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Old 09-02-2012, 22:40   #1
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Self Conscious Swaggering in Nuku Hiva, or a new equillibrium for human connectivity?

In these last days of gravity, the moments of human history before the tides of the singularity will perhaps wash over our individuality and bury it within the depths, and we will find ourselves living within a vast collective consciousness, I wonder...

I have not Traveled Far since the AD of ubiquitous networked social connectivity.

When I was last Out There, I had a distinct sense that we became cooler as we traveled further. The further we got from civilization, the more our minds cleared, the simpler state of consciousness yielding a love for ourselves and thus an openness and love for connecting with every one we met.

There was even a high, upon returning to land, of having a blank slate of a mind and walking around a new town or city as if it an alien planet. Feeling as both observers of a strange world and intimately connected to the people there, and wanting to connect with them on a fundamental level. Breathing properly could extend this mindspace. I am certain I am not alone in this feeling because I've seen this mentioned, in books, in passing, as if a shared secret between fellow sailors.

It was a bit sad to see that this was not a durable change, and for some it seemed to pass without note. On returning to civilization, even a civilization as minor as Papeete, where some of us could once again read the news and email and fill our minds like landlubbers with noise from the various memes replicating within our collective unconscious, memes that suck the attention and focus from us and cloud our thoughts like parasites...

Anyways, I've been wondering. For those of you who have Traveled Far in the Modern Era, the era in which we do not have to completely let go of Landlubbery concerns, thoughts, and mind, because we can maintain this bondage even in the farthest corners of our beloved Earth... A Modern Era in which some of us in Nuku Hiva are pontificating and swaggering about recent exploits in a self conscious way to a non-existant 'other' we've made up in our own minds, or even those at sea are activating that part of our brain necessary to make a narrative, to write a story and thus become self conscious in the harsh glare of a fictional anonymous reader, to judge ourselves to be witty, compelling, or just adventurous against that light, or worse, bragging about a string of future cocktail party anecdotes and minor boyscout badges we've collected to label ourselves as interesting, instead of just... wholly being in the moment of being at sea... without labels or a written narrative, a too cute quip or thoughtful point that collapses the experience into a discretely labeled and defined thing, the totality of the experience reduced into a neat little package of written thought.

Do you still have this sense that Far Away, people are different? Cooler, more centered, and more open?

Do you feel that this connectivity has ... retarded your mindspace to one of a landlubber?

Is technology now such that one can even be at a beach fire on Suvarov or Sulawesi and still caught up in our own BS, and just as likely to pontificate about trivial new memetic viruses as express awe at the wonder of our lives and the range of experience? There is no longer this sense of meeting someone on the Top Of The Mountain, where pure joy just shines through our souls at the chance to connect with the core of another with such a blank slate, to compare notes on the paths traveled, the path ahead, and the current moment? Are sailors no longer in the true wilderness, disconnected from this huge civilization, and gaining from the experience of a mind whose internal resonances are no longer pumped by artificial external influence?

I don't know. I'm torn-- I currently believe blogging is bad for the soul while far away. It activates the narrative part of a mind, it reboots the mental noise of civilization in places where it's better a distant memory... It adds a filtered and over intellectualized judgment and measure that tarnishes the moment by reducing it to words that others can understand. Remember when cruisers, when asked what it was like out there, would tend stare off into space, unable to really form words to describe it? So my idea is to drop out of this enormous machine when our voyages start, to facilitate returning to a simpler and more direct experience of the world that is defined by what is in front of me, and let go of trying to define it in a way others can understand.

But at the same time, perhaps if I was centered enough to connect with people through these new tools in as unselfconscious of a way as I would in person, if I could grow in that way and become wholly of this modern era instead of a horseman surrounded by cars, is this not just expanding the scale of my connection from the few random people immediately in front of me to a larger intentional community, and thus an enormous gift from modern technology?

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Old 09-02-2012, 22:52   #2
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Re: Self Conscious Swaggering in Nuku Hiva, or a new equillibrium for human connectiv

I'm sure both viewpoints have validity. It's a decision each must make for themselves. And I think even within close crew the experience can be different. My wife finds connectivity to family and friends very important, and so spends more time thinking about that and doing it. I am more of the other school of thought and would be happy to totally divorce myself from all civilization for some time.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:21   #3
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Re: Self Conscious Swaggering in Nuku Hiva, or a new equillibrium for human connectiv

Buddha or Bodhisattva? Hinayana or Mahayana? You've written wonderfully. There are things - difficult to express - that I need to write myself. You've inspired me to have a go.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:38   #4
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Re: Self Conscious Swaggering in Nuku Hiva, or a new equillibrium for human connectiv

tripping! lsd ayahousca peyote shrooms one of the ten!

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:01   #5
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Re: Self Conscious Swaggering in Nuku Hiva, or a new equillibrium for human connectiv

Nice comments

Most of my travels to far flung places for extended periods have been by Jumbo Jet!

What I discovered was that for me it didn't really matter if my experiance was sitting on top of a mountain contemplating my navel or in downtown crazy central partying like it was 1999. for a week ........for me the enjoyment was obtained from the people encountered along the Journey - the good, the bad and the colourful - all brought something to my journey.

But I reached where I wanted to be when I met the Missus (even though I didn't know that I wanted to arrive there - and if I had been asked would have sworn blind not!) - IMO everything is better (even when not enjoyable) when shared with another person, whether that be gazing at the moon or hitting someone on the head with a blunt object and avoiding getting the favour returned......or simply going to Tesco . Hell, I even start to enjoy my day job (which is duller than a dull thing on a dull day - in Dullsville ).....because suddenly life had a purpose that I wanted (not that I was planning on being chained to that desk for the next 30 years!). Boats not involved.

I guess what I am saying is that (IMO) the answer depends on each of us - and probably find that the journey itself is the answer, and we each get to choose that - even if not the actual answer (does that sound vague and woolly enough? ).
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:29   #6
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My eyes glazed over and I lost the will to live by the 2nd paragraph. I'm just going back to beat the stinkin engine back into life in the bilges. I see little opportunity to be "cool"

Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! -
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:36   #7
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Re: Self Conscious Swaggering in Nuku Hiva, or a new equillibrium for human connectiv

Not only conductivity to land but the over dependance on fancy gadgetry to find ones way throughout the ocean journey. as little as 30 years ago, sailors might have to wait a week to get a sextant fix. Landfall was not a guarantee. Now with GPS, SSB, chart plotter and the lot, it's more of a vacation on the water rather than an adventure.
I think another question is...does spirituality lead us to sea or does sea lead us to spirituality?
“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”
- Sterling Hayden

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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