Thursday, May 28, 2009

Expanding One's Horizon

In “Rain, Rain Go Away” I spoke of getting out of myself and turning outward toward others. When I do that the sense of who I am, the experience of self, does not go away. I do not get lost in that process at all.

I served in the Navy. When one is standing on the deck of a ship the horizon is seven miles away. As you climb up into the superstructure of the ship the horizon recedes farther and farther into the distance; the amount of the universe that is within the scope of your vision expands. At the top of the periscope sheers the horizon is twenty-two miles away and the area of your visible world has gone from 38 square miles to 380. You are no less aware of the ship beneath you, you are just more aware of the ocean upon which that ship rides.

That’s what getting out of one’s self is like. As my journey continued my sense of who I am grew to embrace an ever wider scope of my community; of everything, everyone, who “is” but is not “me.”

“No man is an island” indeed.

The needs of that community are no longer in conflict with my needs, even when those needs differ, because that community is part of me. When I put aside my wants for the good of my community I do not feel any sense of loss, for I am serving the needs of something of which I am a part. I can do that with a very real sense of peace.

Climb up and expand your world. Yes, there are some storm clouds on that expanding horizon, but there are some exciting new worlds to explore, too.

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