by Dr. John W. Gilmore
Sometimes the weather gets rough up there. What do I mean by “up there(?),” you may ask. I mean up there--high in the sky when you dare to spread your wings and learn the secret of flying. Sometimes I feel that life is only to teach us how to, “transcend the human condition of the common man,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson would say, so that we can truly fly “on earth as it is in heaven.”
How can this happen though? How can a being born totally helpless and then raised with coping skills to firstly assure his own safety and the acquisition of power that will insure that safety, learn to fly? Some might even say that safety and power are the wings to fly. On TV, in the newspaper, or the radio and even in conversations on barroom stools we often hear about our great heroes whether they be sport figures, TV stars, politicians or performers and how they have risen up above others. This, however, is not that of which I speak when it comes to flying.
The problem with gaining safety and security through the acquisition of power is that one must work to maintain that power. Any possibility of that power being taken away becomes a danger when this happens. One becomes a slave to maintaining one’s own power in order to be safe. The fact that one is always fighting to maintain power to be safe shows us that one does not really feel safe or really have true power. One is still in a state of discomfort, even if she has all of the money in the world. She is a slave to fear and the projected imagination of loss in the future and destruction This is not flying, it is learning to run fast and is some instances, crawl fast to attain money and goods from another who may serve as a lord, master, or employer. Flying means being at peace. Flying means being free. Flying means being the way the Stoic Epictetus said, “Accepting all things without accusing God or thanking God. Living a life of virtue,” accepting things as they are so that one finds joy in all expressions of the universe.
This simple, yet profound statement, is the secret of how to fly. It is to learn about ones’ true self and one’s relationship with the divine. It is learning who one is in relation to the whole, and living in reality-