A Theory of Life – a Work in Progress

November 29, 2017 in A Chapter to a Book,Blog

The Theory:

 There are two energetic impulses in the universe: contraction and expansion.

 These two impulses are always and everywhere. They are evident in everything we do and how we behave. They are built into our biochemistry. In the cells of our bodies and in the atoms that comprise our cells. They are present in every sound we hear, every odor we smell, every texture we feel, and every image we see. Contraction and expansion are the essential energetic components of our thoughts, feelings, and dreams. Even of our unconsciousness.

 All our technical, artistic, and philosophic achievements are reflections and results of contraction and expansion. So is all the waste and war and death we have caused.

 We cannot escape these impulses. We cannot deny them. But if we learn to accept and understand them, we may be able to live fuller, happier, and perhaps even better lives.

 

Example 4. From the Journal of My Childhood Friend Alec Singer…

My attitude toward sports my entire life has been, “Win or die.” In my middle 40s, I took up golf. In my middle 50s, I took up tennis. So now I have these two sports to replace football, basketball, and baseball. I was good, sometimes very good, in football, basketball, and baseball. Now I am a bad golfer and a bad tennis player. I just started these games too late. When I played football, if we needed a 1st down, they would throw the ball to me and I would catch it. When I played basketball, if we needed a basket to win, I was happy to take it. When I played baseball, I was confident I could get a hit if needed or catch a ball for the out. Now, in tennis, when I am playing doubles and I hit a ball back, I pray to god that it won’t be hit back to me. In golf, my goal is to not embarrass myself. Pretty sad, huh?

I tell you this so you will understand why I made an unscheduled stop at the driving range yesterday. A friend of mine was kind enough to invite me to play at his private club tomorrow, and I needed to raise my golf game to the not-embarrassing level before then. That’s when I discovered I was missing the headcover to my semi-new driver. My anger at losing things used to be a foible. As I have gotten older, it has become a psychosis. Whether a pen, a pair of glasses, or really anything, the value or importance of the item doesn’t matter. The level of the anger is just as great as it would be if I lost my car.

My mood for the day had been what the average person would describe as slightly depressed. To me, it was as good as could be. Now I was thrown into the depths of depression fueled by anger. I had proven once again that I am a failure at life. Intellectually, I know this is not true. But my emotional side always wins out in these scuffles.

I must have left the headcover in the cart at the golf course where I played 2 days earlier. Call them? No. I would probably get some kid working the desk who couldn’t give a shit. Or I would get a retired guy even older than me who would want to give a shit but can’t since he can’t even remember if he drove to work that day or if his wife drove him.

The course was barely out of my way so I decided just to go by in person. I put the odds of getting my headcover returned at 30%. After all, golf courses are one of the last bastions of honesty in the world. But on the way there, the odds were steadily dropping in my head. 25%… 20%… By the time I arrived at the course, the odds were down to 10%. Behind the counter was the kid who couldn’t give a shit. I stated my case. He turned his head and looked at a spot on the floor. “This is the only one we have,” he said. It was my headcover. I told him it was mine, he handed it to me, and I left.

I went to my car and placed the headcover on the head of the driver. I was elated. On the way home, I let people turn in front of me. Someone cut me off and I smiled. This lasted for maybe an hour, and then I became myself again. But it was such a nice hour. Funny how something bad happened and then something good happened that only put me back where I was originally… with a headcover. And yet I was happy. How great it must be to feel that way for more than an hour. Maybe it was only 40 minutes.

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