Water is ubiquitous and it has been presented as the staff of life, necessary for any carbon-based creatures’ very existences. Water has been worshipped, demonized, blamed for drought, celebrated for plenty, and has had intent, positive or negative attributed to it. We know, really know, when we are thinking rationally, that water is an inanimate object and that there are no living cells, aside from those in solution, that are a part of water. Yet we persist in anthropomorphizing it and virtually every other inanimate object, along with the living ones. It is understandable that we create characters out of living things; they can at least be construed to have a brain, whether they have one or not, however giving something non-living sentience serves to point out that we must personalize anything that has any kind of power over us to be able to try to understand its power and its mechanics. When we humanize something, including ourselves and others, we are more able to understand it and predict its actions and deduct its motives. We try that with water, wind, fire, and more – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But would you really like it to?
Sometimes we shake our heads and look around and wonder how happened to get where we are. Sometimes this is fine: we’ve had a chance to turn off our brains, relax, and drift with the flow, secure that we have no worries at the moment and won’t have them when we arrive wherever we’ve drifted either. We may even make some contacts that we will want to keep up with when we return to the regular rhythm of our days and that may become friends. However, although we may become relaxed, and lax, about our thinking and feeling, we cannot do so to the detriment of our usual lives; inevitably our usual lives are connected in one way or another with others’ lives; inevitably we must clothe and feed ourselves, and our family, if we have one. We must remain responsible for ourselves and our livelihood. So, while we must let go, drift, and unwind for a while; we must also hold on, stay on course, and wind up as well. The challenge is to maintain a balance between the two, to be able to recognize when drifting is called for and when buckling down becomes the priority. Do you think you have a handle on that balance?
Toys are a fine thing to have, or to have the use of, for relaxation, learning, letting off steam and many other things. We all like some toys better than others, but a new toy is fun to experiment with, an old, familiar toy is a comfort and a friend, and a desired, but not yet acquired toy can be an incentive and a challenge. What we must remember is that objects are toys, living beings are not, and should never be considered so. If you damage, physically or emotionally, a living being you, or they, may not be able to repair that damage. When you purposely damage a non-living object, you may not be able to repair it, but the only living thing you may have damaged would have been yourself. This is no good thing either, but is less damaging to more parties, and may prompt you into a greater sense of responsibility than you displayed previously. We must decide when something can be considered a toy and when something is very definitely not a toy. Then we can make the choice whether to play games with an appropriate toy or risk damaging something that is not a toy at all. Would you choose not to choose, or would you choose to think before acting?
When it is time to take some time away, to have a vacation, to rest, relax, and rejuvenate we tend to gravitate toward activities that we enjoy and to spend time with people we enjoy being around. But part of what makes a vacation a vacation or that makes time away revitalizing is to spend at least part of it not doing anything. Time spent unfocused, not striving toward any goal, no matter how much we enjoy the physical or mental engagement, is as essential to our well-being as focused relaxation. This drifting can be as difficult to achieve as activities more demanding, yet one should not avoid some passive time, just for oneself, if one is hoping for complete relief from the stresses and obligations of everyday life. Doesn’t that make sense to you?
I’m off to drift, unfocused, on the tide for a couple of weeks. I’ll be in touch when I return.
Humans are all of one species, we will thrive in very different climates, cultures, and mental environments. But it can be seen that a person raised in one climate has difficulty in adjusting to another and may never do so; this inability applies also to culture and mental adaptation. Our environment is central to our well-being and the closer we come to living in an environment that matches our physical, cultural, and mental capacities, the happier and more well-adjusted we will be. When we are happy and well-adjusted we thrive and can grow and prosper. Unfortunately many of us cannot or are not willing to relocate to a place where they can thrive. One can look at this behavior as unreasonable if one is looking only at the well-being of one particular person, but one can never do that. Since we are social beings we must be in contact with our natural families as well as one or more other communities we belong to for support and pleasure. Everyone’s ideal environment is somewhat different so any given group of people will have some people contain some who are not in the best place for their physical and mental make-up. This confuses the issue, we may not know we could theoretically make a choice to find a place to thrive, and we may not want to if the others we feel close to might choose another place. Is it more important for us to thrive or is it more important to maintain our group identities?
We form many pictures in our minds of how we believe or want to believe the world really is. This helps us to make things around us look better, to make people we love seem more loving and kind, and to present ourselves differently than we really are. We generally forget, or never let into our consciousness, is that we are not the only people using this strategy; everyone sees things differently intrinsically and everyone strives to create or maintain the illusions already existing in their minds. What seems even stranger, stranger than everyone’s different perceptions, is that we mostly tend to and want to keep our perceptions to ourselves. We seldom talk about the shade of blue we’re seeing, or the background we behind a stand of flowers or behind the backlit form of an animal or bird, or even the bird or animal themselves. If we did speak from our perceptions it may be that myriad misunderstandings could be avoided and avoidable. What a change in society that would make…however we are inviolably individuals and therefore must be satisfied with our individual perceptions, though we could make a much stronger effort to take note of and ask about other people’s perceptions. Doing so might even lead to a more understanding world or town or school or family. Is there a reason we shouldn’t share more?
Tranquility is something the majority of us say we long for but cannot achieve. Tranquility cannot be found unless we actively choose to search for it; when we mouth the words and there is no conviction behind them we are merely saying that we wish for an idea that has no basis in reality, or that we don’t really believe there is such a thing. Since tranquility is a thing of the mind rather than the body we must search for it within ourselves, and search for it during a particular time and in the place one is at that particular time. Having achieved the tranquil state once doesn’t mean one can automatically go there when a desire for it pops into your head. Whether in a place that fosters the tranquil state or in a busy place crowded with others one can reach that calm state as long as one doesn’t allow distractions to enter one’s mind and take pride of place. There are times when one strives to tranquility and it is just not possible to find that place. You may have pressing obligations that demand your attention, you may be in a situation that precludes seeking it, or you just may not be in a state of mind to. There are appropriate times for the search, trying to learn to achieve tranquility, especially when you haven’t experienced much or at all. Don’t tranquil times sound rejuvenation or restful to you and wouldn’t it be good to have as a goal?