Email from my Mom:

Here’s a little story of my flying the other night.  First off, I was flying with this incompetent first officer in our little 8 pax propellor plane, so it was like being “single pilot.”  We had to pick up 5 large pax in Maui and fly them to Kona on Big Island at 10 PM.  It was a dark and stormy night with wind gusting over 40 mph.  The first thing the matriarch of the that family says, is we have a lot of bags and might they, should they, leave some behind.  I assure her that it’s absolutely no problem as it’s an 8 pax plane so plenty.  50 lb bags are nothing, it’s all about the center of gravity.  No worries, I squashed three large ass bags in the nose compartment to counter their five heavy butts which are on the other side of the middle of the plane, fore and aft on the longitudnal axis.  It is pouring rain.  They are boarded but Lei, other pilot, and I are soaked.

We get in and get ready to start engine, but Mother hen is now protesting, stating that she now has serious second thoughts on this flight.  What, two middle aged women in the middle of the stormy night in a small ass plane?  What?!  I reassured her that I’ve been flying since 1983 and spent 24 years plus in the Army.  I also reassured her that the plane had a payload of 4,000+ lbs.  She finally agreed to go.

Well, we did hogger out and believe me, I flew the leg with the pax on it, on instruments.  Well, we finally got to altitude and past Haleakala and the turbulence smoothed out.  Before they got on the plane, they said one of them was a pilot.  I don’t know what level, but I flew as if it was an airline pilot level, perfection.  We had good weather there with only 8 mph wind and clear skies, at Kona.  The best part was that on short final, the pilot back seater pointed out to everyone, that I had just flown a perfect instrument approach, then I greased it on and they applauded.  Yeah, yeah, it’s easy to impress when the people underestimate you, which they invariably do when they see a woman.  I guess the topping on cake is that they gave Lei and I, each, a $100 bill tip!  Pretty cool, huh?  Not too bad for an old lady.

(pax = passenger)

a battleship

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The ego deceives us into thinking we are but one entity when we are really countless numbers of cells working in perfect unity. Our illusion of control is shattered when we get sick or injured when we realize the only real control we have over our body are some voluntary muscle spasms. We don’t even really have full control of our thoughts as they are just a reflection of the reality we perceive. In fact aside from nerve/brain cells* every cell in our body has died and been replaced every 7-10 years… yet our ego insists we are the same entity we were born as, minus a few baby-teeth, just bigger and hairier. Individual cells have no ego. All of our cells, either directly or indirectly depend on one another. Not to mention the foreign bacteria our body has adapted, integrated and relies upon as well.

Our body is so incredibly complex and has so many different systems working simultaneously, I feel we don’t realize what true marvels of nature we are. We are the only humans we know of in the entire galaxy.

Back to the microscopic scale applied macroscopically, imagine if we saw ourselves as cells. If we became TRULY self-aware as far as our role in the greater scheme of things. Would we be able to end conflict, greed and war? Would we be able to live in harmony with our environment? I don’t know, does the lung go to war with the kidney? It seems the only detrimental actions our body undertakes are from a result of poor decisions by the ego. Our bad habits being our own undoing.

Some may see this unification of humanity for the greater good as a loss of personal identity, loss of freedom, some may go so far as to call it enslavement, communism or fascism. But have our egos really done us, as a society, all that much good? Are we really as free as we think we are? Are we happy? How much happier would we be if we actually knew our place… our role… our function? Aren’t we slaves now? Do you really feel free? Or is freedom just an illusion to pacify our ego’s lust for control over our destiny?

Destroy your ego by seeing yourself in others. Everyone is you. You are everyone. Judge others as you would judge yourself… in other words, be as forgiving of others as you are forgiving of yourself. Ego is defined as: “the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world”** The only thing you need the ego for is for self-survival. To meet one’s basic needs. However the ego runs into trouble when it realizes it doesn’t function as well in society. One cannot just take someone’s piece of chicken just because they are hungry. Society has ways to subdue the ego, with laws, religion, customs, manners, culture, rules, etiquette, etc. But the majority of these are only treatments for the symptom of the bloated ego. Empathy is the cure.

I was just thinking about Mr. Rogers. He tells you that you are special in your own way. But he tells ALL OF US this. He doesn’t single any one person out and tell them they are better… There’s a difference between boosting self-esteem and bolstering the ego. Self-esteem comes from confidence in self, the belief that people approve of you and your actions. Ego doesn’t care what people think. Ego declares. Ego asserts. Ego yells. Ego takes.

Even if you do kind things for others because you want to see them smile, and it makes you feel good, or makes you the “cool uncle”, even if you’re trying to get laid or hoping for a big tip… that bit of selfishness is hardly detrimental because both parties benefit. The truly selfish thing to do is to hoard your time and energy, keeping it all to yourself.

You’d be surprised how little one really needs to be happy. It’s all in the mind… it’s all in the mind… it’s all in the mind…

(I was going for a fading echo… but you can’t type that out)

* it is currently under debate whether brain and nerve cells have the ability to reproduce as well: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/02/science/02cell.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

** source: http://www.m-w.com

1st blog!

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Blog is what I leave in the toilet after eating lots of black licorice. Blog is the noise I make after the third bag. Blog blog blog blog. B-log. The inverse power of B. I don’t like this word nor do I like the word “meme” but enough people used them so I guess we’re stuck. It’s 3am and this is the worst blog post ever. The next one will be better… some analytical shit of my societal woes or something. Maybe I’ll just write about what I ate.