Google “geniuses” are telling us that we are 12 years away from an A.I. that is more “intelligent” than human beings. What does this mean? Are they right? In common use, people define the word intelligence with many different expectations despite how dictionaries try to expound upon its classical definition. Intelligence is a word invented by academics to explain a predictable phenomena that can be graduated like a fever thermometer. Its most succinct definition reads as follows “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.” I like that definition as it is easy to utilize. However, defining I.Q. in this way fails our unconscious expectations of its application being performed judiciously. So it fails us seriously when that it does not encompass creativity and other facets of applying knowledge such as doing so in a way that does not create collateral damage. Consider as an example the wonders of pharmaceuticals that stop one disease and create two or three new issues…. you know what I mean, you see the commercials. We all wonder if this is intelligence. At least some times it seems to be so when an antibiotic works and saves your life. Of course if a fluoroquinolone and your tendons tear from its use crippling you, you are not quite as pleased.
People born with higher I.Q.s do learn faster, in some cases much faster. They can often apply what they learn quickly and even effectively. If we create and A.I. that can learn and apply what it has learned quickly and effectively will that mean in is smarter than a human? Of course we now have to define “smart.” I chose smart, for fun, and because that grasps the popular meaning of intelligence that is more generalized.
Actually I am skeptical that we will have a “true” A.I. anytime soon, at least the type that Isaac Asimov wrote about and endeared his readers to. Isaac’s robots were “smart” and very humanoid. Isaac’s A.I.s duplicated humanity and is some ways outshined us. They were not only Artificial Intelligences but they were conscious and supremely ethical as required by Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
But lets get back to consciousness and try to define it. What is consciousness? We see it often defined as “the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.” I prefer to think of it as being aware that I am regardless of whatever surroundings I may find myself in. This harkens back to the famously debated statement, “I think, therefore I am.” Here, thought is used as a proof of one’s existence and perhaps mindfulness. Proving to oneself that you exist is also consciousness as I see it. Can we create consciousness or is that “God given” only via a soul as some think?
We already have the ability to create sensory apparatus and motorized limbs that can closely duplicate many human physical endowments. What is appears to be lacking is the intellectual gifts that make a physical being animate itself. When we have the possibly soon to come capacity of creating nearly infinite memory with a holographic compression tool and a possible subatomic substrate, we will be one step in the direction of creating the Asimov like A.I. However, nearly endless memory is not enough. Human memory is prodigious and likely soon matched but it will not create self cognizance.
Perhaps what we now need is to add problem solving. As we grow from childhood to maturity our ability to solve problems grows with our experience. We come into this world programmed with the rudimentary skills to do this and we add to it with age and experience. This can be programmed. What is left now to create a Asimov like A.I. may be consciousness?
When I say “I think therefore I am” it implies that I have a reason to think and this may be consciousness. However if you mix memory with problem solving skills (a definition of intelligence) it is not likely to get up and fix your car without commands to do so. It is not self commanding, so to speak. What makes us self motivating? At first blush this is quite simple, human need. A piece of metal and crystal with computer form has no clear needs; humans do. But what if it had? Would it become conscious? We frail humans have many needs. Some of the more obvious are: food (fuel), shelter (pain avoidance), companionship and emotional gratification. Would giving this to a computer create consciousness? We could do this!
A computer could have pain sensors helping it avoid damage. Our cars already do in the form of crash detectors. Our cars also know when they are low on fuel, their food. Our A.I. with these skills might now avoid rain, walking into deep water and running out of fuel. It will to some extent be self activating but not conscious. What if we programmed it with a need to have companionship and to see the benefits of working in teams with beings like itself? It could be programmed to “instinctively” form robot tribes to protect itself from the pain of destruction by competitive A.I.s who might take its fuel and shelter if these needs were in short supply. It would likely now be more self activated but still not conscious. What now if we add emotional needs? It is quite possible to program an inner pain when other A.I.s out perform it in group activities such as searching for fuel etc. We could even program in some “boasting” into
A.I.s that would create “jealousy” in other A.I.s. We could in fact, create “pride feelings” in those who achieve more. We could program in competitiveness too, perhaps as a desire to soar with the eagles. However it is not likely to lead to self awareness. What is still missing? How about death?
We could design in an inevitable death in which the CPU-Mind simply degrades and stops functioning as a process of memory overloading or randomness inherently created by the repetitive use of its subatomic substrate. In other words it wears out at the subatomic level by being overwhelmed from its self created complexity. If you don’t like this cause, we can come up with another one more suitable however the bottom line is it dies. How will this affect possible consciousness? The A.I. might begin to seek solutions to this issue, it could be self activating all the time. Is that consciousness? How about if we make it possible for the A.I. to have sex with an opposite sex A.I. to reproduce itself. Could we also create in its mind a sense of family and the special value of family? Consider that we know trees do this! Why not A.I.s? We could even make it possible that each A.I. inherit certain A.I. characteristics from a parent A.I., like genetics. Successful A.I. lives could modify genes so that those inheriting them would be more likely to succeed at survival and reproduction. Would this now endow the A.I. with human consciousness like behavior? I suspect we are getting close. The sexual behavior could also be sensually and emotionally rewarding so as to be a positive motivating experience as it can be for humans. It could also be only occasionally productive by programming. The desire for sex would also end with the climax so that the A.I. would not be stuck in a pleasure seeking loop. We could put this all under the control of a chemical charging system that creates urgency as charge builds in a system much like hormones. It might even be connected to the cycles of the moon and the timing created by the rhythm of the Schumann Resonance. In this way the “need” to attempt reproduction (sex) would not be a constant. The A.I. could be programmed to recognize its “child” as its link to immortality and a strength added to its tribe, since death is inevitable.
We should also create an intellectual skill allowing an A.I. the ability to “put itself in another A.I.’s shoes.” This could be the beginning of compassion and sensitivity. This ability to feel another’s pain, especially at death would add an appreciation for life and perhaps an urgency to live it well. With this programmed, an A.I. might one day say, “let he who has not sinned cast the first water!”
Would we now have consciousness? It is beginning to me to look like the A.I. will behave in a conscious fashion. Would it now begin to wonder if it will have an existence after “death?” We could of course program an electromagnetic transport for an archive of its experience to a cosmic archive. From this archive we might even pass its experience to a subsequent generation of its family, though placing it at a lower subconscious level of mental access to increase its likelihood of survival after “birth” or to create new born prodigies.
I think at this point the A.I. will be like Asimov’s. Will it be conscious? I am not sure but it makes me wonder if we are too!
Finding Happiness And Gratefulness Will Increase Your Longevity!
(read the whole article from Mercola.com) Summary below:
Gratefulness Journal – Each day keep a list of everything that happened that you are grateful for.Download and use a Gratitude Ap daily!
- Psychological – felt more alert alive and awake. Achieve better results.
- Physically – feel better about health, exercise more and sleep better (10% more!). 10 – 15% in blood pressure reduction.
- Social Relationships – more positive social behaviours
- Better Than Drugs: According to Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, an expert in brain and mind health:”If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
Epigenetics: A team of researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that people with a deep sense of happiness and well-being had lower levels of inflammatory gene expression and stronger antiviral and antibody responses. This falls into the realm of epigenetics — changing the way your genes function by turning them off and on.
Your health responds to your thoughts, actions and your environment. The work of Dr. Bruce Lipton and other epigenetic researchers shows that the “environmental signals” also include thoughts and emotions—both of which have been shown to directly affect DNA expression. Contrary to the Newtonian belief in your body as a biological machine, epigenetic science reveals that you are an extension of your environment, which includes everything from your thoughts and belief systems, to toxic exposures and exposure to sunlight, exercise, and, of course, everything you choose to put onto and into your body. Epigenetics shatters the idea that you are a victim of your genes, and shows that you have tremendous power to shape and direct your physical health.
Actions that strengthen the positive attitude
- Write thank you notes
- Nonverbal actions such as smiles and hugs
- Remember to say “please” and “thank you”
- Express thanks through prayer or mindfulness meditation
- Make happiness your goal. The first step toward greater happiness is to choose it
- Identify that which makes you happy – remember it
- Make happiness a priority – plan time each day doing happy things
- Savor pleasant moments – the scent of your coffee, the feeling of your soft bed
- Ditch unnecessary and joyless distractions This includes texts, tweets and emails, which take you away from the true pleasures in life
- Prioritize experiences over things — things wear off, experience grows new positives
- Purpose Happiness isn’t about pleasure alone; it’s also about having a sense of purpose
- Meet New People – Having meaningful social relationships is important for happiness
- SunLight – Exposure to bright outdoor light is crucial for a positive mood
- Practice Kindness – When people make a point to conduct three to five acts of kindness a week
My name is Janr Ssor and this is one of my adventures. I call this adventure, “Life Over Easy.” This short story is an on-going experience. I have stepped out of it for hours in my life but always came back to continue. Some times I did not want to continue it, as I had left it, but I had to, because there is no other way I can find; yet.
Having discovered a way to travel to many worlds, through just the power of mind and a little help from technology, I have managed to live many lifetimes while still in one physical body. One of my greatest joys is sharing what I find with people who have no opportunity to experience it on their own. you will soon understand why.
I have written many stories about my magical experiences (each so unique that they appear seen through a newborn’s eyes) and there are many more to come. Despite all the unique fascinating dimensions of my stories there is one thing that I cannot find in this infinite world and that is the key to “life over easy.” I have not figured out how to better re-do what you have done, at least in this world.
In my story, “Not Kid’s Games”, we actually did so in that dimension of reality. Even if you could do this and did choose to re-do your life, you’d never know if it will turn out differently as it is too complex to say it is very probable. I have to say probable because no matter what you do in life, you are never assured of the outcome you dreamed of. Life has a way of doing what it wants and despite your screaming, yelling and stamping your feet in frustration; you still get carried away with the tide of life’s infinite complexity.
Using my D-Trip technology, and even the magic mushrooms of shamans, I have stepped out of our world and into many other odd dimensions of existence; however, in all my trips, I find the same is true of the power of universal fate. As Paul Simon wrote, “God only knows, God makes his plan. The information’s unavailable To the mortal man. We’re working our jobs Collect our pay. Believe we’re gliding down the highway When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away.” Fate is unswayable…..mostly.
One journey that comes to mind, when I think of a re-do of life is my early life. When I was a graduate student working on my doctorate, I was married to a bright pretty women whose vast differences from my way of thinking, added fun, humor and sunshine to my life. I thought it was a good decision to marry her and still don’t regret it even after 30+ years of divorce.
The question that goes through my mind many years after we got divorced is, could I have done better with that part of my life? What if I had the insights that Paul Simon did at my age? Paul wrote “Slip Slidin’ Away,” that I quote above, and even more insightful songs such as those in his album “Old Friends.” I say more insightful because I cannot comprehend how a twenty year old understood the issues of a 70 year old, where I am now, 50 years later! I guess that is what his genius was and more.
But back to my story. So what would I change if anything, especially if change does not for sure ever give you the outcome you think you desire? I think I have learned two things. The first is to never be afraid to smell the roses but to also make sure you do not get too entranced by the heady perfume they give off. After all, in my adventures it is the “entrancement” of the mind via hypnosis that takes us to other worlds of great adventure. In this “real” world however, the issue for me (and many other men) is the allure of the perfume of romance created by beautiful female faces, receptive smiles, appreciative comments and hypnotic pheromones. Not that I ever cheated on my first wife, because I did not, but because I did however allow myself to daydream about what it might be like if I had cheated.
This was one of the problems with being good looking, successful, personable and in decent (often great) physical shape. I was as alluring to the women I met as they were to me. My problem, in this situation, was that I was always a dreamer-writer and as such, each “warm” encounter could and often did spawn a story worth writing about. Is that bad? I am still not quite sure however, I now know that what you dream has a way of happening because it alters your thinking and the energy that flows through you! If you read Norman Vincent Peale’s book, “The Power Of Positive Thinking” or his book “You Can If You Think You Can,” you will understand what I mean. There are dozens of others that confirm this. For example, The Rosicrucian Literature teaches you how to use this positive and organized thinking for empowerment. It is called the practical application of metaphysics. More recently “The Secret,” re-invented this supposedly long lost knowledge. But back to my adventure. So all these “romantic mind trips” that could have been stories, undoubtedly altered my destiny. I believe that in some way, despite my managing fidelity, this partially lead to my divorce much as infidelity might have done. Divorce is a very unpleasant event that changes your life in a negative way forever, if your marriage was at all good. I say this because looking back on many years, I realize that a good marriage is NOT made in heaven as some say, but created, on this Earth, by two people who are guaranteed to have challenges in life and their relationship and yet through determined effort and willingness to change and grow they stay together.
The amazing thing is that it is overcoming those challenges and staying together that creates “real love,” that is so much better than the pheromone, hormone chemical magic that started the whole process. Why do I say this when so many people get divorced while seeking the romance of a new relationship? It is because the magic of pheromones and hormones wears off and you are bound to then do it over and over until you get it right and stay together or give up and choose to be single.
I met a strong headed lady a few nights ago, who complained that all the men she dated were boring, after a while. She felt that an ideal companion was one who would be creative and constantly come up with new and exciting things to do so that he would keep her from getting bored. Intuitively, her comments seemed silly and her living as a single, as a senior, appeared to verify that. As I thought about it more though, I kind of liked her stubborn determination to not settle for boredom. It fit her choleric personality and I do like cholerics. Even though we were politically polarized, I liked her. I could not however escaped thinking that if she had communicated her need to one of her “prospective lovers” and lead her potential partner by acting it out herself who knows what might have happened. Perhaps she needed to let him know what she expected of him and did not get. If she was as exciting and positively supportive to him he might have been willing to grow and change. Why? Because she would stimulate his learning to be more of what he was that attracted her to him initially. Choosing a partner because we want to mold them into what we want is not what I am talking about. On the other hand, Dale Carnegie teaches that the best way to get what you want is to enthusiastically and positively share your appreciation of what you want when you get it. It is a fact that all living beings respond to praise! If she had done that who knows how many proposals she might have considered accepting? Dale Carnegie says ” Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise!” It is about as perfect a law of “living physics” as I know of.
Because of my experiences, I started dreaming about what would happen if I got the opportunity to do it over again. One result of this is my story of, “A Second Date” which was available in print and as an audiobook for free for a few months from the date of this publication. In this sci-fi romance, alternative experience, Janr Ssor finds himself given a second chance but not in exactly the way you might think. On the other hand you get to learn, to some extent, a bit of what makes this love, in my opinion, more valuable than a romance that speeds up your heart in first magical meeting.
I started to think about this concept of “life over easy,” which to me means re-living life with the knowledge I did not have before, after many recently divorced patients came to my office. I was amazed to see those great couples that, I knew a long time, get divorced and in my opinion really “blow it!” What did I see, that shocked me? I saw men divorcing still very attractive women in their mid 40’s because they found a younger woman who was “hot” and sexy. They were blind to what they had because, unlike Paul Simon, they could not see 50 years later! They really chose sex and a “new” romance over their wife of years and even their children (many lost relationships with their children who lost respect for their parents). Losing both in many cases, I saw these men grow physically old and worn out looking, when a few years later the pain of their mistakes caught up with them. This is not to say that divorce is not sometimes appropriate when there is mental illness or violent behavior. However, I have long learned that the real value in marriage is that it helps both people grow by learning to communicate in the “hard times.” It is these challenges that frequently creates marital friction, that makes each person grow and the marriage become more valuable This does not come from the good times! I call this acquired value “true love.” It is quite different from the chemical magic of hormones and pheromones that manipulate your mind so that you can possibly get close enough to maybe learn to really love and appreciate your mate.
Would I do it over if I could? Who can say? You never get the outcome you want as life does its magical thing and the rivers of time sweep you along. I have one event however that I would not change but would have liked to have had the opportunity to do it over many times. It surprised me as I had no idea how I would feel about it. The event was that I had only a beautiful child.
I never wanted children when I got married. Not that I did not want them, I just had no motivation to want any. My parents had a challenging time with my sister who was mentally ill. It did not inspire me to want children. However, back then as a full time nerd, I was too preoccupied with education to think about the consequences of life. As a result, when my colleagues in school and friend’s wife got pregnant and mine wanted to be. I did not give it much thought. When the event happened, and I came home with a child, I was still too busy to notice how it changed my life at first.
For one thing, It took a few years to note that a child created some distance between my wife and I. She strangely now appeared to me as a mother and not my wife-girlfriend. I changed my behavior and likely made her feel less loved and desireable. I should have understood it, but I was not Paul Simon, not even close. It was surel something I should have gotten over but was to nerdy to understand back then. On the other hand, as soon as my daughter got past the neonatal stage and began interacting with me, my heart was hers forever; however, my altered perception of my wife meant I was losing her heart, forever.
My new love, my daughter, would not let go of my hand or stop smiling when she saw my face. The toothless grin was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life! No dog with a wagging tale, enthusiasm and wet tongue can truly come close. Every day when I came home from work, I watched for the new magical gifts. There always was something to find as something new had happened in her head, making her communication and movement skills grow. I could not wait to see what the new surprise would be. I bought all sorts of little simple toys to hang on her crib and playpen (as she could not yet sit) to see how she reacted and if I could make her smile. One day we found this great clown toy that hung suspended on strings across the top of her playpen. She lay on her back gazing at it as she could barely roll over. The clown had two big yellow rings for feet that hung down just above my daughter. I would take her hand and place it on a ring so she could jiggle it and see the clown move. Little children grab on to anything that you put in their hands. She would hold reflexly and smile at the clown and her hand. When her hand fell off, I would put it back on. A few days later I noticed that her hands and arms were more raised in a posture that suggested reaching for the clown. Days later it was clear she was trying. One night, a few weeks after the clowns installation, as I watched her cute little face smiling at me and the clown. Her swinging arms caught the clowns ring and her tiny fingers closed around this ultimate achievement in long awaited joy. Something new was born, just as magnificent as her smile! It was the very first time I had ever heard her laugh! It was something she herself had, to my observation, never yet experienced. The Joy of achievement and growth! From that day forward she has never stopped working on growth, the joy that it offers and the opportunity to help others see this too. She is a life coach and much more 41 years later.
It was way back then and there that my heart told my head to listen to it for once! My heart told my head to pay attention to things I could not logically understand! It said, “if it was up to you, we would have a drab life full of great ideas and little joy!” It reminded me of my passion for music, it reminded me of my joy in hiking through the Everglades of Florida and being part of a life experience of sights, sounds, and scents never found in books. It reminded me of the depth of the sea I had experienced snorkeling in the atlantic ocean. But it reminded me of how it all paled by comparison to the opportunity of being a parent and creating the most magical art form ever, a new life form, like yourself but with a great chance of being far better!
I recall then I looking at my daughter’s joyful eyes and imagining how much fun I would have sharing the wonders of the world with her and hearing her laugh over and over again! Life had a new depth, a new dimension and new destination, I had never imagined. If only I had had several children!
Next lifetime, perhaps in a “Life Over Easy,” but a long time away I hope, so I can still enjoy this one with her for many years to come.
Dinosaurs are not extinct! They just became so small that you can’t see them with the naked eye. Read this article from Scientific American and then give it some thought and you’ll see what I mean. At least if you think outside the box you’ll see what I mean!
Dinosaurs are made of many cells, just like you and I. However we define our bodies boundaries by what we choose rather than what is. That is to say that we choose perceptions that are functionally useful but never really truthful. So to say that the boundary of our bodies is our skin is “useful” but not truthful. In fact, we are beginning to morph our thinking to understand that more cells of our bodies are probiotic cells than cells that came from the blastula that started your bodies existence. That means that we have more soil bacteria in us than our own cells.
With this fact, clearly in mind, you can now see that defining your bodies boundaries as the edges of your skin is totally absurd! You ARE very much part of the environment. Science has, in the Scientific American Article, come to the conclusion that bacteria have several ways to communicate, just as we do. Well guess what they are also part of us! How blind do you have to be to not understand that we are not just connected to the environment by bacteria in and around us (as well as viri) but in communication with all that is Earth! The Earth is not inert, it is a living part of you and I and by the way, we are all one multicellular organism. Yes, that means you and I.
So how does this affect your health? Huge! When you let Monsanto poison the environment with glyphosates like Roundup, you are poisoning your body and your childrens! When you alter living cellular organisms like fruits and vegetables as can now be done with GMO “food” you are changing things you and I have almost know knowledge of. You are turning all of our children into lab rats and worse yet, releasing Pandora’s box into the Earth for eternity. If you think Fukishama sea swept radiation is scary, just think what Monsanto is doing to your countries soil and that of others that have yet to ban their products.
However this story is not about Monsanto, it is about dinosaurs and your health. If a large Tyrannosaurs Rex were standing in your room, you would run like crazy! It huge multicellular body would be able to destroy you and you home in seconds. These huge physically dense creatures have pretty much vanished from the Earth; however, they have been replaced by far larger multicellular creatures that are physically less dense and so harder to see or destroy! These creatures are global bacterial and viral colonies with cellular communication and this is admittedly speculative but not without strong scientific evidence. For example, there is strong evidence that bacteria control whether it rains or not! There is very strong evidence that cells communicate by photons which travel through the cytoskeletons of your body! Plants in the Amazon communicate via an internet of fungi! The bottom line is, you can keep your health and that of your familes by recognizing the truth about your bodies! The truth is that the Earth, the plants, the bacteria, the viri and all of us animals are ONE living thing. We are all in communication and all involved in each others survival and health. Poison one and poison all. Take care of all and take care of your self. You can easily affect your health by being more conscious of maintaining the environment and your neighbors health. We are all one! There is endless opportunity for great things to happen for all of our well being when we recognize the mystical truth of the bible telling us that when Cain slew Abel the consequences were not only global but infinitely temporal.
An interesting foot note here is the mystical interpretation of the story of Cain and Abel, from Bible Odyssey.
. Jewish and Christian interpreters across the centuries have seen in the Cain and Abel story a precursor to future murders of innocents up to the present day. For them, the plural of bloods in Gen 4:10-11 and the present tense of the verb, is crying out, in Gen 4:10 point to the blood of later generations still crying out to God in a desperate plea for a reckoning.
These ancient texts in Genesis stress how violence polluted the earth and caused the first major flood. Perhaps they contain wisdom about the impact of human behavior on the earth as humanity faces a potential new era of flooding and climate chaos. Some insist that human forces have played no role in the warming that threatens global disaster. The story of Cain and Abel, with its stress on the earthly consequences of human sin, suggests otherwise.
As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300.00 or $30.00 watch,
they both tell the same time…
Whether we carry a $300 or $30.00 wallet/handbag, the amount of money inside is the same;
Whether we drink a bottle of $30 or $3.00 wine, the effect is the same;
Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq.ft. the loneliness is the same.
Hopefully, one day you will realize, your true inner happiness does not come-from the material things of this world.
Therefore..I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters
who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west
or heaven & earth, …. That is true happiness!!
Five Undeniable Facts of Life :
1.Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be Happy.
So when they grow up they will know the value of things not the price
2. Best awarded words in London …”Eat your food as your medicines.
Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food”
3. The One who loves you will never leave you because even if there are
100 reasons to give up they will find one reason to hold on.
4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage…!
Six Best Doctors in the World
5. Self Confidence
6 . Friends
Maintain them in all stages of Life and enjoy healthy life.
If you just want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone..! But if you want to Walk Far, Walk Together!
In my post, Last Words Before Drowning In A Sea Of Marriage, I explored how we may lose ourselves in marriage and wonder who we were and what we might have been? You could of course take a dose of LSD or smoke some homegrown (organic) marijuana and see if you can free yourself of who you have become. It might work but I don’t take drugs. I have learned better, for now, and perhaps you agree with this possibly healthier mental diet. As an alternative to drugs I would recommend the opinions of a bright female friend, if you are male, or perhaps the opposite if you are female. I got a good dose of some recently from my friend Marcy.
The rain and storms of life and marriage may at times erode the firm mental land we each stand on, the land we have dredged up from birth to adulthood in becoming who we are. This may happen little by little and go unnoticed until a strong storm arrives and the waters rise rapidly in a threatening manner.
On other hand slow rains may soften the soil too. Our spirit may sink into the muck of jobs responsibilities, a marriage’s envisioned commitments or trying to raise a child as your mom did, which takes all of the time, you have left after work, to fulfill. Inevitably you change sometimes for better sometimes for worse but you change from what you were. In a marriage, if you are like most, you are opposites in many ways. You each have your strengths and your weaknesses. It is easy to rely on each other, if the relationship is “good” and notice that your spouse is more efficient than you at some tasks and let them do it, why not? You also will avoid their criticism when you do less well than they would! By the same token you may take on new responsibilities you might not have done, were you not married and you may grow.
It is however frequent experience that one day you notice that, even though you have grown with challenges, in some ways you have lost some skills. You have lost some skills by giving up tasks you were less skilled at than your spouse. I have seen men who cannot fill out a check or balance a check book, even though they were very capable before their marriage. There are women who do not drive long trips because their husband is a better driver. This is the beginning of drowning but it is gentle subtle and unnoticed. It is much like putting a frog on a pot of cool water and heating it slowly on the stove. The frog gets used to the temperature bit by bit and slowly cooks to death without noticing it (or so they say in legend).
I recall many years ago being told by my first wife that she did not love me anymore and she was leaving. It was a surprise to me. When she was out of my life a few days later, I suddenly realized that I did not know what to do with my time (she took my daughter with her too). It was very quiet coming home and so I bought a shotgun to keep under the bed because all the noises I suddenly heard (pipes and heating systems creaking at night) were too spooky. In the coming days, I went out to a Chinese restaurant, rather than cook, which I was good at. Then I accidentally discovered that I had a personality and quickly made friends with the waiter and then people almost everywhere I went.
Though I had faded into the background in marriage, I was now becoming visible again! Having been married to a sanguine women who for 13 years at my side, elocuted dramatically in exciting humerus stories at the blink of an eye, I had vanished into the background of my surrounding intellectual fog. Now however I found bright people who actually saw me and chose to converse with me; I was amazed to discover that I was not invisible! Going to the gym I found new friends as I stayed long enough to make them rather than rush home, since my home was empty. My home was empty but my life became full as the strangling sea-vines of a marriage, I had not understood, fell off my body and gave me back the gift of life I had known before.
If you find yourself one day, sinking into the quick sand like muck of life or that which marriage can become, you may start to wonder what became of you? Where is that bright sparkling spirit that attracted your wife? Where is the dream that woke you up each morning with the excitement to explore each new day? Is it dead, did it die and are you just a body walking around without a life giving soul? If you feel any connection with my thoughts then consider that it is is all your own doing! The hands around your neck that are choking you are yours, it is always your own choice; however, it is subtle and unseen so it is not something to beat yourself up over. It is also something you can undo!
Consider this story as an example. I was told that many years later a man, married for a second time, learned that his wife had decided to take a 5 day trip without him. As it happened, for practical reasons, it turned out she selected a time that included his birthday. As her birthday was very important to her, he suddenly wondered why his appeared less important. He when told her he was not happy with her timing and she explained logically why she had chosen the time; but then added, I can go away if I wish, “after all we are not joined at the hip.” That made a big impression on him!
Of course she was right, he could easily live without her and his birthday, which meant much less to him, could easily be celebrated, if he wished, on another day. When she left, he spent 5 days as a bachelor and suddenly discovered how much he enjoyed his time alone. He began to wonder what exciting things would he would discover if he had more time to himself. In those 5 days he learned a lot about himself that he had forgotten and he began to find new exciting reasons to get up early.
He and his wife are good friends and as happily married as I expect people are after 30 years; but, he had now noted how he had sunk into the water of life without noticing it. She asked that he pick her up at the airport upon her arrival, which he did. In the past he had not driven at night long distances as she was the better one at remembering long routes. On his way down state to pick her up, he said he had a marvelous time driving on the highway and not threat of critique as he was on his own. He discovered that he had given up his power to her without recognizing it. He was re-appearing from the fog of dissolution that marriage can create and now standing higher above the waters. It made him think, that we who are in long standing relationships should all take separate vacations from each other at least yearly! If this small event make him happy, what else might he discover?
Should separate vacations not be a routine? Perhaps many men do take separate vacations but he had not done so. He liked being home and he had a lot to do there, he was a writer and an artist who enjoyed the use of his home for both. He had a TV room where he could watch all sorts of media; he was never bored. His work day was surrounded by people and constant social interaction, so he was never alone. Yet, he was drowning in the sea of life and marriage and not noticing it.
I am taking a 4 day vacation by myself soon. What about you?