I’m doing what I’m calling Spiritual Improvs. I’ll take an artifact off my shelf and create a talk from it. Todays talk is on Stonehenge. My sister stole a rock from Stonehenge decades ago and I found it in my garden and cleaning it off and added it to my spiritual museum where I keep the memories of my journey, just as a British museum keeps the memories of their empire’s conquest of the wonders of the world.
I’ll pick a piece for each talk and let that piece tell me what to say. My overall theme for these talks now is the Joy of Aging. And the primary way to access the Joy of Aging is through surrender. The art of aging is the art of letting go. And I’m demonstrating that art by picking up an object and letting it tell me what to say. I surrender to the object and just let it riff.
The point of this talk, now that I’m writing about the talk and can reflect on what I said, is that we all need a fixed point upon which to orientate our selves. A good example of that need is that when you open a Google Map and you have zoomed in too close, you don’t know where you are.
So you zoom out to find a fixed point, something that you know upon which you can reference your reality map, you place in the world. “OH, I know that street. Now I know we are.” Suddenly with one fixed known point, our familiar reality snaps into place and we are OK. But until our known reality snaps into place, we are without center, lost and close to panic.
It’s like when you dope off when driving and suddenly you don’t know where you are. Did I pass my turn? Is it still ahead? I don’t know! Then you see a familiar road sign and SNAP, you are OK.
Our Fixed Point is always the Known. When you go to a new town, people will start trying to fix you to a known. What church do you go to. Who do you know. Oh, you so and so’s cousin. SNAP. Now you are fixed. But the known is always the past. We only know the past. When we encounter the unknown, we are in a rush to reference it to what we know so we can relax. The unknown is disorientating. It creates fear and a sense of chaos, fear and uncertainty. The unknown is like death.
The movie Space Odyssey: 2001 is a metaphor for the Unknown when that black obelisk appeared during the evolution man from apes. There was no reference in reality for this obelisk. When the totally unknown appears in our life, it is a portal to evolve or regress. Do we respond with curiosity or do we react with fear and panic.
It is only through surrender do we respond with creativity. I hold up this rock and surrender to it, and it tells me how to create my talk.