This post is all about one of the most important questions out there… which is:
Why is it that Humans prefer to glide through their life… rather then engaging in their very own mental flapping.
Let me explain.
And I will be using the Albatross analogy to help make sense of things.
An Albatross is very definately a bird who is built to glide and not flap.
It has an enormous wing-span (8 to 11 feet… 2.5 to 3.5 metres if you prefer)… which is what you would need if you wanted to glide the air currents above our oceans… and it is said that it can stay airborne for weeks and months if needed… gliding around the world… until it has found / captured enough food to take back to its nest and young.
Which all kind of makes sense really.
Because if you are out at sea for long periods of time, it is more energy efficient to glide on the air currents, and you want to keep flapping down to an absolute minimum… because to flap… to use your wing muscles… uses up your valuable energy reserves… and so you want to keep flapping down a minimum… and glide as much as possible.
And the weird thing is…
Our Human Brains do a similar thing.
They prefer to glide, rather than flap, through life… because flapping requires a lot of energy… while gliding is more energy efficient.
So what is the Human equivalent of gliding versus flapping?
Or rather… Thinking for Yourself…
As opposed to Adopting the Thoughts & Beliefs of Others (… which is the equivalent of gliding).
It actually takes a lot of mental energy to think… especially about the BIG ISSUES of life, those areas require a lot of thought time, effort and energy.
But one of the advantages of being a social animal is that Human Beings don’t need to figure everything out for themselves… we can refer to what our society, culture, tribe, nation, or family thinks about a certain area or subject.
And our complex languages makes it possible to pass information, thoughts, beliefs, and complex cultural stories down across the generations, literally across centuries, even millennia.
So each generation doesn’t have to figure everything out from scratch each time.
We can learn and refer to what others have thought. Literally standing on the shoulders of the Giants of our species, as Isaac Newton once said.
We are a species who can ride the wave of all the information and insights of previous generations… as well as adding our own discoveries as the human data wave moves on through time… passing down to future generations, who can benefit from our wisdom and life-experience.
So… in a sense… our culture has done the thinking for us… (just like an Albatross will have pre-digested the food for its young chick, to make the process of eating easier)… so all we have to do is to buy into whatever our culture / family says about a certain area or issue.
And in that way, our Human Brains can keep the energy needed for thinking down to a minimum… because others have done all the hard work for us.
But, as with most things Human, there is a big problem with this approach.
In fact, there are several problems.
Firstly, we Humans don’t share one culture… one religion… but many… and so in our modern Global age, the disagreements and conflicts between these different ideas and beliefs, as they clash and collide, can be immense and aggressive… and individuals can get crushed in the ensuing conflict.
Secondly, by not (or never) thinking about these things… by going for the easy and ready-made cultural answer each time… often as a way of fitting in… and not rocking the boat… a lot of people just never learn to think for themselves.
And also, they never develop the mental skills required to have their own thoughts and opinions… they just go along with what their family / culture believes.
Because it is just… easier… to fit in.
And if they are ever placed in a situation where they do have to think for themselves…
a) They can’t… because they lack the mental skills… they just never developed them. Just because we all think, doesn’t mean that we automatically know how.
b) They are reluctant to… because their Brain is reluctant to commit the extra energy resources required to think an issue carefully through from the beginning. Basically, their Brain has become lazy, and doesn’t want to draw upon its energy reserves.
c) They get angry… and aggressive… because you are also asking them to step outside of their family / tribe… which can be very confusing, create extreme anxiety… and they often fight back as a form of self-protection…
But the huge fact about the Universe… is that it doesn’t stand still… new situations are continually evolving…
New situations… new challenges… which require new mental solutions… because the old approaches and beliefs just don’t work anymore (and have often actually caused the crisis in the first place… which is why there are a lot of ruined, abandoned Mayan cities in the Yucatan Peninsula).
Human Beings and their cultures and tribe and societies and families are continually being put into new situations by the ever-changing Universe… and having to come up with new ideas… new ways of inter-acting with their environment… in order to survive.
And, because of this, the Human beliefs which worked 3,000 years ago are seldom the ones which are best fit for our Modern & Evolving World.
If you were to transplant a pre-historic hunter-gatherer into downtown 21st Century Los Angeles… (or London, Paris, or Tokyo, or Rio)… then it is highly likely their Brain would go into total meltdown…
Because the mental programs which were applicable, and worked well, back then… just wouldn’t / won’t fit or work in our modern setting.
And that is one of the problems with being alive now… for the Human Race as a whole.
Because we are being faced NOW with issues and challenges that require new thinking… but the majority of us are still stuck with the beliefs and thoughts of the last century… or even older.
Many of our ways of being and believing are not going to be the best fit for the world / planet going forwards… and we need to find new ways of thinking… new systems of thought… if we are going to survive as a species.
And the clock is ticking.
But collectively… as I said earlier… we’re not very good at thinking outside of the box… so there is a LOT of global inertia… people hoping that the problems will just go away… or someone very clever (like Stephen Hawking)… or rich (like Bill Gates)… will wave a magic wand… and solve them all.
Probably not going to happen…
Probably not even possible… because World issues will require a shift in World Consciousness… and so the majority of the Human Race must play apart…
It’s probably going to take minimum of 10% of the Human Race to buy into any new vision to make it effective… which is close to 1 billion people… if we are going to stand any chance of turning it all around.
But wait… now we’re verging off into a different post entirely…
… Best return to our focus to this one.
So coming back to our Albatross, all at sea, gracefully gliding their air currents.
Question – So how does our Albatross get to where it wants to go?
Because the problem is… if you are gliding on an air current… you can’t really only go in any direction other than the one in which you are being taken.
As as well as gliding… an Albatross is master of riding different air currents… and if it wants to go in a different direction… wants to go higher or lower… then it simply hops across on to an air current that is going in the right direction. In other words… it jumps from Current A to Current B… because Current B is better, taking it in the direction it wants to go.
And the important thing is…
When it hops from one air current to the next… for a brief period of time… it will find itself in the gap between the two… it will find itself unsupported… (and it might even flap a little)… until it connects to the new air current… which starts to carry it in the new direction.
Which is literally the wind beneath its wings… (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).
And once again… a similar thing happens with us Humans too.
And we experience something, which Sanaya Roman, calls the Void Space.
So you are a Human Being… walking around on Planet Earth:
- You have probably been raised within a certain religion / belief system… which may be quite rigid in its outlook… a lot of Thou Shalts and Commandments probably…
- And you have taken on a certain set of beliefs about reality, usually from your family / culture
We can liken these meme-currents to air currents, upon which we ride, and in which we trust to support us… as maps of reality which minimize our need to think for ourselves.
But just like an Albatross, riding the air currents, a certain meme-current can only take any Human Being (or maybe that should be Human Believer) in a certain direction… can only take us so high or so low…
And they are only useful if they truly help us successfully navigate the world around us…
And if our Heart and Life-purpose wants to guide us in a completely different direction… or the world around us changes Big Time… just like the Albatross… we need to find a new meme-current… a set of new beliefs… which can take us in the direction we DO want / need to go… which can help us successfully navigate the world around us.
And we need to find a way of moving… jumping if you prefer… between the two meme-currents…
Which means that… as we jump… at some point, we will be in the space between the two… feeling unsupported… probably feeling very anxious… wondering if we have done the right thing…
And this is what Sanaya Roman calls the Void Space…
Because the old certainties have departed… while the new mental beliefs, which can take you in this new direction, are still to take a real and solid hold on your mind…
So you are literally between the old and the new visions…
And this can be a place of great uncertainty… of tremendous anxiety…
Which is something else which the average Human Brain doesn’t like… uncertainty and anxiety.
And this is one of the primary reasons why people just don’t jump across to a new and better meme-current… a new and better belief-system…
Because as soon as they start to experience the uncertainty and anxiety… the feeling that you haven’t a clear inner picture about what is going on… there is a strong desire to back-track… to jump back on to the old meme-current… jump back to the safety and certainty.
But in doing that, they remain stuck… their life going in the same old, unfulfilling direction…
And because of this uncertainty and anxiety attack, many Human Brains don’t even bother to try jumping across to a new potential life / meme-current in the first place.
It takes a brave character… or someone who is in a desperate place… to jump across to a new meme-current… to try thinking and believing something new and different.
But sometimes only a new set of beliefs… thinking in a new way… can get someone out of a desperate predicament.
But… there is one last thing to mention…
And going back to our Albatross analogy…
True, it navigates its way across whole oceans…
But what surrounds it… is an almost infinite blue sky…
The air currents help it navigate this sky… but they are not the sky itself…
The sky is far larger then the air currents which cross it.
And the Albatross uses these air currents to navigate the sky… but they are not attached to any air current… and are willing to jump across to something better when they need.
Human Beings are the only creature we know that becomes super-attached to the beliefs in its head… which may have originated from some dubious people in the first place… and a long-time ago, in a culture which no longer exists…
So attached that their Brains won’t let go of those beliefs, even when they are causing it great pain.
As they say in NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), the map isn’t the territory.
And the meme-currents which the Human Brain follows, as a way of giving meaning to reality… are also not the Universal reality itself.
The Universe is a much… much… much larger place then any Human drawn thought-map could ever describe or conceptualize.
So just as an Albatross needs to let go of an air current to get to where it needs to go… so Human Beings also need to let go of beliefs… when they are no longer appropriate… even if it means spending a brief period in the Void Space, while the new beliefs set-up.
So any successful Human Being will need to… occasionally… let go of one set of beliefs… for a new and better belief system… if we are ever going to navigate the infinite possibilities of Existence.
And… put simply… that’s how you successfully navigate your infinite Inner Sky.
(c) Brian Parsons, February 2018.