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Providential Dynamics

Tudor

Tudor (Photo credit: TBoard)

Yesterday, I saw an advertisement for a self help program. The tag line begged to ask the question, “What is the number one reason your dreams are failing you?”  

To me, this is a rather bizarre question, but I know what the program is probably getting at. So, I’ve decided to throw in my two cents on the subject.

Assuming you are an adult, at any given moment in time, you are exactly where you’ve lead yourself. You are exactly where and what you’ve always wanted. You are the fulfillment of your own dreams and aspirations. Even if you think this is not the case in your own life, it is you, and only you, who shifts the gears and steers the wheels toward your own destiny.

You are exactly where and what you’ve always wanted. You are the fulfillment of your own dreams and aspirations. The Cosmos will bend over backwards to get you what you’re asking for. Unfortunately, such providence is not in the rack of candy bars beside the checkout counter at the grocery store. The Cosmos is not set up for instant gratification. There tends to be a delay in the process. If your dreams are failing you, it’s probably because you’ve outgrown the ones that got you where you are today, replaced by new dreams and aspirations.

I should point out here that dreams and aspirations are not fulfilled from the thoughts of the conscious mind, which tends to be impetuous and hedonistic. Dreams and aspirations are fulfilled from the thoughts of the subconscious mind, which tends to concern its self with the survival and continuity of its mechanism. Your conscious desire to be a multi – millionaire may not be congruent with your subconscious desire to keep a consistent flow of food on the table.  The good news is, your pragmatic subconscious mind gets its view of the World from your impetuous conscious mind.

Lets examine this dynamic on a superficial level.

Lets say you have a thing for Tudor cottages. You think Tudor cottages are simply the coolest style of house in which a person could live. You want to build a Tudor cottage for yourself, and go live in it. You start gathering Tudor cottage blueprints, Tudor cottage wood, Tudor cottage nails, Tudor cottage sinks and Tudor cottage toilets. You marshal all your Tudor cottage stuff out to a spot in the woods, and start building yourself a Tudor cottage. You measure twice, cut once. line things up, and nail them together in Tudor cottage fashion. You are going to have yourself a Tudor cottage.

Somewhere along the process, you see a ranch style house … level, long, sleek, no stairs to climb. You start thinking how cool it would be to live in a house like that. Your tastes have evolved. You have a new dream, a new desire, a new aspiration. However, you can’t just stop working on your Tudor cottage, tear it down, and start building a ranch house. You have a lot of time, energy, and resources tied up in this Tudor cottage. All the stuff you have lined up for building a house is Tudor cottage stuff, not ranch house stuff. You then drudge through finishing your Tudor cottage to get a roof over your head.

Your dreams of building and living in a ranch style home did not fail you. They simply evolved away from your dreams of building and living in the Tudor cottage you already have in progress. However, if you keep the dream alive, you will more than likely build yourself and live in a ranch style home.

Hopefully, I won’t wait another two years to post an article on this blog. However, till next time, remember, you are spectacular, so dream big, and dream often.

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Think Upon a Star

” Twinkle twinkle little star,
” How I wonder what you are,
” Up above the world so high,
“Like a diamond in the sky.”

“Starlight,
” Star bright,
” First star I see tonight,
” I wish I may,
” I wish I might,
” Have the wish,
” I wish tonight.”

I know I combined two ancient starly folk poems. However, they work very well together … and they’re folk poems, very old, and of open source literature.

At this moment, I’m sitting outside in my sitting spot, pondering the stars in the night sky. These points of light in the sky have very little impact on my survival, and they all look pretty much the same for my vantage point. Yet, I can sit and study them for hours on end.

Making friends with the stars in the night sky makes me relaxed; I often even get drowsy. I wonder about what color they are up close, what they sound like, what they smell like, what they’d call themselves if they could give themselves a name. Sometimes I’ll astrally project myself up among them, and bounce around between them like a pin ball ball, or catch a moon near one of them, and kick up a bunch of dust.

My Protestant work ethic tells me this is a waste of time. Meanwhile, my Eastern Philosophy base, as well as my personal experience, tell me this is a worthwhile activity. Most of my revelations, epiphany, and realizations of Truth have come to me after contemplating the stars for a while.

I would say that these things come to me through resting the consciousness in an escapist activity … but I don’t get the same results from watching television. If we consider the dual nature of matter, known as The Observer Effect, I … you too … give the stars substance by observing them. Subsequent revelations, epiphanies, and realizations of truth just may be compensation from the Cosmos for your services … which the last four lines in the second poem above request.

You make the stars real. If that doesn’t make you spectacular, I don’t know what would.

Posted from WordPress for Android, and you know you’re spectacular.

Finding Your Why

We have a new year coming at us, and it will be here shortly. Think of all the possibilities. Think of all the good things waiting for you. Think of all the things you’re going to accomplish over the next twelve months. I’m sure you have a list of resolutions already prepared.

All too often, we write out our resolutions for the coming year, and file them in the garbage can shortly after the First of January. Our intentions seem to start out enthusiastic, but wane quickly with all the other things we have on our plate. We can’t seem to get the ‘how’ of our resolutions knitted into our agenda.

Someone once gave me a few great words of wisdom on this very subject. Once you determine what it is you want, figure out why you want it, and the how will fall into place. It’s one of the orders of the Cosmos.

Here’s an exercise to help you find your why. Take the first item from your list of resolutions, and write it on a separate piece of paper. You should do this with all your goals, but we’ll just focus on one for this exercise. The next step is to ask yourself why you want that item to come into fruition. Write the reason down. Next, ask yourself why that reason is. Write it down. Next, ask yourself why the previous reason is. Write it down. Do this at least four or five levels deep. The object is to get right down to the core motivation for your desire. Why do you really, really want this, and, do you really want it at all?

If nothing else, you may be surprised at what you find out about your particular desire. I was. I conducted this exercise with an all time favorite resolution, ‘I want to make a lot of money.’

I wrote down on a piece of paper, ‘I want to make a lot of money.’ In the first place, I should have specified an amount, and also specified a deadline, but that’s all another lesson for another time.

Next, I asked myself, ‘Why do I want to make a lot of money?’ I answered, ‘Because, I want to be able to pay for stuff when I want it.’ I wrote that answer down.

Next, I asked myself, ‘Why would I want to be able to pay for stuff when I want it?’ My answer, ‘Because, I don’t like being without things when I want them.’ I wrote that answer down.

Next, I asked myself, ‘Why do I not like being without things when I need them?’ ‘Because, I’ve already been there, and I’ve already done that, and I don’t want to go through it ever again.’

Next, I asked myself, ‘Why would I not want to go through ‘it’ ever again?’ I answered, ‘Because I’ve been cold, and I’ve been hungry, and I’ve worn rags, at the same time having other mouths to feed, faces to warm, and bodies to clothe, a burden on my friends and family.’

I will be honest with you, this particular exercise did conger up several unhappy memories. However, this was a small price to pay to get at the core ‘why’ of my goal. My analysis tended to indicate to me that my motivation was not necessarily to become flamboyantly rich, but to make enough money to be independent and free from excessive discomfort.

The point is, my core ‘why’ does not necessarily match my goal. I honestly would love to be filthy rich. I’d love to be able to run out on a whim and buy a brand new bass boat fitted with all the bells and whistles. Knowing my core ‘why,’ I am able to guide, and tweak it in such a direction that someday I may be able to do just that. However, for now, such activity, even on a much smaller scale, would contradict my core ‘why.’

Determine what you want from life; explore the reasons why. Fine tune your list. Get what you really want. You are spectacular.


From the Tiny Acorn Grows

There is an old saying. You’ve probably heard it. ‘From a tiny acorn, the mighty oak tree grows.’ It is a truism, oak trees grow from acorns; ‘acorn’ being the name given to the oak tree seed. This old saying is used as an analogy to demonstrate growth, or growing into. It is most often applied in my culture to give heart to children feeling diminutive, and insignificant.

This is a good saying to encourage children to look forward, to hope, and to dream about what they may turn out to be. However, there is much more wisdom in this saying than is commonly gleaned. It demonstrates much more than the potential for growth and greatness.

The acorn already knows what it’s going to be. It doesn’t even think about it, it is genetically programmed to become an oak tree. The acorn is not distracted by the glories of becoming a fireman, nor an astronaut. An oak tree is what it will become, come Hell or high water.

The acorn is focused on becoming an oak tree. It is genetically programmed to be so. In every moment of every day its every action is taken to become an oak tree. It doesn’t care about the weather, nor the Stock Market, nor its neighbors opinion. It will become an oak tree.

The acorn gathers to it all the resources at its disposal, and applies them to becoming an oak tree. It is genetically programmed to do so. It doesn’t bother with what it doesn’t need, nor does it waste the resources it has. If an acorn doesn’t need a second blender, it doesn’t buy one, no matter how shiny it is, nor how much it’s on sale.

Humans are not like acorns. Humans have so many things from which to choose, from what to become, from what to own, from what to do. While it is impossible for the acorn to become distracted in any way from its end result, it is difficult for the Human not to.

Conversely, the acorn can only become an oak tree. It can not become an astronaut, nor a fireman, nor a butcher, nor a baker, nor a candle stick maker. It will never be able to calculate a trajectory to the Moon, nor Mars, nor the Crab Nebula. It will never be able to write a book on stamp collecting, nor playing marbles. It will never be able to look up in the night sky and wonder of what the stars are made, nor how much force it would take to throw a rock from the Earth to the edge of the Cosmos, nor even question whether there is an edge to the Cosmos or not.

What can humans become that an acorn can not! The choices are theoretically endless. However, we need to make those choices if we are to become our own oak tree. We need to be our own type of acorn. We need to take a dream we have, and say ‘This is the one.’ We need to turn that dream into a goal. We need to stay focused on that goal, no matter what anyone says, and no matter what else is going on around us. We should apply our resources toward that goal, and not be wasteful of them. We may admire other endeavors, but we should stay diligent toward our own.

We should also remember, the acorn does not turn into an oak tree over night. It takes around 30 years for an acorn to become an oak tree; and even then, it’s still considered to be in its youth. It takes time to become an oak tree, but not to worry. The oak trees growth is marked in stages. It’s an acorn, and then it’s a sprout. Then it becomes a sapling, then a little tree, then a bigger tree, then a bigger tree still, and then, a dominating, prolific, majestic oak tree.

Dream a dream. Turn that dream into a goal. Plan to reach that goal. Work on that goal, stay with it, do not become distracted. You are spectacular, and how much more than an oak tree?

Dream a Little Dream

A while back, the blower on my old van wore out. I’m one of those old guys that don’t like to spend money unless he has to. I just let it go, as I really didn’t need it replaced at the time. However, winter is coming on out here in Nebraska, where one will often go outside to find a quarter-inch of ice on their windshield during the winter months. There is a need to have hot air blowing on ones windshield out here during winter, and, subsequently, and operating blower.

I’m not going to put a new blower in a twenty-one year old van. There’s a junk yard out here in a little town called Utica which seems to have just about any spare part for any vehicle a person would drive. Utica is about 25 miles West, and another 10 miles or so North of where I sit. So, off I went to secure myself another blower for the van.

The most efficient way to get to Utica from where I live is to get up on the interstate, and exit at another little town called Gohner. Gohner has all of 192 people living in it. Nebraska tends to be pock-marked with micro townships all over the place. Anyhow, one needs to get off at Gohner, drive a few more miles North, then West again several miles till one makes it to Utica.

I hadn’t been out that way for three, or four years, so I was really enjoying the view. Where I live, the land sort of roles in long, lumbering hills that one often can’t even tell they’re going up unless they’re on a bicycle. Out there toward Gohner, and Utica, the land gets flat as a pancake, and one can see trees balancing all the way out on the edge of the horizon.

I’m driving along, taking in the landscape, when the Gohner exit comes up on me, and I need to get off the interstate, and get on a regular state road. Just off the interstate, on the outskirts of the little town of Gohner, someone had constructed a frontier village. The village wasn’t very accurate historically for the area, as the buildings were made of logs, and not sod. I’m guessing sod is pretty hard to come by these days, so logs must have had to suffice. Anyhow, there was a livery stable, a saloon, a general store, all set up for tourist to stop in and recreate, including what appeared to be a frontierish looking playground for the kids.

Sadly, the project must not have worked out for the projector. Leaning up against the fence lining the frontier village was a large piece of plywood. Painted neatly in large letters on that piece of plywood leaning up against that fence were the words, ‘A dream died here.’

Seeing this sign didn’t ruin the rest of my jaunt, but it did make me feel sorry for whatever entities put this project together. There is something I may never have the opportunity to tell them, but I am going to take this opportunity to tell you. Dreams don’t die, they get abandoned. They may run into all kinds of problems, and setbacks, and oppositions, but they do not die. They get abandoned along the side of the interstate like a dog your landlord tells you you’re not allowed to have in the apartment.

Dreams don’t die. They are composed of thought energy, and sort of bounce around the Cosmos like radio waves. Leonardo da Vinci dreamt of a flying machine, but it didn’t come into fruition till a couple of hundred years later … others along the way picked up on the dream, and did what they could with it. Thomas Edison dreamt of illuminating the night, and he picked at it till it happened.

The idea that dreams die is defeatist. If you have a dream you can’t get put together, someone else will pick it up, and run with it. Go get another dream, and see how far you can take it.

You’re spectacular, dynamic. Stay that way. Get a dream, and work it.

A Visit with Psalm 23

I am a linguist by education. My language specialty is Hebrew, the language I studied most thoroughly. In linguistics, I’m what you might call a word harvester, but I’m not sure such a classification truly exists.

There is a funny thing about words. They have no meaning. They are only utterances, noises. They are like letters in a writing system. Letters are nothing more than squiggles on a page, unless one knows what the squiggles represent, facilitating the individuals interpretation of the combination of squiggles in context.

So it is with words. Our knowledge of these utterances, when produced systematically, allow us to interpret the intent of the utterer. However, even knowledge of each individual word  may still lead to confusion, and misinterpretation. I once had a friend from Peru, who spoke impeccable English, which is my mother tong. I wanted to express my emphatic appreciation for something, the details of which I can’t remember at this time. I sprung the antiquated idiomatic expressioncool and groovy‘ on him. He had a difficult time reconciling ‘a chilled state‘ and ‘having small, carved ruts‘ into the subject matter. We had to have a little talk.

Idioms permeate most, if not all, language systems. It is good to at least know they exist when interpreting. It is better to know the meaning of the idiom in addition to its respective parts. Sometimes we have to jump through hoops in order to get at the core meaning of an expression, or, at least help us gain a better understanding.

A while back, I read through Norman Vincent Peales book You Can if You Think You Can. I found it very interesting, and enlightening. One of the more interesting things I found in this book is an interpretation of Psalm 23, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd …’ Taken from a Japanese version of the Bible, it was then translated into English. I hope you find it as intriguing as did I.


Psalm 23

The Lord is my Pace Setter, I shall not rush;

He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals,

He provides me with images of stillness,

Which restore my serenity.

He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind,

And His guidance Is Peace.

Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,

I will not fret,

For his prescience is here,

His Timelessness,

His all importance,

Will keep me in balance,

He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity,

By anointing my mind with His Oils of Tranquility.

My cup of joyous energy overflows,

Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours,

For I shall walk,

In the Pace of my Lord,

And I shall dwell in His House forever.

Amen!

Source: You Can if You Think You Can by N. V. Peale, ©Norman Vincent Peal 1974,Prentice – Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, ISBN 0-13-972547-4

The Bengali Princess

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a young Marine Corporal. He was not too tall, but barrel chested, and thin waisted. There was a slow, drawling, Southern charm to his speech. The Sun in the places he’d been had baked his skin to a dark mahogany red. His beakish nose had been sportingly broken several times and each break had healed. The breaks of the nose had left it healed slightly off center, adding to his youthfully handsome face the air of ruggedness. Having come from an infantry battalion, the air of ruggedness he possessed otherwise had some basis in fact. Additionally, this young Marine looked pretty good in a uniform, and was generally squared away. All in all, this young Corporal was the epitome of a United States Marine.

The time was the early 1980s. The place was Calcutta, India, a very large city situated out in the jungles of the Bengal Plane. The young Corporal was me. I’d gone from hapless poverty to working in an American Consulate in about three very short and eventful years. I tend to think now that I was very full of myself at that time in my life, though I didn’t think so then.

Incidentally, I did get promoted to Sergeant a relatively short time later and moved on to an Embassy … not that being stationed at a consulate is diminutive.

To raise funds for the annual United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball, each Marine Detachment farmed out to the Department of State holds weekly parties in their Marine House. Each Marine House has a bar, and the parties focus around this feature. The parties are like a cocktail party, one doesn’t just walk into the Marine House without knowing someone at least familiar to the Marines. However, it’s like a regular bar on the street wherein one has to purchase their drinks. The party is called a TGIF, thank God it’s Friday, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept.

Once in a while the Ambassador or the Consul General will pop in to show their support. However, in general, the TGIFs are a forum for the more junior members of the diplomatic community to network, and hone their diplomatic skills.

One Friday night during a TGIF, a fellow Marine and I were sitting at the bar. I noticed a girl. Her escort was introducing her around to those in attendance. The girl was ugly. She looked like someone had shaved a jungle monkey, wrapped it in a silk sari, and brought her to the Marine House as a guest. In fact, my ship mate and I were making jokes between ourselves about someone playing a practical joke by shaving a jungle monkey, wrapping it up in a silk sari, and bringing it to the Marine House. I’m sure we were not as discrete as we could have been, not that we should have been making fun of a guest anyhow.

When she moved on to greet another grouping of guests, I noticed this little jungle monkey wrapped in a silk sari floated with cultured grace across the room. Charming! Yet, the cloisterdly sophomoric giggles and wise cracks between my ship mate and I about the girl did not abate.

The girl and her escort made their way round to my ship mate and I sitting at the bar. Of course, we suddenly became the most gentlemanly and friendly of those present. I know for a fact that the girl didn’t buy into it, but she was very nice anyhow.

Up close, the girls eyes were bright and inquisitive. Every move she made was graceful. When she spoke, she had the voice of an angle with an alluring Ragite accent. She was a Siren. Suddenly, in the place in my head where cartoons are born, I saw in my future a house full of little jungle monkeys causing mayhem, each spoiled rotten by their father, and each sporting mahogany red skin and a very large, beakish nose. I think I’d fallen a little bit farther than in lust for this ugly young woman, whose initial presentation did very little justice to the depth of her person.

The girl was very polite, overly polite, and did not linger long with my ship mate and I. Despite my best efforts to get this girls attention again, and attempt to develop a relationship, she would have little to nothing to do with it.

A lot of what I talk about is reflective, how the person can better deal with themselves internally. However, we should not ignore the external World, and all it has to offer. In particular, we should not ignore the needs and feelings and accomplishments and potentials of our fellow Humans. Who knows what that bum on the street, down on his luck at the moment, may have in store for the benefit of Mankind, and who knows whether or not that jungle monkey you’re making fun of at a party is actually a princess sent to make your life full and happy.

Treat other people as though they are going to give you the best that they can, you might just get it out of them.

You are spectacular.