WHO AM I? WHERE AM I?
WHAT AM I DOING HERE?
A TEXTBOOK FOR LIFE, LIVING, AND REALITY
Section 1 - Chapter 3 -- Journey to Understanding
In trying to write a plain and easily understandable book, one runs into all kinds of problems with the words and the language. Rather than to bore you with the problems of grammar and semantics in a technical manner, I would like to present you with what seems to be a perfectly simple, clear cut question that I want you to answer to the best of your ability.
Question: Let's say that we are going on a trip. We are going from Princeton, New Jersey to Mt. Shasta, California. Now I want you to consider all the problems and obstacles and decide the best way to get from one point to the other.
What appears to be a simple problem concerning a journey can become quite an education. The question, as it was worded, only gave you two locations. The rest of the problem was really up to you. Therefore, each person who is trying to answer the question is going to come up with a different answer. Why you ask? Because each person will draw upon his own personal experiences and knowledge. That is, a person usually understands a problem in direct relationship to that which he has experienced. Such experience is usually referred to as empirical knowledge or first hand experience. Something like our statement about fire and a learning experience about fire in the previous chapter,
So where is the problem? You might ask.
The answer is actually contained in the question. Everyone who considers the situation, draws on experiences and an environment which are slightly different from everyone else. Because each and every person is different each person considers the obstacles and/or difficulties of making such a journey differently. There are no limitations placed on this trip; therefore, each and everyone is permitted to make this trip in the best way in relationship to who is involved.
The word "BEST", is the key word or limiting factor in this problem. "Best" really has no value until one assigns it a meaning. The word "best", only takes on meaning in relationship to the object or objective in this case. One must set limitations in order to arrive at an answer for the word "best". To arrive at "best", we must know: Who is involved? What is involved? When? (in relationship to time). We know where (two assigned points), and why it is necessary to make the trip is not relevant at this time. It is only when these factors or limits are known, that we can get many more people to agree on what is "best".
Even with limitations now placed on this journey, you are still dealing with a theoretical situation in that you are left to your own knowledge of resources available to you. That means to bring this best answer or solution to reality, you must take into consideration the most practical, workable solution that you can afford and/or is convenient to you. In other words, you must bring theory into physical reality. This is still a personal relationship to the word, best, even with a new set of limitations.
The choosing, or selection of the best way or solution to the question takes on a cause and effect type of relationship. It sets up a limitation that affects other limiting factors. Something like a chain reaction. That is, for every action (cause) or selection taken to accomplish a certain task, the end result is brought about in relationship to that action (effect). Each selection is a limiting factor which in turn limits the effect until the task is complete. The journey is over! This is the same process that a computer utilizes to arrive at an answer, but because a computer cannot think, it must be given all of the limiting factors and options. Unless the information has been programmed, there is no way an answer can show up that was not already there or known.
Let's look at some of our options. I believe most people automatically think in terms of one's self, or a single person going on a trip. If we increased the number of people involved in the trip, then your answer would probably change. Then again, if they all didn’t have to go at the same time or be there at the same time, that too would affect your decision. If you had the time and/or desire and money was an issue, the cheapest way to get anywhere would be to walk. Time is probably the most important factor that affects most decisions today; therefore, the walking option was also probably turned down by a lot of people.
In making any decision, a means of conveyance must be selected to which you feel most comfortable. These two points are not very convenient to major commercial transportation facilities and this is a relatively long distance to be travelled; therefore, a mode or style of transportation maybe more important to you than the method or means. If you loved water you may have considered mostly sailing, but this would have added more time and distance than overland transportation.
To travel by car gives people more versatility but requires much more time and effort both physically and mentally than flying. Perhaps ones ego or status gets involved in the choosing of which this method of travel. Maybe the car selected might have to be a luxury car, or sports car or a classic model. Maybe the car didn't matter as much as the horse power or fuel used or the power plant or means of propulsion, say a solar powered or all electric vehicle.
If I were to have asked you to take this trip some fifty years ago about taking this trip, your answer would have probably been to travel by train. Prior to trains, you might have said horse and/or wagon. Right now, I think everyone thinks that the fastest and most comfortable way to get anywhere these days, is to fly by air. If I changed the time frame even more, who knows what your answer might have been. After air transportation, what comes next?."Beam me aboard Scotty or Mr. Spock?"
Best is a relationship of all options available to you versus your means to pay, render services, or compensate others. That which you select must also be equal to that which you have or are willing to give in the form of various energies. This last sentence or two may sound a little confusing; however, I would rather not go into a long explanation at this time. It will come up again.
After the means of conveyance has been selected, then we must consider the route to be travelled. We may select easy or difficult routes, and these in turn, may be direct or round about. We may be more selective of the road or ground surfaces such as: smooth concrete highways, gravel back roads, or we may blaze a new path cross country. We may select roads taken by friends or others known or unknown to us, or roads hardly travelled at all by anyone. We may get help before our trip, or along the way. We may even get no help or help which actually delays or hinders our trip. We may ask for help or it may be given to us voluntarily. We may also have to pay for the help along the way in the form of time, money, or some other form of compensation. We may choose a scenic route, a very rugged route, a nature type trail, a very dry desert route, a snow blown route, a route through very wealthy neighborhoods, the poor slums of populated cities, or the farms of the rural countryside. This best analogy could go on and on; however, I believe that I have made my point. We make selections based upon that which will directly relate in some way to that which we want to experience or must experience in order to get to where we want to be, when we want to get there and what are we willing or able to afford monetarily or physically.
So you see, the best way may not be the fastest, nor the easiest. In addition to the fastest and easiest comes cost, speed, convenience, style and a host of other limiting factors which predetermine your selection or defines or places a value on the word, best. To re-emphasize, "Best really has no value until one assigns it a meaning." Again, this value is in direct relationship to that which you have or want to experience.
Now, before we move on to sociology and observing the cultural behavior patterns of others, I want you to think about all of the trips and journeys you have made that went exactly as planned within the limitations that you had set. I bet you are having trouble lifting one finger, or perhaps you were smart enough to remove the restrictions or limitations on such trips so that you could just experience or adjust to the unexpected which you undoubtedly made provisions for. Perhaps the phrase pertaining to Murphy's Law, "If anything possible can go wrong, will go wrong" comes to mind.
In this latter paragraph, what I am saying is that the human who is supposed to be solving this problem of "A best way," is incapable of consciously foreseeing all of the difficulties and obstacles that can or will interfere or affect such a trip. Therefore, the word best again is relative to that which one experiences or has knowledge of. If one has never experienced such a trip, how is one supposed to plan or prepare for such a journey? Best is an accumulation of fact or factors that relate to both known and unknown causes and effects within a known environment. Even though factors are both known and unknown to the individual, they may not take place in an environment which is known. Or is it? This question too, will be addressed later.
This book is an exercise or journey between two worlds; therefore, the problem and/or destination may appear very unclear and uncertain. This book, this journey, is the story of being or life. Without explaining the destination, I will try to provide you with the answers to the obstacles preventing you from the positive, creative life and greater happiness. I will not explain your journey for you; however, I will provide you, the amnesia patient, with the knowledge of knowing the right way. The selection is still up to you. Only you can select happiness! And only you will know that your selection will lead to happiness, for it is only relative to you. This knowledge is not a private thing. Others will know that you have found happiness; however, for themselves, they will not be as certain and it will take them a little longer to know.
This journey that I am about to take you on is so unusual that it is difficult to imagine. Therefore, it is important that the wording be carefully selected so we can avoid as much confusion as possible. Just like our example of the word, best, other words are relative to the individual even though they are common usage type words. Environmental usage and conditioning has changed the value to a lot of the written and verbal vocabulary and language.
As I mentioned earlier in this book, "Communication is probably the most important thing one will learn in his or her lifetime...." Therefore, it is important that we convey the proper meanings; however, words in themselves do not assure us of proper meanings. What is required is a commitment imparted by both the sender and receiver. This is the common union that I referred to. This union is a joining or bonding type process known as communion, or the becoming of one mind or thought. It is not absolutely necessary that we achieve this communion level; but this level would assure us of the exact or true meaning of the written word. It is so easy to misinterpret the thoughts, actions and deeds of others because of our own failures to achieve common union relationships.
Most communications fail because one or more person does not make a commitment to recognize, or become conscious of intangible patterns designed to achieve a bond of thought. They only hear or read what relates to themselves, so the information or communication only benefits or reinforces themselves and their beliefs. Communications sometimes takes work. One who is inherently selfish or self centered cannot communicate anything unless he directly relates to his own being. Such a person cannot communicate any significant thoughts because he is unwilling to work at the relationship and make a commitment to recognize the importance of everything there is.
It was not my intent to get off on the subject of communication again so early, but it is a very important part of life and it is little understood and yet used excessively and often wrongly for the wrong reasons. I have known people to talk incessantly and have found it very difficult to determine just exactly what they were saying or wanted to say. In this latter case, the communicating party fails to listen to what he wanted to say. That is, he is more interested in being noticed than he is in forming a bond to positive creativity. Communication is a form of power. It requires attention and concentration. It is work! It requires an active and passive, or sender and receiver type relationship. To hold one's attention or point of focus is a sense of power over the recipient. It commands one's time and attention.
It is my desire that we communicate in at least a common union to begin this journey together. It is hoped that we will arrive at the same destination together; however, it is not that important that we go in the same direction or go there in the same way. It is only important that we begin and that we seek a positive, creative approach in seeking greater happiness. The results will, hopefully, be the same, but it is not absolutely necessary. What is hoped or desired is that we can attain or create a common union or bond in getting there.
In this journey that we are going to take, you as an individual, will hopefully learn that the trip can be somewhat more interesting than the purpose or end result. You may also discover that anything of great value usually involves more difficulties or effort than those things which come easy. Something which cost a great deal does not exactly constitute great value. Those things which are available and/or known to you, but denied to you, usually have greater importance or value than material possessions. Then again, this is a relative thing. Example: Remember when you were a teenager and you were not of age to engage in the social custom or establishments serving alcoholic beverages? Also, do you remember your same feelings toward drinking once you reached that mystical legal age?
The idea of putting worth or value onto an object is an interesting subject in itself and not one which I am about to explain in any great depth in this chapter. Usually, tangible physical objects can be assigned a fixed or monetary cost or worth; however, intangible items such as thoughts, ideas, or beliefs do not normally have such costs but they can have value. There have been some attempts to place fixed costs to the intangible and it is a growing concern. Basically, this is the system utilized in the business world to affix salaries and consulting fees to individuals or groups or for specific functions resulting in an end result known as a service. Again, this is a relative thing, in that it is directly related to whomever is in control of that immediate end result or service. It is an integral overall cost that must be assigned and relates to the well being of all concerned in the unit or organization that seeks these services and/or end result.
When it comes to the individual in a service environment, one must adjust or conform to these limitations or values either self imposed, imposed by others, or both. The acceptance of a position in the business community or in services type industries constitutes worth or value within certain determined limits of that community or industry. Somewhere along the line, someone or group decided that certain, specific skills and/or services were worth or valued over others. More than likely, this assignment had to do with what was and is called, the free market, which is based on a supply and demand and/or exchange of money for services. This is our cause and effect relationship at its grandest. Supposedly, easier skills were more abundant and therefore cost less than skills which were not in as great a supply, but needed. This situation would account for some of the discrepancies and inequalities for services rendered today, but not all.
Even in the world of tangible goods, there is inequality of worth or value and monetary compensation because of this supply and demand type market system. This exchange system is somewhat like our word, "best", in that "best" is relative to each individual. That is, the demand for certain commodities or goods and services, is directly related to that which one has or wants to experience. What I am saying, is the same thing that I have said earlier. You can't have "best", until you set up limitations on that which you want to achieve, or the end result. In our market or society, a lot of like goods and services are exchanged without too much difficulty; therefore, that would tend to indicate that there is a lot of uniformity of like opinion and people. However, the only thing this uniformity really indicates is that there is a lot of acceptance of this system, not that there are equal values.
In our society, the free market system tries to compensate a little for the intangible qualities or value of the individual. That is, some people are more capable of producing the needed results or better results than others. These results, in turn, are related to time and the overall concern for this quality we call "best". The individual who adjusts or conforms to or within the limitations set by those in control, normally tries to compensate such individuals because they have greater value to the overall concern and/or end result. In other words, a tangible end result is, or can be, improved upon by an intangible quality and in turn, those responsible are rewarded for their efforts above those who do not work within those limitations.
In the latter situation, the word "best" does not relate to the individual so much as it does to the overall well being of that unit, group, company or society. Perhaps, the word "best" can be defined as that which benefits and/or perpetrates the overall organized unit. The term benefit, is another one of those limiting or relative term words which again is directly related to the majority or whoever is in control of the immediate end result. In this case, even though we are talking about a larger unit than the individual, the limitation(s) must be set by an individual acting in behalf of the larger unit. The final structure must allow for a group or organized participation; however, the limit is still set by one, with the approval of others. "Best", therefore becomes a majority or consensus of opinion in relation to the group and end result. It is not a question of morality as it is, a desire to experience a specific environment related to a journey or act of movement in a specific direction.
Earlier, I said, "Those things which are available and/or known to you but denied to you, usually have greater importance or value than material possessions". But, what about those things which are not known to you? What about the value of something which is unknown to you? Obviously, since it is unknown, it can't be relative. It can't have value. Or can it? The value of gold has been known almost since the beginning of time. But minerals, such as uranium, platinum, etc., were of no ones interest or concern back around 1000 years ago. Why? Because there was no known relationship or value to our society to anything useful to man until relatively recent times.
Now, that's interesting!
Why? You ask!
Because, that means that values and/or relationships change. That means that everything has value; however, its value or importance is dependent upon its immediate relative nature or usefulness to man in a certain time frame. This is a form or movement in a linear direction that can also be considered a form of growth. To put it in a more simple way, the individual or person(s) uses or does something to accomplish something else. By repetitive actions and slight variations, this something gradually changes into something else that accomplishes the task or end result faster and/or better than the original something. That means that there is a form of growth or change that can also be likened to a journey; whereby, you continually meet new encounters and/or experiences.
Hopefully, this book is a journey to make the unknown, known and relative to each individual who reads it. This book is a book of knowledge which relates to both the known and unknown worlds of the multi-dimensional self. It is a practical guide for dealing with the world around us. It is a journey to rediscover our own understanding. This is a book that will show you the relationship of values upon the individual and how that affects and controls who you are, where you are and what you are doing here.
Man is always on a journey and the directions that he takes, will affect himself and this physical reality we call earth. The road or direction he chooses or selects is very important to his own well being and the greater well being of all living things. Whether he chooses a new road or continues on the road he is on now, is up to him and no one else. Reviewing past experiences, it is reasonably certain that man will continue on the path that he is familiar with. That doesn't necessarily mean that is good or bad, it just is. However, it is also reasonably certain that that experience will also be filled with some happiness, pain and suffering being dominant. If that is good, then there is some question as to what this reality is all about and hopefully, this will be addressed within the contents of this book as well as the question of morality.
Man is a collection of habits, customs, traditions and patterns that make up his behavior. Therefore, his journey and the road that he takes, is likely to be one with which he is familiar. Not necessarily because he likes it, but because he knows what to expect. One can seem to tolerate or adjust to good and bad, so long as it is confined to or held within certain limitations of acceptability. What that means is just about anyone's guess. I guess a good answer is for you to just look around you and see what acceptability is. I suppose you could say that acceptability is that which is manifested into physical reality. Whatever man has created is therefore acceptable. That again doesn't mean that it is good or bad, it is just acceptable.
Now, that last statement covers a lot of ground. That covers all those things tangible and intangible that are considered good as well as those things that are considered bad. That means that good is the freedom to do what you want when you want, but also means that you can be poor, starving and/or destitute. Freedom can also be a violent criminal act that takes from those who have or do not have. It is a relationship for the purpose of one's own growth or one's own gain or wealth. So what is right and what is wrong? Hopefully, this question will be answered.
Our trip or journey from Princeton, New Jersey, to Mount Shasta, California is more significant than might meet the normal eye. Not only is it a trip that involves the traversing of a great distance, it is also a symbolic journey that involves other dimensions. That is, Princeton is supposedly a well known learning center in this country with a dense population and an older culture center. It is also, or was, the last home of the late Albert Einstein, one of the major movers and thinkers of the modern day world. The other location, Mount Shasta is supposedly shrouded in mystery, folk lore and is supposed to have powers that are mystical in nature. These two locations, these two points or positions are somewhat in two different worlds, even though they share the same geographical reality. That is, one represents one of the best things that our culture or our man made society has to offer, and the other extreme or position is something that cannot satisfy that same culture or society as something that is relevant and worthy of any significance or attention. One is known as something beneficial and the other is known for nothing or shall we say, frivolous in nature or man to modern man.
This book is a journey from the known to the unknown. It is a trip worth taking. One's reality is not as simple as most people seem to think. Then again, it is and it isn't. That is, we all relate to the outside physical world through our physical senses. What about that which is intangible? Does that have a reality of its own? If it doesn't, why doesn't it? What makes one's reality real and the other, not? What about dreams, how does that fit into the rest of this questionable nonsense? Does our world end where our physical senses won't go any further? Why can't we perceive beyond our physical senses, or can we? Questions, questions, questions! Are there any answers? YES ... There are!
Our chapter began with the questioning of the word - "best", but now, it even goes beyond that. The word - "best", can only relate to this physical reality...or can it? Here we go again! The problem of communication is that it usually involves a one-on-one basis. That is, it requires a sender and a receiver and it must relate to everything in a linear sequence that has a starting point and an ending of some kind. To convey information or descriptive data in any other way, would not constitute communication of an understandable nature. Information must be displayed or organized in certain patterns that in themselves, have smaller or shorter beginnings and endings. They must be organized patterns that form a structure of thought. Any other patterns are not recognizable and are therefore, ignored or discarded as irrelevant and that is the problem(s) that we face in this physical reality.
Other worlds may exist, however, because we cannot relate to them, we ignore them and become unconscious to these other patterns. That doesn't mean that they don't exist. It just means that we fail to recognize or utilize such patterns. You might say that there are many or more roads or paths to travel than meets the eye; however, it also means that only one road will be chosen. Maybe it is possible to come to crossroads, look down and beyond the corner without even moving and seeing what is in store or what life has to offer in the way of challenges and growth for each individual, and then decide which way you want to proceed. Maybe you can't see everything, but you like the relationships or new challenges that lay before you. But it is more often than not, that which is familiar to you that makes you decide to proceed in the current direction and relationships with which you are accustomed, be it good, bad or indifferent.
This book is a journey to understanding that which is and is not. It involves a process of growth, expansion, or movement in a new direction. Man grows in many ways, but unless his growth can be related to value, there is no need or purpose to physical life. It is important that each individual recognize and understand values so that he can relate to himself and his environment. He must learn to grow, expand and change, or his value to himself and others, ceases. The end result is achieved. So you see, beginnings and endings are important, but only in the way they relate to other things. A journey is a form of growth, in that it involves more than just the self. It is relative to other things. It involves expansion of the tangible and the intangible and it is relative to each individual.
The word - "best" is a relative term that only relates to that particular individual. What is best can be better answered by asking the question; "What do you want to experience?" A trip or journey is a growth process that enlarges one's area of knowledge. That is the purpose of this book. It is relative to each individual. Each person will receive, expand, or relate to that which he can recognize and wants to experience. There is more here than meets the eye. You must need to know where and how to look for it. Hopefully, this book has all the answers, or at least it tells you where to find the proper answers. We are at the crossroads. Where do we go from here depends upon you. Let us begin our journey, but let us begin with a little mystery. The following is a little piece of prose that may get your interest to continue your journey.
In an abstract way, "It's Almost Tomorrow", reflects the current thoughts of frustration that constantly surfaces through one's lifetime; however, it also ends in a prophecy or possible probability based upon understanding or the lack of it. This is a relationship of beginnings and endings that relate to growth or a journey into consciousness.
IT'S ALMOST TOMORROW
It's almost tomorrow, and I have yet to change.
The stars in the universe illuminate the darkness, interrupted
momentarily by soft billows of moonlight mist, which move
slowly on, deliberate, but unsure of their journeys end.
There is a somber sound of silence, the essence of which
conveys a joyful fear.
The moment appears suspended, as if a segment of life were
slowly evolving and becoming a physical reality.
Consciousness seems absent, but a sense of wanting, wishing,
holding and hoping for a new and better day is present.
Man and nature are temporarily at rest.
The world sleeps with anxious thoughts and illusions of peace.
Flickering starlit shadows reflect the fading images of
progress and knowledge.
That which is, is not what it appears to be.
Visions of truth are like lifeless forms of the night,
without shape, substance or meaning.
THE BRILLIANCE OF WISDOM IS IN DARKNESS!
The night is almost over and the dawning is to begin.
The brilliance that once was, will again return.
But, not until the true ancient past is re-discovered,
the plague of the three sunless days of Egypt returns, and
a new Stonehenge is built for a revised 17 year calendar.
Until then, I cannot change, for it's almost tomorrow.