What’s a fart anyway? A tiny bubble of trapped gas that works its way to the surface, much to everyone’s chagrin. What’s a Deepwater Horizon Explosion, but a tiny bubble of methane trapped down in the undersea bowels of the Earth, which one day, silently and unexpectedly worked its way through a slender BP drilling pipe; expanded into an ever-more-deadly bubble, and caused a ka-boom heard ’round the world.
“Oh, goodness gracious me! That wasn’t supposed to happen!”
Sometimes, it’s just too obvious to deny who’s the guilty party. All the fanning motions in the world won’t absolve the source of the toot if the guilty party stands alone in the big round room. All eyes turn to stare, all cameras begin to whir and the internet has a field day. Silence falls. Nothing can be heard except the booms that continue to emerge from an unrepentant and unaccountable derriere.
The hostess swishes out the room spray. To no avail.
The proper Britisher, so suave just yesterday, blushes in the awful limelight. Mumbling apologies, he scans the exits; wishes someone else would have a worse misfortune at just that moment; empties pockets to soothe troubled dancers suddenly too shocked to have fun.
One tourist-filled archipelago along an earthquake-shattered fault line would do just fine! Would swing the public mindset onto rescue vehicles as neatly as a dancer’s double hip fracture during a particularly vigorous swing dance would take attention back where it belongs. On someone else!
But, drat it all, the music has stopped. Revelers stand in utter silence, joining “hands across the sand” in sudden photogenic protest by water sites around the world. Such staring! It goes on and on….wanting explanation….prying into private life and prandial secrets… requests for logs of former incidents, movements and preventive measures, as well as unborn future bubbles and potential noisy embarrassments. What is any gentleman to do under these grave circumstances? Look serious and wipe the brow; promise amends, fervently wish for yesterday, and think of happy thoughts. Sailing, for instance.
And yet, the nightmare becomes ever more sticky and inescapable. One can’t swear off the guilty substance. One wants One’s petroleum jelly!
Speaking as if to a congress of souls, by way of explanation, the poor fellow summons heartfelt words, thinking of what The Crown would say in this case:
“They say One’s sea cows are mad… Nonsense! They say One’s drilling is diabolical! It looks just fine to Me! But there’s one thing they’re bang-on about: One wants One’s BBP!”
Shall I drill for you, Sir? Quite!”
The dancers too, are addicts all. Their pockets are deeply lined with the goo, yet they insist upon their public inquisition.
“What caused your dreadful Toot?” they all say, interminably. “Is it likely to happen again? We surely think it will! You must guarantee a certifiably failsafe gut, before we invite you to our parties again. And when, oh when, will this one stop? And what about our dividends?”
He answers meekly, “The doctors say it’s a bad case of gas. Or perhaps a case of bad gas. Too soon to tell. We’re running tests, you know. But, certainly it’s over. I have a lot of experts working on it. It’s an isolated incident. So sorry. My apologies for spoiling your party. I’ll just be toddling off right now. The check will be in the mail tomorrow for all the grief this caused.”
Truth to tell, no party guest wants his own supply line cut. Nor prices raised again! Nor jobs lost. So, they all lobby amongst themselves for more offshore drilling… “But under better supervision.” These Dixieland Scarlett O’Haras simply want the music and the dancing to continue, and will worry about such uncouth civil nuances tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the current media darling hobbles home, praying for some natural disaster in a mountain fastness across the globe to distract the fickle public. Anything will do….except a hurricane… say…. Alexander, The Great Hurricane. He shudders at the wind-related jokes to come of that and the fun that upstart bloggers would again have at his expense.
(If you liked this post, you’ll love In Secret Diffusion: The Upper Realm Answers Questions About Earth, by Linda J. Brown, soon to be available in all locations.)
I live on the Gulf Coast of Central Florida, so the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Texas coast, has particular meaning for me. Everyone in the world thinks fondly of the Gulf of Mexico, a most beautiful and well-loved body of water which is affectionately and literally cradled to the American bosom. What’s not to love about her? Tourists, fishermen, shrimpers, spongers, yachtsmen, ordinary boaters, windsurfers, para-gliders, shoreline residents, fish, birds, marine animals… all take her clean, warm beauty for granted; as we do all the waters of this planet, frankly.
Suddenly, something is not right! Suddenly, it’s as if the Earth has begun to bleed and no one can stop the hemorrhaging. The millions of barrels of oil that are relentlessly dispersed every moment now, into the entire Gulf are turning the water a rusty red… blood red… an ooze which has the capacity to remove all oxygen from the water molecules and kill every sea creature in its path. Then, those poor victims would contribute their own blood to the mix as they disintegrate into the poison that is now, mystifyingly, filling their beautiful universe. Unlike the humans, they have no idea what brought about this terror. They had no hand in its cause, but they are the first being asked to pay the price.
And we don’t even understand the enormous amount of methane that is bubbling out of the bowels of the planet. That could be another bomb waiting to explode in our faces.
For the first time that history recalls, we humans have created a frightening and dramatic pierce wound right into the body of our planet in a location that can’t be hidden from the rest of the world. Maybe the awfulness of an out-of-control oil well has happened elsewhere? Perhaps in the deserts of Saudi Arabia or in some Texas or Oklahoma plain. Kuwait had some pretty desperate news footage about unstopable burning gas plumes a few years ago. I, personally, have seen a Colorado mountainside that won’t hold snow in the winter time. It’s a coal mine, which caught fire a century ago and will burn until the lode runs out. but that all happens out of sight and underground.
Maybe landlocked disasters don’t attract as much attention. Maybe spilled oil just mucks up millions of other people’s acres, makes toxic marshes and eventually seeps underground again. I don’t know because I don’t read about it in the paper. Anyway, it’s “not in my back yard.” Sound familiar? NIMBY-ism, anyone?
Yesterday, I was thinking about the mess that IS forming up in my back yard swimming pool, the Gulf of Mexico. I was taking the image of a bleeding wound which no one can staunch, (so far), swirling out of an apparently bottomless supply of liquid gold. Oil is something that we humans actually consider to be among Earth’s most valuable resources. We have killed for it, fought wars over it, sold our souls to control it, and made unspeakable fortunes with it. We don’t like to face the inconvenient truth that oil controls us, as every drug will eventually control the addict dependent upon its ready supply. We want what we want, when we want it. And we don’t want to think too deeply about it as long as we can get our fix.
But we cannot bear our drug of choice to suddenly overwhelm us, by embarrassingly insisting upon filling a container that we had not planned to put it in… a container that we definitely don’t want contaminated with the very substance that we all, figuratively, wallow in daily. We like it to stay in our gas tanks where it belongs and we want it to have processed itself through some handy refinery before it makes its way to us.
This is just unseemly! This is most uncouth and someone has to be held accountable. And so we yell a lot. We also wring our hands and worry about helplessly watching that runaway goo inevitably follow the Gulf Stream all the way around the pristine white bowl, making all sand and sea in its inexorable path uninhabitable. We already recoil from the inevitable worst case scenario that our wonderfully imaginative minds may now cough up:
That our beautiful Gulf of Mexico will soon resemble a gigantic toilet bowl.
Is this the pretty pass we addicts have suddenly come to? How can we halt the enormous flushing which we now watch with such dreadful horror? Will this wake us up to our dependent condition?
We must now ask ourselves the inevitable question:
HAS PLANET EARTH BEGUN TO FIGHT BACK?
What if you caught yourself wiping out an entire population and thinking that you had done nothing wrong? This happened to me in a dream where I was the Giant in the land of Lilliput. In my dream, I was alone on a planet which had some jungle and some cleared land, and I was walking around thinking the planet must be unpopulated, but not noticing much unusual about it. Suddenly, an Upper Voice began to narrate my dream.
I was told that this was a very heavily-populated planet, but the residents were only the size of ants, compared to my size, and that I was a huge and terrifying giant to them because my feet were destroying many people and homes with every step. They were shooting poison darts at my feet and ankles, which registered as flea bites and yet, they were not driving me away. Well, where was I to go? There was no free space for me.
The Voice told me that this dream was a test being administered to me to see what I would do with the knowledge that my every step was killing people. I stayed with the dream long enough to feel puzzled about what to do and scratching a few more “flea bites,” I considered spending my life in a tree. But then realized that these tiny people might be all over the trees, too.
As in most dreams, I took a break from the scene right then and found myself in some train station. Perhaps, I was coming up with my own novel solution of escape. But, that was not to be. Soon, I was back in Lilliput, observing myself lying down asleep. I’m sorry to say that I was not responsible for finding the solution to this problem, though that means that I don’t have to claim responsibility for the wholesale slaughter that ensued because of me. Here’s what happened.
Me, the Giant, fell asleep and some brave, tiny soul had climbed upon my body and found that I was female and therefore, maybe not so fearsome. He discovered a way to communicate with my mind by pressing his head against my third eye and projecting his thoughts to me. Because I’d already been told of their existence by The Voice, this news wasn’t such a shock to me. Perhaps The Voice had also described my dilemma to them, not to have any free land to move about in and being unable to avoid squashing them with every step.
So, these little people had had time to analyze things and the Brave One on my forehead propelled a solution into my sleeping brain. His people were mild and peace-loving, but their enemies in an adjoining territory across the river were warlike and fierce. This people had long been victimized by dreadful terrorism and ongoing raids. If I would agree to become their ultimate weapon, they would clear the path and lead me into enemy territory where I could stamp those fierce ones into oblivion and clear the land for myself. These new friends would even help me to solve my food and shelter problems and we could all co-exist together very well.
Again, my dreaming self fell back into a deeper sleep and when I next found myself in that same dream, I was established in my newly-cleared land and everyone was happy… except for the newly stomped-upon terrorists, who were completely eliminated.
There followed an evaluation by The Dreamweavers Who had designed this test for me. They praised the original population for their courage and ingenuity. These tiny ones had domesticated The Terror (me, the Giant) and used it to solve their own problems. I was happy to have a cleared homeland and not to have suffer more of those irritating “flea bites.”
So often, the status of Friend or Foe is determined by the amount of fear that is present in the situation. They had faced my reality, head-on, and found me not so bad, after all. My towering size and tendency to tramp on homes and populations had originally made me an automatic enemy, even more dangerous than the ferocious hordes across the river. It looked as if Fate had really stacked the cards against them now. They could have given up and resigned themselves to a terrible fate because the very fact that I had, accidentally, landed on their side of the river might have wiped them out, eventually, if they had been paralyzed by their fear of me. However, through courageous investigation, they discovered that I wasn’t “terrible,” and that I was even a reasonable, howbeit large, person who had a serious difficulty of my own, just as they did. Their imaginative cooperation solved both of our problems at the same time, preserving the dignity of each side.
I like to think that their dreadful neighbors could have established the same sort of peace if they had been willing to sit down at the conference table and understand the other side’s needs. Since they had long demonstrated their unwillingness to do that, I don’t feel a bit bad about delivering ultimate justice with my feet and literally “standing up” for my friends.
Elimination of FEAR proved to be the way out of that puzzling dream, but I doubt if things would have turned out the same way if I had landed on the militant side of the river. Though maybe I would have continued to view them as fleas and would have, eventually, taken my own pest control measures.
Looking over an October, 2006, journal entry when I was planning a talk to the Newcomer’s Club, I see that I was pondering the reasons why there is often fear and hesitation about striking out on one’s own, to see the world in a very freeform and solo way. I narrowed things down to the three ongoing questions which a human being is always trying to solve – whether at home or away.
1. How can I meet my needs?
2. How do I fit into this social situation?
3. What is to become of me?
In familiar surroundings, these questions don’t intrude into consciousness because the routines are established, the social order is understood, and the ultimate destiny question doesn’t pop up until major change occurs.
But in travel, any uncertainty is likely to set off all three questions clanging at the same time. Many people are not accustomed to the kind of inner analysis that would identify the new, heightened anxiety, so they tend to blame their uneasiness upon travel itself and not on the fact that they don’t like to be thrown into an undefined social situation. Or one where everyone else has a partner, or friend, as on a cruise with mostly couples, when they are solo. So, they simply don’t go unless someone comes with them.
Traveling as I do causes all three questions to constantly need answering, every single day, so one has to have gained a level of self-confidence about taking care of that business. The Inner Self, which is the one who becomes anxious about each equation, must trust the Outer Self to take care of its ongoing needs, so that it will settle into the adventure and not worry about survival. This requires a deeper knowledge of one’s own self and thus, the insecurity of travel is a wonderful school for the development of these qualities.
So, routinely leaving your comfort zone gives your Outer Self a chance to learn, excel and become comfortable with its own abilities. It’s easier to become acquainted with yourself when that’s all you have to count upon. A sheltered life won’t get you very far in the maturity department.
But now that I’ve been at home for a long period of time, when those three vital questions retreat to the background, I find that they morph into referring to the Inner Life. I still want to know the answer to those three questions, but they take on a deeper, spiritual meaning that keeps me constantly pondering and evaluating.
1. How can I meet the needs of my soul? Am I growing? Am I happy?
2. How am I doing as a member of Humanity? Am I contributing?
3. What shall become of me? What is my ultimate destiny?
Now, it’s the Inner One who must guide the physical body through the challenges of life on the material planet and get across the minefield of almost unlimited choices in one piece. Just as in the outer sense, it appears that a human being can only be at ease and happy, if they have some solution at hand, moment by moment, to these three simple little questions. Spiritually, as well as Practically.
We can’t escape them simply by staying home. We can’t leave the Inner Life behind simply by leaving home. Wherever we go; there we are!