It’s Too Easy To Lose Your Way

Whenever I sit down to write I’m torn between two models of the writer and his audience. One says you pick out one member of your imaginary readership and fine-tune your reporting for that one person like in a face-to-face dialogue. The other says that you generalize your content to the point that it is understandable for the uninitiated, but also interesting for the ones in the known. Actually neither of those seems to be too close to reality for me. I can beat around the bush as long as I want; fact is that when I write I’m basically talking to myself. It is my alter ego looking over my shoulder and saying: “this is flat and boring”, “keep the tension”, “you’re losing the thread there”, “you’re just making this up”, and even “you better start over, my friend”.

The beauty of it, however, is that on closer examination my well pampered and highly regarded ego in its essence not only contains, but is actually made up of all of you! Some of you I know from experience so there’s a clump of memory actively modeling your reaction to my communication intent. Even for those of you I have never met, neither physically nor virtually, my mind dares to imagine who, what and how you are. Of course the substrate of all this, what makes it possible at all, is the beautiful and for my quite obvious fact that we are in the end, and therefore also in the beginning and right now, one and the same.

One of the most crucial maintenance tasks needed to make our little and crooked personalities better in the most general terms of that word, is to clean out and open up many of those hidden corners of privacy in the many wrinkles and crevices of our cortex. Those spaces have been diligently cordoned off within ourselves, claimed our own as if our psychological universe could be piecemealed up into slabs of sellable real estate, enclosed in concrete bunkers with walls of hurt so thick, no light will ever shine in them again, in short they are our fearful hideaways where we habitually escape our social responsibilities.  Isn’t it obvious that they need be opened up if we have any aspiration at all to be free?

Since being honest with ourselves is not exactly at the top of the list of day to day priorities for most of us, and the human mind has mastered the art of trickery and flat out lying to a level of perfection that truly sets us apart from any other being roaming the earth, it is not easy to follow such simple advise and react appropriately to these insights of crystal clarity. It takes a stern and steady discipline of calm and serene observation, and then an iron will to catch the few opportunities for actual change whenever they peak out from their usual hiding place, to really make a difference and push our lives into a new direction. Otherwise the habit of old, the tendency to obey, the will to follow and the craving for comfort will all have their own last word and make sure that the forces of sterile conservation will finally close the lid on love and life forever. Renovation risks to be a thing of history rather soon.

Now that we have been in real life literally out of touch with you for some time I feel it is imperative to drive home the point that what we are doing out here in this gorgeous vastness of blue, although the stuff of dreams for many of you, is really nothing extraordinary at all unless… Well, unless we find ways to free us from our miserable selves and make social responsibility the number one priority. I guess more so now when through some unfortunate twists of destiny we are obliged to live at least partially off the generosity of a small but beautiful handful of you, I cannot help but feverishly look for ways to accelerate and intensify our duty as freely wandering artists. The fact that we are excluded from most pleasures of materialistic life, that we have to actively struggle to find our place within the societies we happen to visit and then are allowed to stay only for a limited time, that we are on the other hand absolutely free to move away and onward whenever we need or please, all this would not have any sense at all were it not to push us closer to the heart of humanity as a whole and accompany it intimately on its way to the inevitable cardiac arrest. I sincerely hope you agree that the need for radical change is so urgent nowadays, and by that I don’t mean rowdy and noisy revolutions, but the willingness to let go of the old encrusted ways and look with a fresh spirit for new ways of doing things. If every human being on this marvelous planet would for only one minute a day dedicate all his or her might and will to implementing solutions to our most urgent problems as a race, certainly within a very short time the planet Earth would be a different place.

So what does all this mean in practical terms? Once taken care of our inner personal housecleaning to make us fully functional towards the outside, the urgency is obviously to heal the many forms of disconnect. Bring us human beings back in touch and intimate communication with the sprawling life around us, with the indigenous roots deep inside us, and most of all with each other. Our care needs to spread to everything in our path, not just what we allow ourselves to agree with, or what we happen to like. There’s happiness to be found examining our wounds and courage feeling our fears. But only looking into each other’s eyes and hearing each other’s songs can there be a future in front of us that is worth living.

Even more down to earth, for us that means to push ourselves to delve into the places of human presence we visit with our eyes, ears and hearts wide open, so we can deftly establish areas of need where we might be able to help, share and contribute. The main tool for solving most of the myriads if human issues is restart open communication. So theater and dance can be used to create situations where alternative ways can be studied. One project that has been brewing up in my ever-itchy mind is focused on the generation gap. It is painful to see that in most small, off the grid communities the youngsters are moving fast away from the ways and minds of the older people, letting the whole society slither towards the oblivious world of material consumption. So why not have the kids in the framework of an innocent acting workshop go to the elders and ask them for their stories, which they then dramatize into a play that would be presented to the community. But I’m getting ahead of myself again here. One of the greatest side effects of open ocean passages is that it tends to eradicate systematically many of your preconceived ideas and let’s you arrive at your destination with an open mind capable of watching and perceiving, instead of preaching and poaching. I guess, you would be able to do that also where you are while driving down the freeway, but it’s a little harder to do!

A happy and spiritually prosperous New Year to you!


5 Responses to “It’s Too Easy To Lose Your Way”

  1. Jacques Says:

    Thanks Beat. I just love it. Very deep and true.

    I hope that one day I will reach your state of consciousness, and yes, travelling on a boat is a great way to accomplish it.

    Happy new year.

  2. boatsmith Says:

    may the gods continue to smile upon you

  3. Fabiola Says:

    happy new adventures for you guys, I wish you the best always, when I see the ocean in Santa Cruz, I think about you and I wonder where are you in that precious moment, hugs fabiola

  4. Paz Says:

    Wow! I’m impressed by your insight! Well put!
    Thank you for remind me that we all must keep walking towards the light and spiritual growth!
    I like your idea of bridging the gap between younger and older people.
    Un gran abrazo

  5. Bob Bois Says:

    Hi Beat,
    Great post about writing and spirituality (can they ever be separated?).
    Being a writer myself, I can empathize with your dilemma as to whether or not you should think of your readership in specific or generic terms. You seem to be handling all these living, writing, sailing, and cultural exploration challenges with considerable grace. Be well. Bob

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