Quo Vadis?? (which direction are you heading in?)

I love the Joke about the man who walks into an Irish Pub and asks the man behind the bar for directions as to how he can get to Dublin.

“Well,…” says the bartender, “I wouldn’t start from here!” 🙂

Where we get to in our life often depends upon where we start out.

Some have a pleasant starting point and see no reason to change and so maintain a similar environment on their ‘travels’.

Some have reason to resent where they started from and move as far and as fast in the ‘opposite’ direction managing to ‘reverse’ their life direction. This does not always result in a ‘happy’ outcome or end-point.

Some people believe that only the world ‘out there’ exists in reality and spend their entire lives trying unsuccesfully to come to terms with it. Some even feel like they have ‘succeeded’ in such a journey.

Some people have a desire to know more.

They take not only an ‘outward’ journey, but an Inward one as well.

Taking either to the extreme is probably not wise for us in the journey we must make on this planet.

In Truth one relates to the other. By exploring one we can discover more in the other.

WE ‘walk’ in Both. It is probably a good ‘starting point’ to right here, right now. make this your ‘zero point’ – the ‘Origin’ and see how far we can ‘come’ in both ‘directions’, internally as well as externally.

We all have a past. We can never return to it – it is beyond our ‘reach’. It is likely unwise to try to recreate any part of it but instead to learn from it and move on – move ‘Forward’.

Live NOW.

Understand that no matter which direction we turn in this world, we move and learn, and it is almost impossible to ever ‘retrace’ your steps – you still have to walk ‘forward’ in time.

The same is true of our ‘inner’ world. – Live NOW and move forward. Rest and stay still to contemplate a thing for a time if you need to but don’t stay still long enough that you stagnate and become ‘rooted’ to one spot.

OK things might get a little ‘counter-intuitive’ and seemingly contradictory from here – if they have not already!

If we use a 2 dimensional map to plot our journey it is fairly obvious that opposites do exist!

North-South, East-West, up-down, back-forth, we clearly see them and distinguish between them. Map reference points (including where we currently ‘are’) can be defined in ‘positive and negative’ terms relative to a ‘universal’ latitude and longitude system.

If we use any cartesian co-ordinate system (perpendicular ‘X’ and ‘Y’ axes with positive and negative distances from a 0,0 starting point) we can move either positively or negatively, forwards or backwards, up or down.

By moving towards one we move away from the other (opposite) direction.

This is something many of us understand and are most familiar with.

This doesn’t mean that this is how things actually ‘are’ – that they are fixed in such a fashion and can only be perceived in this fashion – or that this is our ONLY reality! It is so ONLY if you CHOOSE it to be!

It is possible to perceive things in another way – one that does not contain ‘opposites’, just ‘directions’. More specifically Purely ‘positive’ ones.

In Mathematics this is described as having ‘polar’ rather than cartesian co-ordinates (that’s it for the geek talk, OK?)

Every point we move to establishes a new (relative) origin – the point where we are NOW. Any other point is a positive distance away but with a 360 degree directional component – there are no ‘opposites’ only headings relative to ‘us’ instead of some other pre-defined point. There is literally no going ‘back’! Just forward in a different (positive) direction!

Where this can lead to difficulties is when we have a need to ‘locate’ a position in order for us to meet someone with whom our ‘origin points’ are not co-located. We then need some kind of mutual ‘overlay’ that allows each of us to describe exactly the same place as being a particular point in order that we can each make our own way towards it even if this requires us to both head off on a different ‘heading’.

Ship/Boat/Plane owners (navigators) will probably get what i am talking about here a lot easier than most.

My main point is:

Individually not all of us use similar co-ordinate systems, some don’t even use systems that are mutually compatible!

It helps to understand this when describing things to others who are not exactly like us (and we are all Unique).

Now I’d really like to incorporate into this topic the problems that infinity poses to our understanding of distance and direction (especially opposites) but frankly, I’m a little afraid it would boggle MY mind, let alone yours, so I will hold off for another day.

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17 thoughts on “Quo Vadis?? (which direction are you heading in?)

  1. I think I get what you’re saying. However, my mom-in-law just left and brain is still on overload 😉 Yes, I’m talking about B’s mama 🙂

    We can arrive at the same destination for the same purpose but arrive there in totally different manners. Yes? My destination (journey) helps shape my arrival as yours does for you? Am I close?

    Work with me here…it’s almost my bed time!

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  2. You are exactly right Tam! 🙂

    Not bad for an overloaded brain at the end of a no-doubt loooooong day.

    You have chosen to focus more an the Journey and it’s ‘end’ point whereas I was mostly thinking of the starting point (or more exactly ‘this now’ point) and what we usually make out as ‘directions’. But your idea is no less valid for that.

    The journey I take must, by necessity, be a different one to the one you take but ultimately I believe we are all headed to the same ‘Goal’.

    My aim in this blog is to help everyone realise this a little better than they may at present! 🙂

    I am very glad you choose to honour my blog with both your visit and your comments – my regards to Brent and those you love most.

    I’m off to check out your blog and daughter while keeping my hands respectfully to myself 😉

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  3. P.S. It was as usual a longish blog and many people can turn off if things get in any way ‘mathematical’ as i tended to half way through.

    I’m glad you got out of it what you did – that gives me heart to continue to write – it helps knowing that others read your thoughts as you post them, well it helps me, anyways.

    I confess that i may not have written what I did specifically addressing those people who may share your general ‘path’ in life, where you have been and where you go from there/here. I probably would not really have much idea of where to start if i did 😉

    That you found a common thread with me in it while being at less than your most intellectual capacity 😉 I count as a blessing!

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  4. hmmm, “we’re” all headed for the same “goal” as Christians or mankind? What is the “goal” you speak of? I know you and I are headed toward God, He is our (my) goal.

    Brent and I do appreciate you! I have grown to love your thoughts and way of thinking. Although in the beginning…I wanted to trip you! I say that in love…but I “get” you now…you’re just a softy Bob 😉

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  5. Lol. trip me huh? 🙂
    I’m glad i did not trip you into thinking i was proud or bigoted and not worth listening to! I know how easy i can do that sometimes 😉

    I think we share the Love of Christ even if my view is still far from perfected.

    I don’t see a difference between the Goal of true Christians and ‘mankind’. I don’t think God made man so he could chop half or more of us out of His Life ‘when the time was right’.

    Hope this doesn’t sound ‘wrong’ to you?

    I see the Goal as being ‘reunited’- remembering who we all are and where we have come from.

    I’m not a softy – I’m cuddly! 😉

    It took a long while to file off some of the rough edges tho’ 🙂

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  6. A verse I find myself referring to often is in Romans – how we all know the truth about God, it is instinctive, we’re born that way. So, yes, i agree with your statement above. Even though many have no idea what they’re searching for – we all are looikng for the same thing. Your post is becoming clearer and clearer by the minute. Good discussion is key – this is great!

    I know it’s ni-night time for you. I’m just getting my kiddos off to school! Hope you’ve had/ have a restful evening!

    Blessings friend!

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  7. Uhhhmm… [humbly]excuse me…Geez, I feel awkward intruding into this cozy conversation….

    LWBUT, well written, I relate well you your mathematical / engineering lingo. This is a topic which I have been toying with for quite sometime.

    I like your analogies. As it realtes to Truth, the idea of sytem overlays is great. We all have different ways to describe and systematically break down Truth. Some systems deliberately only map certian sections of it while ignoring others.

    It is possible to perceive things in another way – one that does not contain ‘opposites’, just ‘directions’. More specifically Purely ‘positive’ ones… – there are no ‘opposites’ only headings relative to ‘us’ instead of some other pre-defined point. There is literally no going ‘back’! Just forward in a different (positive) direction!

    When I read this I jumped up and down in my office cheering ‘yeahhhhh’ [fists pounding the air above my head]

    I wrote something about a year ago in which I(feebly) tried to say the same thing. I used a pendulum as an anaology… The coordinate system is much better.

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  8. What a restful sleep. And what a great way to start the day! Greetings from Tam and a new contributor to my (I wish was humble) blog. I FEEL blessed 🙂

    (I AM blessed I just occasionally let my ego forget the fact)

    I agree with you yet again Tam – good discussions can help us see more of ‘the Puzzle’ and how we as humans can ALL ‘fit together’ so that Ultimately we return to the One we came from. The more that do it the easier it becomes for others to join in. We may ultimately see that although we are all ‘different’, that is natural, and does not prevent us from being of One Spirit. We just have differing perspectives of how that One Spirit appears to us small, finite Humans.

    That verse in Romans (not certain if i have ever read it) is EXACTLY what I believe (a part of the whole thing anyway) from our birth we ‘build’ our own ‘concepts’ but unlike God who has only ‘Himself’ to build upon/with we use things that other fallible humans (even including our parents) provide us with and we construct a life that is less than perfect, most of which stays with us for life and makes connecting easily and totally with God very difficult for us.

    Jesus can Help if we choose to let Him but His job would be easier if we could get rid of all that ‘baggage’ we have brought with us throughout our life. it can be VERY difficult for some of us to fully ‘let go’… to ‘lose our Life’.

    Peace Tam.

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  9. Wow! That’s a first for me!

    Someone jumping up and down (with Joy and not rage apparently?) over reading what i wrote.

    Thank You Greatly Buddy – and Welcome too. 🙂

    Don’t feel awkward adding your thoughts here, Tam and I are ‘just good Friends’ 😉

    I was happy to read your thoughts in your blog post and envious you got 72 posts to it ( i need to work on that envy huh? 🙂 )

    I hope most were in agreement and saw where you were coming from with it?

    I had a thought that might help? or hinder? – depends.

    Although we both agree that God is everywhere (in the swing as well as beyond it) Those who don’t quite get it might better ‘get’ that God is actually in the ‘middle’ – ‘Stable, constant and unchanging’ while it is WE as humans that are the pendulum swinging through Him at any one time. We can reach either ‘extreme’ but both are examples of us ‘moving away from God’ while at the same time being contained within Him and ALL that He ‘is’.

    Good and Evil do not come ‘from’ God but rather are human perspectives of what God is. We looking at only one ‘side’ of Him.

    They are both ‘right’ and ‘incomplete’ at the same time.

    Would that help bring any of US together? do you think?

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  10. Hey Thinker! G’day! Is that right? So the verse I ws referring to in Romans is Romans 1:19 & 20

    “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

    Based on this verse – we then spend our lives deciding on whether we will accept or reject Him.

    Well, hope you’re enjoying a warm sunny day…cause WE’RE NOT! It’s cold here! My little feet are numb.

    BuddyO, you didn’t intrude…you added oozy gooeyness!

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  11. G’Day Tam! 🙂

    We pronounce it like ‘Gudday’ with a sort of short inclination on the ‘Ay’ sound.

    Would you believe that i have just used the same Romans Chap in a comment on Christian’s Site: comment #1387 ( OK Little help here? How do i do this properly in html? Anyone?)

    Seems we are on the same ‘page’ at the moment – how cool is that?? : )

    It is a beautiful clear day today – a balmy 75 degrees or so – I really should get out and enjoy more of it. There is a mound of garden work to do but i think i will enjoy my time there as well as work. It’s just too good a day not to!

    Sending warm blue sky thoughts your way!

    Oozy gooeyness??? I’m going to leave you two to it! 🙂 Sunshine here i come!

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  12. Hello friend, good evening. I saw your comment over at my blog, so I decided to come over here. It’s nice to see you’re actively blogging again. And yes, the poem you read is just a fictional one, thank God. I sometimes put myself in the shoes of other people, and I strongly feel how they must be feeling — though perhaps not as close as the real thing — but enough to make my poetry seem as if I am actually in their situation.

    I think my timing is good because this post was on your “today’s top posts.”

    I think this is a good discussion, mainly because it confirmed what I’ve always suspected: that I have a high aptitude in maths. 😉

    [That’s just my ego talking… and I’m just joking. Peace, LOL!]

    I’m just happy that I think I got your point.

    That does not mean, however, that my comment will be spot on. Or that I’ll make sense.

    Okay, here I go:

    Our starting point greatly influences our endpoint. I agree. I however, would like to add that our starting point is not always a ‘place’ or something we could find by asking “where?”

    It could also be a matter of attitude, one that we could find as well by asking questions like why, how, when, who, or what.

    Even without ‘moving,’ we can change our starting point by changing our perception of where we are… by changing how we see things, what we believe, and who we look at.

    Our starting point depends largely on what our goal is. A change in our goal effectively changes where we are now. And where we are going.

    Ok. I think I’m making sense. Or was.

    I tried to chart what I’ve typed so far in your “planes” and I couldn’t. I guess I’m not a maths wizzard after all. Or perhaps I’m not on the same page as you guys are.

    Can someone tell me where I am now? And where I’m going?

    Tam? Can you help me find my way, please?

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  13. BT! You are always a most welcome contributor here 🙂 ( as well as a welcome friend)

    Strange that this very old blog should be in the top posts?

    But i am glad you got it ‘mathematically’ lol

    The difficulty with telling you where you are now has to do with your answer relating more to the INTERNAL and not ‘external’ world we all live in and your coments i agree with totally concerning the starting point being able to change just by having different perspectives -changing the ones we ‘began’ with, from any given point on our path we choose as the ‘start’ for reference to some one thing ( or everything?)

    Charting where you are requires us to (each of us individually) have some ‘overall’ picture that is something we are able to relate to ( like a map of ‘the world’) and an understanding of our current ( and maybe our previous) ‘locations’.

    Without a clear and valid ( i.e. not ‘false’) map it is difficult to be able to tell if we are actually getting ‘somewhere’ ( nice or not nice – depending) or just going around in one big or lots of little circles.

    what is important however is to learn what we came here to learn – and i have little doubt in my mind that that varies quite a lot for us all – since few if any of us start from exactly the same place.

    This post may help you – it may not – it helped me and that was important to me 🙂

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  14. BT – i want to paste this up in my house…

    “Even without ‘moving,’ we can change our starting point by changing our perception of where we are… by changing how we see things, what we believe, and who we look at.”

    brilliantly said, imho.

    that, to me, is the key – the missing link – to what many people are trying to figure out. its how we choose to look at things, life, goals, journeys.

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