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River ride

I watched Prometheus last night and greatly enjoyed it.  It raises several questions that are hardly new but I think it deals with them very well.  That combined with the changes happening in my spiritual life.  So I sat down to write something fantastic and amazingly long.  At this point I suspect it will be quite the opposite.

Life tends to be easily reducible to a few options when placed within the illustration of a river extending from birth onward with your actions, or the lack of, determining where you find yourself at any particular moment.  The options as I see them:

Exit the stream: Game over.  You died.

I can vouch that this is a great way to spend an afternoon. I have my doubts about spending a lifetime though.

Enjoy the ride: This is how most people prefer to do life, at least within my observation.  The trouble with this, and speaking from experience, is that you relinquish your say in things once you commit to this approach.  Like what happens when those in control lose interest?  What happens when you run out of new things to look at and do?  What happens when there are no hand-outs?  When your survival skills are inadequate?

Go with the flow: Now this differs slightly from simply enjoying the ride.  Unlike above being hands free, here you’re taking an active part and perhaps dodging a few things that would otherwise be unpleasant.  That sounds good and all but a few issues remain.  Firstly, instead of checking the destination yourself, you’re trusting that everybody else knows what is best for you simply because it must be if everybody else has subscribed.  Secondly, you don’t really get to choose your company.  Some people you’ll want to have along, others you won’t.  At this point its out of your control barring pushing through the crowd into a different area of the river.

I believe this image explains itself.

Winning!: It should say something that as soon as this came up as a life approach that people immediately began laughing.  That said, it’s just as valid as our previous choices.  Doing this you’re assuming control.  You are choosing who you keep pace with.  You are pushing for something.  Take a look at anyone who could be described as having used this as a pure discipline and you’ll find a trend: disaster, premature death, regret, and typically a general sense of dissatisfaction with the entirety of everything they have and have done.  If this is winning then I’m afraid I’ll have to refrain from any form of this as a competition.

The other direction: Literally.  Not agreeing to agree for the sake of being agreeable.  Seeking the source. There are many reasons provided by science that science itself can not be the answer.  This leaves pursuit of our origin or creator as the choice.  If one seeks a higher power then one must also accept the fact that they are themselves lesser than that which is above them.  The implication of this is that we will be incorrect at points, despite our most deeply held wants and feelings.

The trouble with any of the other choices is that they all end up in the same place as does any river, the ocean.  A few notes about the ocean:

  • It’s unforgiving
  • It can’t quench thirst
  • It is vast and lonely
  • Finding yourself unprepared in it is a very bad thing