The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: October 2012

Pathwalking 43

The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.”  – Lao Tzu (Alternate translation of the original Chinese found here.)

Pathwalking is not a single journey, and the distance cannot be easily measured.  But it begins with movement.  Until you move from one place to the next, you cannot begin the journey at all.

The more recognized variation of the quote replaces “beneath one’s feet” with “a single step.”  But I prefer the deeper meaning of this alternate translation.

There is always the ground beneath your feet.  If you stand in place, you are immobile.  Nothing can change except for that which changes around you.  But once you are in motion, you are automatically affecting change.

Yes, it is that simple.  Change is a constant.  While you stand in place, air currents ebb and flow around you, moving particles of dust that may begin insignificantly, but which could evolve into massive windstorms on the other side of the world.  But once you begin to move, you are now a part of change.  That which is beneath your feet is not the same.

Sure, one stretch of road may look very much like the next, or the last, or any other.  But they are not the same.  There are different cracks in every road.  Different hues of color, different particles of dust and microscopic organisms.  That which is beneath one’s feet is only constant when they are planted, and do not move.

If you are Pathwalking, you are not planted.  That which is beneath your feet is changing.  And the journey, fast or slow, is happening.

The difference between simply moving from place to place and Pathwalking is in deliberation.  Are you going from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ due to want, due to need, due to obligation, or some combination of any of these?  Are you going about the motions and changing what is “beneath one’s feet” out of choice?

This is so infinitely small, and yet immensely huge, all at once.  There is a depth to this concept that is somewhat inconceivable.  Every single step we take, every time we change what is beneath our feet, change expands outwards exponentially.

And this is why Pathwalking is an important idea.  Because if every single step causes change, doesn’t that make it of tremendous importance that you are CHOOSING the change you are making?

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot remain still forever.  Inevitably, change will occur, whether you are choosing it, or not.  Eventually you will have to move, even if it is just to shift your feet because your back is getting stiff and sore.  And when you make even that small movement, what is beneath your feet WILL have changed.

The insignificant can be significant.  Standing in one place forever is impossible, so long as you are alive.  That which is beneath your feet will change, whether grandly or minutely.

Always in motion is the future,” said Yoda.  Another reference to the movement of one’s feet, but indicative of choice.  If the future is a result of movement, then it is not static in any way, because we are always choosing where we will be walking.  Pathwalking happens, whether by choice, by coincidence, or simply by letting life live you.

You can choose to move.  You can choose how, where, and when to set yourself in motion.  Yes, circumstances sometimes will not leave you much of a choice, and sometimes even the choices we DO have are unwanted.  But we have choices.

Pathwalking, as the concept I present here every week, is about CHOICE.  Before you start that journey, have you chosen it?   Is this the path YOU want to walk?  Whether you are walking the path of your own choosing, or letting yourself be controlled, manipulated, guided, or simply going with the flow…you are in motion to the future.

Are you aware of where you are?  Do you know what is currently beneath your feet?  From here, do you know where you WANT to be?  How will you get there?  This is Pathwalking.  This is making a choice, setting a goal, and starting out on the journey.  A few feet, a few yards, or even a thousand miles, it all begins with you.

The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.”  Where do you want your feet to take you?

 

This is the forty-third entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 42

What is passion?

Passion is a key aspect of Pathwalking.

Dictionary.com defines passion as:

noun

1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.

3. strong sexual desire; lust.

4. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.

5. a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.

6. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

7. the object of such a fondness or desire: Accuracy became a passion with him.

8. an outburst of strong emotion or feeling: He suddenly broke into a passion of bitter words.

9. violent anger.

10. the state of being acted upon or affected by something external, especially something alien to one’s nature or one’s customary behavior ( contrasted with action).

Most people associate passion with meanings 2-5.  However, passion is a deeper, stronger emotion.  Passion is powerful.  Passion compels, passion is about drive.

Why do we choose to walk our own path?  Because we are driven to want something more than the ordinary.  Because we want something awesome, we want more for our lives than the ho-hum every-day.  We want to make choices for what and how our lives will be.

This is where is comes down to passion.  There is something, sometimes tangible, sometimes not, but something that spurs us to want to walk our own path.  We want to have control over our destiny, and the choices before us.

Passion, I believe, is what makes the difference between those who choose to walk a path, and those who don’t.  Passion is the thing that separates the doers from the dreamers.  Passion is what defines a person who wants to live their life to the fullest, rather than let their life live them.

I want to share MY passion with you.  My passion is the written word.  I LOVE to write.  Writing is my creative outlet.  Writing is how I best express myself.  I write these blog posts weekly, I write occasional topical rants to the blog, I write works of fantasy, sci-fi and fiction.  I have a small business focused on writing for other businesses.  I am intrigued by the ways other writers I admire write, and I keep up with them on Twitter and Facebook and Google+.  Words are my stock and trade.

What do I want from this?  I want to be a published author.  I want a following like Neil Gaiman or Paulo Coelho or George RR Martin.  I want to be influential, respected, and WELL READ.  I want people excited when my books are coming out.

I have published two short stories in anthologies thus far.  And the single greatest compliment I received about this came from a woman who has been a customer at the shop I work at.  She told me not only how much she enjoyed my story – but more than that, she had persuaded her 14 year old nephew, who is not a reader, to read my story.  He proceeded, she told me, to go on and read the rest of the stories in the anthology.  She thanked me for getting her nephew to read.

THAT is what I am most after.  THAT is the affect I want to have on the world.  I want to open more minds to more possibilities, open up imaginations, I want people to feel the joy in reading the I feel in writing.  This is my passion.  This is my dream.

Creating these Pathwalking posts is a part of that.  I write these in part for myself, because seeing my thoughts on the screen makes them more real than leaving them just in my head.  I write these in part for YOU, because I want to share my passion for life, and I want YOU to explore and feel your own passion.  We who live our lives with passion are not so alone as it might seem sometimes – and that is why I place these before you every week.

Nope, this is not an easy path I have chosen.  But I am working every day to enrich this path, and to live my life with passion.  Certainly there are good days and bad, but I think having this within me drives me to do more.

I am in pursuit of my passion, and constantly on the lookout for ways to reach the goal of this path, and begin the paths that will follow it.  Without this desire, without the passion I feel towards the goal, I don’t think I’d even be able to see the path to walk it.  But here I am, making the journey.

What are you passionate about?

 

This is the forty-second entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

What happened to Truth?

When did it become ok to lie?

When did we stop caring about the truth, and accept lies?

When did we stop questioning what was really happening, and accept lies without a second thought?

It is to the point where I daresay it is an epidemic.  Worse than any disease, worse than any threat of war…lies have become perfectly acceptable in the reporting of the news, in political discourse, our schools, our workplaces…everywhere.

Lies of every size, shape and color have begun to dominate us.  We have allowed lies to be facts, allowed liars to gain power and control.  We have stopped demanding truth.

Why?  How did this come about?  When did we simply give up the fight for truth, stop demanding facts, and allow lies to take hold?

Look at our society.  We don’t even question anymore that our politicians are lying.  We expect it.  I don’t care which side you are on – THEY ALL LIE.  If it will get them into power, they will tell whatever lies they want.  AND WE LET THEM.

Oil companies care ONLY ABOUT THE MONEY.  Why are we paying almost $4 a gallon for gas right now?  Because the oil companies want BILLIONS in profits.  Do people understand that a PROFIT is money above and beyond operating costs?  That profit is money in the pockets of the executives, and not job creation?  WHY DO WE ACCEPT THIS AS OK?

Banks care ONLY ABOUT THE MONEY.  They hold onto it so tightly their knuckles are white.  Does anyone question the credit system, the scoring system in this country that has left so many in debt and near poverty?  Does anyone get properly outraged when supposedly failing organizations are paying executives outrageous bonuses?  WHEN DID LIES BECOME OK?

Somewhere in my youth, I was told that lying was BAD.  That liars and cheaters never win.  Apparently, this is no longer true – because lying and cheating to win has become acceptable.  WHY?  How come we have allowed this?  Why don’t we care about the truth anymore?

If you do not believe our society as we know it on the verge of a collapse – then you are buying all the lies you are being fed.  LOOK AT HISTORY.  Rome fell.  Why?  Because of greed and corruption and LIES.

I want to share with you an important truth – LIES ARE UNSUSTAINABLE.  Eventually, they will falter, and fail, and fall.  Do you believe that a government, an economy, or a society can survive if it is built upon lies?  The answer is NO.  The lies will be our undoing.

Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?  A lie.  Obama’s health care will cause the creation of Death Panels?  A lie.  If the monster corporation doesn’t get a tax break, they’ll send jobs overseas?  A lie.  Your personal security is threatened by terrorists or gay marriage or abortion rights?  LIES.

Make it stop!  We need to stop letting them all lie to us, and we need to stop accepting that liars are ok.  WE MUST DEMAND TRUTH.

We have to stop rolling over and letting lie upon lie build up our world.  We need to DEMAND the truth.  Tell them their lies are NOT acceptable.  That cheating to win is WRONG.  We need to demand that the media fact checks, and calls these liars out on their lies.  WE need to check facts and call out the liars on their lies.

It starts with me.  It starts with you.  WE have to stop lying.  We have to stop letting the people around us lie.  WE have to be truthful.  WE have to demand truth from those around us.  We have to end our support of these liars and cheaters and the unsustainable world they are creating.

PLEASE think about this.  Please consider how much more powerful TRUTH is.  It might hurt.  It might sometimes be unpleasant.  But it cannot be avoided or ignored forever.  Without more truth in this world, all we have built will collapse around us, because a lie will not be sustained forever.

We CAN fix this.  WE have the power.  Let’s do something with it, and stop letting the lies shape our world.

Stop accepting the lies.  Start questioning the truth.  Start demanding truth.  Do not allow the liars and the cheaters power.  Let’s work together, employing TRUTH, rejecting LIES, and heal the divisions that the lies have created.

I know NO ONE who wants to be lied to.  So why are we allowing this to go on unchecked?

Pathwalking 41

How many paths can you find to walk for your life?

Pathwalking, as mentioned previously, should not be a one-time action.  Pathwalking is a lifestyle choice.  The completion of one path should lead to the choice of the next path.  And then the next.  And then the next.

One notion of Pathwalking is to reach a goal.  There is a tangible something we seek along this path.  But once we have made that achievement, once we have found that something, what do we do from there?  As a Pathwalker, the answer is simple – choose the next path.

Simple answer, certainly.  Not necessarily a simple choice.

Before us in this life are, frankly, infinite paths.  Add to that no one path is entirely singular.  Along the way there will be other opportunities, other things to learn that may not even have been the intent of the chosen path.  As such, there are many many more paths available to choose from.

Why is this so complex?  How can having so many choices be more worthwhile?  Because I believe that life is not supposed to be easy.

I don’t mean its supposed to be a difficult struggle.  What I do mean is that life is supposed to be about growing, learning, changing.  Challenging ourselves to grow, learn and change with it.

These things are inevitable.  We all grow.  We all learn.  We all change.  Some of these things we can have direct influence over.  If we so choose.  That is what Pathwalking is all about.

An easy life is the life that you let live YOU.  Easy is when you only take what you are given, accept limitations, make few choices, let others dictate your paths.  To be fair, in the due course of pretty much ANY person’s life, these things are unavoidable.

We have parents.  We have teachers.  We have bosses.  In some circumstances you have to go with what you are given.  However, what you take away from these experiences is key.  Do you learn from them, learn what you do and do not like about them, and make your own choices as you can?

Paths chosen can be inconstant.  There is always more than one path.  No matter the destination, more than one way can be taken to get there.  And as I’ve previously explored here, often what we encounter as we take the path could be more profound and more important to us then the intended goal.

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”  – Alexander Graham Bell said this.  And this is something that is profound with regards to Pathwalking.

We’ve finished the path we have chosen.  We’ve celebrated, reflected, expressed gratitude and rested.  But we still find ourselves looking back at that path, and all the work we did while upon it.  The door is closed.  But there is not simply another open to pathwalkers – there are infinite doors to choose from.

So many metaphors to express the same thing.  Paths, doors, windows…whatever.  The point is that these all represent the ability to make choices, to live in a manner we wish to live, to explore all the amazing, incredible things this life has to offer.

I am passionate about my life.  I am constantly learning new things, exploring new ideas.  I write new stories, research information, learn new ideas.  I see a path before me, and I am working every day to walk it.  I feel more in control, and more content with the course I am currently on than I have been in a long while.  My choices.  My growth.  My constant education.

The important thing about this is that it is MY life.  Only I can live it as I see most fit.  No one else can do that.  I choose to walk my own path, chart my own course, pass through my own doors – and so forth.  The choices are not few and far between.  The only limitations are those I impose on this.

How many paths can you find?  The answer is only limited by your own beliefs, your own faith, your own imagination.  My answer is not the same as yours, just as much as my path is dissimilar.  But if we are the ones choosing our own paths, and controlling our own destinies, I believe we will live the most satisfying and, dare I say, happy lives.

What other paths will you choose when the current one is complete?

 

This is the forty-first entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 40

What happens when you finally reach your goal?

What do you do when you have walked your path, and discover that, in fact, the got to where you were aiming to go?

I will be happy to tell you when I manage to get there.  It has not happened for me yet.

However, I can speculate, based on numerous truths that one must take into account with regards to life in general, and based on what I am learning as I continue to walk my own path.

These are the things one does when the goal of walking this path is achieved:

Celebrate.  First off, achievement of the goal deserves a celebration.  Whether the goal was to reach an ideal weight, land the ideal job, earn a million dollars, marry the love of your life, graduate school or what-have-you – you absolutely deserve to take a moment and bask in your success.  Celebrate the accomplishment, celebrate the victory.

Reflect.  Take a moment to look at how you have gotten here.  What were the good parts of the journey?  How about the bad?  What would you have done differently?  How has reaching the end-goal of the journey changed you?  What made the walk along this path easier, harder, simpler and more complex?

Express Gratitude.  Very importantly – be grateful!  Showing gratitude for what you have managed to achieve is hugely important.  It is impossible to continue to gain success if you are not grateful for what you have now.  So be thankful for your friends, your mentors, your companions.  Be thankful for the opportunities that helped make reaching this goal possible.  Heap praise on everyone and everything that you can, and express the immense gratitude for the end of this particular path.

Celebrate.  Reflect.  Express gratitude.  Last, but not least, rest.

Rest.  Allow yourself a moment to rest.  Pathwalking can sometimes be exhausting, and it can take quite the mental, emotional, and possibly even physical toll.  Take a moment to rest.  You have achieved what you set out upon the path to achieve.  You have won.  As mentioned before, rest is necessary to recharge your batteries, reenergize your base.

Resting is important, but you need to be careful not to confuse a rest with an ending.  The phrase “resting on your laurels” comes to mind – sure, great, you’ve accomplished something – is that all you are going to do is point out how great it was and how hard it was and then do nothing more?

Pathwalking is not a singular action.  Pathwalking is not meant to be just a one-time occurrence.  Pathwalking is a lifestyle choice.  Pathwalking is taking action, making choices, and being accountable and responsible for your life and all that you gain and lose in it.  Which is why the next step is in many respects the most important in this process.

Choose the next goal.  I have long said that one of the key things that keeps us young, keeps us going is learning.  There is always something new that can be achieved, something new that can be learned, a new goal to move towards.

Certainly you should be happy that you have walked this path and reached this goal, but this is not the end.  This was the first.  It should not be the last.  Life is a river – it flows around, over, under, and through things.  Rivers can shape the earth, but they can also simply meander along.  You can either go with the flow, or you can choose to swim, or to shape and redirect the river.  Pathwalking is about choice.  Pathwalking is about action.

As such, there is always going to be a new goal, a new choice, a new path to be taken.  There is always something more, something else you can do, somewhere else you can journey to.  A new goal to aim for.  A new path to be walked.

Pathwalking is not simply about the goal – it is about the journey.  Pathwalking is all about the deliberate choices we make and actions we take along this journey.  Pathwalking is about doing what you can to choose the life you want to lead, rather than letting life make the choices for you.  As such, there will always be new paths to be walked, new goals to be had, new discoveries to be made.

Yes, I admit that I have not succeeded yet in my own goals with regards to the path I am walking.  But I am choosing this path, and working every day to live life as I would choose, rather than let my life live me.  There are easier days, and harder days, but knowing that I have all that I do, and knowing that this life is the result of the choices I am making brings me a level of contentment I have always wanted.

I will continue with Pathwalking, until I reach the goals I have now, and then on to the next.  And the next.  And the next.  I will be choosing the path and taking actions to walk it all of my life.  That might sound hard – but I believe it is a far better, and more worthwhile option that just letting my life be dictated by forces far outside my control.

There may be endings, but they will only lead to new beginnings.  And that, I believe, is one of the great things about life.  It is also a key aspect of Pathwalking.  Life changes.  Goals change.  Paths change.  What doesn’t change is our ability to make choices and take actions, and seek and find our own destinies.

Do you see that the choice of paths to walk is virtually infinite?

 

This is the fortieth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

It is certainly NOT the end of the world!

The world is NOT ending in December of 2012.

Let’s just get that notion out there, right now.

Seriously, people.  I don’t care that the Mayan long-form calendar ends, or that the planets are aligning or there will be a harmonic convergence or what-have-you.  The world is
NOT coming to an end in a few months.

Let’s look at all the world-ending prophecies we’ve had.  Just recently there was that crazy radio guy claiming the world was supposed to end last May.  THEN, oops, bad math – make that September.  No, October.  As I am typing this a year later…the world clearly did not end.

And the Y2K bug.  Remember that one?  It was going to cause utter collapse, be the beginning of the end?  Tell me how that turns out…no, wait, that was no big deal.

This is a very simple matter.  You know what will happen on December 21, 2012?  Pretty much the same thing that happened on December 20, 2012.  And the 22nd?  Same thing as the two days before.  The sun will rise in the East and set in the West.  We’ll go to work/school/the bathroom/what-have-you.  We’ll wake, we’ll sleep, maybe nap in the middle.  But nothing cataclysmic or particularly unusual will happen.

I expect that I will be watching the Doctor Who Christmas special on December 25th.  I’ll be at a fun party with my friends on December 31st, celebrating New Year’s Eve.  My sister will be birthing my niece or nephew in February.  I will be watching the third season of Game of Thrones in March of 2013 (or whenever they air it next year).  No matter how spectacular or mundane the event to come – it WILL come, as it always does.

So is there more to my statement?  Yes.  I think, subconsciously, a LOT of people suspect SOMETHING is going to happen before the end of this year.  Whether they are new agers, bible-thumpers, conspiracy theorists, or even just regular, average people, there is still this SENSE of a shift, impending doom, or something just not-the-norm.

It is that sense, that not-belief but sense that something is going to happen, that I think fuels a LOT of the negative, inactive stance a lot of people have taken.  I think that air of defeat, that feeling of negativity that is permeating the energy of the world is part of this.  And I think, when this date comes and goes…we will all begin to breathe again, and get more real about our lives.

I say we because it is very very hard NOT to feel this sense.  I suspect, unless you are utterly disconnected from emotion and empathy or even facial expressions of the people around you, you are feeling it.  It is underlying everything.  It is just THERE, unspoken, unwritten, just lurking in the background, hiding in the shadows of our reality.

I believe that it is this sense that is causing a lot of normally rational, reasonable people to be far less rational or reasonable.  I think more people, not normally prone to be at all affected by doom-and-gloom predictions are being so inundated by this one, it is causing us to remain in a negative cycle.

Oh, come on, you are probably thinking.  Give me a break.  This is a crock.  Of course nothing is going to happen, so why on earth do you think people think otherwise?  It is not that people are thinking otherwise – it is that we have the thought out there in the first place.

Doomsday prophecies stretch all throughout history.  All the way back to the Romans, all throughout the centuries since their society fell, someone has made a prediction that this thing or that will bring about the end of the world.  This has been going on since the development of our ability to walk upright and think, it seems.  Whether it is the significance of a date, mass deaths due to a horrid disease, global warming, ice caps melting or some other tangible or intangible sign, people have been predicting there WILL be an end.

And of course – there WILL.  Life is a cycle – everything born dies.  But the end is NOT going to be predictable, it is not going to be some bizarre cosmic occurrence or the Rapture or something like that.  It will simply BE.

This particular prediction has been getting traction for a decade or so, to the best of my memory.  As we have gotten closer and closer to the supposed day of destiny, more and more talk about it occurs.  And thanks to the 24 hour news cycle, the internet, and the visceral immediacy of the world we live in, this enters the collective consciousness with a broader range and FAR greater speed than it has ever been possible any other time in history.

More people are reading articles about this.  More people are researching the topic on the internet.  More people are able to find and study this concept across the globe than ever possible, than any time prior in human history.  The paradoxical disconnect of the world of the internet and text messages and global communications has brought us closer to being physically connected to one another more than ever.  But, it’s the minds and not the souls being brought together – and thus we are more distant at the same time (hence the paradox).

So what?  Is there a point?  Yes.  I have, more than once, written about the need to be more positive amongst us all.  I have spoken of my belief that all of us are one, all part of a greater oversoul.  We need to be more conscious of our thoughts and ideas than we are.  And in doing so, I think we can get past this ridiculous notion of the end of the world, and actually LIVE for today.

And that is the crux of this.  There is too much time and energy spent on the mysteries of life.  Too much emphasis on religion and faith and the powers-that-be intervening.  If people put more of that energy into the here and now, and living life today…I think we’d be better at dealing with the issues we all face, and be better at living our own lives.

I am not suggesting we ignore these mysteries, or drop our faith, whatever that may be – I am suggesting we reprioritize, rebalance our lives.  Stop worrying so much about what is coming, and focus on what IS.  This might go a long ways towards improving our lots in life.

I’m not suggesting anything radical or ludicrous.  I am suggesting we think more for ourselves; spend more energy on the here and now; act rather than react to our world.  Stop giving energy to doomsday predictions, stop worrying about doing right by the powers-that-be (the mystical, not the governmental or such), and start working on our own lives.

So, what have you got planned for today?

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