visible world.
So, that’s the basis. But what does that mean in real life? How does this belief system influence how I live?
First, I will always treat other people with respect – in fact, I will treat them as I would want to be treated myself – because we are all connected. So if I hurt them, I hurt myself.
Second, I believe that we owe it to ourselves, and to everybody else, to be the very best person that we can be in this lifetime. Because we are all connected, when one person strives to be better, it raises everybody up.
Third, I’ve found the best way to be the best person I can be is to put ego aside, and to tap into that greater force – to ask it, what is my purpose? How can I serve the whole? When we take our guidance from that collective energy, by listening to our heart, we can be sure that we do the right things for the right reasons. It also enables us to make sure what we do is the very best that can be done, because we do it not alone, but with the enormous resources of energy and inspiration that lie in that pool of collective consciousness.
I do not claim that my belief system is “true” – I claim only that this is what I have CHOSEN to believe, based on my experiences, and because these beliefs serve me well. It makes sense to me, makes me happy, gives me a sufficient feeling that I am in control of my own destiny, while also allowing a bit of room for those magical moments of serendipity that make me believe there is a sense of justice and harmony in the world.
But I also freely admit that there are many other ways to perceive the world, and many other belief systems that can be construed based on the same evidence. We only have to look at any scientific controversy to see that intelligent, rational people can look at the same data and arrive at radically different conclusions.
So I have no problem with other people believing whatever they want to believe – provided that their belief does not impinge on my personal freedom. And similarly I would never dream of foisting my belief system on anybody else.
I think it is up to everybody to figure out what works for them. I’ve put a lot of thought into my own system of spirituality. To me there is nothing in life so important as those big questions – who am I? Why am I here? What is the point of it all? And that we all owe it to ourselves to spend time and effort thinking about these questions – if we want to be happy.
Wow, this is a very personal blog, and I feel almost shy about baring my soul to this extent. But, hey, I’ve bared just about everything else this voyage. So why not my soul too?
[photo: feel free to think I’m crazy, but at least I’m happy!]
This morning I had just 13 miles to go to get to 2 degrees North. If the weather had been like yesterday I would have done this today, no problem. But the weather wasn’t, and I didn’t. The wind veered round from E, to ESE, SE, until I was being blown north again. At the moment the wind is looking undecided as to how mean it’s going to be. Will it let me off with just a temporary hold-up at this latitude, or will it be a total b*****d and blow me all the way up north again? Who knows. I’m deliberately not thinking about it – or at least, rapidly redirecting my thoughts every time I do start thinking about it. It will be what it will be.
Apologies for not updating you on the fate of the fish that I invited to supper last night, on the condition that he provide the main course – or, in fact, BE the main course. Truth be told, he was a dead loss. I started trying to cut the flesh off him, but as you may have observed from the photo, he was built for speed, not supper, being long and skinny rather than plump and round. So, basically, there was so little meat on him that he was a total waste of space supper-wise. So I recycled him over the side of the boat and resorted to freeze-dried curry instead, which with the addition of some powdered coconut milk was very yummy indeed.
Dave Finnigan – your film concept sounds very interesting. I do have a contact at Lucasfilm. Could I ask you to get back in touch with me when I am on dry land, and we will follow up then? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dale – thanks for the reminder about enjoying the here and now, and being present in the moment. I’ve actually become much more aware of that in the last couple of days, and have been working on it – and am feeling much more content as a result. Thank you for the timely reminder.
Margaret Taylor – thank you for your very special message. You in turn have inspired me. I hope that we both reach the far side of our challenges as better and stronger people.
Amy Olmstead – I will be sure to give you a shout if and when I make it to Austin!
Rozta’ Bill – alas it looks like the UH forecast was overly optimistic. Hey ho! I listened to Tribes the other day. Really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. Pretty inspiring stuff!
Thank you to Robert Pfeiffer, Roman Lyubimov, Andrew M Reed and Laurey Masterton for their kind donations – all very much appreciated. Thank you, Rozlings!
Jerome, Judy, Joan, Sebastian – great to hear from you too. Thanks for your comments!
Position at 2215 HST: 02 09.407Nm 177 12.476W Wind: 5-20kts, sometimes E, sometimes SE, sometimes in between Seas: 3-5ft NE Weather: showers this morning, overcast for a while, mostly clear skies with scattered showers this afternoon, clouding over again towards nightfall
Weather forecast courtesy of weatherguy.com
Latest tracker reported your position as: 02 39N 177 05W as of 09Aug 2335HST.
As of Monday morning 10 Aug 2009. According to measured data, there have been Eerly winds up to 7-12kts and little significant rainshower activity in your area. 10kt Eerly winds extends to 01 30S then increase to Eerly 15-20kts then shift to SEerly 0-20kts. Winds continue to be very shifty next couple of days becoming Eerly 0-15kts by 1500HST 11Aug. Then shifting to SEerly 0-20kts by 12Aug 1200HST. Uncertainty remains in the forecast, as previously discussed.
According to satellite imagery, there remains widespread areas of low level clouds amongst scattered areas of deep convection. There is a significant area of deep convection south of the Equator centered near 03 00S 175 00W. Rainshowers, squalls, and thunderstorms in areas of deep convection.
Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered moderate rainshowers, squalls, and possible thunderstorms.
Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in equatorial regions and naturally occurring small scale fluctuations in direction/speed in the Doldrums) Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est 10/1800-10/2100 E-SE 0-20 2-5 10/2100-11/1800 SE-E 0-20 2-5 11/1800-12/1200 E-SE 0-20 2-5 12/1200-14/0600 SE-ENE 5-20 2-5 14/0600-15/0000 ENE-SE 0-20 2-5
Next Update: Thursday, 13 August