Dineara's Training Journal
Kol Drake replied the topic: Dineara's Training Journal
But I like your thoughts here.
Sometimes it does seem like we make 'trade offs' as we grow and change. Less frivolity; more serious. Laissez-faire; wound a bit tight. These are the choices we make. Free Will and all that. But, as noted elsewhere, we also can choose -- at any time -- to change again and regain those bits we feel we may have lost when 'dropping ballast' and figuring out moderation is wiser than extremes in either direction of action.
Of course I get an age crisis a couple of times every year now (gosh, I'm almost 30 soon, have I gotten anywhere in my life?), but that's just the way it is and an age crisis is an excellent way to give a slap to my brain that tends to get stupid every now and then. Age is irrelevant, and if I play my cards right, it will only keep on getting better.
Being ANCIENT... I wave my cane in your direction -- stop making 30 sound like you are approaching 150.
Your late teens & 20s have been a time of exploration. To coin an old phrase, it was the time to sow your wild oats. (I suppose these days they are non-GMO, free range oats) It is *that time* when many look at their 'before time' and try to figure out where they want to head next. Luckily, with all your IJRS courses and your own poking about, you have some great tools to help you navigate the near future.
RE: Thrill Rides
Life 'thrill rides' as well as commercial attractions -- the appeal can come and go. I mean, as a kid I loved spinning and the up and down. The last time I went with my kids... not so much. I am not certain if the rides just aren't that exciting (expectation vs confirmation) or if I'm way too jaded these days about what I expect pertaining to 'thrills and chills'. Then again, I walk up to a simple display and turn into a 12 year old, staring at a fellow hammering iron into a simple blade. Tastes and attitudes change? *shrugs*
As far as adrenaline spikes riding 'tallest/fastest/loopiest' rides? I'll let you handle that assignment. I can be impressed with the engineering aspect without losing my pocket change (or my lunch).
Spirituality is another one of those 'never ending journeys' imo.
As we grow, we learn to move beyond blind acceptance to questioning. Asking 'why' is never a bad thing concerning this topic.
* Why was I taught this?
* Why do we/they believe the way we/they do?
* Does this make sense or is it 'taken on faith'?
* What is faith? And how does one 'prove it'?
... and on and on...
(and those are the EASY questions!!!
We touch on spirituality and 'what do you believe' here. It is a pretty personal thing... picking what you want as your inner/core belief system. Heck... ask two 'christians' and I suspect, once you peel back the generic answers, you will find two different concepts on what 'being christian' is for each of them. Yes, there are those 'knee jerk' responses but underlying that is the internal 'thing' they have embraced... that which they have created for themselves to make sense of it all.
Which might not be anything like what I or you conceive 'things' to be like.
Here is an article on Spirituality from Psychology Today, March 05, 2011:
Spirituality is like an adventure park waiting to be explored.
by Larry Culliford
It is not ideal to consider spirituality as a thing, an object. It does not have the nature of a specimen that can be dissected and analysed. Spirituality is better thought of as a boundary-less dimension of human experience. As such, it must be admitted, it is not open to the normal methodologies of scientific investigation. It cannot completely be defined. It cannot be pinned down. So... What are we to do?
Firstly, you don't have to give up! You don't have to be like people who equate spirituality with a religion they decide is false, then abandon. It is possible to look at spirituality another way, as something free of institutional structures and hierarchies, not so much about dogma and beliefs as about attitudes, values and practices, about what motivates you (us) at the deepest level, influencing how you think and behave, helping you find a true and useful place in your community, culture and in the world.
Spirituality can be thought of as the ‘active ingredient' of major world religions (and some humanistic ideologies too). Why not think of the spiritual dimension as a kind of adventure playground, a place to learn in and have fun, a place in which to extend yourself, to grow?
Spirituality cannot be explored using scientific methods because it involves deeply personal, subjective experiences, and in this it differs from the over-riding ambition of science: to be objective. Both are necessary and appropriate, complementary formulas for discovering ourselves, each other, our environment, the universe... and especially an enduring sense of purpose and meaning.
This brilliant adventure park contains many related themes. Some cropped up in earlier posts, such as the idea that the five dimensions (physical, biological, psychological, social and spiritual) are seamlessly interconnected. Others, such as the key role of the emotions, will be focused on in more detail in later entries. Here, I will just mention: joy and wonder, dualism and holism, and the two ways of experiencing time.
According to researchers, children's spirituality flows through their capacities for spontaneous joy and wonder. A sense of fascination, of mystery, awe and delight, are facets of adult spirituality too. However, by the teen years, most people have developed a powerfully ‘dualistic' understanding of themselves and the world, as if standing outside it. In this ‘self/non-self', ‘either/or', ‘right or wrong' vision of the universe, opposing features are emphasized: either young or old, for example, not both at the same time. Spirituality, on the other hand, involves a ‘holistic' appreciation of a universe in which everyone and everything is connected seamlessly with everyone and everything else.
The familiar ‘yin-yang' symbol demonstrates this principle of wholeness in all scales, from infinitesimal to cosmic, as follows: the dark ground (yin) has a small central white spot, and the light ground (yang) has a small central dark spot. The entire symbol is to be imagined as dynamic, constantly changing. Just as day and night forever precede and become one another, what is light gradually becomes dark, and what is dark repeatedly becomes light. The opposites counteract, balance and turn into each other, like the changing seasons of the year.
According to Taoist tradition, Yin (the dark) and yang (the light) are extended to include several polarized forces in the universe, including night and day, earth and heaven, yielding and firm, feminine and masculine. There are many opposites that similarly define each other, among them negative and positive, hot and cold, dry and wet, north and south, east and west, up and down, in and out, ancient and modern, evil and good. Without one, there cannot be the other. Wisdom involves remembering that such pairs always relate to one-another and are inseparable.
The two Greek names for time, ‘chronos' and ‘kairos', represent two types of experience that also interpenetrate one-another like the white and dark parts of the yin-yang symbol. Chronos is the familiar, mechanical clock time, advancing steadily in linear fashion, day by day. Kairos was the name of the Greek god who symbolized chance, fortune and synchronicity. He habitually came calling at the perfect moment, when all was ripe and ready. Kairos can therefore be considdered as spiritual time (or ‘God's time'), and has a different quality altogether from chronos.
Subjectively, when gripped by kairos, it may feel as if clock time has slowed down or stopped completely. Paradoxically, it may also feel as if it has speeded up, so that minutes, hours, even days go by in a flash. Some athlete's experience this, for example, when they get ‘in the zone' during a burst of peak performance.
Kairos is in play when things happen unpredictably, but at just the right moment. Eternity and clock time seem to intersect for human benefit and instruction. Such an experience, when something eternal appears to break through into everyday life, is an ‘epiphany'. Heaven and earth may seem briefly to coincide and... ‘Something happens'! Something new and profound, something inspiring and life-changing is revealed in an instant.
The new wisdom resonates powerfully with something already present, deep inside. It feels like a reminder and confirmation of something already known but forgotten. Such revelations herald a kind of awakening, a key moment of transition on life's journey towards spiritual maturity. As the fallen leaf never rises to rejoin the tree, so is this a point of no return. The significance of these experiences is re-enforced by ‘synchronicities' unexpected but meaningful coincidences; such as may occur when two people meet for the first time, who later become life partners.
Synchronicities and serendipities - unexpected discoveries - often go together. There is a kind of mystery about kairos. Kairos is spiritual time.
Joy and wonder, dualism and holism, and the two ways of experiencing time are just some of the myriad themes to engage with in the spirituality adventure park. Some of the rides may feel challenging, more intimidating than exhilarating at first. Later, with familiarity, the spirituality park may feel increasingly restful, like a beautiful paradise garden. Entry is free. We are all already in the park. Why not experiment using all five senses and your capacity for mindful reflection? Take advantage of life's literally wonder-full opportunities for excitement, learning and growth. Why hesitate? What do you suppose a person might have to lose?
I'm with you. As we 'grow up'... we oft times lose that child-like capacity for spontaneous joy and wonder. It can take effort to bring it back. Notice the author did state -- "A sense of fascination, of mystery, awe and delight, are facets of adult spirituality too." So it is NOT totally lost to us. We just have to work at it instead of it being so spontaneous, I guess.
* * * * *
Sorry this is so long.
You know me and a good soapbox lecture!
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Dineara replied the topic: Dineara's Training Journal
Well, to reply to Jax's question, I would like to change my mindset and cognitive patterns so that I'd be more inclined towards active lifestyle and doing stuff instead of finding it to be too much work and ending up doing nothing. I guess that's the biggest one right now. It kind of determines many factors of success and happiness for me - do nothing, feel like crap, achieve nothing. Do stuff, be active, move forward, reach goals, enter the military with at least some muscles maybe and stuff like that. I'm still not doing enough and I am seriously running out of time. I have four months to build a habit of exercise and make it intense enough to produce results - fast. Similarly I have four months to polish my mind in order to have the mindset of a warrior - I want to grow my comfort zone by regularly stepping out of it, make it easier to start doing things and get things done, have my actions be mostly productive, learn superb stress control skills and fill my head with thoughts and habits that will benefit optimal survival in the army and in life in general.
I tried reading one of my Buddhist books. It was about a western academic guy that left to the east in search of a guru, and thus, enlightenment - yes, a very typical setting. I read three or four pages, stated that I know all this stuff damn well already and ditched the book. Tried looking at the others, too, but pretty theories and nice wordings really are as far as it can get from what I need right now. I need tools and the will to use them.
Also, one thing that might be just as well said aloud at this point: I am dangerously good at getting excited about things and actually thinking that they are what I really want. It usually lasts from two weeks to a couple of months, and usually the things are just a diversion from what the actual problem might be (that is, trying it out and actually doing stuff instead of just dreaming about it?). So, that's a feeling I can't trust. Not in the least. Thus, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. I have no idea how to find that out, either. (Yeah yeah, I ought to go and try that stuff instead of just thinking about it.) Just recently I was actually thinking if I'd just ditch all kinds of academic studies and careers and become a car mechanic or something similar. That would be totally cool.
How can I be convinced that my interests are only a few topics and that I'm interested in everything at the same time? It's not once or twice I've dreamed about brain amputation. Might make things easier, you know. (Yes, I'm a sucker for quick and easy solutions!) And no, this is not something I have to solve right now, first I'll get to the army and hopefully come out of there after my service is over and not a day sooner. I'll have plenty of time to think about stuff there and after that. Just wanted to vent a bit, I guess.
Kol Drake replied the topic: Dineara's Training Journal
You can include the 'warm up' and 'cool down' stretches in that time.
1 hour out of your entire day... and you will be in the best shape of your life.
Life long learning...
I am a strong advocate of that. I love learning. (I hate the tests and papers that colleges make you *do* to get it but...)
Being a perpetual student is cool. It also has a downside as you note. You cram more and more into your skull but... then what? What is the *use* of all that data/knowledge if you never DO anything with it? Create a new 'thing'; discover a new cure; open a new dimension; improve a single life... or life for millions... what good is it to know so much but never let it 'out'.
We must challenge ourselves to take risks. To not fear failure but to embrace it as the learning tool it is. When we fail, we learn, and then we can adjust our course to make sure our path is always forward. Like the process of annealing steel, we must go through the fire and be pounded into shape. The shape of a sword with polished edges and a razor sharp blade that will cut you in half if you are not equally hardened. Winning is fun and cool and great... but seldom teaches us much beside... we like being on top. (ego satisfaction) When we come in second (or dead last) is when we really learn our lessons. What we did wrong; how we can improve; what needs to change so "next time will be different".
To grab a moment from the first Captain America movie -- the military will try to mold you into their concept of being 'the perfect soldier'. Instead, you should strive to be a Good Person. The 'muscle', tech, mind set, and tactics are tools... it will be your heart that determines what kind of person (and soldier) you will be.
- Academy Principal
Jax replied the topic: Re:Dineara's Training Journal
There's nothing wrong with anything you are choosing. Or not choosing. Getting into the questions of life instead of answers will help though.
Start simple with just a few questions that you use frequently throughout the day.
1. What's right about me (or this choice or situation) I am not getting?
Ask this right now and see how you feel? A little lighter? Ask it a few more times. Take a deep breath. Relax.
2. What can I be or do different that will create the life I desire right away?
Again take a deep breath and then ask again. Just let the energy rise up and dissipate.
3. How does it get any better than this?
Ask this constantly throughout the day. It creates magic.
4. Ask the Universe to show you your magic every day.
Try this for today. Then at the end of the day notice what has changed. Then do it again tomorrow.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re:Dineara's Training Journal
"Sometimes asking questions is more important than finding answers. "
-- paraphrased in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World
Asking questions seems to drive creativity. It cultivates an open mind. The questions we ask lead us to new knowledge. Questions drive us to answers we never thought to consider until we asked the question.
Of course one cannot simply ask question after question, without giving any thought to answers.
Questions lead naturally to a consideration of answers, which lead to more questions, which lead to more answers, which lead to more questions. The two move back and forth, like a lumberjack's saw at an old oak tree -- sawing through the rings with each back and forth motion until you reach the core.
Not all the questions may be worth exploring, but for every dozen, there is a golden one that causes us to wonder. The question moves us into an idea or answer we had not yet explored. The golden question cuts through several rings at once. It takes a bit of meandering until we find the question, but once found, it holds us with wonder.
The idea of asking questions seems benign, but as soon as you go down this path, it leads you to a mentality of questioning, and that mentality can be uncomforting. Obedience to authority, submission to the "right way" of doing things, conformity to a specific morality -- all of this behavior can rattle and crumble when you start questioning everything around you. Questions can be like earthquakes, making people who thought they walked on stable ground suddenly finding they are on shifting sands.
Humans are, at the core, introspective and curious. Our intellect is not merely a cleverness to build tools, but an intellect that comes from the questions we ask. If it defines our nature, why should we shy away from asking questions?
To take a page from Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy --
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory mentioned, which states that this has already happened.
Never stop asking the questions.
* * * *
WHY accumulate all this data and pack it into your jello melon?
...because all those bits will link to other bits and at some time (not always of your choosing), wisdom and 'the right thing to say' will spew forth -- to a companion, a friend, a stranger, a padawan.
And, in that moment, all that questioning finds purpose and value...
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Dineara replied the topic: Re:Dineara's Training Journal
Questions like, "Since I am interested in occult pursuits and conscious and active self-development, how do I actually start doing it?" A smart person would ask something like "How can I change this right now?" and then go and do it, but there are more times when I am not that smart person than when I am. Oh well.
But, just a little something I'd like to share... I think I've learned to jog, finally. Today I broke my own record and actually kept moving for over an hour because my body wanted to (no surprise, the last time I went jogging was on Saturday...) and it felt great. Actually I could have gone on even longer. I, just, I am so happy. Who knew I'd be capable of this? What else am I capable of? I'm starting to get my hopes up a bit, here. (Also, as a side note, I lost almost 7 lbs last week just because I started intermittent fasting and begun giving myself actual food. I figured I'd still know how to do it, if I just put my mind to it.)