Sunday, September 17, 2006

Adjusting Sails

This is the third and likely the last post on the fragments of maps concept. I am particularly struck by the articulation about our mutual world that you each express. When I write and then come back to read the very thoughtful comments it makes we aware that you are out there thinking of so many important things and that you are willing to share your thoughts. That is meaningful to me.

I have asked myself the question, “Would these ideas be better discussed around a table?” or is the discussion via web and print just as effective? The question ended in a laugh at me just because the first option is probably not plausible. So I will move on in print with my fragments of maps and hope to pick up a new one or two from you. I want to expand the comment box into a post and particularly talk about the comments from lynilu, ilias and enemy of the republic.

Lynilu said “You Can't Direct the Wind but You Can Adjust the Sails.” Well, maybe it was her fortune cookie that said this but she has captured it into her daily thinking. I am going to disagree momentarily. But I want to come back to it later. She also said that personal responsibility is vital to our peace with others. To this I agree wholeheartedly. This is a natural fit to my theory of a natural law that guides us along a path that is open to scrutiny as to the actions correctness or incorrectness. It is sometimes surprisingly easy to determine if our equations are correct, but often much harder to admit to them being incorrect. The idea of personal responsibility is in good company with me because we must always be willing to assess our behaviors and decisions to form a correct equation with the Creator’s guiding laws.

ilias said “I like to think that it is our thoughts (followed by actions) that create things that happen in the world or to us or near us, etc. If enough of us here on earth think about tragedy all the time, it will inevitably manifest. It must as the law of manifestation.” Yes ilias, this is indeed the largest and clearest map I hold after 55 years of searching. It is a truth to me, no longer a wondering. I like to say it this way, “The fate we believe in, we bring to pass.” This is a vital concept to me. It doesn’t mean that I will control the good v. evil choices of others. It doesn’t mean I will save myself from a crazed and angry gunman in Montreal, but it does mean I will face the world with personal responsibility for my direction and my choices; and if each of us did the same our world would improve dramatically. This idea is wedded to lynilu’s idea of personal responsibility as easily as rain and sky. We can bring sadness to our lives or we can bring good things, but it takes courage to declare it as personal truth. It’s so much easier to abdicate truth for the ‘victims’ cry of “Why oh why do bad things always happen to me?” In the simplicity of down home Texas talk, “Well maybe because you had been expecting trouble all along?”

Enemy of the Republic said, “Instead of asking: Why is this happening or How can a loving God allow this--the question may be "what is my own relationship to evil and suffering"? This falls gently into place with my thoughts about natural law and a perfect coordination with the equations of the perfect life. The presence of evil illustrated by my maps is the practice of an imperfect equation, the art of applying the natural law in a manner that results in the wrong answer. If we can look at evil this way, in the way EOTR advises us, we find the ability to discover the erroneous equation. In simpler wording, we discover the incorrect answers and they can be discarded in our search for the correct answers. This is a gem of simple truth wrapped in a complex thought. Evil exists because we are misapplying the natural law of the Creator and of our universe. How better to eliminate it than to embrace its erroneous reality, again as EOTR advises, and by doing so coming to understand why it not a successful equation?

If I return to the saying “You Can't Direct the Wind but You Can Adjust the Sails” I would take these ideas of (1) personal responsibility, (2) knowing that we can shape our world through our thoughts and actions and (3) that we can confirm that evil is present via its negative relationship to natural order and thereby clearly identify it for what it is, then I would gently suggest the phrase could be written this way instead.

“You Can Direct the Wind and You Can Adjust the Sails.”

I value your comments. Much Love as always.



lynilu said...

Wow. You have a wonderful gift, my friend, for wrapping your mind around the various concepts and bringing them to a manageable summary.

I agree completely with your theory that we attract to us that which we allow to become the focus in our lives and thoughts. I've worked to refocus in recent weeks, and I'm finding my life is easier. It does not mean that I'm without problems, but I've allowed the positive, the progress, the pleasure of my daily life, and for the first time in about 3 years that my life is really mine. Previously, I was controlled by external factors, most of them negative. I'm enjoying life, even with the obstacles, for the first time in a long time. And it feels wonderful!

As to the idea of sitting around a table to discuss these matters . . . wouldn't it be loverly? However, as you say, it is not a possibility, given our geographic placing. I've been noticing recently that this other world created by the internet gives us the wonderful opportunity to "meet" people whose paths would probably never cross close to us in the natural world. Most of us would probably not have give the other a second look when passing on the street, but here, we can do so much not otherwise imagined!

Additionally, the world of blogs and websites gives occasion to "speak out," something that might not happen without the safety of anonymity. Some of us find the backbone to take on topics here that might wend us mute elsewhere. So while I’d love to sit at a table with those who opine in these forums, I’ll settle for the arena we have. It is very invigorating.

And I can live with your rewrite of my phrase, dear seven!!

patti_cake said...

I don't think I can direct the wind but I definitely can adjust my sails. I think I adjust them every single day. At least I hope I do.

Jenn said...

Awesome post. I'm not quite able to direct the wind either. But I am aware of it. And I can absolutely adjust my sails. I understand the concept of directing the wind....but the wind in my life these days is such a tsunami...I prefer to focus my energy on adjusting my sails. But - even as I type this it occurs to me that perhaps I am learning to direct the wind. The Idiot is a bully. (Duh.) I am learning, and getting better and better at it, to hold the course. My course. No matter how hard the wind blows. I'm not sure if that's actually directing the wind...but it's making it a whole lot less damaging. Anyway - very thought provoking, Seven, as always.

Ilias- said...

I just read something yesterday by a spiritual teacher named Rashad Feild. I want to summarize: evil exists so that we can feel the pain of separation and long to return to the source.
Here is a quote from the book:

Mevlana said, "He [God] creates good and evil, but receives only good." Evil brings us into the unpleasant condition of separation, so that through the pain we may finally be motivated to return.

Mevlana Rumi, the Sufi poet, a wise one.

In my view, adjusting the sails and directing the wind are intricately intertwined. Perhaps they are the same? When you adjust the sails, you do direct the wind. And either way both lead to the same thing, no? Seven, I appreciate this post for its wisdom and spurring of good discussion.

Reach said...

It is good to come back and experience your thoughts, and witness new directions.
I am soon learning, the winds that drive my life are becoming more in my control due to positive attitude. The more optimistic I become; I find, the positivity around, and throughout, my life.

I find it fitting, this topic of discussion upon my return.

Additionally, since my absence I have discovered a concept not previously recognized- in that weaved into my life is the number seven. I must admit to the humor I found in this minor observation.


Seven said...

Perhaps some day we can all gather in some fun place, maybe a Mexican resort beach and compare ideas and even a wisecrack or two (with a smile). Maybe Reach can fly us all there? Keep up the good fight and live the life you want...its yours.

With age comes some understanding about directing wind, and I mean that in the kindest of ways as I am your senior by some years. Jobs, children, finances and the like can push and pull us until we feel like all control belongs to others; even the company you work for. Believe me I have been there! One day though you wake up and realize you CAN channel the wind and it will happen for you. Soon I predict.

I hear you loud and clear; and yes in fact you are channeling the wind by denying the power he wishes to use over you. Yes you are; great going and carry on. You are adjusting the sails to a more favorable wind you have re-directed. See?

You always bring more to chew on and I really appreciate that in you. You are a relentless searcher, ready to share. I bow. Wait, I'm not Japanese, but you know what I mean...;)

Will you fly us all to a Mexican resort? Please? Welcome back, its good to hear from you; and may you always fly with the wind.

lynilu said...

I've pondered this concept all day, and I came back to write a profundity . . . and I find it already reflected in the comments above! I will say this much . . . seven, as I thought about this today, I was struggling with my own brief lapse of self-direction. After an hour or so of indulgent self-pity, I realized that this was the wind blowing me off course, and I turned around with a vengeance, determined to take the wind into my own hands (or sails, if you will) and be in control. How curious that you wrote that last sentence in your comment to me, because I said to myself, "Damn it, I'm not going to capitulate to this! I'm going to fight back, and I'm going to end this chapter of my life my own way."

Yes, when we change the sails, we do direct the wind. Perhaps not all of it, but the part that is in our sails, the important part. Now, let's look for a good Mexican resort!

Seven said...

The sound you hear is applause from Texas. Maybe faint, but it was loud when it started down here.

lynilu said...

LOL! So that's what I heard! And I thought it was crickets!! ;-))

Enemy of the Republic said...

My apologies for not having read this post sooner. I come to your page usually as often as I can because you are one of those bloggers who wrestles with real issues and I feel challenged and fed when I read here.

I formulated that reworking of the equation because I believe we have free will. Yet I also believe that things happen that are out of our control; generally these events aren't our fault, but as members of the human race, we deal with it. A child in Iraq did not create the war; one could say she is an innocent, but as a human being, even as a child, she is learning a sad reality--there is evil that makes no sense and somehow we try to overcome it. I'm not one of those Christians who puts it all on Satan--Evil is complex just as Good is--it is almost a pointless question to see out the source when you have things to accomplish. Later on, we can reflect, but the human condition involves variables that are unpleasant and upsetting. You do what you can. And you (generic you) can always do more than you think you can--even if it's an extra smile to a sad person.