Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When Irresistible Force Meet An Immovable Object

I simply do not know the answers to all the questions I have about life and the universe in which we live. However, I have long since come to the personal realization there is no conflict at all between the spiritual realm and the scientific realm. To my way of thinking both realms are necessary for supplying answers to the human condition.

Over the last few hundred years, we have come to know that we live in a rather benevolent region of our universe far from the violence of its central core. We also now know we occupy a position within our solar system which is remarkably benevolent and supportive of life. All around our small area of serenity, violence plays out on a cosmic scale.

What scientists and physicists are just beginning to understand is that this cosmic violence is cyclical and vital to life as we know it. Universes are born in big bursts of unfathomable energy. They expand and evolve for billions of years, then peak and begin to fall back into themselves and be consumed by black holes of enormous energy from which will eventually burst forth a new universe which will expand and evolve as well.

Strings of Matter
Other theories are beginning to augment our understanding of not just our own universe but of the multiverse which we now know makes up the totality of the creation. String Theory tells us the multiverse is full of billions of universes and like snowflakes, no two of these universes are the same. Some are large beyond comprehension. Some relatively small. Some are dark and cold. Some are bright and burn with the intensity of billions of stars (suns). Some are a mixture of bright stars and enormous black holes.

Each universe is a song that results from the vibration of strings of matter on a subatomic scale just like the song played by a string quartet of violins and viola in the visible world. Just as there are an endless number of songs that can be created for a string quartet, there are endless variations of universes which can result from the vibration of these strings of matter. What makes the strings vibrate? Physicists don't yet know. They just do. Perhaps they are the beat heart of the multiverse. Perhaps they vibrate at the hand of God. But no matter why they vibrate, they control everything and they make it what it is.

Perhaps it is fitting that violence, birth, destruction and rebirth are at the heart of both the universe and the multiverse since violence and struggle, birth, life and death are a part of each of us too.

I came to see long ago, unwillingly I might add, that struggle is vital to human life. As a boy, my father was constantly devising struggles to purposely introduce into my life. To be honest, at the time, I hated him for it. I thought he was just being mean. He's been dead for almost 30 years now; and when I look back, I thank him for those struggles he purposely saddled me with. Dealing with them made me what I am today. My life has been rewarding, interesting and filled with accomplishment beyond what I imagined possible. The reality is that it became possible through my Dad, sometimes harshly, filling my younger life with struggles to overcome and my Mom, always tenderly, guiding and encouraging me in in how I must face those struggles and overcome them.

Today, I don't purposely put struggles in other peoples lives. I did when my own kids were at home, but they are grown and successfully on their own now. I'm retired now. I know longer direct the work lives of a number of employees to whom I assign obstacles to overcome in exchange for their paycheck and their career development.

At this point in my life, my goal is to help those who are having problems dealing with the obstacles and struggles already in their lives because of poor choices, unlucky breaks, failure to recognize and accept realities or properly dealing with realities or varying combinations of failure in these vital life management areas.

I've mentioned my friend Pete in my blog before. Pete's a successful man in a very public job. Like all of us, his bisexuality gives him struggles with which he must deal. For him, learning to deal with his bisexuality is still very much a work in progress. He's making progress, but he has not yet successfully overcome the struggle.

He told me the other day he was talking with a friend of his about spiritual paradigms, a subject he and I had many discussions about. He said to the friend that paradigm shifts were like like the collision of two tectonic plates. He's right. That is an apt analogy. Any paradigm long established in our lives is difficult to change. Frankly, the church puts a lot of effort into brainwashing its members so that their religious paradigms will be impossible to change.

But Pete's friend surprised him when he replied, "Yes, but you know what happens when those two plates collide -- you get beautiful mountain ranges that provide all sorts of wonderful benefits; forest/timber, water for electricity, wildlife, beauty and many other things. Interesting huh?"


It is interesting and realistic. I might add that you get lush green peaceful valleys too. Too many people refuse to stop and think about the benefits of life's struggles and the joy and sense of peace overcoming those struggles can bring into our lives as well as the lives of those around us.

The truth is, behind every successful response to a life struggle, there is a paradigm shift. If our paradigms are already aligned as they need to be to handle a particular situation, there is no struggle. Struggle always requires a paradigm shift for it to be resolved constructively.

I told Pete I liked his friends analogy very much. I told him I had to admit that I always thought of the meeting of tectonic plates as resulting in earthquakes, volcanos and tsunamis. And these things do result from one tectonic plate scraping along side another or one plate sliding under another and being forced down while the other is force upward. But that is just the beginning of the struggle. Later, things calm down. Heat subsides, lava cools, scars are eroded by wind and rain and covered by vegetation. Volcanic rock and ash are broken down into the most fertile of soils.

So it is in our individual lives when we change our old paradigms and accept newer paradigms. The troubles with we humans are many when it comes to building new paradigms. We often want our cake left alone; but at the same time, we want to eat it. We often realize we are not happy with our current lives, but we are fearful of any new life. The devil we know somehow seems better than the devil we don't know; and so, we become stuck in inaction and unhappiness. We just give up on ever being happy. Sometimes we become martyrs telling ourselves we are sacrificing our own happiness for the happiness of others. But such sacrifice never achieves what we hope for it to achieve. Often we simply ruin our own lives and that of those around us whom we love.

I have dealt with a few people over the last two decades who have successfully built new paradigms and changed their lives in ways they could not have previously imagined. Some have found that contrary to what they thought, happiness was not to be found in the old paradigms but in the new ones.

Some came to have the insight to see that they can, in the end, only be responsible for themselves. They understand their paradigm shift will more than likely put a struggle into the lives of those they love. But at the same time the recognize it is not their obligation to make paradigm shifts for others though they can help others to make those shifts if the other is willing. If they are not, then one has to realize we are each responsible for how we react to the struggles life presents to us.

I said to Pete, "Your friends view of the process is definitely the brighter side of the process."

Pete replied, "Yes and it gives a longer term view to the benefits of the process."

Because it is so much easier to do, most people, never form new paradigms about their lives. They just continue to be unhappy, too frightened to change anything. It is a human tragedy in the making. That has always been clear to me. I have never been one to venerate the status quo. I have always embraced any change that is effective. I  have never seen the benefit of doing something simply because that is the way it has always been done. I have always lived in the real world while looking toward a new one.

I'd rather not have my cancer. But having it has cemented another paradigm within me. I live each day for today. I appreciate the here and now. I look forward to as many days as I have. I look to the past only in thankfulness for all I have been able to do and experience in my life.

Pete's observation is right on target. As far as we know for certain, we only get this one life on earth. Are you willing to give up happiness and everything that goes with it in the sort term fire, or are you willing to assume some risk for the benefits of the long term and the peaceful sheltering valley?

It's your decision.

Get it right for yourself!

Jack Scott





2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Peter. I glad you found it helpful and/or of interest.

      Best wishes.

      Jack Scott

      Delete

I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott