Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Zen an the Art of Squirrel - waves
The squirrel does not always have to be in control, although sometimes it does seem that the squirrel being the master is the most prevalent condition in life, this is not a requirement. Part of the way of the squirrel is also to tame the squirrel.
The squirrel does not have to be the master, the squirrel can be tamed.
When you look a life it has cycles and sometimes it feels like it is an ocean where it goes up and down, and who understands any of that.
In reality, we all can understand enough of it and as we look further and further back from the waveform of the squirrel going up and down and we will notice something. If you get far enough back it all flattens out. The peaks and valleys all start to look as if they are just noise in the pattern of life.
Such is the nature of taking a wider look at things, from far enough back even mountains are just a little bit of noise on the edge of the Earth.
Of course when you are at the bottom of the waveform the peaks look like they are very far above you, but even then you can remember the last peak, and you have to remember that the next peak won’t be that far off.
Now we just have to see what we can do about the magnitude of the waves. For centuries humans have been trying to see what they can do about the watery forms of waves. We started with natural harbors and being at the whims of the waves everywhere else. We built better ships; we even learned to sail against the winds and better ways to navigate so we could avoid getting lost at sea.
We learned how to build harbors with walls to keep the waves away so we could have a shelter in places where a shelter was not natural formed.
We discovered that when we made our pier walls with a cycled pattern such as sheet piling the waves would not reflect as efficiently and therefore be less problematic after a few reflections.
I discovered a lot about this during the summer. I bought a small sailboat and went out exploring on the water. When I was in open water away from any flat surfaces waves were not much of a concern, I had a lot of time to prepare for them and they did not cause me a lot of stress when it was time to deal with them. When I was near reflective objects that had a non-flat surface they were also not much of a problem as they waves would be reflected slightly out of phase and be diminished.
One time I decided to venture out of the harbor for a little jaunt to the lake, this involved a short passage through some piers that were of the variety with smooth sides. This would not have been an issue with the prevailing weather of the day since it was a day with light winds and calm waves, unfortunately in this world I do occasionally have to deal with the after-effects of other humans as well.
As is frequently the case when you are in a small boat I had to deal with the after-effects of some idiot in a big boat who did not understand that he was not the only person on the water. This moron came cruising between the piers at speed leaving a large wake behind his boat that reflected back and forth between the piers for about twenty minutes after he had passed. A fourteen foot sailboat pounds back and forth really hard when it is being tossed back and forth by three foot waves that are hitting it from multiple quarters at the same time.
I thought that the mast was going to snap off, or the mount was going to rip out of the deck. I was afraid that I was going to crack something in the hull as I was tossed during a hellish twenty minute passage of the piers. Under normal circumstances the distance I had to travel would have taken all of maybe three minutes, but the nature of the water made it impossible to make any headway.
I survived, as you can probably determine from my ability to write this now. But I was annoyed.
But the point I am trying to make here is that just like the waves in water there are ways to calm the waves in your mental state. You have to tame the squirrel, in order to tame the squirrel you have to understand the squirrel.
The squirrel is going to go up, it is going to go down, if will find something on the ground, and then it will look for something in a tree. As soon as it finds something in the tree it will see something on the ground that is also interesting.
But if you tame the squirrel maybe it will find that it can sit in one place, at one level and find what it needs.
Of course, if you know anything about squirrels, sitting in one lace to long is not good for long term survival of the species, for there are predators and they move partially to avoid these risks, but if you stop for a moment and think about it if you smooth the cycles the squirrel gets to do a few things that will allow it to survive better.
On the ground the squirrel is not safe, for that is where the greatest number of predators are. This is the ground state, this is the low state.
Up in the trees so very high there is food, but there is also the greatest distance to fall, this is no good either. Although if the squirrel could stay up there forever life would be a grand thing, that is simply not feasible.
You need to back up and look at a broader scale, the distance between the tops and the bottoms get less pronounced and if you back up far enough you suddenly notice that there is a bird feeder on the porch.
The realization that there is a feeder is the introduction of knowledge. Knowledge and learning allows you to suddenly go to the feeder and get sustenance instead of the constant jump from the ground to the treetops.
When you discover that the lowest lows can be avoided by diving into knowledge you gain survivability. When you discover that the highest highs can be avoided by diving towards knowledge you have again trained the squirrel.
The waves are smaller, you have trained the squirrel.
When the waves run into a flat wall they reflect as big as they started. When you learn to use a variated wall the waves reflect back with interference, the interference of knowledge. The waves are smaller on the return, the ride is smoother.
The squirrel has been trained.