I think the hardest part for us to grasp in the whole quantum thing is that our car batteries still die even when we don't observe that we've left the dome light on all night.
The second hardest part for us to grasp is the reality in our heads not necessarily being the reality outside of them, although most of us can usually come pretty close to describing the same basic thing. However, this stops working when something like a person crazed with jealousy is determined that a spouse or partner is cheating when they are not. Sometimes what's in one person's head just isn't in anyone else's. Like drugs or something.
Little kids have to learn to synchronize their 'realities'. We learn as toddlers and early grade schoolers what personal space is, that we don't make the rules, that becoming a group doesn't take away our pride in our individual achievements. We learn that there is shame and guilt and hopes and dreams.
Then when we hit middle age we review everything we've learned and have to untangle it all before we move on, because if we don't, we get caught up in a selfish 'stupidity' phase that crashes other realities around us. Some of us become 5 again.
I have figured out that it all boils down to selfish vs. selfless. Learning to say please and thank you. Validating other people's feelings and experiences while we learn to gracefully apologize for the pain we put others through at various times in our lives. Through everything else we do all day long for years and years, this seems to underlie everything else.
Simple, right? You'd be surprised how many people don't get this until they wind up in AA. People who never drink sometimes never learn this at all, despite very elaborate belief systems spelling it all out. I've never been to AA myself. I just seem to keep having to learn everything the hard way (yes, even addiction), and being aspie, I tend to think a little too much about it.
Before you blow me off, I've done it all, too. 20 years of insomnia while kids grew up. Evil bosses and anything and everything going wrong all at once. Realizing that my idea of being nice was ignoramous shallowness. Actually believing Crestor was the answer.
What's it all for? Why are we here? Personally, I think it's so we can learn to appreciate. And to learn to be strong in the dark and stand steady when it seems everything else around us is 'falling apart'.
Why am I saying this? Why is it important? And what the heck does this have to do with synchronicity and physics and selves?
Some of us scifi junkies are already used to the idea of alt selves in all conceivable alt worlds, which nulls the concept of responsibility for our actions. If I am simply living in one aspect of all possibilities, does it matter what I do? Whatever I do in this world, it will simply be different from all the other possibilities. It will have no other significance or meaning in the 'big scheme of things'. Because there is no big scheme, just some runaway Alice in Wonderland funhouse full of mirrors.
Terry Pratchett introduced a character, a witch who was able to use mirrors to change reality. But when a sister witch asked her near the end of the book which one was really her, she ran searching through all the mirrors, unable to ascertain who 'she' was. The sister shrugged and walked off, knowing that THIS is 'me'. No matter how many worlds might be 'out there' or what we might be able to concoct in our heads about ourselves, who we really are is standing right here. It's not our clothes or makeup or what we own, it's not who we pretend to be with attitudes and accomplishments. Stripped down to our naked souls, who we are is either cruel or kind, craving or content, stubbornly closed off or open to learning. It is NOT happy or sad. For some reason we've got this notion in our heads that our quality of lives on this earth depends on some kind of happiness level. That only leads to the selfish vs. selfless thing I mentioned. If you have to be 'happy' to be fulfilled, you are missing a really big boat in the sea of spiritual life. All it takes for *me* to be happy is half a vicodin. For others it might be a margarita. See the problem? All happy can ever be is a gauge against 'unhappy'. Those are simply tools our minds use to assess that we have internal conflict, and easily disposed of. It is not the goal itself.
I said in my last Synchronicity post that our bodies teach us. Our bodies know exactly who *they* are. They are well grounded and rebound off the walls, no matter how much actual space is between the atoms in our bodies and the walls. It's like playing one of those Mario games where you're looking over Mario's shoulder and telling him where to go, but since you're behind him he never sees you. His 'body' follows all the rules- it can't walk through brick walls, it falls short on impossible leaps across chasms, it can't fly or run upside down unless it has some kind of help. Our own bodies operate like that, within preset parameters. That's why it's impossible to float through the house when we sprain an ankle.
What our bodies CAN do is sacrifice their lives for us. We use our bodies the same way a rider uses a horse. A rider can keep a horse running until it literally drops and dies. That's what some of us do with alcohol and drugs, or crazy lifestyles that require constant activity and sacrifice, or even crazier lifestyles of uber neglect. Our bodies will do everything in their power to serve us until they literally just can't any more. Do we care? We get mad at our bodies. They hurt and keep us from doing everything we want to do. They aren't pretty enough for us, so we punish them with starvation. Or we take advantage of our bodies, using them for pleasure to the point of emotional gluttony while we use food, sex, and drugs to get 'high'. When this gets out of hand, other people actually die for our pleasure. Sex abuse is bad enough, but having to cover it up in monstrous ways completely makes my point.
In the end, we learn that when we abuse our bodies, we abuse ourselves, our souls. When we 'let go', as in Eastern religions, Christianity, and The Force, we synchronize our spiritual selves with our physical selves. Letting go is scary. We misinterpret it as 'death'. Death of addiction, death of being in a rut, death of a way of thinking and behaving. Sometimes actual death.
'Mental health' is a radical new concept in human history. What is mental health? All things considered, mental health is being able to successfully integrate our physical world with our emotional and spiritual worlds. Mental health is being able to objectively assess who we are, where we are, and apply that assessment to how we are. When we schism or skew from this balance, we become 'unhealthy'. We get caught in obsession, trauma, or emotion, and aren't able to successfully 'move on' with reality. Up until the last couple of hundred years, the only people remotely interested in mental health were mystics, priests, and I'm not going to list all the 'oddballs' that have shown up throughout history. My favorites are the old testament prophets, with the balls to go up against entire oppressive social systems that used and abused religion to establish controlled institutionalized cultures. Interestingly, this kind of rebellion is at the root of nearly all organized religions on the planet. But once they organize, they again become institutionalized oppression.
So where are we on the mental health scale nowadays? It seems like the more access we have to information and knowledge, the more frightened people become and turn to alternate 'answers'.
This is an excerpt from a private post I made on another blog last year. I can't link to the post because it contains other things that are more personal, but I will share this part. Think of this as a continuation of thought from my last Synchronicity post and the way we 'run into' each other out of the blue and have unusual experiences.
Escape to Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain are on the Hallmark channel this morning. Those were about my all-time fave movies growing up. I always felt so alienated from my own parents, I wished all the time I really did come from someplace else.
Ran into a woman in Walmart Friday, very unusual experience. She asked about my earrings, which looked Indian, and said she had lived in New Mexico. I said I grew up in New Mexico, and from there we talked over an hour. Not the usual talk. It was almost like we were comparing notes, checking to see that we're on the right track or something. She is a nurse and teacher and married to a physicist that works in the military, so they move around, and she is very into Native American spiritualism, raised Catholic, into energy healing through acupuncture, etc. Very emotional, the opposite of me. Sounds like she'd done some really cool stuff, including a sweat lodge ceremony, but kept mentioning how everything affected her so deeply, so I told her she was born with the burden of feeling very deeply in this life, and many people don't understand that truly is a burden. Saying that had so much meaning and validation for this woman that she hugged me and thanked me for understanding, because she always wondered what was 'wrong' with her for things to affect her so deeply, and she kept running into others who confessed that her deep feelings and tears helped them make monumental life changing decisions themselves. She knew it meant something, but what?
I have been tuned into synchronicity for most of my life, and not because I ever knew what the heck it meant. I seem to have an edge or something. I see things others don't, and I've never known why. When people like this (who are very open to spiritual awareness) run into me, they automatically 'recognize' me and cannonball right into a whirlwind of crash counseling. It seems that since I am so able to speak openly without judgment or emotion, that frees them to be so completely honest about themselves that they spill their lives to me without reservation. Over time I've learned to expect this, and even though I'm aspie and naturally cringe from human contact, I have a strong feeling I really am 'somebody' that these people recognize somehow, and that I am meant to help them assess where they are and how they're doing on whatever they are learning in this life. That seems to be what I have a knack for. I ask questions in all the right places, point out things that are obvious to me but not them, and I'm getting really good at helping them zoom out and see a bigger picture in the shortest possible amount of time, since we never see each other again. We instantly know somehow that we're not 'friends' in this life, but we 'know' each other, and dang I can't tell you how many times this has literally happened to me. I no longer question it. It just happens.
We all have our spiritual challenges, and hers is handling the deep feelings of herself and others around her. I myself am cushioned from that through the Asperger's, and even though I have deep feelings, I easily divorce myself from being emotionally caught up. I don't know that either way is better than the other, but we certainly live on opposite ends of that spectrum. But it was very cool feeling so synchronized within seconds with a total stranger, talking about things we'd learned in this life as if we were meant to meet up and compare notes. I told her I grew up basically Mennonite but had progressed into a sociology/anthropology degree and self taught physics, and that I'm feeling like there is way more to God than the simplistic religions we follow, and that it's counter intuitive to keep God at a shallower level than even we live ourselves. God is far too commercialized and stereotyped to be God any more, and mass religion has become a social science taught to young pastors in college. I think there is a new movement trying to get away from that, seen as evil by mainstream Christianity, to the point where American Christians have become almost as closed minded and dangerous as zealot Muslims. (Bombing of abortion clinics, for instance.) I agreed with this woman that the only thing that can save our nation from complete downfall is getting back to the simple spiritual roots and connection to God that the Native American Indians felt all along.
Total stranger. She put great stock by the coincidence. I don't think anything is truly coincidental.
I've noticed that we seem to measure our progress with symbolism. Some people are into crystals, this woman was into turquoise and told me of a special collection she has that carries deep significance. I was very attracted to turquoise growing up (I'm really into blue) and kept a secret stone with me for years. But I realized before I reached adulthood that hanging onto pieces of earth or sky is just symbolism. We can let go of the real objects, because they only represent the deeper meanings within. They trigger feelings and thoughts, sometimes memories, but they aren't to be hung onto until death. We are here to learn, and then we let go. Of everything. Even a diamond in a ring is just a chip of rock and a strip of metal. It may be a representation, and it may have great meaning, but in the end, if that means more than the actual love we give to someone (look at all the divorces...), then it's just junk. I think it's sad that people can put more meaning into rocks than they do the people in front of them. I understand the attraction to turquoise and crystals (or pink feldspar heehee) because I really like geology and the history of rock formation, but whatever energy flows through them and us is easily channeled just by letting go of negativity and relaxing, whether we are conscious of it or not. I don't think it's necessary to be conscious of it. We should be more aware of how we hurt and neglect each other than how energy flows through a rock. This is where the Buddha failed to open the seal in Revelations. (Many tried.) It had to be someone who was willing to let go of everything ~for love~. Not just let go of everything, period. I don't think it matters whether this is mythology or 'real'. The truth behind it is the point.
I feel very tied to this earth. I love the moon cycles, I love the weather cycles, the growing cycles, the ancient history of rocks. My body is of this earth. But my spirit isn't. I love being here and feeling it. But if I teach my spirit to hang onto things of this earth as powerful symbols, like a rock, then my spirit is missing the lessons we learn from letting go. Part of our fear is letting go and moving on. We hang on to things in our past or our present with fear and the dread of losing something we let go of instead of moving forward with confidence. If God has truly created all this, nothing will ever be lost. Us hanging onto something won't preserve it. It will be preserved always. Everything we do or experience will always be a part of us, whether we are physically hanging onto it or not.
I wasn't able to tell this woman that. I didn't think she was ready to hear it. I think she still needs her 'teddy bear', and I don't say that condescendingly. I know it's hard walking without a comfort of some kind. She has a lot of fear and depends on not only a strong support network but material things and the guise of spiritual healing. As we go forward it eventually all falls off, until we are naked before God.
A little deep today...
But that's what I believe. When all is said and done, it all boils down to us and God. I know he loves us, but he's training us to become strong. Part of becoming strong is being stripped of comfort and learning to walk alone, still being able to truly love without the reward or promise of having that love back. I know we're never truly alone, but I mean without any social support. I have been challenged through this whole life being stripped of comfort and walking alone, and I think the joy I've learned is deeper for it, and things I've learned about love and forgiveness and self sacrifice make more sense than to someone who hasn't suffered this kind of challenge. I still have a ways to go, but at least I'm not moving backward. I think it's important that we learn we are the ones who create the love we search for. We become what others need, whether we ever get it for ourselves or not. It's possible to love completely without being loved back.
It's enough that most people go through fear and loss, crippling illness and disfigurement, abuse, horrible disillusionment. Some have more to carry, some have less. But I see that we all carry pain and sorrow in some way, and that we all have the opportunity to become strong and learn joy that we'd never have known if our eyes weren't opened in this fashion.
We are to learn to be content with who we are and what we have. We are to wait patiently for God. We are to enjoy the gifts the earth gives us to survive, like food and water. And we are to learn to forgive others for not being like us or what we think they should be. Beyond that, it's all distraction.
I don't know why that woman zeroed in on me, but I gave her a big hug and enjoyed listening to her and asking her questions. I'll probably never see her again. I hope it helped her. I'm not sure what she needed from me, but I think she felt validated and relieved to talk.
Some of you might have caught that I'm kind of into a holistic religion thing. I don't think eastern and western religions are that different from each other, just like me and this woman aren't that different, even though we've lived very different lives and have very different ways of looking at things. Our conclusions are the same. It's better to live positively than negatively. It's better to care about others than not. 'God', in whatever form you hold him, is a constant that has never left the human consciousness. Forgiveness is better than holding grudges. Kindness is better than being harsh. In the common human experience, we are all heading the same direction. I don't think it matters if you believe in multiple lives or cold hard science. What matters is that we care about the people in front of us in spite of how we are different or what we believe. When we stop caring, we inflict pain or neglect, and that in ANY religion is bad.
I live in the bible belt. I have seen more religious persecution and abuse by common Christians than anyone else they say inflicts them. This woman I spoke with was so astounded that she could speak freely in a Walmart, of all places, that you'd think we lived in a society where freedom of speech and the right to practice religion didn't exist. That's how you live around Christians in my area. I grew up Christian, I'm still Christian, but I can't sit in a denominational church and pretend that's right. The brainwashing that goes on is incredible. I'm surprised the local city Assembly doesn't hand out koolaid during their huge July 4th extravaganzas that draw upwards of 30-40,000 people. The same enthusiastic people who put on those shows will turn their backs and walk away when a student is nearly beaten to death by a bible group on a public college campus for wearing a Batman t-shirt.
I wasn't kidding about that. I live in a religious war zone. My own neighborhood drove a black family out just a few years ago, and it's not just because this is a rich neighborhood. The KKK is alive and well, in spite of what people think. Some people in these parts are so superstitious that they think science is ruining us. They refuse to get shots for their kids. I could go on and on. The unspoken fear and violence is ridiculous, in spite of living in such a modern age on the verge of comprehending what world peace could be all about.
Ok, back to here and now.
I know this world looks like a pretty crappy place sometimes. There are people on this earth who have watched their children go through agonizing illness and death. There are people who lost parents as children themselves and felt lost and angry. There are people who are laying in rows of beds having chemotherapy treatments. There are people starving to death during famines right now. There are people in prisons being beaten nearly to death knowing that they'll never see their families again. There are people committing suicide all over this planet because they feel they have no hope, no future, no one who cares. Why am I saying this? I'm not a softie who sheds a tear for the sufferings of mankind. Neither am I a literalist saying this is all a waste.
And it's not just that. Some of us have ourselves been through physical and emotional abuse that would curl some peoples' hair. Some of us have been through illness and sadness that would take down the strongest titan. Some of us know what it feels like to suffer without end, to anguish without comfort, and to regret without forgiveness. Life on this planet is truly horrific if you look at it from certain angles. But along with the truly horrific comes the 'waking up'.
When something feels good, we don't change. We don't think about anything else. It's like being a turtle sunning on a log over a pond. As long as a good feeling is there, we don't move. We could stay like that forever, basking in feeling good. It wouldn't matter if something across the pond was flailing around for some reason, as long as it wasn't interrupting what feels good to us, no problem.
What wakes us up? Suddenly the sun is too hot and we've got to flip off the log back into the water. Or our stomachs growl to the point where basking no longer feels that good. What wakes us up is discontent. What wakes us up even more is when whatever caused the flailing across the pond comes to our side and either starts us flailing or eats whatever we were going to eat. Discontent becomes emotional. Emotion helps us deal with the disruption. We either fear and run, or grow enraged and attack. We want to bring the balance and good feeling back. Sometimes we have to fight for it. This world seems to be specifically geared to create discontent and misery. Those are what drive us to move, to think, to act.
That was about as simplistic as it gets, wasn't it? But that's where it all starts. We are a world of extremely discontented people, jealous of a few of the people who 'have it all' or who get to be powerful. We feel angry, fearful, and a whole bunch of other feelings about not being able to control a lot of things in our lives. We hang onto symbols and beliefs to 'get us through' when times seem hard. This is where 'letting go' begins. This is the kind of stuff Buddha and Yoda and Jesus and Mr. Spock and a bunch of others were going on about.
We are the ones who hold ourselves back. It's not the government, it's not our neighbors, it's not our parents, it's not our bosses. We are the ones who act and react. Some of us got more out of Vulcans and Jedi growing up than we did going to church, and as far as I'm concerned, if we have to create mythology to survive modern thinking, so be it. If it helps us follow the same path we were meant to be on anyway, so be it. Because all of this is already inside of us. This is what we feel as synchronicity. This is us waking up and noticing who we are in this 'reality' we are in.
We're almost done.
I wrote a post a few months ago called Stars on a blue spectrum where I wind up saying what I remember and want to get back to is ~joy~. Anyone following this blog knows I'm anti-happy. I think it's a very misleading concept. But what I am is pro-joy. I think joy is a much more intense happiness, a delightful happiness, a bliss not contingent on a thing or event. Joy comes from within. I believe joy is where we come from and go back to. I also believe that we are meant to be more than just content to soak up a little sun. Anyone who is born and dies on this planet is ~special~. This is the *hard* class. This is the class where we really get thrown into the grit and have a chance to come out with much more than those little gold stars we used to get in the 3rd grade on those timed addition tests. This world is an icon of challenge, and everything in it is geared to channel us to think and be and do. All our greatest stories, myths, legends, and movies are about personal challenge, trials and tribulations, and either growth or tragedy. Our physical bodies are perfect places for spiritual minds to develop.