Eyes toward the sky: Don’t be ‘ground clutter’

Standard

The air traffic control radar beacon system (ATCRBS) is a system used in air traffic control (ATC) to enhance surveillance radar monitoring and separation of air traffic. ATCRBS assists ATC surveillance radars by acquiring information about the aircraft being monitored, and providing this information to the radar controllers. The controllers can use the information to identify radar returns from aircraft (known as targets) and to distinguish those returns from ground clutter.

I returned to this piece because I wanted a reminder – an unidentified blip on my radar screen popped up recently that kind of irked me (no one wants to deal with a UFO, you see), even if it was inconsequential. Or maybe it’s truer to say it confused me.

In my annual seasonal funk, delivered right on time each year between February 1 and 8, I dipped into rather egregious self-pity and felt hurt by the mismatch of someone’s words and actions. I came to terms with all my wallowing stupidity, wrote about and got it out of my system. That’s all tired, repetitive news by now, no? By March, which now seems like an eternity ago, I was a flashing blip on radar screens of an entirely different sector of the world’s airspace.

The aforementioned blog post addresses that sense of feeling independence and freedom slip away, and the involuntary oppression of the fierceness of care that comes from witnessing someone else in trouble. But it also delivers me back to that place of centered individuality: “carefree, spontaneous, open person who takes risks and action and moves forward no matter what…”. Perhaps because I already feel like I’ve flown off to new and foreign lands, literal and figurative, in the mere two months (but what does time mean? As I picked up in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics: “When his great Italian friend Michele Besso died, Einstein wrote a moving letter to Michele’s sister: ‘Michele has left this strange world a little before me. This means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction made between past, present and future is nothing more than a persistent, stubborn illusion’.”) since that brief winter ‘episode’, I don’t feel any real, or strong, connection to that former time or place or the people populating it. Only interesting, intelligent characters and moments that, even if they do exist in the “persistent, stubborn” ‘non-time’ we live in, are not a part of my life now.

Life just goes on, sometimes at high speed and at cruising altitude. Though I will always care, it’s in a different and almost entirely impersonal, if friendly, way. Because ultimately I’m driven to move forward at all costs, I do not do well with fumbling through inertia or being at a standstill for very long. This has led me, in these weeks, to read, to study, to write, to work, to inhale music, to see films, to walk and hike and run and twist myself into new (to me) yogic positions, to unclog drains, change lightbulbs  and change the oil and tires, to let someone nearly break my back but then let the same person nearly fix it, to meet my near twin only in male form, to obsess over soup and stew, to summon apparitions from the past, to host lovely guests, to travel to new countries and cities, to spend time with my nearest and dearest of amazing friends, and even still to come back home and mail multiple rather innocuous and generic, if chocolaty, packages all over the place.

This last bit has apparently been the ‘last straw’ for one recipient/household, which is a shame, actually, because I had no idea it would cause the “dischord” (take note: the correct spelling is “discord”) they cited. I honestly thought there was only one person living in that household. I am not enough of an asshole that I would ever have sent anything had I known otherwise. Frivolously, perhaps, I thought I was supplying an appropriate “bookend” to close out the (brevity of that) acquaintance; you know, Norwegian Kvikk Lunsj, which is a bridge builder, fence mender, ski-trip snack essential, winning rival to the inferior KitKat and a neutral way to say adieu, even if it won’t keep tooth decay away.

Oh well, dear, undoubtedly lovely, disembodied soul, roger that. I meant no disrespect and no ill-will. It will never happen again.

Photo (c) 2016 NATS Press Office used under Creative Commons license.

Being energy

Standard

I have never been one much for metaphysical investigation, nor overly ponderous or scholarly about formal philosophy studies, but I am inching toward these areas, alongside deeper inquiry into physical and chemical sciences and physics, because suddenly these concepts, about which I know so little, have triggered something in my brain that is larger than idle curiosity.

As I wrote the other day, a book on “psychic phenomena”, which I had decided to read only because it sat untouched on my bookshelf for the last decade (how and why these kinds of books even came into my possession is something I’ve forgotten; I want to say that I received them from an ex, with whom I shared long-running jokes about my supposed psychic abilities), sparked a real interest in thoughts being things, about the extension of the “bodily, physical reality in the here and now”.

The psychic book, Awakening Your Psychic Powers, started with the argument that all things are interconnected – indicating that findings in quantum and subatomic physics (the part that most excited me) or thinking on the universal nature of spirituality (if one were to study all world religions and belief systems) as reflected in the philosophia perennis. This interconnectedness leads to a fundament of focusing and channeling psychic ability: Oneness, and accepting Oneness. It sounds New Agey and mystical, but if we were to cease seeing things as discrete, separate entities and instead accept everything as part of an interconnected ecosystem, as modern western physics does at the subatomic level, the physical boundaries we’ve concocted would fall. Spiritually, it argues, there are no boundaries in the first place.

“It is much easier for a consciousness rooted in a spiritual identity that exists beyond the constraints of time and space to accept the functioning of psychic ability as a natural talent. Not only does such a shift in identity make psychic functioning more natural, but it provides us with other needed benefits as well.”

In Einstein’s theory of relativity, “thingness” disappears as mass is equated with energy. “Things” become waves of energy/patterns. “Not only is everything on earth interconnected, everything is really the same thing – energy moving about and taking different forms. And that is one way to begin to imagine what is meant by the Oneness that lies behind visible creation.”

If we are to accept this, then something like psychic phenomena seems less implausible and more about a way of tuning in, perceiving and seeing.