I had a few complaints lodged for not updating my blog. My delay in posting has simply been a test to see if anyone is actually reading it! Not really. The truth is the holidays occurred and I was living out of a suitcase for 3 weeks. Thank you to my family and friends who put Josie and I up. I think I counted 11 different bed changes! Thank you to those who are reading and commenting on my blog. It truly feels like support and I am grateful.
Once back in Quartzsite, I decided I better get going on my school paper. I had applied for an extension until the end of February, but it was bugging me having this responsibility hanging on my shoulders. It was hard to get started. In engineering school, you are posed with a problem that is solved primarily through math. No problem. This time I had to write about Sacred Leadership, different leadership paradigms, a shamanic initiation into authenticity, and how I was going to apply all of these things to my own life. Writing this paper was a foreign experience. However, I finished it yesterday and I’m back to reading some books that have been on my list.
I picked up “The Secret Teachings of Plants. The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature” by Stephen Harrod Buhner. It is a great segue from my paper because Sacred Leadership is all about being in tune with nature. Anyway, a part had me laughing out loud at myself. He hit the nail on the head! He is discussing how he ended up in mathematics in college:
Of course (though I did not know it then), the soul of the world cannot be found in philosophy, nor in the humanities, nor in mathematics, (nor even in science). It resides someplace else, someplace the linear mind cannot go. But to many adrift, mathematics makes lover’s promises and offers a safe harbor from the storm. “Here,” it says, “are not only explanations, but a promise of total control.” The rules are straightforward and understandable; unpredictability vanishes.
Mathematics is almost always a profession for control freaks. It has little to do with life, very little to do with the real world.
Ok, enough said?! I seriously was laughing out loud. People have asked me throughout my engineering career how I chose engineering. I’ve always answered, “I kind of fell into it”. Funny enough, I started out as a Mathematics major, and added Computer Science for pizzazz. Finally, I ended up as an Environmental Engineer because I really wanted to do something dealing with nature, and that was at least about trying to save it, and it had the predictability I was subconsciously seeking! I think Buhner described it much better. It was the safe harbor from the storm… I’m still giggling over that.
I can laugh now because I see things so differently now. I see the perception of control as just that – it’s a perception, and an ill-conceived one at that. My life has taught me the lesson well – the only thing we can control is our reaction to what happens in life. No regrets, the uncontrolled events in my life have gotten me to where I am today, consciously pondering the real meaning of life.
Speaking of the meaning of life, I watched a great documentary last night. If you ever find yourself pondering life, feeling adrift, watch this movie. It was quirky in some ways, but pretty fascinating. “What the #@$ Do We Know?” is the title. I streamed it on Netflix. The movie encapsulates what I am finding fascinating about consciousness, the human brain, the meaning of life, and the new sciences – namely quantum mechanics.
That’s it for today. Larry and Anita should be here soon and I have dishes to do!
Here’s a great poem that Buhner included:
We shall see but little way if we are required to understand what we see. How few things can a man measure with the tape of his understanding! How many greater things might he be seeing in the meanwhile?
– Henry David Thoreau