Learning for Life

Learning for Life

The human mind is an amazing creation. (Thank you Captain Obvious – right?)

Its ability to manipulate simple and complex thoughts, ideas, concepts, and permutations simultaneously is mind-boggling (yes…..I get the irony)

It can think, calculate, guess, search deep memories, and still make instantaneous decisions on everything going on around us while being fed from all 5 senses. It can dream of faraway places, calculate a dinner bill tip, admire the gentle curve of a woman, grab an update of the score of a game on the TV in the bar, and instantly recall driving your first car when the song you used to play while driving it is heard from a passing car on the street – all simultaneously without missing a beat.

It can make up stories, create rhymes, and direct our hands to paint pictures, model sculptures, or play music. It can create algorithms that will enable machinery to perform complex tasks, work on complex equations or logic conundrums for hours or days until solved. It can absorb, accumulate, categorize, analyze, and react to millions of bits of information daily. And then store them all for near instant retrieval anywhere, anytime, anyplace. It can create and destroy adeptly – things and people equally. It can envision the unseeable, can ponder the unthinkable, picture the unimaginable, and dream the unattainable.

And through this all, forgotten by most people, it also keep our bodies running with the involuntary nervous system – regulating our breathing, heart rate, temperature and all the rest of our body functions as mere background tasks; unthought of, unrealized, unacknowledged. The startle from a car horn raises your adrenal levels and floods your body with a wide mix of hormones. Heart beat increases, breathing increases, muscles engorge with blood, senses go into warp level acuity, and you have no need to ask your mind to do all this – no control over the reactions. Your mind handles it all for you. If nature had left these reactions under voluntary control, there’d be a whole lot less of us on the planet…….But no worries – it does all this for us without a thought!

It is intuitive, imaginative, inventive, and introspective. It can be self-critical to a fault – your own worst enemy, yet can rationalize its owner to comfort in most any situation. It can make you shiver with fear unreasonably or shiver with anticipation uncontrollably. It can buoy the body with bravado to perform feats extraordinaire or it can fold the flesh to fluid from fear. It can adapt to any situation, can quickly sort through any level of confusing details to determine the most immediately relevant and then react. It can drive one to the brink of insanity, and sadly, for some, sometimes completes the journey. It is unfathomable in its infinite depth and yet somehow still allows some people to seem as shallow as teaspoon of water. It can make mountains out of molehills, wine out of water, and can illuminate the darkest corners of the soul. It can take you places you’ll never go, and if there is no such place, can create it.

It can guide the hand to caress a loved one, comfort a child, or strike a foe. It can guide that same hand to pick up a wrench and replace an exhaust system, to pick up a scalpel and perform surgery on someone else’s mind, or to pick up a pen and write plays, stories, books, love letters, hate letters, and letters to Santa for a child. It can write words that light the minds of millions for generations forward, to write music that softly soothes the souls of sons and daughters for ages, or write words of discontent that fan the fires of hatred in malevolent minds.

It can plant doubt and apply an anchor to the soul or instill confidence and fashion wings with which to soar. It can spring tears or smiles from a memory too old to even date; or bring both together. It can, seemingly without regard, rhyme, or reason, make friends of some and foes of others. It is the GPS of our life’s journey, deciding and determining every turn, every exit, and every stoplight.

And to tie some loose threads together, there is a great possibility that the energy that pulses through the synaptic jungle in our heads contributes tremendously to the vibrations – the harmonies – we all emit.

And despite this amazing computational power, incredible depth of discerning, and ability to process so much so quickly – the switch from self-consciousness and self-awareness – from life – to cold silence and the finality of death, hangs from a frighteningly fragile filament.  Given the powerful and constant ferocity of the lightning storm that flashes and thunders throughout this majestic organ nestled so snugly inside our heads, one might expect a stronger grip on the light of life. One would expect such a formidable sentient being to have a greater grip on self-preservation. The speed at which this high-speed Tesla coil goes dark is terrifying. Picture the scene in the Matrix – they’re all in the Matrix and Cypher is on the ship and one by one, begins pulling the plug. From light to dark, they dropped – instantly and completely – dead. The switch is that simple.

Does it make sense that it is really that easy to turn off such a powerful machine? Or does it, indeed, really cease to exist. If indeed the energy, the vibrations, drives our life’s choices with others through matching and compatible frequencies does it really stop once that switch is thrown? Or does it muster one final discharge, a last burst of energy? Our spiritual DNA so to speak, streaming out of us in one final donation to the fabric of the universe.

Regardless, of the myth or truth of the last moment, the fact remains that we possess the most phenomenal and powerful forces ever to exist. How we use it, what we do with it, is up to us. I have some thoughts that the journey of life is simply about learning; lessons from a grandmaster teaching us as we move on the unseen chessboard. And certainly those lessons are often difficult and draining. But they serve to teach and I often think that’s the only point – that the lesson of life is that life is the lesson. Learn from it; every day, every way. And I have a sneaking suspicion that what you fail to learn, destines you to another round, another opportunity to learn. It’s like math in school; fail it and you’ll be invited back to try again. My lesson tonight dear reader, learn – learn as if your life depends on it. Because it just might!

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