Hawaii is one of my favorite places on earth. It is the closest representation of paradise that I’ve ever experienced. To be in Hawaii, with those I love and have no responsibilities except to enjoy the space around me, that’s heaven. One image that I see in my mind’s eye occasionally is the captivating rhythm of larger-than-life waves rolling into the shore and the surfers that have learned to master riding them. Surfers are some of the coolest people on the planet. The archetype of a surfer is that of a seriously laid back dude or dudette with no fear and the ability to just go with the flow. In the past, I have thought of myself as a “wannabe” surfer. Many years ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to take a surfing lesson on the North Shore of Oahu. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been able to practice what I learned. Boogie boarding, which is kind of like surfing with enormous training wheels has become a more common experience for my family. Whether we are talking about pro’s surfing the big waves of Jaws in Maui or a middle-aged dad boogie boarding with his kids along the Carolina coastline, there are life lessons we can learn about riding waves.
I am about to finish reading Frequency by Penney Peirce. It was recommended to me by a friend who recently left her physical body, so I am reading it in her honor. Peirce is a clairvoyant, an energy healer and coach/advisor. The book gets into detail about connecting with your personal vibration and working with energy to connect more fully with the natural flow of life and to live in its fullness at your best. It is a practical teaching that applies the new physics that say energy can be described as both a particle and a wave, a duality that we discussed previously on Day 22. In this blog series has gone into great depth around the illusion of duality. We’ve talked about separation as “the problem of human existence” (Erich Fromm) and a “detour into fear” (A Course in Miracles). Our human minds seem to attach to polarities such as good/bad, conscious/unconscious and love/fear. We know these are just concepts but it’s really hard to detach from them because they are so deeply engrained in our belief system. What if we thought about the wave and the surfer according to the new theories of quantum physics?
Waves at the beach roll onto the shore. Some days, they are larger and closer together and other days they are gentle and further apart. Either way, we can count on ocean waves to deliver a never-ending consistency. Let’s consider for a moment that the surfer is a particle. She floats on her board at the surface of the ocean as the waves roll in. When she’s at rest, she rises with the crest of the wave and falls with the trough. She doesn’t have to do anything. The waves pass through her and she simply bobs up and down. But at some point, a specific wave catches her eye and she chooses to take action. As the wave approaches, she begins to paddle in the same direction as the wave. With the right amount of effort, the wave grabs ahold of her board. She’s no longer bobbing up and down; she’s now moving with the wave. She has connected with the wave and she’s riding it. She and the wave have become one, both wave and particle, until she chooses to disconnect and float back over the top or the wave crashes into the shore.
There’s so much going on here that we need to unpack. In this example, everything worked out just as the surfer had hoped. She chose a wave, connected with it fully, rode it with ease and then disconnected by choice only to paddle back out and start again. Surfing is not always that easy! First of all, it takes a huge amount of effort just to paddle out past the crashing waves to get to a spot where you can float and bob. Paddling against the waves is exhausting. For a new surfer, it can take up so much energy that by the time you get to the waiting spot, you are too tired for the wave riding part. At that point, float and bob feels like the only option. Otherwise, you run out of gas and run the risk of drowning! When you finally build up enough energy to attempt getting on a wave, you paddle hard to connect, but the wave often gets past before that connection is made. It feels like a lot of effort paddling only to end up doing a float and bob over that particular wave.
Paddling against the waves can wear you out. Paddling into a wave may or may not result in a connection with it. Either way, you must make choices: the choice to paddle out to the waiting spot, the choice to float and bob or select a wave, the choice to expend energy into a selected wave. Float and bob is effortless. Once you’ve connected with a wave and it takes over, the ride becomes effortless. The hard part is everything that happens in between the choices to ride or wait. There is a lesson here regarding my will and Thy Will. Free will (my will) is the choice to float and bob or choose a wave and start paddling. The waves that come regardless of what the surfer chooses represent Thy Will. There’s nothing wrong with the float and bob approach, but the connection that is made when you and the wave become one, a merger of my will and thy will, is exhilarating.
The second lesson is around the duality that exists in waves, the crest and the trough. Life comes complete with ups and downs and, as human beings, it’s hard not to acknowledge this. Yes, they are merely concepts and illusions but they do feel real to the minds we’ve been given. Alchemy (which we discussed on Day 60) is a merger of dualities into oneness. If we think about dualities as waves, perhaps we can better understand the oneness that exists inside of them. Some waves have higher highs and lower lows (amplitude). Some waves come faster and some waves are more spread out (frequency). When the frequency of a wave is longer or more spread out, the surfer has more time to think about where she is on that particular wave. Perhaps during the float and bob part, waiting for the right wave, she’s in a long, protracted trough that feels like pain and suffering or depression. Or maybe she’s up on top of a large crest and doesn’t realize how good she has it and that she won’t stay there indefinitely. If the frequency of the waves increase and the ups and downs come more quickly, she may feel confused or discouraged by the rapid changes occurring while at the same time she remains unaware of the source of her feelings. But the conscious surfer has the ability to become aware of each moment, noticing where she is on a wave regardless of how fast or how slowly it comes. She knows she can’t get stuck at any position on a wave because she knows the wave is always moving. If she’s in a trough, she knows she’ll soon be back on a crest and vice versa. Duality exists in this way; as part of a wave that is constantly changing and fluctuating back and forth. There is no getting stuck. The merger of duality, the process of alchemy, is in the wave itself.
I’ve always thought of myself as a “wannabe” surfer. Maybe that’s because I’ve suffered from thinking about myself as a particle separate from the wave. Perhaps it’s time to awaken and make the conscious choice to choose a wave, connect with it, and ride it to the shore. My will and thy will working together, in perfect harmony, as one.