I have a few words of cheer for you from The Holy Spirit, who either “doesn’t… or may or may not…exist” in your book. But, I don’t think you’ll mind this New Year’s Greeting from Him:
Do You have any comments for the Atheists and Agnostics among us?
Yes, I do and no, I don’t! On the one hand, I would probably be a member of their club. On the other hand, they don’t believe in Me, so how can I talk to them? I think that we really are united, once you take the odious interference that religions have plagued them with, over the millennia. Atheists have the right to be Atheists. That’s how I set things up in the first place! Nobody has to believe in Me, or anything else, for that matter. This is a Free Will universe and anything goes. Of course, that means that everyone takes their chances and must learn to live with the results of their decisions. But, they should be completely free to form, and to live by, their own conclusions.
Religions have done many good things and have been the source of happiness for countless numbers, but they can make life pure hell for people who disagree with them. That destroys free will, so that turns Me away from their close-mindedness. If religions could only relax and not be threatened by someone else’s opinion. Let Me tell you something! I don’t even want to get started on this point. Atheists are choir boys, compared to some of the venal activities performed in My Name. That’s why they turned Atheists, in the first place!
How about Agnostics? Are they just junior Atheists?
I think they are. So many of them want desperately, desperately, desperately to believe in something, but they can’t find anything tasty on the long table spread with every religion’s offerings. Nothing appeals to them, but they do believe in Me. Yes, they do, but they don’t dare articulate it, and this name, Agnostic, is a word that gives them a refuge to hide behind. They are not saying that they don’t believe in God. They are just leaving things up in the air and holding onto a shred of hope that something may come down the pike to explain things in non-material ways.
Meanwhile, both Atheists and Agnostics take comfort in Science, don’t they? At least, that’s a bird in the hand.
Let Me tell you something! I love these Atheists and Agnostics! I love their purity of mind, and most of all, I love their independence and their free will, so much! Tell them that I said:
“Hello! Come and have tea with Me, sometime! I’m hanging around you all the time, because I love your refreshing look at things. Carry on the good work!”
Ever since I can remember, I have identified with these acid-based protozoa, who just dissolve all sorts of fantasies spun by the romantic disillusionment of those who see things according to their own design. There is no room for any free-thinking within many of these ancient constructs. So, I call for more fresh air to come flowing in the portals of the world’s monasteries, so that we can all have a part in the exploration of God’s Truth.
It’s customary, at the end of the year, to sum things up. And so, I will try to do the same.
My head is full of all of the points contained in my next book, which should be published around February, 2010. Rather than quoting any small piece of it, as I’ve done many times here in these blogs, I shall try to sum up a little of its meaning. This book is: In secret diffusion, by Linda Layli, Layli Linda. I’m putting it out under my spiritual name, because that’s the one I use in relating to the Upper Kingdoms, where I received the information contained within it.
How I came by that name is probably what every reader will want to know first. When I began to communicate, back and forth, with The Holy Spirit, I was asked to choose a spiritual name. What? Why? I had no idea how to pick out a meaningful name for myself. But then I recalled that I’d been told about one of my previous lives, when I was Layli Gundrich, who had also been in close touch with The Holy Spirit. I simply combined our first names. Couldn’t decide which arrangement sounded best, so I kept both of them. Simple as that. They don’t “mean” anything significant, as far as a translation. Just two sing-songing names, bouncing together.
Nowadays, we invent names for ourselves every time we create a new email address, but this was before the time of our self-naming sophistication.
Okay, how to sum up? This New Year’s Eve marks the end of the first decade past the start of the year 2000. Can you believe it? Already ten years down the new road?
Our planet has turned a corner and walked away from a Third World War, which we came mighty close to falling into, there at the end of the millennium… before the fall of the Soviet Union. We tend to discount the danger now, but another war would have been fatal for the planet. Many of us suspected it then, and we still almost pulled the trigger on ourselves. It looks as if we’re now tottering into some kind of a safety zone. Not out of the woods, but coming along. That brink of World War Three was more serious than any of us knew and it would have obliterated things completely. Unknown Forces were hovering around. Not to save us, but to keep this particularly infectious contagion of a Third World War from spreading into the solar system. Earth would have proven to be a malignancy.
As a planetary civilization, we are not alone in the Cosmos, by any means, and we actually don’t rank very high on the scale of advancement compared to many others. Earthlings haven’t earned their wings, in terms of space travel and investigation, so we have not yet been introduced to our neighbors. However, this planet has long served as both a laboratory and a farm for Higher Cultures, and what we have suspected about alien visitors was frequently the truth. Our naivete has been encouraged, to keep us in the dark.
If Earth’s space science were a human being, it would be a ten-year-old boy, fascinated with bottle rockets, but very clever and capable of advancement; if only his planetary parent society was willing to stop bickering, spend money in his direction, and encourage the necessary education. As is true of many parents, they are, overwhelmed and distracted with domestic problems and are not paying keen attention to this precocious son.
Since unity among the civilizations of any planet is a prerequisite to joining the Country Club of Interstellar Explorers, it really doesn’t matter if those wrangling parents have their head in the sand about the child’s potential, or not. Earth still appears to be struggling to uphold disunity among its national and religious identities and until that is solved, any ambitious space program will be kept leashed fairly closely to Earth’s atmosphere, with only a few exploratory probes allowed to wander out, simply snapping harmless photos of far-away stars.
So, taking care of business here at home has to be the focus of our next decade or two, as usual. We do, however, seem to be lurching along in somewhat the right direction. Perhaps, in this upcoming decade, we can all join hands and learn how similar we are! Let’s get to work on that idea and see where we come out.
Novel, but possible!
I’ll continue to share a few quotations from my new book, In Secret Diffusion. This time, I asked The Holy Spirit another question dealing with animals:
Eating meat? Do You have any objections if humans do that and go to the length which obtaining it entails?
“We do not object too much, but some meats do not agree as much as others do. Some are high in fat, and obesity is a great burden on people who indulge their meat preferences towards these heavily-laced, fatty meats. We also want you to know that the animals would not mind giving their flesh to the humans if they were treated much better. Often, they have no quality of life during their raising, and especially, during their slaughter. This is an imbalance that should be corrected by civilized people.”
But, on Christmas Day, I will be serving turkey and ham to my guests as you will to yours and we will all enjoy a wonderful meal. Perhaps as our civilization advances, we can find ways to follow His advice a little more closely and not only feed these animals more natural foods during their lives but find more humane ways to make their slaughter more merciful.
Enjoy your holiday and don’t get caught in any snowstorms!
I thought I’d share this quotation with you from my upcoming book, In Secret Diffusion, since these are the days I’m working hard to get it ready for my copy editor. Over the past eleven years, I have been having long conversations with The Holy Spirit, and have finally decided to share an ongoing interview with Him, a’la Barbara Walter’s style. I loved this answer so much, that I have finally settled on a phrase from this dear quotation as the title of my book. Since I will be publishing under a pseudonym, please help me keep my secret…about In Secret Diffusion.
Do animals pray, or talk to You?
“Yes, they do and no, they don’t. Animals do connect with Me at all times, but they don’t even think about making a special effort to talk to Me and articulate their needs. They know that I know. I know that they know.
We are always in touch, mentally, in secret diffusion. It’s different than a human consciousness’s connection and animals are not being morally-tested down here in this environment.
They are under no obligation to regain a communication with Me, or to light their fire inside of their hearts. This is a particularly human test. Animals are really quite pure-hearted and following their own self-preservation instincts. This world appears different to them, even if they share the same environment with the human race.”
The Holy Spirit
This posting is written, predominately, about my duplicate appearance on the Bootsnall.com website blogs, where I copy all of the entries written here. That’s a large, backpacking and hosteling site which I have belonged to for many years because it caters to around-the-world travelers. At first, of course, all of my material was written on the road, from whatever country I might have been in at the moment. That fit right in with the young crowd who does that sort of thing and hangs out at the Aussie site: Bootsnall.
I strayed from the backpacking theme when I wrote and published my first book, as I have done since I returned from my four month’s trek throughout South America, in April, 2009. Lately, I have been writing about metaphysical subjects as I work them into my current book under production. Anyway, I’ve been writing regularly on both sites for about a year-and-a-half, and believe that I’ve built up quite a reading audience. Well, frankly, I can’t tell how many of you come only to this heyboomers site, because my site designer has not made the behind-the-scenes capability available to me.
But, la te da! I can get into it on the Bootsnall site, and I have become fascinated with counting hits for every blog. Bootsnall is a very big site, with a world-wide membership, filled with links, and whatever else puts it ahead on the search engines; so I naturally suppose that my readership would be larger there, than on my own, personal site at www.heyboomers.com. Wish I could compare. I will ask again for that feature from my designer.
How long has our species been fascinated with gadgets? Well, how long have gadgets been around? I’m famously out of the loop, but when I found out about this statistical analysis, available to register the waves that my words could set off, I began to watch closely. One set of colored bars shows how many hits I have had each month since the beginning, almost eighteen months ago. Another set shows how many hits I get each day, and even breaks that down between unique IPs and others. My assumption is that a unique IP is a computer that has a business reason for checking the site, such as employees of Bootsnall, as well as myself. They don’t exactly qualify as fans, who simply want to see what I have to say each time.
Other bar graphs report cumulative totals for various days of the week, and hours of the day, and lots of other information that I don’t know how to interpret. I’m like this newbie, running around an engineering office, trying to draw conclusions. One thing that I noticed was that my bars were all begining to go Green, ever since September. That means that my hits were totaling somewhere between 1500 – 1600 per month, consistently. When I checked the graph showing the running total for the current month, I began to see that some days registered a decent, but unexciting, 30-40 hits. However, out of the blue, several days a month, the figure would shoot right up to 150-hits, or more, whether I had written a new blog, or not. This pattern went on for three months.
I wasn’t posting daily. Not all the time, anyway. Usually, once or twice a week except when I got on a roll and had a series to write about. Bootsnall has a central page, which announces the titles of all new blog postings, and maybe my “fans” also had RSS feeds to let them know when I had posted a new entry; but the weird thing was, that The Club (my 150 hit days) didn’t always come in conjunction with any new posting. What was going on here?
Well, I had learned about junk advertising comments from my heyboomers site, because every few days, I have to clean off the spam sent by the leech-machines that get hold of one of your posts and pretend to make a comment, hoping that you will accept it and let it show on your site. Maybe that gives internal control to their leech-machines, or maybe they foolishly hope that one of my readers will become fascinated with their ability to supply cheap Viagra. Whatever! I just spam them away.
But, because of these two independent pieces of information about how blog sites work, backstage; I made the brilliant assumption that my 1500 plus, monthly Bootsnall hits must be mainly coming from these mindless machines which were simply visiting my site in order to infect it. They wouldn’t care, or know if I had put up a current posting because they latch onto old ones and just keep coming in on those. I know this from cleaning off my own site. I have even erased a very good former piece of writing because it had so many spammers attached. Apparently, deleting doesn’t help. They still show up on my site, though the post is long-erased. Nasty little buggers, these.
Naturally, I didn’t bear the responsibility to clean the spam off of the Bootsnall site, and that’s probably what those unique IPs were doing. But, it made sense that anyone who had kept writing for so long, would naturally attract barnacles.
Shoot! There goes my slim impression that I was making a dent in the world.
So, I decided on a test. I would stop posting on Bootsnall for a few weeks and see if the hits kept coming at the same, unrelenting rate. If they did, it would prove that I was being attacked by leech-machines; and not intelligent life, bent upon finding out what brilliance was about to be unveiled this time. I wrote a small explanation that I was conducting “marketing research” and had not fallen off the planet. This note went up on November 24th and is still wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving. I had planned to stay gone a month and to start up again with a Merry Christmas.
But, I might have enough of an indication already that the hits are human, after all. !!!
My daily rate has fallen to anywhere between 3 and 16 hits; but, every now and then, I will have a 33, a 47, or a 51-hit day, when there’s really nothing new to read. So far, I’ve had a grand total of 250 hits in the first two weeks of December, whereas, before I’d be at around 800-900, by now, and wondering if I could, yet again, bust into the green range and keep my record going.
There have been no big, 150-hit days though, like used to happen, when I imagined The Club swinging through with all their impersonal machines firing off spam, on some huge cyber schedule. So, therefore, it’s beginning to look as if there are no machines!
If you are human though, why are you all behaving like a school of fish? Why do you all hit at once, especially if I haven’t posted anything close to that day when you all show up? Ahhh me, I believe that I have just identified one of the latest Mysteries of Life!
Note to Self: Linda! Get a life!
Today, I shall tackle the last grown-cold, yellow-pad notes I jotted down many days ago. At the time, I was on a roll with analogies, though I didn’t have any immediate need for them. Not wanting to waste a good idea, I captured them sketchily, and this last one actually got a bit of fleshing-out at the time, so here goes:
Let’s say that some New Age Analyst gave you a survey sheet to fill out. There’s this question about “Which chakra are you working out of?” which many people have chosen to leave blank because they don’t deal with the modern terminology brought by the gurus, and they have no idea what a chakra is. They don’t know about the seven, invisible, spinning light vortexes along the human spine, which go from the red root chakra at the tailbone, all the way to the bright white light beaming from the top of the skull. They don’t know that people tend to favor one region of their spiritual development and might even be stuck in a chakra, without knowing it.
Those who operate out of the root chakra, lead with their raw emotions and are heavily into the material side of life. Traveling up through the orange and yellow chakras in the abdomen and solar plexus, one combines the personal, emotional, material outlook with a growing concern for others, until the green heart chakra begins to care more for the general welfare than one’s own. The blue throat chakra expresses that concern outwardly through the voice, and the purple third eye of the forehead sees into the spiritual natural of all things. Finally, the brilliant crown chakra indicates a direct concern with God. So, the question as to which is your current chakra address is really an evaluation of where your energy is being directed.
But, what if our New Age Census Taker has figured out a way to get around this problem of our American general unfamiliarity with that line of questioning? What if they have couched this in the way of a shopping guide for an imaginary condominium? Let’s see if it would work:
Imagine yourself coming to a fine new condo complex prepared to buy a new apartment. You will be shown around by an agent and, according to your tastes, needs, and budget, you will pick out the one choice that is best suited for you. Here is the tour you’ll be taken on:
Basement studios – These are the least expensive – small, modernly efficient and attractive, they have no natural light or windows. Pets are okay, and these apartments are very convenient to the outside street, pool, and yard. Nearby liquor store, fast food court, grocery, and subway access puts all city conveniences at your fingertips. However, it’s noisy, because of the popular nightclub in that same basement, which operates till early morning hours. Consequently, there’s a fairly rapid turnover of neighbors, but the upside is that you will not be asked to take on any building management responsibility. They also infer that you can sneak in overnight guests and no one will be the wiser.
Ground Floor One-Bedroom Apartments – These are larger, plain, modern window apartments, still very affordable. There’s a nice lobby and though there’s still noise from street and entry traffic, it is the pool, yard, and cafe level. Pets and one child allowed. There’s a rapid turnover and you tend not to know the neighbors very well, but you have no building responsibilities.
2nd – 10th Floors – Two & Three Bedroom Apartments – Family floors, larger and pricier, much nicer apartments with friendly neighbors, pets okay. There’s a Montessori play school at one end of the third floor and a beautiful social lounge and a classy, quiet, fine-dining restaurant located on the 6th floor. Very little turnover, and these owners are part of the building cooperative with a stake in the ownership and running of the condominium, therefore, they share some responsibility. They all enjoy large windows and beautiful views, with very little outside or inside noise.
11th Floor Executive Apartments – These are the balcony, exclusive apartments, with their own elevators, expensive, very elegant and quiet; pets and children are not allowed and neighbors are non-intrusive and stable. These residents have a large stake in the building ownership and a very active part in its management, as well as the profit generated.
The Penthouse – Very large and elegant, surrounded by a lush roof garden with its own pool. Quiet and lovely. Extremely expensive. No neighbors. No children, no pets. Private elevator. The one choosing this apartment has controlling ownership in the building and is the President of the Residents Association. They carry the overall responsibility for the success of the venture. A yacht slip at the nearby marina is included.
So, at the end of your tour, simply fill out your form and select your apartment. Of course, in real life, all of us are constrained by the realities of the pocketbook. But, we also have personal tastes which tell us what floor we might actually more completely enjoy living on. That’s the side you must listen to when filling out this form. What lifestyle best speaks to you, right at this moment?
That will very likely match the chakra that you are now working out of.
The fun thing about analogies is, that once you have set one up, everyone can talk about an abstract concept in a central way. At least, they all start out on the same page and can define, or refine, as they go along. Then, others can see what each person is talking about, even if they don’t totally agree with them. It’s also very creative to see how far such a story can be taken. These are very handy when planning a speech or a class. A little analogy goes a long way.
My blogs these days, are trying to resurrect a few yellow-pad analogy notes I jotted down a little while ago:
1.) Life as a boot camp, rather than a school: That life’s purpose is actually more focused, and deliberately a lot tougher, than simply enrolling for classes and aiming towards some degree or other and then maybe using it in a career…or not.
2.) Life as a boardwalk carnival: That our everyday behavior and casual choices do add up to affect, not only our future, but that of the whole society, the whole planet. Also, that hidden consequences may pop up at any time.
3.) Which chakra are you working out of? Which apartment would you choose if you had to live in a very tall high-rise apartment building, considering the advantages, costs, and qualifications of each? Tomorrow’s subject.
All analogies contain weaknesses, or exceptions to the rule, that can sometimes be used to prove the very opposite. But that weakness gives flexibility, so that a point can be examined from many sides. Take yesterday’s blog about the boardwalk, for example. I actually ended it in a manner that I don’t wholeheartedly believe in. If you recall, the jury was out, as to what the New Millennium owners were going to provide in their rebuilding of a future boardwalk, and the indication was that the people might get exactly what they had “voted” for in their unthinking consumerism.
If the Market had the deciding vote, perhaps all future eateries would be fast food establishments, heavy on the grease and corn syrup; and there wouldn’t be an organic restaurant among them. Similar, common-denominator tastes might hold in all of the activity and entertainment venues. Perhaps that might still be the case, if we’re thinking of the material world alone. Unless folks who value the better stuff take an energetic stand and do what many public warning voices are urging us to do.
Actually and truly, I don’t think that yesterday’s example is where we are headed, but that is one probable outcome for the analogy. What if the boardwalk’s New Millennium Owners were actually taking things in hand for themselves rather than counting the purchasing-power votes of the people? What if they were only going to provide venues of the highest order? Places displaying the finest arts and symphonies, appealing to the more rarefied tastes; restaurants serving the best and healthiest foods; and children’s activities that were great fun but also educational. What if the Market didn’t matter to them, at all? And, what if it were all free?
Oh, but who is going to supply the common taste? Where are the beer and pretzels? Great agitation. But, if it’s free, who cares?
Then, on opening day, the crowd assembles at the gate. Great consternation! Only those whose old ticket books proved that they had always been patrons of that upper end of the boardwalk: of those concert halls and specialty restaurants, would be admitted. Sorry, other folks. Go home! It’s not for you.
Doesn’t this sound a great deal like St. Peter’s Gates? The great elimination? Could be, because this has been spelled out in most Holy Books as a cautionary tale, that what you do today will make a big difference in where you find yourself tomorrow. Pearly Gates, Golden Streets, Mansions… They are all analogies. But, they all carry the same warning about the future. There is a great deal to them, even though their realization might not include the actual, physical description in the story.
Don’t forget, the millennial rollover carried quite a set of these analogies. Don’t cross them off too early in the game. Visuals are very handy. But, they are also easy to pass off as “just stories,” until suddenly, events start adding up. Most of the morals to these stories have everything to do with refining character and becoming spiritualized. Come to think of it, that’s how most children’s stories end, as well, isn’t it.
P.S. In case I’m sounding too snootier-than-thou, let me say that I’m not a heavy patron of the arts, nor do I eat at swanky restaurants, (I’d love to, if I could afford them…but so would everyone) though I do tend towards organic eating. I’m right in the middle with the rest of you folks. But, analogies often have extremes at either end, as does life. Can you take this point any further? This sort of open-ended story is a lot like Silly Putty and can be worked and re-worked. The point is really to get people thinking about outcomes and possibilities.
Okay, tomorrow I’ll leave the boardwalk behind and try to sell you a condo. See you then!
(Hi Ruthanne, dear friend, thank you for commenting on yesterday’s post. You are absolutely right and we both actually think quite eye to eye. Sometimes, we simply have to “get tough” with our own selves, though, if we’re ever going to complete a task within some reasonable time frame, or stay on an intended track that would advance our overall plan. That’s true of myself, at least.)
Okay, I’ll see if I can resurrect these cold notes and complete a thought started over a week ago. It’s a half-baked idea at the moment; hot when first sketched out here on my yellow pad, but not now. I love analogies. They help me see more clearly; help me describe my thoughts in telegraphed form. But, things die by the wayside, when a day gets too busy to tend to all these little shoots. The next thing I know, that budding plant has wilted. I have a very lazy drill sergeant; I’m afraid, which sometimes means the blogging gets ignored altogether. Let’s see if this one can be revived.
Okay. Imagine a boardwalk on the Jersey Shore. There’s been a long-standing carnival going on and crowds have been enjoying it for years. This would represent life as it has been lived up till the time of the New Millennium, and I’m thinking of the changes that are afoot in these new days… not yet all THAT obvious, because “nothing happened” at the turn of the century, if you were looking for the four horsemen, or if you expected that y2k computer bug to shut everything down. Piece of cake! Nobody talks about those things any more, but they sure did just before New Year’s Day, 2000. Remember?
Still, think of all the gadgets that have come into use since 1999, just ten years ago. Think of the websites you can’t live without – YouTube, Twitter, and whatall. Was social networking even around a decade ago? It’s been so subtle, who can remember?
But, changes…they are occurring, all quiet-like. The warming of the planet is winning believers, as northern seas remain ice free and chunks of coastline fall into the water.
Confusing stuff is going on in economics – both public and personal. Things shift, but what else is new?
Really and truly, history has been full of all sorts of changes, forever. Nothing really new here, is there?
Not exactly. But, there’s the possibility that a “new carnival” has come to town. Unless we discount all of the “news stories” represented by prophecies of old, contained in many more than one spiritual source; or dire warnings by scientists about our old, polluting behavior and its dreadful effect upon our planet-host; or signs warning of a coming paradigm shift, even End Time movies and books. All are still very easy to ignore and to argue about.
Let’s look at our earth life as if it’s a Boardwalk, which has enjoyed a long run, a true heyday. People always bought their season tickets and got them punched for entry to the many venues and exciting rides and food stands. Their dog-earred ticket books are testimonies to the votes they cast for all the best places, in their estimation. Patrons could even suggest new ideas for attractions and if they proved popular, those were kept beyond a trial period. In this way, the Boardwalk stayed in tune with customer-demand and kept the people happy and returning.
It was all lined up, according to tastes, with the Opera House and Symphony Hall on one end and sleazy bars and dance halls on the other, with everything else in the middle. Plenty of family, Disney-type attractions, too. Something for everyone. That was life and It went smoothly for a long, long time.
But, what if the place burned down? Or got bought-out by a corporation? Or whatever? What if change occurred?
What was going to crop up in its stead? Could we keep the lifestyle that we’d all become accustomed to? We’d worry, wouldn’t we? Hoping that our favorite attraction would come back, even better than before.
Let’s imagine that the new owners would have a way to total up all the votes cast at doorways over all the years. Everybody’s innocent fun was going to determine what the new boardwalk would look like, because that’s apparently where the money is. The market is about to speak. Those new owners don’t really care whether its a good idea or a bad idea; as long as it’s a profitable idea.
What will we wind up with? What has our unwitting, collective self decided? All we have now are clues that something is under construction. Will the Arts come back, even though fewer people attended? Are the kids going to get healthy, upbeat places to spend their time; or just a lot of video arcades? How about the party life?
How have we voted, Folks?
I have heard people say that “Life is a School,” and I’ve often used that analogy myself to explain the tests and hard lessons that it obviously contains. You know, we do go through various stages as we move through the age categories and our responsibilities grow so much more difficult to maintain. But then, our experience and maturity should be developing, as well; so that the senior class is much more equipped and expected to succeed than the poor little freshmen, just out of junior high. Nothing wrong with that analogy.
But, let’s look at life as if it’s a Boot Camp; which in actual fact, does become the destination for a certain number of graduates down here in our real life. Since my only impression of boot camp comes from movies, (G.I. Jane among them), I’m sure that many of you soldiers can fill in this comparison well beyond the surface that I’m going to offer here. Life, school, and military training are similar, in that they all offer a linear time period, filled with certain requirements, that we must successfully master in order to progress.
However, life’s Campus/Base is an invisible one, so that, quite frequently, its enrollees don’t even know there’s a program. Things are really subtle around here. Where’s the teacher carefully explaining the material and holding our feet to the fire with tests and grades? Where’s the drill sargeant barking in our face, day and night, ruling over us and leaving no freedom (or necessity) for personal choice? Where are the Rules? Where are the Rewards? Where’s the wipeout? How about medals? Glory, guts, graduation? Time out? Spring Break? R&R?
Life just goes on and on, often un-dramatically. Is anybody watching? Does anybody care? Some people are breezing through, as if they’re on a green, leafy campus with classes of their choosing; while others are slogging through mountains wearing heavy packs, or dodging bullets on their belly in the mud. And they might even live right in the same town. Might be next door neighbors…except, one has a safe, thirty-year mortgage and a good job; and the other faces homelessness when the bank forecloses.
And that’s just a snapshot of the moment, not their whole life’s story. Who knows, maybe the one emerges from that period with a four-year-degree in Fine Arts, but no job skills; and the other comes out as a Green Beret or a Navy Seal. It’s happening all the time, all around us, and who can say what the end result will be?
However, let’s follow the boot camp idea for awhile: In the Real Man’s Army, you would have a drill sergeant bellowing orders, commanding your every action and pushing you to limits you never imagined achieving. He’s on your case; he knows what he’s doing; and is determined to get you there even if you hate him for it. Unless you wash out, he will hone you to your highest potential.
In real life, you have no drill sergeant dedicated to the task of transforming you to be all you can be. No one is on your back, taking the guesswork out of life. You must be your own taskmaster. Therefore, you might doubt that this analogy is the case. In the real Army, there are obstacle courses, which look exactly like what they are: mud, barbed wire, high fences, rope walks, mountain passes, booby traps, mazes and ambushes. You know to be on your guard and keep all senses alert. You know that you must draw upon your hidden reserves.
Life has things like that, too; but many times, innocent-looking, easy places pose the most challenging obstacles where the dangers are far more subtle. When nobody kicks you out of rec’ rooms; makes you stop wasting time; keeps you on-track…you often tend to just sleep-in or get drunker and drunker.
A boot camp is short and intense. You either make it or you don’t. Life, itself, is generally long and tiresome. The goals are not so clear, and once achieved, don’t always remain so. Possibly, he who becomes wealthy is actually wiping out; and he who plugs diligently along at a simple craft, is actually making it through. Again, no drill sergeant, no scoreboard. But, plenty of obstacles.
However, if we can consciously grasp and hold onto the Boot Camp Analogy during this long and often tedious course that we’ve all landed in; perhaps we can develop a sort of drill sergeant philosophy about getting ourselves through it in one piece as a survivor of the inevitable obstacles; applauding ourselves for remaining on our own two feet and still in the game, with a pretty good chance of graduating successfully. All it takes is knowing the ropes!
Good luck, everybody!