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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %STUDENT TEACH LEARN FLY LIE SELF CONTROL LOVE LIFE 900714 One situation in life may serve as a metaphor for other situations in life. While no situation is a perfect metaphor for any other situations in life, we may yet gain insights by carefully considering some familiar situations as imperfect metaphors for other unfamiliar situations. If we are fortunate we may have an integrative teacher to help us recognize the important differences between situations which we may consider as metaphors of each other. We need to take proper care not to regard any situation as a perfect metaphor for another situation; for there are important differences to which we need to attend. In reality and in imagination flying may serve as a metaphor for other situations in life. As infants we lie, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk, run, climb, etc. Each is a step towards greater autonomy and freedom of movement, and towards greater risk and danger. Flying is a metaphor for the greater freedom and risks inherent in the fullness of life. In flying there are more degrees of freedom than, for example, in driving a car. Usually the car tires stay on the ground and the car as a whole does not freely rotate about any horizontal axis relative to the road. In flying there is greater freedom in translational motion, both horizontally and vertically, and greater need to coordinate that freedom with greater freedom regarding rotational motion about vertical and horizontal axes. In flying an airplane a failure to properly coordinate translational motion as regards position, velocity and acceleration; with rotational motion as regards position, velocity and acceleration, is likely to lead to catastrophe. So also in the fullness of life with regards to motion through the opportunities, possibilities, and in general the alternatives which we must honestly face to survive with meaning. In flying and in the fullness of life balance is essential; both static and dynamic balance being important. An attempt to achieve stability through always being static is deadening. The process of learning how to maintain dynamic balance is far more risky and thrilling. To live fully and to fly freely we must learn how to try new possibilities prudently, even in the face of significant risk. To seek to avoid all risk is very risky, and leads to death of one form or another, in one way or another. To take imprudent risks leads to catastrophes and wrecks. We need to be prudent in focusing our trust in risky situations. We focus our trust in trust-worthy people, ideals, ideas, insights, intuitions, instincts, metaphors, and similes. We seek to do what seems good to us, and leaves us with a sense of personal and communal integrity. At an intuitive level we know we must be true to ourselves; open, honest and sharing. We become tense when circumstances lead us NOT to be: true to ourselves, open, honest, and/or sharing. We become ill-at ease, dis-eased and sick under such circumstances. To fly an airplane successfully we must have a basic understanding of aerodynamics; knowledge of how the forces of air on control surfaces relate to translational and rotational positions, velocities and accelerations of the airplane. The airplane moves in relationship to the air and the ground; with the air often moving in relationship to the ground. To live life fully we must have a basic understanding of human dynamics; knowledge of the dynamics of intra- personal and inter-personal relationships as we move through the changing cultures of our lives. We must honestly know our own selves; mind, body and soul, just as the pilot must know the details of the airplane. We must understand the dynamics of our relationships with ourselves and others; individually and collectively in dynamic personal relationships, just as the pilot must know the dynamics of the interaction of the plane with the moving air. Rarely do people learn to fly an airplane without the help of a trusted instructor. Much more often we expect infants, children, and young people to learn to live their lives fully without the benefit of a trusted instructor. The hazards of learning to live life fully without the help of a trust-worthy instructor are at least as great as the hazards of trying learn to fly an airplane well without the help of a trust-worthy instructor. Each community needs to consider the nature of such hazards and what might be done to reduce the risks entailed in facing them alone, while at the same time allowing adequate personal freedoms to permit people to be true to themselves, and so to develop true personal integrity which is worthy of trust. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================