Paradise Paradox

P1110827Departed Banos de Agua Santa about five days ago. I reported about that place in a previous blog entry. Not much has changed there since my last visit. Wonderful town. Adventure sports capital of Ecuador. The caldera of volcano Tungurahua sits above the town. During my last visit it rumbled and spat fire and rained ash all over the town. This visit it was quiet.  The subterranean heat is responsible for the wonderful municipal hot baths.

P1110740P1110788P1110781P1110751The bus from Banos took me to Puyo where I changed buses and arrived in Macas in late afternoon. Spent one night in a hotel across from the bus station.

The following noon, I was on another bus which arrived in Limon/Indanza, also in the early afternoon. I had traveled this route before and was always curious about Limon. Checked into my tiny room in a hostal that sits directly on the main road and serves as the local bus stop. I walked around Limon a bit. It became evident very quickly that this was not a place I would want to live. People are nice, but the town itself had a depressed feel to it. It is a small rural town that sits astride a river like nearly all (if not all) towns on the Eastern slopes of the Andes.

Next morning I hopped another bus to Gualaquiza. At the bus station in Gualaquiza I loaded myself and my unusually copious amount of gear onto an open truck like transport with seven wooden benches and room for five people on each bench. This vehicle was going to Pangui. In Pangui I was lucky to catch a ride on one of the large buses to Zamora.  I am writing this entry from my very nice room in a hostal there. Tonight will be my third night in Zamora.

On my first night in Zamora, I was feeling alone and a little down. I remember sending a few emails that illustrated just how tired and down I was. Gotta be cautious around that ‘send’ key sometimes.

The following morning, I arose, had a small breakfast and went out to explore and take pictures.  I had been in Zamora before so I knew the layout. It is a small town of fewer than 20k inhabitants.

I do not travel with a firm agenda.  I like to let the Spirit move me. I like the idea of…  living in the moment… and thus making myself available for unexpected wonders that often lurk just around the corner. I hailed a passing cab and asked how much he would charge to be my guide for the afternoon.  I often feel gently nudged by forces unseen… benevolent forces.

I have had a dream (self-projected vision ?) for a long time: To have a small piece of property directly adjacent to a waterfall… where I will build a small house in which to live… and at this location I will celebrate my 120th birthday party that will be attended by people from all over.

I think of this place as a parcel of personal paradise.  I envision maintaining relationships with people in other parts of the world and I see myself giving talks and leading presentations… ‘The Marble Game’ (I created)… and having a blog… and encouraging people to invent ‘best case scenarios’ for the world… and then I will often retreat back to this spot next to the waterfall to recharge and refresh my soul. Those visions and ideas have been part of my life for many years.

Then,  one summer afternoon, I caught myself being mesmerized by a vision of beauty and found myself awash in a most powerful wave of magnetic attraction.  If there is anything to the existence of soul mates; we have met one another. This is my sense of it.

By conventional wisdom a person my age is most often considered to be beyond being moved by Love. Yet, I am feeling the kind of inspiration that only Love can weave. I am inspired to be the best me that I can. That includes maintaining not only a young at heart attitude, but it also means paying careful attention to maintaining my physical body. Hey; I’m going to live to 120 (or beyond).  Am excited at the prospect of creating, experiencing and sharing a continued Life that is punctuated by moments of expansive joy. To live into that future requires ongoing self-maintenance.

Everything has changed for me as a result of meeting her. I am now rearranging my ideas. Previously, I dreamed of myself as the solitary monk by the waterfall, who would occasionally venture into the civilized world to share wisdom gleaned from a life of contemplation.  Now, visions of my intimate other are included in my projections.  The truth is…  that I am so moved and touched by her that I would happily surrender my previous vision if that is what was required to have a future with her.

The Possibility of Paradise exists. What of living into a shared version of a ‘best case scenario’ created by two minds and hearts … replacing  the solitary monk version?

To some, the idea of existing in beautiful year round weather, with abundant clean air, clean water, fresh local food grown in volcanic mineral soil as created by more Natural means (rather than food sponsored by corporate chemistry), breathing negatively charged ions from a waterfall, and sharing the adventure of Life with a most amazing, creative, intelligent and  beautiful person one had ever known… maybe sounds kind of crazy…

I have been to, submerged myself in, and drunk the waters from five different waterfalls in the past two days. Crazy, huh?

Then, some big kids come along and threaten to kick sand in the faces of the  little kids in what had been a very happy sandbox.

How long will it take for those greedy kids to see that  Paradise is   vastly more valuable than a piles of gold or tankers full of crude?

Trouble in Paradise..?

to_get_the_gold_they_will_have_to_kill_every_one_of_us

Money in Paradise…? What is it? Who’s got it? How do the big kids make it?

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Dump-the-Dollar-Says-Ecuadorian-President-20141217-0058.html

And the Common People join in the fray… Can you hear the trumpets of the cavalry… reinforcements are on the way…  Paradise saved:

http://www.pachamama.org/blog/stop-destruction-giving-tuesday

Oh, but what a most wonderful and precariously precious thing it is… This Paradox of Paradise.

 

 

 

 

The Possibility of Paradise

All Living creatures are continually adapting to their environment.  It is now understood (as a result of continual investigation) by those in the biological sciences, that Living Beings are far more complex than believed as few as twenty years ago. More sophisticated tools/technology and tactics of investigation provide the possibility to link an ever expanding array of tools, allowing permutations of ‘information gathering’.

When I attended high school (48 years ago), students were exposed to a very different ‘story’ regarding Life than what is available today. Elements were atomic structures (Table of Elements). Molecules were made of a configuration of atoms.   Watson and Crick showed the world the wonders of the incredibly complex DNA molecule. The idea of ‘genetic codes’ was still very much a mystery.  Cells were thought of as the building blocks of all Life.

In the ‘information age’ of today, ideas and thoughts travel at light speed across the globe. These thoughts and ideas are only relevant to creatures who possess the tool of language. As far as we know… only Humans  have access to the ‘ideas’ of other Humans. Other Living creatures are unaware of the world of Human ideas.

All of the above constitutes ‘environment’.  Humans are creatures who have adapted to every environment they have encountered. Through the creation of ‘technologies’, Humans can now Live at the oceans depths and can survive off planet Earth in structures built and sent into orbit. Humans have drastically changed the environment of planet Earth in a breathtakingly short period of time.  The ‘balance’ that once existed between Living creatures for thousands of years has been upset by a singular ‘species’… Homo Sapiens. Humans are but a single ‘element’ in the whole spectrum of Nature. Human bodies are bound to the rules of Life and Nature that they investigate.

So many ‘topics’… so many ‘subjects’… so many ‘realms’… so many things to consider… so many ways for modern Humans to understand  themselves and their relationship to all the other Living creatures with whom they share planet Earth.

And now comes the Human microbiome.  Here scientists tell us that there is a whole other ‘environment’ that exists inside our very bodies. This environment consists of other Living creatures coexisting in a symbiotic relationship… inside us.  There are so many creatures living inside us that: ‘…One study indicated they outnumber human cells 10 to 1…’  That means that your body is only ten percent ‘Human’.

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_microbiome

All Living creatures live in a state of balance with one another. When that balance is disturbed, some Living creatures increase their numbers while others are decreased. We know that some Living creatures completely cease to exist… they become extinct.  Is this all a Natural process unfolding?  Will all Living creatures one day become extinct, just as it seems that individual Living creatures die an individual death?

OR

Is there a Possibility of Paradise?  What is Paradise? Well, for Humans, Paradise is a word. It is a word that conveys a collection of ideas. The concept of Paradise is widespread. It exists in the legends and stories, both written and unwritten in tribes and cultures around the world.  The concept/idea of Paradise forms an important part of ‘religious doctrine’ in many religions. The stories of Paradise vary from religion to religion and from culture to culture. Yet stories of Paradise appear to be more or less universal to Humans from everywhere… much like music, language, and religion itself.

One of the aspects of Paradise is that it is a place of eternal existence. In this eternal existence… everything is beautiful and perfect. Everyone who lives in Paradise is in a state of ‘bliss’. There is no unhappiness in Paradise and all creatures who Live there are in harmony with one another.

In Zoroastrian texts, Judaic texts, Greek (and hence Roman) texts, and Christian texts there is a reference to a time when Humans lived in Paradise. Then something happened. Humans had to ‘leave’ Paradise. This happens for different ‘reasons’. There are different ’causes’ for Humans leaving Paradise or for Paradise itself leaving. Usually these stories include God or in the Greek/Roman view ‘Gods’.

One man, David Talbott, a ‘comparative mythologist’ spent much of his life pondering the accounts of the Greek stories about Paradise, The Golden Age.  In these accounts, each of the ‘Gods’  is linked to a specific planet. The stories tell of  things the ‘Gods’ did. Talbott studied each part of the collection of stories and hypothesized that the stories tell of things that Humans witnessed in the sky (the heavens or heaven). The film: Thunderbolts of the Gods gives Talbott’s view.

What about the Possibility of Paradise for individual Humans? Is it possible for me as an individual to find a similar state of Being that the Greeks described in their idea of The Golden Age?  Are there places on Earth where Life exists closer to a condition of symbiotic harmony and balance?

Me, being a Human, and therefore endowed with a brain that is equipped with the ability to explore in language and to ponder these things… is it silly, childish, or selfish of me to have a desire to exist in Paradise and/or to explore the Possibilities?

In my time as a nomad, I have witnessed and experienced different ways that Humans live in different places. I do not pretend to know much of anything. I say that I only have opinions and beliefs. These beliefs/opinions are subject to revision and change as I am exposed to new experiences or new information.

Is there a ‘better’ place to Live?  I am told, time and again, that no place is perfect. There will always be negatives that will appear. Such is the ‘environment’ of the Human heart and mind.  Possible Paradise  exists, perhaps, only as a discipline of heart and mind. Perhaps I am exploring my interior mental ‘biome’ or would that be ‘ideome’?

The next post will be a more ‘boots on the ground’ report. I will include photos of me in places that resemble my internal impressions of Paradise.

Thanks for your continued interest.

 

 

 

Moving forward

Like a dog that emerges from the ocean or a lake; and hesitates at the water’s edge and shakes the water from it’s coat… so I shake off the recent  disturbances negatively affecting my ’emotional body’.

Some fundamental characteristics of Living creatures are: adaptability, flexibility, and of course, motility.

A very important person in my life recently pointed out that I do not ‘shun’ nor ‘ignore’ the painful emotions I experience, but rather,  I do acknowledge these painful experiences as fully as I know how.  I accept this kind of pain as a Natural consequence of being Human and Alive.

Some people get bogged down into the negativity that is a consequence of emotionally painful experiences. It does take a degree of self-discipline to focus on other positive aspects of one’s Life when one is sometimes knocked off balance by a powerful wave of negativity.

Perhaps all Humans have the ability to be ‘sensitive’ or ’empathetic’ to the pain of others. Perhaps it may be so that, like any other attribute, the degree to which a Human is sensitive or has the ability to empathize with another varies from individual to individual.  Certainly all Humans have traits and abilities that are unique. Some are ‘naturally athletic’ others are not. Some are  ‘more intelligent’ than others. So, certainly, it may be so that some are Naturally more sensitive or empathetic.

It is also true that no matter what a person’s ‘Natural ability’ may be, anyone can improve any ability through the discipline of ‘practice’.

My young life provided me with much opportunity to ‘practice’ both feeling empathy, and with noticing how my sensitivity to another person’s pain caused me emotional pain.  So, I have much ‘practice’ in these matters.

What I have learned is, that I am unable to control another person’s behavior. I have had to learn to separate my empathy for someone from my own actual circumstance. I have had to learn that while it is ‘Human’ to empathize, it can be debilitating for me if I don’t pay attention.

If I truly can do nothing to alleviate the painful circumstance or negative thought life or negative emotional swirl of another person… and I continue to feel like it is my responsibility (as a compassionate Human) to ‘help’ my loved one, friend, or other in distress… it may cause ME great harm.

It is very much like trying to change the course of a raging river armed with a shovel.  It is an exercise in futility.  It is important to become very clear about the extent of one’s actual abilities. And it is equally important to face the fact that there may be times when a loved one, friend or stranger in distress is not willing to receive help (even if it were possible).

To show respect to another one must listen carefully to what they want or desire.  It is important to respect that each of us has the ‘right’ to govern and direct our own way in Life. We own ourselves. Each person (even if you think they are ‘wrong’) has the innate ‘right’ to manage their own choices.  That is as true for me as it is for any other.

What is there for me to do then? To create and Live a happy Life begins with building and maintaining a properly proportioned Love and respect of ‘self’.

To allow myself to be debilitated by emotionally or mentally dwelling in the negativity or the emotional pain and suffering  of any ‘other’ is to disrespect my own ‘self’.  I must, as the title of this entry states, ‘Move Forward’ with my Life.

Kindly excuse me for now…  There is a waterfall not too far from here waiting to be discovered.

June 1st to December 12th 2014 – A Condensed Version

It has been over six months since my last entry.

I guess I feel I may want to be more ‘invisible’ in the US. I know it’s probably stupid because there is probably no such thing as privacy anymore for anyone who ever logs onto the internet for anything. Every keystroke can be tracked and traced by anyone with the desire and the technology to do so. Every call I made on my cell phone, every time I interacted with a government or corporate entity an electronic (internet available) record is made.  Every purchase using a credit card is stored somewhere in the internet.

My other excuse for not making entries into this blog is that for some odd reason I had it in my mind that my ‘adventures’ have to do with visiting South America. As you will soon read (if you care to or if you don’t get bored with me) I had PLENTY of ‘adventures’ the past six months while in the US.

So without further ado… here is the condensed version of the past six months or so.

1. Arrived in USA still resonating from experiencing Life as it unfolds in the Upper Amazon (Amazonas Alto) region of Ecuador and Peru.
2. Reacquainted  myself with my son and friends (who are affected by their relationship with me in their own specific ways… at various times feeling: inspired, mystified, intrigued, abandoned, appreciated/loved/missed).
3. Adjusted to the realities of Life in Manchester, NH, USA
4. Only began to take in the ways that I myself had been affected by my recent journeys.
5. Got back up on the motorcycle… registration, inspection, insurance, maintenance, practice.
6. Revisited the ‘dome property’ and the progress that is being generated by the very responsible new owners (one of my very best friends) and revisit the ‘agreement’.
7. Was stunned to the core… stopped in my tracks upon meeting the person who I can best describe as  what felt and still feels like ‘The Love of My Life’, and having to jettison all of my previous ideas regarding potential ‘ideal partners’.
8. Placed my name on the ballot in Henniker for the position of NH state representative as a Republican (at the exact time that my friend placed his name on the same ballot… as a Democrat… and watching the stupified looks on the faces of those who gave us the necessary documents).
9. Attended the annual Porcfest event. (but for the first time only for one day and evening. Previously for one week.
10. Attended the annual Solarfest event in Vermont which is host to the leaders in the exploring/utilizing solar power… where I got to witness the construction of… and got to ride an all electric motorcycle.
11. Experienced the pain of hearing the ongoing situation of my son’s health condition and feeling powerless to help him, and being amazed at how he has negotiated his way in Life… having to overcome my many errors as a father… and sensing his personal struggles along his pathway of Life… noticing his incredible love of others and his strengths and cultivated abilities.
12. Maintained friendships with people who come from and represent a very diverse way of looking at the world… some on the blue team, others on the red team, others on neither team.
13. Was inspired to strengthen and bring my physical body into optimal condition as best I could.
14. Colored/dyed my hair and beard in a feeble attempt to take on a more ‘youthful’ appearance, and to personally experience the ‘modern trend’ in what can only be described as unnatural.
15. Experienced a direct hit from the front bumper of a very heavy car while riding my motorcycle.
16. Woke up in an ambulance on the way to a hospital emergency room.
17. Experienced firsthand the maturity of my son and observed how he  ‘took over’ and attended to everything; including having the bike picked up from the impound lot and notifying other friends who visited me in the emergency room.
18. Noticed the extraordinary differences in the ‘health care systems’ from USA and South America.
19. Slowly recovered/recuperated from the damage to my body as a result of the direct hit.
20. Reassessed my interpretation(s) of what it means to be ‘growing older’.
21. Attended the NH Republican party’s official ‘platform’ convention and sensed/smelled the foul odor of the ‘Washington DC’ crowd. It was evident that there were forces working behind the scenes, as well as obviously, to steer local NH politics to benefit ‘federally interested’ politicians. Noticed how ‘propaganda techniques’ were cleverly and expertly used in this group meeting.
22. Struggled internally with my relationship with the realm of ‘politics’.
23. Began an extended fast (zero caloric intake) exactly one week after the anniversary of ‘that day’.
24. Continued the fast for 45 days which I ended exactly two days prior to election day.  Had a ‘celebration of food’ on the day of my ‘break-fast’ and shared that experience with an intimate other.
25. Voted and experienced the odd sensation of seeing my name on the ballot while voting for myself.
26. Was amazed upon seeing the results the following morning that I had received 20% of the Henniker/Bradford votes without actually engaging in any ‘campaigning’. I did not so much as print or put up a sign. I had only casually mentioned to  eight people that I was on the ballot.
27. Felt conflicted about all of it. Earth Life.

28. Noticed that all during the summer and fall I continued to learn and grow as a person.
29. Delayed, but finally ‘pressed the button’ to create a ticket to return to South America.
30. Felt conflicted about departing from my son and friends and newly discovered intimate other.
31. Followed through with the departure in the face of newly surfaced emotional disturbances in the lives of friends and my intimate other.
32. Arrived in Ecuador at an airport I had never before landed in. Within 24 hours having the sense of. ‘being led’ to the waterfall property where I envision celebrating my 120th birthday party. I envision attendees from all over the world joining me in a celebration of LIFE, and reveling in the incredible beauty that is available for the Beings privileged to experience.