Day 80 - baring allRecently 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!]

Other Stuff:

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

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!

Weather report:

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

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


  • Good morning Roz,

    I am always floored that I can write to you at night and get a response back in the morning. I loved this post. Well put. Well put.

    And I am so inspired by you. My bike ride lasted 58 days. It was a supported trip. Someone else decided where I would stay every night, what I would eat. Someone else carried my suitcase. And even at that, mine was an important trip (for me) as I was proving to myself that I am a survivor (of ovarian cancer) and that I could in turn provide some inspiration for someone else.

    I’m now thinking of turning my adventure into a book and will include profiles of others who inspire me. YOU inspire me. And I would love to include you. (The ulterior motive here is that I get to meet you and, shall I say it, even get you to come to Asheville!) And as a reminder, I got to you originally because i am friends with Deb Caughron and Michael Follo from Woodberry Forest school.)

    Anyway – at the moment for me I am on another long haul, this time in my business as i work to keep things functioning on the heels of having caught my chef stealing. It was very upsetting to me and has also been a big inconvenience (!) But on I go. This is harder than my bike ride but nowhere approaching the constancy of your challenge.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration. Every day.

    Laurey Masterton in Asheville

  • Hey Roz, I don’t believe in the same things as you at all, but that’s not why I hate you! I have now traded in the car for a bike and can be seen zipping through the countryside (actually cityside) on two wheels and a seat, enjoying my new lifestyle and the wind in my face. Do you feel good about yourself now with all your “inspiration”?

    So thank you for destroying my perfectly lazy and unadventurous daily routine in exchange for a more satisfying everyday life. That is all for now madam. Good day.


    p.s.: please keep safe, rooting for you!

  • As a Unitrian Universalist I call that energy source Spirit of Life and became a paramedic because of on of my faiths tenants that each person has inherent worth and dignity…

  • Roz, you look happy in your picture. My morning prayers are for your strength today. Its great to know that you are OK, and all the best today!! Keep those thoughts to the higher universe. Amy

  • Awesome post. 🙂 How do your parents feel about your spirituality?

    And this:
    “Because we are all connected, when one person strives to be better, it raises everybody up.”
    By better you mean like in your third, right? Because as somebody who’s been in the business world, I’m sure you know that better to some people involves a lot of crushing of other people and that only raises themselves up… 😀

    Stay safe. I’m praying for you also. Maybe we can get you some friendly wind for a change. 😉

  • Hi Roz, I love the fact that you bare your soul so easily, maybe easier doing it virtually than face-to-face, but it shows how comfortable you are with your thoughts and beliefs and I do think that being so self-assured helps you to influence others. I don’t know if you saw my comment a while ago that a colleague of mine imagined you spinning the world beneath you with your oarstrokes, rather than propelling yourself over the surface. The more I hear from you, the more I imagine that it is indeed possible for you to move the world with your verbal oarstrokes and strength of personality. All power to your causes! Best wishes, Steve.

  • Another excellent and thought-provoking post. I think that I have always been more interested in how a person “manifests their beliefs” in conduct, than in the actual intellectual underpinnings of their beliefs. I think we all know people who appear to have very clear theological beliefs, but yet whose conduct is uncaring, or even mean. And yet we know people who seem to have very little theological training on an intellectual level, who nevertheless exude pureness and kindness of spirit in everything they do and say. By the way, I finished “The Alchemist” and again want to thank you for recommending it to us. It’s an excellent book, and I know I’ll read it again (soon). Having read it, I now visualize you as this “floating oasis” with the sea as your desert, Larabars as your date and almond trees, a water-maker as your fresh spring well, the awning on the boat as your shade-giving palm tree. And to the Brocade oasis, are attracted all sorts of creatures of the desert/sea, the turtles and whales and boobies and dolphins and all the rest. Who knows what beneficial impact your transit through these seas is having on the creatures who temporarily adopt you as their momentary friend, not to mention how inspiring it is for all of us stuck here on land. I know that the ITCZ is frustrating for you, but you are doing wonderfully, and are having a huge impact on the world and all of us!

    Safe rowing.

  • Your comment about there being more to the world than what we can feel with our five senses makes we want to recommend a physics book to you, so I will. You should read Michio Kaku’s “Hyperspace”. It is all about how the universe is believed to have more than three dimensions by physicists and how the dimensions affect us, even though we have not the slightest inkling that they are there without some complicated mathematics. There are something like ten dimensions, so maybe the one high all consuming power is a ten d being.

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts like this.

    I am wondering about another topic and that is do you experience fear and how do you deal with it? I am thinking about this on a number of different levels. There is the potential of “in the moment” fear from weather related events such as storms and your boat rolling (though, thankfully that has not happened in a long while) and then there the is “long term” fear of dealing with day to day problems – say having all your watermakers go defunct or the ocean not cooperating with your intended path possibly keeping you from reaching your destination.

    Wishing you smooth waters and following winds and currents.

  • Now your talking. Flying fish are much more yummy than ballyhoo and halfbeaks. In fact they are one of the national dishes of Barbados! And that’s not ballyhoo. In fact I think Erden had some on his oceanic trip. W@noaa

  • Flying Fish?

    I’d like to send you shoyu and wasabi.
    What is your current zip code?

    Harald-M. Lehnardt

  • Roz as usual, enjoyed your philosophical indulgence. Spending so much time alone, and being surrounded by such vast open space must make for the perfect setting to ponder the meaning of life. Thoreau had the woods, you’ve got the ocean!
    Also, while you mention the many wonderful books you are reading I haven’t heard any mention of music, or perhaps I missed it. I imagine being out in the middle of the ocean would be a perfect spot to turn up the volume on some favorite tunes. Just wondering if that is a part of your day/night out there?

  • Just an administrative update to say that we won’t be having commenting on the RozTracker page (or other non-blog pages). Sorry for the few of you who’ve already posted comments there. We’d like to keep the comments on Roz’s blogs while also ensuring that the RozTracker page loads as quickly as possible. Thanks!

  • Hi Roz,
    Can’t wait to see the pic of flying fish on your deck. Dinner?

    Hang in with the wind…UH shows it abating to 3-8 kts by 2000 HST. Tell us about the sea anchor again…giant pain to haul back aboard, is it?

    Calvinists might argue that the ‘force’ may or may not exist in every living being. Jury’s still out in my mind…I read about the God gene and its presence or absence in sentient beings and wonder if that is what led Calvin to his conclusions. Me, I want to believe, and that, all by itself is evidence of that which cannot be proven. Great exposition on your part…and I enjoyed comments on this. Thanks for having it on your mind (in your heart, and upon your soul, and evidenced by your strength of conviction!)

    I got on an elliptical machine today and worked for about 22 minutes, burning about 300 calories (1.5 Larabars) and moving virtually 1.5 miles. My HR was about 170 for the last third of this trip….thought about you and how much you have to consume to keep up your grueling 12 hour days. Guess thats why you put on a few extra pounds before every ~100 day stint?

    Sending cheers, and as Dan Rather used to say, “Courage!”

    Rozta’ Bill

  • I am mightily impressed with how well you’re holding your own against the wind today. Fierce! You got through 3 and you’ll get through 2 (and 1, and so on). The “when” will be the surprise.

    I appreciate the soul baring. It takes courage to do that.

  • Roz and other posters – your comments are much appreciated. I enjoy reading them and pondering your perspective. I have a question though:
    How many of you have read the “primary sources” for each core faith or religion? It’s not a judgment – I’m honestly asking the question. I am always curious about how people dismiss certain Faith’s without first knowing them or studying them. And by “studying them”, I mean reading and studying their key documents. For Christians, it’s the Bible’s Old and New Testaments. Jews, the Bible’s Old Testament. Islam has the Koran (or Qur’an. Buddhism has the teachings passed along orally. etc. I have always identified myself (to others) as Catholic. Lately, I’ve changed it to be “Christian”, although I do still attend Catholic Mass with my family because of my wife’s desire to raise our two little one’s Catholic. But, I must admit, I have not done my own PRIMARY research on the matter. I find trying to understand my Faith in Christ very challenging (i.e. impossible) without truly studying his teachings and the Bible in general. I’ve recently started reading a study Bible to try and rectify this situation. But because I agree with you in many ways that I am very accepting of all other people’s faith’s and that it is up to them to find their truth, I have been wondering why I shouldn’t study these other religions as well. I’m not looking to become an expert on all subjects. But just thinking about them is not going to get me any where. I need to do some work on the subjects.

    That’s the point of my question – I’m curious – looking to take a poll if you will – how many of you people who have settled on your beliefs have “studied” the core philosophy of the other religions using these other religions’ “primary source” and not the propaganda of MSM or others in general?

  • Interesting point, “aupanner”. I remain Christian after studying (to varying depths) all the major religions’ and belief systems’ origins and development. That’s easy at a superficial level but really needs a lifetime to do thoroughly. Similarly with politics; a lifetime’s study convinces me of the benefits of what is commonly labelled “right-wing” systems. The third item mentioned by Roz I have explored less widely.

  • Just re-read my post. I hope it did not come across in a confrontational way at all. I hope I adequately pointed out that I put myself in the category of someone who identified myself a certain way without even reading my own basic material – The Bible. That got me wondering – how can I honestly dismiss Buddhism (or the other core religions that have apparently withstood the test of time and seem to be working fine for other people around the world) without understanding it? And, how can I understand it without studying it in some capacity? And, how can I research and study it with any real effort without going first to its accepted doctrine? As I ponder these questions for myself lately, I’ve started asking others when they discuss their own Faith and Beliefs. Not out of criticism or judgment. Just out of honest curiosity.

    Hope that puts my comments in a more constructive/friendly tone than they may have initially come across.

  • Thanks, John Kay. Well, first – you probably are doing well to not explore that third one “as widely”. That’s true on the literal and figurative sense, I suspect. (Hope that is not too inappropriate, but it was quite the lay-up).

    JK, thanks for your comments. How would you recommend starting a study of them even at the superficial level – is Wikipedia an acceptable source in your opinion?

    Politics: I find the whole thing a massive racket. A fraud. A playground for all the bad things – greed, corruption, lies, backstabbing, the list goes on. I could go on about my views in politics, but this thread is not the place certainly. The conclusion though, is that I cannot bring myself to be labeled with any party. I am therefore, Independent, I guess.

  • This seems to fit on many levels. Smooth rowing and continued success and thanks for sharing your most personal insights.

    Winds of My Choosing

    Storms of deceit and storms filled with lies,
    Storms of mistrust that show in one’s eyes.
    Storms of remorse and storms filled with guilt,
    Storms of regret fill the soul to the hilt.

    These are some winds that whirl and spin,
    Leading life downward to dust without end.
    And yet, there are storms that uplift and raise,
    Spirits and lives to prevent early graves.

    Storms out of honesty, storms filled with truth,
    Storms of clear trust set to anchor what’s loose.
    Storms of conviction and storms filled with pride,
    Storms of compassion to warm one inside.

    More are the winds that whirl through our space,
    Lifting life upward to sunshine and grace.
    And these are the tempests which I choose to face,
    Binding up family with love in this place.

    Jerome Blackman 3/30/2003

  • aupanner: Wikipedia is as good as anywhere to start; at least it provides references for further reading. As to politics – start with a fundamental choice: How much control do you want your governments to have over you? That defines whether you are a Statist (i.e. communist, socialist, etc.) or not. Read about all the systems you can find and their effects. That’s it in a nutshell!

  • Uh, oh….
    I know your concerns about how much food you’ve got left were already with you, but very sorry if my comment about fueling an ocean row made that worse for you.

    Rozta’ B

  • “aupanner”, please consider the possibility that the texts you cite are not the genesis of the religions mentioned, nor do they convey their histories with accuracy or perspective. You wouldn’t ask a fish how his aquarium was created, would you?!

    If you like listening to audio, I can recommend the 13-part survey of religions published by Knowledge Products. Search (Roz’s sponsors) or for the keywords “Religion Ben Kingsley”.

  • Sorry for hijacking the comments, Roz, but I had to answer..

    aupanner, I was agnostic bordering on atheism for 28 years and I decided to study the Bible last year and found a passion for it and have been studying it really intensely ever since. I’ve been lucky though to have found pastors who teach me the Gospel rather than religion, and through that approach, it becomes difficult to not want to study more. It breaks my heart when people call themselves Christian and think they “know” the Bible. If you really know it, you know there’s no way you’ll ever know it. 😀

    And I disagree with Mr Schmidt. The Bible is all perspective. 😀 And if God is really God, He is not a fish nor an aquarium. *shrug*

  • Than you, Roz, for baring your soul. Very well explained. As I mentioned on an earlier post in context with “Measure For Measure” your writing is very reader-friendly and copletely understandable. Sitting at the edge of FLL reflecting on your thoughts and Rozlings’ comments baring souls — indeed at the very place a big black furry bear bum scurried down the embankment away from oncoming headlights — my only thought is sensei.

    I came to similar conclusions back in the late 1970’s in association with a group of folks now known as Foundation for Global Community (.org) and what guides me is very well explained in your paragraph:

    “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.”

    Again, thanks and kudos for having the energy and presence to do what you do when the rowing is done ;-D

  • Roz, hiking all day yesterday I mastered the skill of preserving the entact Larabar wrapper, humming success ;-D

  • if prin, Chrisopher, and Jake check back: thanks for the comments and advice. Chris, I don’t do audio (well, haven’t yet), but I’ll check it out. and prin – i understand. well, i understand that i will never “know” it as you state. i get it. i understand that it is the “living word”.

    and thanks to Roz and her Crew for the forum!

  • Roz – good to hear you on Leo’s podcast – I enjoyed your openning up on your beliefs – My beliefs mirror yours – my readings include the one’s you mention especially Neale Walsh, Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer also Gary Zukav – Seat of the Soul. I believe we are all magnificent manifestations of God – as Neale says God is experiencing through us…

    God Bless You and safe journeys…

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