The Match Stick and the Candle Wick

A grasp of Time, a perspective on Time, is a crucial thing. So often, we will focus on a goal, make a plan to walk it out and then a short while later…hit a brick wall. The natural product of this is can be fury, depression, loss of confidence, a sense of being clueless, of being a puppet…a slave to overwhelming factors that imprison you. My thoughts today are about stepping back and taking a moment to check your vision and think about expansion of Time exactly at the point you face the wall.

We can agree that while one is physically on a multidimensional journey called Life, it’s important to remember that the mind has to and is able to encompass far more than concepts like ‘forward’ and ‘backward’ and ‘lateral’ movement. Your physical Self is only a part of your being. The rest of you can travel upwards and downwards and inwards. For many, this is a moment in Time to keep this truth foremost in mind.

The best of plans are tricky to hang on to in a world that shifts in ways that were not/could not be foreseen and this eternal condition of not holding all the information at the planning table often ends up presenting its wrench in the works and causing an emotional reaction of failure. But this will always be the case. So get used to it. Make step 1 of all plans be to daily remind yourself: all elements of the plan are subject to wobbling – and that will be ok because we have learned to have contingency mindsets at the ready to restabilise.

The sadness or the anger that can come – towards yourself or towards others – is, to some degree, self-inflicted even if it doesn’t appear to be. I think this is an important point to stress because by realising this, you can begin to put yourself back in the driver’s seat. You can choose to remember that your plans needed wiggle room when you were formulating them. As the brick wall looms, you can mentally shift into neutral and then go up, down, in as your own belief system/life philosophy should allow for you to do. I use these general terms of expression in a wish to encompass all the possible belief systems of the reader and I hope that is clear. If you don’t have a system that allows for this, please consider how realistic your system is.

The culture of Humanity has become just about universally Type A. 99% of us feel driven to succeed and qualify success in material terms. Only those things that can be seen, measured and quantified count in our understanding of how we are doing. And speed! Wow, do we need to perform in double-quick time. The Boss, the family unit, the tax man, the dying car or fraying shoes demand their due NOW, no matter if we can’t deliver. So here we find ourselves in our speeding bullet car, trying to produce on the material plane while simultaneously trying to plan a way to a better life, a more realistic life, and we quite naturally forget to allow for the eternal condition of not being able to foresee all the possible actions/inactions on the road, the interworkings with others who have their own agendas, the cost of necessities rising ‘x’ amount, the depth of our own bank of stamina…Stop right there. Exhale and regroup.

A huge number of plans that are about to be ditched should not be

This post is all about not ditching the kernel of Reality Truth in your plan. It may be that the plan itself needs a lot of reworking but it is my firm belief that a huge number of plans that are about to be ditched should not be. Energy is moving with incredible force at the moment – but not in the way that we have been conditioned to receive it. We can feel it but we translate it in the whirl of 21st century culture: we want to see it, measure it and quantify it NOW and that’s just not how creative lasting reality comes into being. There is a disconnect between bells-and-whistles culture hype and Time. One is shifting and morphing continually and one is ancient, steady and concrete. So guess which one I think you should regroup with when you are in despair?

Understanding how co-creation works

I was fascinated by the news that scientists are going to attempt to determine if we are living in a simulated reality. Professor Nick Brostrom began to toss this idea around in his head about a decade ago. To help us novices begin to grasp the concept, he publicly answered some basic questions (see FAQ in above link) and one of these was delightfully simple: How did you come up with this? He replied,

In my doctoral work, I had studied so-called self-locating beliefs and developed the first mathematical theory of observation selection effects, which affects such beliefs. I had also for many years been thinking a lot about future technological capabilities and their possible impacts on humanity. If one combines these two areas – observation selection theory and the study of future technological capacities – then the simulation argument is only one small inferential step away.

Uh huh. Well, if that left you in the dust, don’t worry. What is key to the crux of this post follows as he elaborates…

Before the idea was developed in its final form, I had for a couple of years been running a rudimentary version of it past colleagues at coffee breaks during conferences. Typically, the response would be “yeah, that is kind of interesting” and then the conversation would drift to other topics without anything having been resolved.

I was on my way to the gym one evening and was again pondering the argument when it dawned on me that it was more than just coffee-break material and that it could be developed in a more rigorous form. By the time I had finished the physical workout, I had also worked out the essential structure of the argument (which is actually very simple). I went to my office and wrote it up.

(Are there any lessons in this? That new ideas often spring from the combining of two different areas or cognitive structures, which one has previously mastered at sufficiently a deep level, is a commonplace. But an additional possible moral, which may not be as widely appreciated, is that even when we do vaguely realize something, the breakthrough often eludes us because we fail to take the idea seriously enough.)

Did you get that? It seems a clear-as-day message to us ‘ordinary folk’. Yes, the subject matter of Dr. Brostrom is way out there and has nothing to do with bread and milk on the table every day BUT the lesson inherent is universal. Even a veteran of the rollercoaster ups and downs of Life has to agree that the urge to birth a plan is valid. That validity is based on an individual’s kernel of Reality Truth. But it’s not going to happen overnight and you aren’t always going to have much support. It’s also not going to happen in double time like some 21st century movie script dream. Again I will say: Energy is moving with incredible force at the moment – but not in the way that we have been conditioned to receive it. Please don’t ditch the core of your plan because of one brick wall…the breakthrough often eludes us because we fail to take the idea seriously enough…Get Real. Get in Time. Get Incremental and co-create step by step because your idea is valid even if your plan has not been.

The necessary ‘luxury’ of deep thinking

Another little gem I came across that I think is part of this package comes from Pico Iyer in a refreshing New York Times essay:

Since luxury, as any economist will tell you, is a function of scarcity, the children of tomorrow, I heard myself tell the marketers in Singapore, will crave nothing more than freedom, if only for a short while, from all the blinking machines, streaming videos and scrolling headlines that leave them feeling empty and too full all at once…

‘…deep thought, depends (as neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio have found) on neural processes that are “inherently slow.” The very ones our high-speed lives have little time for.’

A good plan – a good life –  requires regular returning to deep, all-encompassing thought. Its framing cannot be rigid. I like to think of it symbolically like this: Strike a match and you have light for a tiny blip in Time. Hold it to a candle wick and in seconds you have greater light – and that secondary light is meant to burn for a long time. You can have a light bulb moment, a flash of that kernel of your Reality Truth: this is your match. Take it seriously but don’t confuse it with the candle flame. Be like the wax that is the candle. Slowly flow around the reality center of the wick, be as flexible as the heat and light of reality demands and your efforts will not be in vain. Grace and Patience – give them liberally to yourself and others, too. We must make our plans in Time.

10 thoughts on “The Match Stick and the Candle Wick

  1. Great timing with this post (again!)
    Many thanks. Since my NN news I feel much more focused which I so needed! Also I am learning about the people in my neighborhood and some of them are really happy to start visiting regularly. I think we are going to organise a clothing swap 🙂


  2. it can be hard to become a candle wick when you always feel like a match stick lol
    thanks for an interesting and fresh take on resolutions.


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