4/26/99    There are no problems, only opportunities for solutions. This is the kind of optimistic enthusiasm that goes over big in the workplace, and from a relative point of view is essentially correct, but most of our problems at work or at home are just variations of old problems requiring a modified version of an old solution, so do we really want or need these "opportunities"? I suppose it keeps our rationalization skills sharp and motivates us to "think outside the box" (I hate that cliche' too). To me it's all just "routine maintenance", and it's sad how much creative energy and precious time is wasted on the mundane. Whether it's a teen on the edge of suicide because he can't handle the 'peer pressure' and feels like a social outcast, or the couple whose marriage is seemingly beyond repair, or the diplomat who can't reach a compromise with his political adversaries, it would seem all of us too often take life far too seriously . There's always so much that has to be done and never enough time to do it. Everyone agrees that every year seems to go by quicker, and the older you get the worse it gets. Like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. This may not be merely perceptual. Keep in mind that EVERYTHING is getting older ALL the time, so there is NO outside frame of reference that we can use to actually measure the speed of time. If we go back to the idea of time relative to velocity it does indeed suggest that as the universe slows in it's expansion from the original big-bang the process of time would accelerate like a marble spiraling down a vortex (or a roll of toilet paper). If this is true and we do perceive on some subconscious level this acceleration, then this suggests we have the capability to be aware of the universe in it's autonomous whole and not just our own component existence. No wonder we all suffer from a certain sense of "urgency" from time to time and feel compelled to problem-solving even if we have to make up problems just to have those opportunities for solutions.

Regardless of how it actually is, it does seem this way, so how do we cope with this so-called "life in the fastlane"? Perhaps there is no coping with it, and it's just jump in and hang on . One good thing about being busy all the time is it makes you appreciate your 'quiet time', although sadly too many of us have actually forgotten how to relax. Like I said before, we take life far too seriously sometimes. Not to say life isn't dead serious at times, but for most of us it's not like we are working on a cure for cancer or creating new laws or on the verge of a scientific break-through, or deciding the military fate of a culture. What we do is important in its own omni-karmic existence, but 99% of it we will not even remember a year from now (I can't even remember what I did last week), and will not have any radical effect on evolution a thousand years from now aside from it's subtle contribution to the collective process. So why do we obsess about things and worry and run ourselves ragged? Perhaps partly because of the accelerated time syndrome, partly because we are raised with a high expectation of responsibility and "ownership", and perhaps because of our DESIRES. We push ourselves because we WANT very specific "things" for ourselves and our families ("things" not only material but states of being like health, safety and peace). Now don't get me wrong, this is not necessarily bad, but at what cost ? It's been just a few days since the Littleton, Colorado high school shootings, and looking at the community and the homes of the killers on TV I was bewildered and angry that these kids could be so full of bitterness when they came from well to-do families, lived in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and probably never went to bed cold or hungry a SINGLE NIGHT IN THEIR ENTIRE LIFE. My 14-year old son pointed out to me however, that maybe their parents never gave them the attention or time they needed, so they looked elsewhere for guidance, and we all know how gullible teens are, they can be talked into ANYTHING, from what clothes they like to what music to listen to, to what celebrity demi-gods they should worship. Hmmm.... I don't know if this is the case here, since the scope of this manipulation is too broad to be by design. There is no puppet master, we remain puppets only because of our imaginary strings. But I suppose there are cases where kids get sucked into a doctrine or mindset or even a cult because there's no one or nothing else to fill the "void" in their lives. Well...maybe if they GOT A JOB that would fill the void, or at least they would be too tired to have voids in the first place. Getting back to our DESIRES, it seems like these 'voids' indicate we don't push ourselves hard enough instead of too hard . Or maybe we desire TOO MUCH and can never live up to our own expectations. Or maybe we desire the wrong things and should focus more on the emotional and spiritual needs of our families instead of material wealth. Or maybe it's a combination of all these factors amplified by the subliminal intuition of accelerated time that make us never "stop to smell the roses".

The only pieces of advise that comes to mind regarding all of this is 'RELAX, you'll get there'. Or from a darker perspective 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger', which is a stupid thing to say because if it kills you, you're NOT GOING TO GET ANY STRONGER. Jeez...
Personally, I'll take McCartney's line from 'Band on the run' that says 'The rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the Sun, and the first one said to the second one there "I hope you're havin' fun" '. So wherever it is we're all headed to, save a seat for me cause I'll probably be late.