We Are Sailors

Does God consciously make decisions or pull the strings?

I think it’s more of an interaction. As we engage with God and life, this relationship produces actions and reactions, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Depends on the type of engagement.

An intelligent source that needs agents and directors to produce and create.

An intelligent source that flows, but needs winds to move it and hearts to guide it.

We are those sailors of the heart, but we are not just sailing with the wind – we are having a hand in its direction.

Helming the ships of destiny.

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Here is another short story I wrote regarding this same theme – sailing on the seas of the heart. Something I keep coming back to again and again.

Defined vs. Undefined

I always try to take everything in with a grain of salt. I don’t like defining anything or jumping to conclusions, especially moral conclusions, and in that way I feel that I am somewhat of a rare bird among the populace. What I’ve inferred in my life is that we, as humans, feel most comforted and in control of our lives when our world is defined – when we have a grasp on the controls, how they work, and the process that we need to follow.

In this way, becoming an adult is extremely difficult. We are no longer children being told what is expected of us, or the right path to walk. Being an adult is learning to interface and make choices and decisions every day that impacts this “defined human experience” that we have been laying, brick by brick, over the centuries. Building upon what we know from our past, putting each step in front of the other, layering in our understanding from that of our forefathers and foremothers.

Making these decisions everyday is tiring and draining. No wonder we cling to belief systems or social constructs to provide us with a welcome relief of not having to question every little step we make!

I am one of many that indeed loves a defined process (especially at work!) and loves knowing that I need to do X to achieve Y. Or that in doing Y, you will also achieve Z, and so on. Like a workbook.

But life does not give you the equations; we do not receive any workbook, apart of the ones we give our selves. We only figure things out as we go, in our experiences and by building off the experiences of those who came before us.

But what if we are building off of experiences and stories of our past that are not true? That are fruitless? Clinging to constructs that are not sustainable or beneficial to our well-being?

What if we are processing our lives, day in and day out, in automaton-mode, making decisions and placing our steps in front of us because that is what we have been told to do – like when we were children – because that is what our mothers and fathers did?

In this way, I see that much of humanity finds solace and happiness and peace in defining their world. In creating a box of rules of which they operate out of conveniently and pleasantly, and then finding family and friends whose personalities and ideals also fit the box. They continue on with their lives in enjoyment and happiness because things are “figured out” and “in place.” They feel safe and happy because their values and morals are justified and supported, and therein their choices in life are also justified and supported.

But I do not think life is that cut and dry. Black and white. Light and dark.

I think it hurts us to build the boxes in the first place.

I feel like I am a minority in a majority that does not like to define things these days. That enjoys the grey between the lines and the possibilities that lie there. That is always skeptical, but passionately curious nonetheless. I figured this out for myself a few years back, and in this idea of “undefined” I found my own convenient and “pleasant” truth:  That in defining things, and assigning them this or that, we put up walls. We start building the box around us and inviting only this person or that person into our box by default, until there is no way out. We box ourselves in; and in doing so, if someone were to question our box and why we were in there, we would shiver with indignation. “How dare you insult my box! My box keeps me safe. It helps me to define the world. Of course I need it!”

I want to strive everyday not to put worldview or religious boxes over my head. I do not want to have  everything defined and neat and orderly.

If we keep putting boxes over our heads, when we run into other boxes we will not know how to relate to anything outside of our own box. We won’t know how to live a limitless life because living within the defined boundaries is all we’ve ever known.

If we stay in our boxes, we will perceive everything outside our boxes as a threat to our safety and destruction of our self-concept. Thoughts or people or ideas that differ from our defined constructs will be treated as a threat to our safe and happy life.

Can we live without the boxes? Can we reach beyond the constructs of our understanding to realize that we built the boxes in the first place, and that we can also remove them?

Is “definition” in itself really just an illusion?

 

Writers & Inception

Lately, my writing is getting me fired up. Like a worked up, lathered feeling – almost sexual?! – but in a mental / intellectual way. A spiritual way. Does that even make sense?

I have been doing a lot of world-building in my head for my theoretical novel. An idea that I had in 2009 and hasn’t died – only intensified. I’m inspired and obsessed with writers that can create intense, detailed “other worlds” in their work, and I immerse myself deeply into them. I eat and breathe them. It should be no surprise, then, that I am a huge Game of Thrones fan. I follow fan theories and detailed analyses on the text closely. I want to re-read all the books in the series, and seeing the tall stack of them by my nightstand gets me excited.

A piece of me knows this is what I want to do. Story-crafting, world-building. Reimagining our current world and future worlds. Imagination of the mind… Imagination of the heart.

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Earlier this year I listened to a keynote speech given by the head of innovation for Lowes. (Yes, the home improvement big box store – you are as surprised as I am.) He tackled the subject of how exactly do you innovate  – how do you see what’s coming? How do you see into the future?

Rather than try and keep up with the pace of culture and trends, and try fruitlessly to get ahead of them, he was creating the future. Literally.

They didn’t want to race the trends, they wanted to create the trends, and here’s how: He hired a team of sci-fi writers and gave them all of Lowe’s marketing materials and told them to go write stories about how the company might look as a part of the future. This is called Science-fiction prototyping.

The sci-fi writers wrote, and in the end their stories were translated into graphic novels and distributed to the company. The result? Lowes began developing two initiatives that no one is or was developing. One is a “holoroom” where homeowners can visualize their home improvement projects before they are finished, the other a customer service robot that greets you at the door and knows its way around the store. You can watch a short Youtube clip to see what I’m talking about HERE.

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Science-fiction prototyping. Imagination prototyping.

This really hit me. It really drove home to me, suddenly and deeply, how important it is to be a writer. Writers – and especially science-fiction writers  – are actively creating our collective futures. They influence us, propel us forward, and incept more ideas than any other source. Just think about the fact that something like a ‘holodeck’ is really being created, and NASA is working on a warp drive!

Where did those ideas originally come from? Star Trek.

I imagine that perhaps in olden days, in ancient times, the writers were the oracles. Rather than write lengthy stories they would imagine the future and pull “prophecies” from the ether, influencing the collective consciousness. Creative gurus. The masters of our destinies.

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After hearing this talk about the sci-fi prototyping, I knew in that one sliver of an instant that I needed to write. That I was meant to write. To influence things and propel them forward. To use imagination integrally in my life. To use imagination to gain access to potential knowledge of the future.

What a heady, weird day that was. I was amazed, flabbergasted and passionate. I couldn’t understand why some of my other co-workers were not as floored as I was – they had listened to the same talk, but I was the only one who felt the ‘THUD’ of a mind-melting realization.

I had been looking so hard, and been so dejected, for many months about what in the world I was passionate about. A book I had been reading asked me the question, and I didn’t know how to answer.

Then this keynote talk just dropped in my lap. Slapped me in the face. Punched me in the gut.

You get what you ask for. You really do. But you have to ask.

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My next entry will cover imagination and how I feel it works spiritually. I have found that it is integrally related to my concept of God, and potentially others’ as well.

Letting Go… To the Heart

In order to have control, we must give it up.

In order to have power, we must let go.

In order to rule, we must surrender.

Are these statements true?

I have been ruminating much on the meaning of these phrases for some time now, and I believe the answer is…YES.

It appears to me that a lot of wisdom is gained in life when we are able to let go of things we cannot control, to release the worries and the burdens that we carry in our hearts and minds to become freer to be otherwise. But when we let go of the conscious control, and hand our fate over to God or ‘destiny’ or what have you, are we really just gaining subconscious control? Do we hand over the reins to the heart intelligence? This, I believe, is where our true wisdom might lie…

Perhaps the world around us is intricately connected with the heart-subconscious in a way that is too complicated for us to comprehend. That they exist co-dependently somehow. If this is true, then there is no fathomable way for us to try and control this world with our conscious minds, as the conscious mind is only aware of a portion of our reality; a tiny sliver of our visible and perceptible world. Only the portion that we need to know and perceive in order to survive and evolve – no more, and no less.*

And yet the subconscious heart is the navigational system that we so desperately seek to have control of, but lies just outside of conscious reach. Maybe the only way to access this valuable information is to let go of the conscious desire, the conscious will of the ‘self’ and the ‘ego’ that is constantly dictating that WE NEED to be the driver of our lives. That WE are in control.

Instead, maybe we should hand this job off to the subconscious. To the heart.

Maybe if we want the greatest power and knowledge and peace, we should move to surrender our conscious will to the heart. (Which ironically, we have to do consciously…? Sorry, I can’t help but chuckle at that!)

Can the heart do the heavy lifting? Can the subconscious drive us to where we want and need to go?

I think it already is. Perhaps our conscious-reasoning brain is just getting in the way all the time!

 

*If this topic of evolutionary perception and consciousness is of interest, Google the work of Donald Hoffman, who studies consciousness, perception, and how we view reality. You can view his great TED talk here. Watching this video earlier this year really sent me down the rabbit hole!

Mother

This isn’t meant to be a ‘Mom’ blog by any means, but I am a mother and this is an aspect of my life that I cannot avoid and think about a lot.

I remember clearly the night I was falling asleep, and I was musing about my future and what I wanted to do, in those half-reality/half-dream thoughts, and I said to myself: “I should like to be a mother one day. I want to have that experience.” Strange that I remember that small moment, but it was a pretty impactful one. I am a very loving person, and I always assumed that I would be a mom one day and have a family, but I was never quite sure of it – kids intimidated me, birth terrified me, and being a parent seemed insurmountably overwhelming. So when I finally, quietly, said to myself that this is what I wanted, it was like a small affirmation to my future – a prayer and a calling for what was to come. A moment in my life when I knew something deeply, intuitively; the kind of moment that comes with strings that pull you to where you want to go…

I felt this same feeling when I was hanging out with my future husband when I was 17. It was late in the evening, and we had gone back to his parent’s house after watching a movie with friends and were having ice cream at his kitchen table. I was wearing a necklace with a Chinese symbol on it for love or something like that, and we talked vaguely about what we wanted in the future for our love lives. We were not dating at that time, but while we were chatting I felt that feeling distinctly – I knew in my heart that this was the person for me. Funny that I don’t remember at all what we said to each other but I do remember the feeling. Isn’t it quite a testimony to the role that emotions play in our lives that they should trump the rational intellect so easily?

I have had more of these deep-feel moments in my life, mostly involving spiritual epiphanies or passages I’ve read in books. But these moments do not compare to the two I describe above. Why though?

The spiritual thoughts I have are uplifting and engaging and transforming – but they pale in comparison with the decisions above that determined the path of my life and the definition of my experience. The deep feelings and affirmations of wanting to be a mother, and feeling the conviction of the future with the person in front of me were powerful catalysts of creation.

In these moments I made decisions, deep decisions, and they were of my own creation. The power of creation was tangible in these moments. When you create from the deepest part of your heart and soul, it is unforgettable.

Being a mom was something society always told me I was going to be – inevitable, really. But when I said the affirmation and made the decision, this redefined me as a person at that moment. And becoming a mother has changed me greatly, in ways that I could not have fathomed in my life before and that are hard to put into words: A greater depth of feeling? A more human-centered empathy for life? A greater drive to help people? An enlightenment of the human experience?

I think all of these, and this is just the beginning. Thank you dear daughter for coming to me and hearing my call of creation into the wilderness. I hope this Mother thing leads to amazing roads and discoveries beyond our imaginations.