Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 80 - Upon My Soul

Recently Marv H asked me if I am religious, or spiritual in any way. It
is is supposed to be taboo to discuss politics, religion or sex…
but well, hey, what are blogs about if not to break taboos? So (taking a
deep breath) after butts, boobies, birdpoop and exploding squid, now we
move onto The Meaning Of Life….

I am a preachers' kid (yes, the apostrophe IS in the right place – BOTH
my parents were preachers) but I do not count myself a religious person.
But I do have a strong belief system that I have evolved over the few
years since I stepped out of the rat race to get a fresh perspective on
life. I have done a lot of reading and thinking - as well as simply
observing - and have been especially influenced by Aldous Huxley's
"Perennial Philosophy", "Conversations With God" by Donald Neale Walsh,
and the teachings of Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer.

I believe that there is more to this world that can be perceived with
the five human senses. It would surprise me if reality in its entirety
could be witnessed through sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We
evolved these five because they are what our physical body needed for
survival, but I am sure that there are other dimensions to reality.
Although we can't perceive these other aspects directly, we CAN see the
effects that they have on our sensory reality if we try playing around
to make them work for us – like, for example, the Law of Attraction.

The way I see it, one of these other dimensions that we can't physically
see is a kind of pool of energy that unites us all – call it God, the
Source, the Oneness, the Universe, or whatever you will – and that this
force exists in every single living being in the world – or even the
universe, if there is life on other planets.

To try and illustrate this… in a sense we are united physically by the
Earth. We all stand on it, sit on it, or lie on it – or in a building
that rests on it. We're not floating several miles above it, or off in
space somewhere. We are all in some way physically and directly
connected to the Earth. Similarly, we are all united spiritually by this
unifying force. We are connected to it by whatever that magical thing is
that makes us into living beings rather than just inert lumps of flesh.
That spark of life force, or your soul, or your heart, or your energy –
whatever you call that thing makes you a living, moving, sentient being
- is what connects us all to each other.

And this energetic field that connects us all is also, I think, where we
can draw things to ourselves that cannot be explained through the laws
of logic or the perception of our five human senses. When we act, talk,
or think, our actions, words and thoughts reverberate through that field
and create consequences in the visible world.

So, that's the basis. But what does that mean in real life? How does
this belief system influence how I live?

First, I will always treat other people with respect – in fact, I will
treat them as I would want to be treated myself – because we are all
connected. So if I hurt them, I hurt myself.

Second, I believe that we owe it to ourselves, and to everybody else, to
be the very best person that we can be in this lifetime. Because we are
all connected, when one person strives to be better, it raises everybody

Third, I've found the best way to be the best person I can be is to put
ego aside, and to tap into that greater force – to ask it, what is my
purpose? How can I serve the whole? When we take our guidance from that
collective energy, by listening to our heart, we can be sure that we do
the right things for the right reasons. It also enables us to make sure
what we do is the very best that can be done, because we do it not
alone, but with the enormous resources of energy and inspiration that
lie in that pool of collective consciousness.

I do not claim that my belief system is "true" - I claim only that this
is what I have CHOSEN to believe, based on my experiences, and because
these beliefs serve me well. It makes sense to me, makes me happy, gives
me a sufficient feeling that I am in control of my own destiny, while
also allowing a bit of room for those magical moments of serendipity
that make me believe there is a sense of justice and harmony in the

But I also freely admit that there are many other ways to perceive the
world, and many other belief systems that can be construed based on the
same evidence. We only have to look at any scientific controversy to see
that intelligent, rational people can look at the same data and arrive
at radically different conclusions.

So I have no problem with other people believing whatever they want to
believe – provided that their belief does not impinge on my personal
freedom. And similarly I would never dream of foisting my belief system
on anybody else.

I think it is up to everybody to figure out what works for them. I've
put a lot of thought into my own system of spirituality. To me there is
nothing in life so important as those big questions – who am I? Why am I
here? What is the point of it all? And that we all owe it to ourselves
to spend time and effort thinking about these questions – if we want to
be happy.

Wow, this is a very personal blog, and I feel almost shy about baring my
soul to this extent. But, hey, I've bared just about everything else
this voyage. So why not my soul too?

[photo: feel free to think I'm crazy, but at least I'm happy!]

Other Stuff:

This morning I had just 13 miles to go to get to 2 degrees North. If the
weather had been like yesterday I would have done this today, no
problem. But the weather wasn't, and I didn't. The wind veered round
from E, to ESE, SE, until I was being blown north again. At the moment
the wind is looking undecided as to how mean it's going to be. Will it
let me off with just a temporary hold-up at this latitude, or will it be
a total b*****d and blow me all the way up north again? Who knows. I'm
deliberately not thinking about it – or at least, rapidly redirecting my
thoughts every time I do start thinking about it. It will be what it
will be.

Apologies for not updating you on the fate of the fish that I invited to
supper last night, on the condition that he provide the main course –
or, in fact, BE the main course. Truth be told, he was a dead loss. I
started trying to cut the flesh off him, but as you may have observed
from the photo, he was built for speed, not supper, being long and
skinny rather than plump and round. So, basically, there was so little
meat on him that he was a total waste of space supper-wise. So I
recycled him over the side of the boat and resorted to freeze-dried
curry instead, which with the addition of some powdered coconut milk was
very yummy indeed.

Dave Finnigan – your film concept sounds very interesting. I do have a
contact at Lucasfilm. Could I ask you to get back in touch with me when
I am on dry land, and we will follow up then? You can contact me at

Dale – thanks for the reminder about enjoying the here and now, and
being present in the moment. I've actually become much more aware of
that in th
e last couple of days, and have been working on it – and am feeling much
more content as a result. Thank you for the timely reminder.

Margaret Taylor – thank you for your very special message. You in turn
have inspired me. I hope that we both reach the far side of our
challenges as better and stronger people.

Amy Olmstead – I will be sure to give you a shout if and when I make it
to Austin!

Rozta' Bill – alas it looks like the UH forecast was overly optimistic.
Hey ho! I listened to Tribes the other day. Really enjoyed it and got a
lot out of it. Pretty inspiring stuff!

Thank you to Robert Pfeiffer, Roman Lyubimov, Andrew M Reed and Laurey
Masterton for their kind donations – all very much appreciated. Thank
you, Rozlings!

Jerome, Judy, Joan, Sebastian – great to hear from you too. Thanks for
your comments!

Weather report:

Position at 2215 HST: 02 09.407Nm 177 12.476W
Wind: 5-20kts, sometimes E, sometimes SE, sometimes in between
Seas: 3-5ft NE
Weather: showers this morning, overcast for a while, mostly clear skies
with scattered showers this afternoon, clouding over again towards

Weather forecast courtesy of

Latest tracker reported your position as: 02 39N 177 05W as of 09Aug

As of Monday morning 10 Aug 2009. According to measured data, there
been Eerly winds up to 7-12kts and little significant rainshower
activity in
your area. 10kt Eerly winds extends to 01 30S then increase to Eerly
15-20kts then shift to SEerly 0-20kts. Winds continue to be very shifty
couple of days becoming Eerly 0-15kts by 1500HST 11Aug. Then shifting to
SEerly 0-20kts by 12Aug 1200HST. Uncertainty remains in the forecast, as
previously discussed.

According to satellite imagery, there remains widespread areas of low
clouds amongst scattered areas of deep convection. There is a
area of deep convection south of the Equator centered near 03 00S 175
Rainshowers, squalls, and thunderstorms in areas of deep convection.

Sky conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered moderate
squalls, and possible thunderstorms.

Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in equatorial
and naturally occurring small scale fluctuations in direction/speed in
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
10/1800-10/2100 E-SE 0-20 2-5
10/2100-11/1800 SE-E 0-20 2-5
11/1800-12/1200 E-SE 0-20 2-5
12/1200-14/0600 SE-ENE 5-20 2-5
14/0600-15/0000 ENE-SE 0-20 2-5

Next Update: Thursday, 13 August