We signed our name while understanding that the signature we sign is NOT our true identity.
My true Identity abides in You.
1Father, I made an image of myself, and it is this I call the Son of God. Yet is creation as it always was, for Your creation is unchangeable. Let me not worship idols. I am he my Father loves. My holiness remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God. Is not what is beloved of You secure? Is not the light of Heaven infinite? Is not Your Son my true Identity, when You created everything that is?
2 Now are we one in shared Identity, with God our Father as our only Source, and everything created part of us. And so we offer blessing to all things, uniting lovingly with all the world, which our forgiveness has made one with us.
“My true Identity remains unchanged in You.”
I am still the one my Father loves; that has not changed My holiness still “remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God” How could what God created as the light of Heaven be destroyed and become darkness? If God created everything that is, how could I possibly be something else? There is nothing else for me to be.
Each time today I find myself judging something about myself, disliking myself, berating myself, or feeling guilty about what and who I am, let me remind myself that none of what I am seeing is my true Identity. My true Identity remains in God and part of Him. The seeming other identity is an idol; let me not worship it, bow down to it and attribute some great power to it or fear it. This is not who I am. Let me be still an instant and go home.
Power, Attitude, Trim, Split, Check
These are the procedures one carries out when flying a helicopter when the engine quits. We practice them over and over in the event of a actual emergency engine failure. We lower the power all the way off, simulating a engine failure. Attitude is speed at a minimum of 65 knots and trimmed directly into the wind. We split the needles and then check all of the gauges – Warning lights out, 3 in the green, fuel good, carburetor heat off.
It’s not a big deal to loose power when flying a helicopter when you know the procedure. My point is, it’s not a big deal for us to loose power in life either. The interesting thing is that we think we actually ever have “power” to begin with. I mean, think about all of the people over the last 5,000 years that thought they had power over their lives only to be swallowed by a Whale, or have to fight a Giant. Maybe a Caravan of Camels trample and eat the garden, the stock market crash, world war to break out, get bitten by a rattle snake, or my favorite –ones identity is stolen. As well as the cornucopia, the virtual plethora of other things that can and have happened to the earthling.
My procedure for losing power i.e. loosing the false belief in having any power to begin with – is to give it back. Give it back to it’s rightful creator.
Question: But if we are part of God, which we would have to be since he created us, then are we not giving power back to ourselves.
Answer: Yes, giving it back to the part of us that is much greater, wiser, and can see what in each case is best for all involved. Giving back the illusion of power over my life is my saving grace.
I had a friend who owned a clothing store in the mall. The store was not doing well and this man was working 14 hour days trying to make it work. He took a risk and ordered $5,000 worth of a brand new style of jeans that he was sure to be a success and make up for the losses he had incurred. The jeans did not sell and he fell further into debt. He wasn’t ever with his family and constantly stressed. He decided to sell his store. He found a buyer but the buyer had one condition of the sale. The condition was that the man remain and operate the store. He sold it and continued to operate the store with one major change. Now when he came to work he was not stressed, he left at a reasonable hour, spent time with family and friends and became a happy person once again, The only change in his scenario was that he gave the responsibility for the success of the store to the new owner.
This is what it feels like to me to give the power over my life back to the master of the Multi-verse – if I may call it that. I believe spirituality is a thought system. Everyone operates with a thought system whether they are conscious of it or not. I write this not to tell you what to do but to remind myself of what works for me, to rehearse my thought system. Thank you for reading – I hope it inspires you in some way.
First, sign your name as you usually do, on the line below (or grab an extra piece of paper for this), and date it:
Look at your signature, and try to get in touch with your sense of whose name that is. What concept of that person are you holding as you sign the signature? Is it not a separate person? A person with a particular history? And a special station or place in the world? With special attributes?
Isn’t this self trying to make its way through a perilous world? Isn’t that why you sign your name to things? To protect yourself from something? Or to procure some needed thing for this endangered self? If, for instance, you sign a legal document, are you not often afraid of what it may bring into your life, even while you are hoping it will protect you in other ways? In short, isn’t the identity signified by your name filled with fear? What else would a separate self trying to make its way through a perilous world be filled with?
Therefore, sign your name again, and this time sign it simply as “Fear.”
Once you sign it, try to see this signature and the first one as the same. Look back and forth between the first and second signatures and try to let them blend into one. Try to realize that when you sign your name in everyday life, you are signing “Fear.” You are saying, “This self who is separate from The Source, vulnerable, and beset by the dangers of a perilous world.” Regardless of the specific words you write, the content of what you are writing is fear.
Now sign your name one more time. This time sign it as “Love.”
As you sign it, try to really mean it. Don’t think of it as a given name like “Joy,” which doesn’t mean much. Think of it as a statement that you really are love. Love is your nature. You are not a being who can love, who can love at times and hate at other times, whose love is partial, selective, and intermittent. You are love. Love is your nature. You are a segment of Love Itself. In your true nature, you are incapable of any anger, any hatred, even any neutrality. Being love, all you can do is love.
Realize that this is not an aspiration of what you want to be. This is who you are now, beneath all appearances. You are love, a segment of God’s Love, merely dreaming that you are a separate being filled with fear. You are love masquerading as something else.
Look at this final signature and try to identify with it. Think to yourself, “That’s me. That’s who I am.” Does that make you see yourself differently? What feelings does it evoke?
“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists, herein lies the peace of God”
How often do I realize that I am afraid of love? We are afraid of love far more frequently than we realize. Use this thought as a suggested mental response whenever we notice our egos acting up: “I must be afraid of love again.” There is a sense in which we could say that the ego is the fear of love. It is a mental stance that rejects Love as our Source, that rejects Love as our Self, and that refuses to recognize Love in everyone and everything around us. When we look at it in this way, it begins to be more understandable that if we could simply realize this one thing-not to be afraid of love-the salvation of the world would be accomplished.
Fear of love is insane on the face of it. Of all the things we might be reasonably afraid of, love is not one of them. A famous old-time Christian evangelist, Charles Grandison Finney (famous in the 1800s), once wrote that “Love is the eternal will to all goodness.” To be afraid of that which eternally wills only our good is truly insane. So to accept today’s idea is “the decision not to be insane”
Eventually one gets to the Medicine Wheel to fulfill one’s life.
– Old Mouse, Arikara
High in the Big Horn Mountains at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, lies the Medicine Wheel (above) — a place of worship, a National Historic Site, and an archeological mystery.
It is believed that between A.D. 1200 and A.D. 1700, hundreds of limestone rocks were placed in the shape of a wheel roughly 80 feet in diameter. Twenty eight spokes radiate from a central cairn to six smaller cairns around the rim.
Who built this and why?
No one knows for sure, but Native American beliefs and archeological evidence point to its use as a spiritual site. Many people still come to the Medicine Wheel and Medicine Mountain for inspiration, solitude, meditation and vision questing.
The Medicine Wheel was given protection and nominated to the National Register by local Big Horn Basin communities. The site is protected by federal antiquity laws under administration of the Forest Service.
– site placard
The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the dust and blood of our ancestors.
The song that I will sing is an old song, so old that none knows who made it. It has been handed down through generations and was taught to me when I was but a little lad. It is now my own song. It belongs to me. This is a holy song (medicine-song), and great is its power. The song tells how, as I sing, I go through the air to a holy place where Yusun (The Supreme Being) will give me power to do wonderful things. I am surrounded by little clouds, and as I go through the air I change, becoming spirit only.
Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to gain.
Have you ever heard a word and wondered its true meaning? Of course each word will mean something different to each person. With that in mind I ask myself if any true communication exit between us. Words are symbols of symbols twice removed from reality.
I have an idea in my mind of a living thing with roots in the ground, a trunk that shoots skyward, branches that reach and spread, and broad green leaves that catch the sun – a tree. I project that idea onto the world where I see a symbol of the thing in my mind. I see and feel a large “living” organism with roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. I see and feel a tree. But that tree I see and feel is just a symbol for the idea of a tree I have in my mind.
There is a word over many years that I have come to know. At times I thought I knew the meaning only to be surprised and then to extract or add in more understanding. At the beginning of my understanding, I thought the meaning to be boring, non-eventful and lacking. The word is peace. When one is young he wants nothing to do with peace, adventure and chaos seem exciting. Consistency and knowing may seem trite. Once it’s true meaning is experienced and born in ones heart and mind – nothing compares. Now when I flirt with adventure and chaos it is only as a reminder of how fantastic the knowing of Peace. It is like a going away and then finding my way home. I suppose that will fade in time and I will just stay home metaphorically. I’ll be the one you see that is in the midst of adventure but as calm as a placid lake. Look for it in mine eyes.
freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
tranquility, calm, restfulness, peace and quiet, peacefulness, quiet, quietness;
“can’t a man get any peace around here?
Sometimes to say what something is – it’s easier to say what it is not, leaving what is is. What Peace is not: it is not wishing for things to be better. It is not goal setting, it is not ambition, striving, lust, envy wishing well. It’s just pure being with nothing attached. It’s loving pointed nowhere. That is, it’s love not directed at a object, person place or thing. It is nothing. Back to Zero everything, I call it. It seems that the further one goes from zero the more complicated it gets. Peace is not complicated, It’s not complex, intricate, involved, convoluted, tangled, impenetrable or tricky. One could say it is the human emotion for the Divine experience. If it was math it would be Zero. If it were a color it would be white. If it were a song it would be between the notes. If it were a painting it would be the canvas. The least complicated thing in the Multiverse.
They say it a Peace that passeth All understanding….
I want peace. Many have said these words but few have meant them. To say these words is nothing. But to mean these words is everything. If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time. Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, memory of God entirely restored, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.
The rustling of a stream, the wind through the trees, a waterfall
Round stones stacked, the color of the leaves in fall
Shadows dancing on the grass, within my mind I see
Teach What You Would Want To Learn, because what you teach is teaching you.
We all choose our thought systems. This may seem a surprise to some due to the fact that our thought system is built one idea at a time through the course of ones life. Sometimes it seems that the world has imposed it’s thoughts on us, telling us what to think and say and do. But no, we all choose our thoughts and beliefs. Here is a idea from a thought construct I have tried to adapt.
A attitude of Gratitude. Begin by acknowledging that everything – all of your possessions and all that you are belong not to you. The dawning of each new day is a gift not to be taken for granted. The Earth is vibrantly alive giving testimony to the Divine. If you slow down your pace of life, you can find what you seek anywhere.
The eyes that you see through are the same eyes the Divine see’s you through. Go to the other side and look – what do you see. The secret to Gratitude is learning to see everything through the eyes of the Divine. His world is our classroom.
You are on the path. The path that you are on IS your path. This is IT. We often find the thing we were avoiding on the path we took to avoid it- Destiny!
You are on the path that the Multi-Verse has chosen for you. There is no randomness about ones life. Here and now comprise the coordinates of daily life. Most people let the moments of their life slip through their fingers, unrecognized. They cover the present by worrying about the future past, longing for a better time imagined. Are we not creatures that are bound to time and space. We can only walk together in the present. Where every moment is tied together with everything and anything anyone would desire, if he where to see it just once. Where the lights of Christmas Island illuminate one by one until they join together for one infinite eternal bright Golden unity.
We must accept what comes to us, as it is woven with a Golden thread through the fabric of our destiny, what more could we use or need. We are always on the perfect place and in the perfect time. Let that direct my steps – now.
We are the only species with the toxin of self doubt written into our genetic code. Unequal to our gifts, we build, we buy, we consume. We wrap ourselves in the illusion of material success. We cheat and deceive as we claw our way to the pinnacle of what we define as achievement. Superiority to other men. Supreme to the yellow man, the red man and the rest. Wars fought over gods, my god is the one true, most powerful high and not yours. Is there anything here in this place that one might hold up, put on a pedestal and point towards as his representation of something Divine.
I find the most profound sentence “I want the peace of God” in A Course In Miracles to be something one could center his entire Youniverse around for the duration of a lifetime. It goes on to say:
To say these words is nothing. But to mean these words is everything. If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time. Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, the memory of God entirely restored, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.
However, from experience I agree that a certain degree of experience seems necessary in order to say the words and mean them. For example, a young pup would yap at the idea. Why would a person of youth and vigor want or mean such a thing with his or her entire life in on the horizon. I recognize the spirit of challenge and accomplishment while young and energetic and still find it in myself at times. More and more I seek to fall into the radical path of peace. For you and I though, the ones who have been through the trials and tribulations, who look back with no regret but are wiser for it; can we say it and mean it?
I once found myself on the beach in North Carolina thoroughly enjoying the day. Soon I found myself thinking about starting a new venture for financial gain. And just like that my mind was transformed forward in time to what could be. On another occasion my mind wandered back to a time when I was in high school, it wandered through the day until it landed on some incident that had played in my mind before, and just like that I was in the past and not on the beach. I think this is the condition of most peoples mind. Always somewhere else. It is said frequently in these days and times to stay in the present. And in fact it is always only the present. ~The peace that passeth all understanding can only be found in the present as well.
Have you ever found yourself in a state of bliss. Sometimes you just fall into it and it washes over you, you might think that you want to stay there forever. Five minutes later it’s only a memory. The mind wanting peace but somewhere else most of the time.
It has been said that ”
“Desire is a trap; desirelessness is moksha, or liberation; desire is the creator, desire is the destroyer, desire is the universe.” I invite you to test this theory. I think you will find the next time that you fall into bliss the thing that takes you away form it is desire. But test it for yourself. Does the desire for things to be different than they are now block you from the satisfaction of the moment. Do we all frequently drag the past over the preset and into the future?
When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, I don’t improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.
– Travels with Charlie – In search of America -John Steinbeck
– Travels With Doc – Flying Across America
There was an old fossil named lear,
Who’s verses were boring and drear,
His last lines were worst,
Just the same as the first,
So, I’ve tried to improve on them here!
As fate would have it, we headed off in “Roberta the Righteous”, restless and looking for adventure. Roberta was a R-44, a beautiful brilliant blue piston powered helicopter that was to take my friend “Doc Roberts” and I down to Mexico for some gun firing and Toquilla drinking at Hacienda Bachimba de Casa de Poncho Villa in Chihuahua New Mexico, but not before some entirely other escapades took place. Doc was a one time experiment the gods had designed as a prototype during the twentieth century, never meant for mass production. One of the few people I knew that could talk any girl out of her panties while whistling with a mouth full of crackers. He was like a Three Mouthed Brazilian Orangutang, and a great co-pilot.
Flying several miles off the Northeast coast of the Gulf of Mexico is a little risky in Roberta the Righteous. Why? Well helicopters are plenty safe if the engine quits, provided you have a little altitude, but water landings, they would most likely leave Roberta gargling salt water like a sword swallower with Mono. I did however have Roberta equipped with Pop Out Floats. This consisted of a Helium tank underneath the left front passenger seat. In the case of a needed water landing one would merely need to keep completely calm as he asked the passenger to get up, he would then lift the seat up and turn the Helium valve on – which would enable the floats to be popped and filled with Helium. All of this seemed unlikely in the event of a engine failure and the panic that would most surely ensue. Never the less we flew all the way to New Orleans from Ocala Florida with only the gorgeous blue green waters below us. We were not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, but possibly the happiest.
Not being the trip planning type and more accurately, we did not take the time to plan our gas stops, file a flight plan or any of the other unnecessary tomfoolery or skullduggery they teach you to do in flight training. Life is a conundrum of esoterica. Four hours into the trip we decided to stop in New Orleans. It was dark and their existed a Millionaires Club FBO and pilot lounge providing recliners and little girls in Bunny outfits to bring umbrellas drinks to Doc on demand. I could not partake of the chosen poison, it ruined my buzz and after all, any descent Pilot cannot drink for 12 hours before a flight. Besides, I was only there for the most important meal of the morning – breakfast and gas.
A Near Life Experience
After fueling up the next morning we left New Orleans on route to our destination – Chihuahua Mehico. It was Christmas day, we were flying at about 700 feet AGL at 105 Knots Indicated Air Speed. “Mother do you think the’ll drop the bomb” played faintly in the Bose headsets. As it is in life, I found my self doing things that I had preached to others not to do. Once I had preached to another to keep his mind as sharp as a razor blade when flying. I had not slept well in the recliner the night before and had just fallen asleep while flying. When I awoke and looked down at the Garmin GPS I noticed that we had just entered a MOA, a acronym for “Military Air Space”. When this happens there is only one thing to do – make like a stealth pilot and get the hell out of there. However, I decided to have my trusty hung over Co-pilot not so quickly look up the Ft.Hood tower frequency and dial it into the radio, “Ft.Hood tower this is helicopter seven-one-niner-four-sierra, permission to enter your airspace, niner-four-sierra”. The call came back from the tower- niner-four-sierra it’s too late, we have already scrambled defensive aircraft. Doc looked at me with an expression I remembered him having inside a dimly lit whorehouse in Bangkok Thailand when the beauty giving me a lap dance inadvertently had it’s dick fall out of the side of it’s spandex Yoga pants. Radio silence for about 8 seconds. Ft.Hood Tower we are turning around now on a heading of 80 degrees and on the way out of your airspace – niner-four-sierra. The controller at Ft.Hood came back on the radio and exclaimed “no, no you’re not, I need you to squawk four-six-seven-seven on your transponder and climb up to one-thousand feet and head three hundred and forty degrees. I tried to read back the instructions to Doc while fumbling for a pen. Air Traffic Control was attempting to determine if we were able to follow basic orders and cooperate. I got the feeling he thought we might be carrying a bomb that we would loose onto the military base any minute, or something similar. Now descend to 500 feet at a heading of one hundred and ninety degrees, he ordered. We did our best to write down and follow the orders, after two or three of these request he finally said “wipe the urine off your legs, you are cleared to cross the MOA”. He then proceeded to give us a tour on Christmas day of the largest Military airbase in the US. When we got closer to the Tower we looked down to see what appeared to be a one-hundred acre paved field of around forty Huge UH-1N helicopters with the rotors turning. Had they been for us? Were these the defensive measures the Control tower was speaking of? A actual jet would never even be able to spot us at mach 1. Maybe these Helicopters were going to be sent after us. I suspect now that this is always the condition of these Military bases, Helicopters ready to go at a moments notice, waiting patiently “on ready”, burning fuel at bases all around the country and the world for that matter. At one point we had to fly right by the tower at about 400 feet. I can’t speak for Doc but I was happy we were not in bear ass spanking, serious trouble. If this happened in Mexico I wondered if they would confiscate our aircraft. Neither Doc, nor I and especially not Roberta the righteous spoke Mexican. Regardless, we happily went on our way, folly and adventure and two fools adventure could be checked off this Christmas calendar day.
When the circus gets a new, wild, baby elephant to train, this is how they do it. They’ll bring the baby elephant into a empty tent, drive a massive, 10 foot iron stake into the ground, drag out a thick, heavy, metal chain, and tether the small, baby, wild elephant to the stake. The baby elephant will fight and fight and fight to get free. Doing everything it can think of. But the chain is too heavy, shackled too tightly, and the stake driven too deep into the ground. As much as he tries, the little elephant can’t break free, and eventually gives up.
Now fast forward 10 years. That elephant, now massive, mature, and strong, is tied by thin rope, slightly more than string, and tied to a small piece of wood shoved in the ground. The rope is only tied snuggly enough for the animal to feel it and know it’s there. The beast could easily just decide to move the opposite direction, just walk the other way and it would simply break free. Or, give his leg a shake and it would slip off. Yet, this huge beast doesn’t attempt to escape, because long ago, when it was a baby, it learned it couldn’t. And it’s gone all these years, believing that it could not escape. Now a full-grown adult, it believes the lie that it doesn’t have the money, the courage or the strength to free itself. The chains of bad habits are too light to feel until they are too heavy to be broken.
On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds -America
Onward and upward we shouted as we took off from Odessa, TX after refueling. You wouldn’t know it from traveling the roads of America but there exist airports every 40 mile or so. If one were to need gas in his aircraft he need only look at his trusty Garmin GPS screen on the dash and a whole bunch of little pink dots appear, meaning take your pick of any of these. These airports range from major busy multiple runway metropolitan airports to grass strips on a Collard Green farm in Alabama or a dirt airstrip on a Cattle Ranch in Texas. Most of the time their would be a set of gas pumps, one for piston powered aircraft pumping out 112 Octane Avgas, and another pump with JetA-1 Fuel based on Kerosine to fill up planes and helicopters with jet engines. If you were lucky there would be a credit card machine attached to the pumps. If not so fortunate, a pad lock in it’s stead. All you had to do is swipe your card, attach a ground wire to your craft and fill her up. Just like when you walk across carpet and then spark when you touch a grounded object, a airplane can build up static electricity when refueling. The flow of the JetA or 100 Octane Avgas builds up friction going form one tank, through the hose, to the aircraft tank. Thereby requiring a ground wire to be attached to the aircraft before and during fueling. There was also the skill of getting close enough to the gas pump so that the hose would reach. Unlike a airplane the helicopter has these thirty-three feet long razor-blade rotors turning when you land at the pumps. Sometimes there would be power lines, poles or utility sheds close to the pumps to watch out for. Each Refueling stop required mental focus like a laser beam. We swipped the card, filled Roberta’s 29.5 gallon tank and the 17 gallon tank on the other side, then flew off towards the next adventure in the sky.
Flying cross country in a helicopter is like nothing else. Partly because one flies at around 500 feet much of the time. Five-hundred feet and sixty five knots is a height and speed that one can safely recover and make a safe landing in the event of a engine failure. The view from the cockpit at this height, of the landscape, and the lives of the people in the small towns across the midwest can be very revealing. It is akin to flying in a dream looking down on the scene of the dream. In one particular Peruvian ancient culture where torture was used to penalize criminals, the henchman would handcuff the victim and then force him to swallow the key to the handcuffs. Then a bag would be put over the head of the victim as he was left alone to suffocate- knowing that the key to his freedom was right inside him. After getting my pilots license and freely flying helicopters around the country for years, I find it to be the ultimate physical and psychological liberation. Not flying is like having the “key to freedom” inside, and not being able to use it.
We’re walking in the air
We’re floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly
We’re holding very tight
I’m riding in the midnight blue
I’m finding I can fly so high above with you
Far across the world
The villages go by like trees
The rivers and the hills
The forest and the streams
Children gaze open mouth
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes their eyes
We’re surfing in the air
We’re swimming in the frozen sky
We’re drifting over icy
Mountains floating by
An example of the freedom that is flying is cruising through say, Kansas. You might fly for three hours at one-hundred and twenty miles an hour and see not hide nor hair of a living thing. Then you come across a farmers home and crops. You see the farmer out in the fields on his tractor, his dog nearby, his truck parked at the edge of the field he is plowing or planting. One small farmhouse and of course, the ever present red barn in the distance. That’s when we would take our cue and buzz the farmers. We must have left a trail of heart attack victims across the US. The reminiscent red barns of America. Farmers add ferrous oxide, otherwise known as rust, to the paint mixture when painting barns. Rust is plentiful on farms and is a poison to many fungi, including mold and moss, which are known to grow on barns. These fungi would trap moisture in the wood, increasing the wood decay. Painting the barns with the mixture of Fe0 (ferrous oxide) and red paint gave the farmers many more years of life out of their wooden structures. I wonder if eating Fe0 would help.
Flying along on another occasion one might come across a small town in the middle of nowhere. The old faded brick two or three story downtown buildings built sometime in the 1800’s. A Church steeple most of the time the highest peak in town, white wooden cross’s on top of the attempted tower of babble. Although today the largest building in most towns are the courthouse and city hall. A sign that government and religion have undergone role reversal’s. And then there it is, they stand out like a green ocean in a sea of beige deserts. They are by far the largest structure within 200 miles and by larger I mean 5 times as large. They are the football stadiums of rural America. The only green patch of grass in town. In appearance, and sentiment they are similar to what the Coliseum must have been to Rome. The center of many a midwest towns heart and entertainment. To some they will represent the best years of his or her life. To others the beginning of stake and rope elephant training.
The lyrics, “Oz never gave nothin to the Tin Man, that he didn’t already have” from the band “America” played over the radio in our Bose noise reduction headsets. We were flying now without the natural ability, defying nature. Oz didn’t give that to me but he did give it to someone to build the craft I was now flying – thanks OZ. I had rigged “Robbie the Righteous” system up so that we could listen to Dark side of the moon and other such appropriate jamm’s as we carved in and out of the Canyons along the river, like we were doing now. There is always a pro to a con and although it’s a adrenalin rushing, totally free, racetrack like experience, to carve through the canyons above the river in a helicopter, the con is the possibility of wires running across the Canyons. Wire strikes are blamed for the cause of a large percentage of Helicopter fatalities. Right before it happened, I was thinking about how the human eye works. The cells of the outer layer of the Retina take a single photon and magnify it a hundred times before sending it to the neurons of the brain for them to reconstruct a three dimensional image on a screen in the back of the brain that we perceive as external. We never really see reality, only a image in the dark recess of the back of our skull. That was what I hoped was happening at this moment. A military Blackhawk helicopter had decided to cruise the canyons today also. And it was much bigger and faster than I had previously thunk. And going the wrong way. Wasn’t this a one way street, down stream. “Chicken, lets play chicken”, Doc exclaimed right before he came to his senses and steered us up and to the right. I wondered how many near miss’s historically had taken place in Canyons around the world. Seeing a screaming Cobra coming right into your front windshield does seem to frighten most people, but fear does that. We looked at each other with a sigh of relief as Doc said ” That was a near life experience”.
‘There was an Old Man of the Dee, who was sadly annoyed by a flea; When he said, “I will scratch it”, they gave him a hatchet, Which grieved that Old Man of the Dee. And he cut his leg off at the knee’ –
The next day it was a little foggy outside in the morning. The fog usually burns off as the Sun burns higher and at a more direct angle. We waited for an hour or two, it was heating up faster than a junkies spoon when we decided to get up, up and away. About three hours into the flight we needed gas. A Robinson R44 has a fuel range of about four hours. We found several possible airports on the GPS screen. We were in the mountains now and this presented a little problem. In order to descend to the airport we had chosen, we had to come down through some cloud and fog coverage. The danger is that one does not know if he is coming down on a cell tower, the top of a mountain or even into a tub of female wrestlers filled with Jello. The visibility was a mere 10 feet in any direction. When I was young, I wondered what it would be like to be blind. I would tie a bandana around my head. It’s not so bad until you try to do something like walk through a room filled with furniture or build a piano. Descending through the clouds to this airport now in the helicopter reminded me of being blind except for my eyes are wide open but all I see is bright white. What I attempted to do is come down at about fifty to one-hundred feet per minute. To come down any faster than three hundred feet per minute can cause lift failure in the form of “settling with power” where the helicopter is trying to gain lift but the rotors are spinning through their own downwash. This is very stressful, I thought as I tensed up. If we were to have a engine failure with this maneuver there would be no survivors. If we came down on something like a tower, a mountain or even another plane it would be very painfull and expensive not to mention the risk to people and aircraft below us. Anyone can fly a helicopter, it’s when something goes wrong that a true Pilot may or may not appear. I was so uptight about coming down blind I did something that you are not supposed to do. I held the collective handle so tight that the governor could not work. We call this “the death grip” and it’s a no-no. Once I realized I had the death grip I loosened my hand on the collective throttle, this caused the governor to kick back in making a loud noise in the gearbox. Clunk, Clunk, Clunk, we had hit something for sure. Was it a telephone pole, we had come down on top of a speeding Semi truck tractor filled with endangered Sea Turtles for all I knew. Of course it was only the death grip but I didn’t know that at the time. We ended up breaking through the fog at about 150 feet just off to the west of the airport. Doc and I decided to have a drink at the FBO, as we held up our glass Doc toasted “I once was a looney old goat, who wanted to fly in a boat, across the seven seas with a crew of trained bee’s, while wearing a long captain’s coat”. Another thrill fulfilling day in Roberta.
Most everyone gets excited with the prospect of a Helicopter ride. Helicopters are limited by speed but mostly by weight. A R-44 Helicopter can carry around one-thousand pounds. A full gas tank weighs around three hundred pounds. Fifty gallons of Avgas at six pounds per gallon. That leaves you with about 700 pounds of cargo, passengers and equipment. And everyone lies about their weight or at least conveniently remembers what they weighed in 1980. Depending on the altitude, the higher one goes the less pressure and also less oxogen in a cubic foot of air. The higher the altitude the less horse power the helicopter develops.
There is no unknown, only the temporarily hidden
Flying from Albuquerque to Chama New Mexico you gain a few thousand feet of altitude. What you could do in the helicopter in Albuquerque you cannot do when you arrive in Chama, like land the helicopter. We were stopping off to do some Elk Hunting in Chama where Doc had a friend who owned The Mundy Ranch. We had just fueled up at ABQ Albuquerque International Airport, so the tanks were full. We had stopped in Albuquerque to pick up our Offspring, Ryan, Paul and Trevor. Brian was to rent a SUV and take Ryan and Trevor to the Hunting Lodge. Paul and I were to fly loaded up with gearand gas to Chama. The altitude at Albuquerque is 5354 feet, the altitude in and around Chama on the ground is near 8025 feet. To complicate everything it was getting dark and I needed to land at this little motel in downtown Chama. In order to do that I needed to do some low altitude recon for a good landing spot, inspect for wires, trees, a way to escape should the landing not go right, as well as all of the other things one does before landing in a strange place. L O W F E E T – is a acronym for Landing area, Obstacles, Wind/wires,Forced landing area, Entry, Exit, Turbulence. Being primarily a Florida pilot the policy of check youraltitude difference between take off spot and landing spot was not part of my habitual mental checklist. About half way through my descent to land at the motel parking lot I noticed the lack of power to control my descent. Around 150 feet AGL I had pulled full collective and was still descending. On top of all of that I had failed to check my carb heat, it was pulled slightly on, keeping the carburetor from freezing up in the cold mountain air. Another item that I rarely, if ever used in Florida, which further depletes horse power. I should have closed it before landing. I was descending at about one foot per two seconds which ended up providing a soft landing in the snow. In retrospect, I could have increased the throttle manually creating more horse power and lift. Mental note, Always turn off the Carb heat prior to landing, determine your altitude differential at landing location, test your lift and power before trying to land in cold weather high altitude. In the end this whole situation created a metaphoric life lesson about flying high, lack of power and carrying too much shit. These are valuable lessons learned the hard way – by the making of the mistake. A pilot might fly for years without the terror of these flying events burning a groove into his flight procedures for life. In a way they are like gold nuggets of wisdom.
We had flown in our son’s to hunt with us in Chama. This was a once in a lifetime experience. If you have never experienced hunting, you may want to give it a try. Basically Elk Hunting consist of getting up early and making your way out into the wilderness. Walking way out into the woods in the dark, sitting in a tree stand or blind and then watching the world wake up. the frozen dew melt, the sun come up and the birds put on the coffee, the woman birds get on the wire to start talking with their girlfriends.
Once you lower your expectations, the sky is the limit
It was time to leave Chama and head on out. It had snowed the day before and Roberta was frozen solid. Doc dropped me off at the helicopter on his way to take Ryan, Paul and trevor back to the airport in Albuquerque. I took one look at Roberta and thought the only way to unfreeze her was to get her pistons spinning. I went through the preflight procedures and turned the key. She wouldn’t crank. After three attempts I read the manual on cold weather cranking. As always a gasoline engine needs three things to crank. Gas, Oxygen and Spark. I decided to make my own acronym of GOS. Knowing these simple three conditions that a engine must meet to crank has served me very well over the years. I hoped that this would be one of those days. At high altitude the oxogen level in a cubic foot of air is lower than in low altitude, so the mixture changes. You have to have more air mixed with the same amount of fuel and so forth as the altitude changes. The sam e goes for humans. At a certian altitude the body cannot withdraw enough Oxogen from the air to maintain consciousness. As you climb higher into the atmosphere, the partial pressure of oxygen decreases. This means that the number of oxygen molecules in each volume of breath decreases and many of the hemoglobin molecules that normally deliver oxygen to the cells travel empty. Gradually, you’ll experience increasing levels of hypoxia — a word of Greek origin that means a lower-than-normal amount of oxygen. There are no set guidelines when it comes to recognizing the symptoms of hypoxia. Everyone reacts differently. The altitude at which your body begins to experience hypoxia depends much on your past exposure to high altitude. If you live in Denver, your limits will be much higher than your friends in Washington, D.C. If you fly or hike regularly at high altitude, your body will adjust over time. The only way to know when your body starts exhibiting symptoms is by exposing yourself and paying attention to the changes.
How high can a helicopter fly before the air is too thin for its rotors to keep it in the air? THERE are three answers to this. The maximum altitude which can be reached during forward flight typically depends more on the ability of the engine to breathe the thinner air than the rotor’s ability to provide lift. Turbine-engined helicopters can reach around 25,000 feet. But the maximum height at which a helicopter can hover is much lower – a high performance helicopter like the Agusta A109E can hover at 10,400 feet. However, if the helicopter remains in ‘ground effect’ – ie, if it is hovering close to high ground – its maximum hover altitude will be higher. The Agusta can hover in ground effect – ‘HIGE’ in helicopter jargon – at 13,800 feet. This is useful for mountain rescue missions.
While on this flight back to Albuquerque to pick up Brian from dropping the young hunters off at the airport, I had to travel through a Sandia Mountain Range. It is largely within the Cibola National Forest. Its highest point is Sandia Crest, 10,678 feet. Sandía means watermelon in Spanish.
The first symptoms of hypoxia are most likely very subtle. You could begin to experience a slight headache or pressure behind the eyes. But it’s important to recognize those first signs because advanced symptoms of hypoxia impair functions critical to safe flight. Examples of those symptoms include loss of judgment, inability to make calculations, euphoria and diminished vision.
While the mountain range is at 10678 one must add his altitude on to that number. I was likely flying at 1000 feet above ground level (AGL). I began to get all woosey and my sight fuzzy. It never occurred to me that my lungs were not receiving enough oxogen. To alleviate this problem one merely needs to lower his altitude, unless of course there is a mountain right below your aircraft. I never got dizzy enough to pass out – another fortunate event.
To experience the great magic of flying one might try a night flight in a helicopter. Especially as the pilot. This is a great way to see the earth at night. I think it’s a lot of fun in a jetliner also. But of course you fly very high most of the time. When you come in for landing you can get the idea of what it is like to fly in a helicopter at night.
While flying at night you can see the pods of city lights from far off in the distance. Christmas trees spread out on a black globe. It gives you a unique perspective of life from above the battlefield.
With time affordable helicopters have been built that many can afford to own and everyone can afford to rent. Go to your local airpark and inquire as to getting your pilots license.
I rule my mind, which I alone must rule. (ACIM 236)
I (you, we, us) have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am it’s king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the true king to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the will of my master.
One might ask: Why would I want to rule my mind only to give it away to a master? Is that not the same as not ruling my mind. Who is The Master? If we were to sit and boil down the world of thoughts we could say that everything comes down to Love and fear. The voice of The Master will always be the voice of Love – which is the voice of our true self, placed within our mind when we were created. It is the voice of Union rather than separation.
The Buddhist teachings refer to the Monkey Mind. The mind that jumps from one thing to another, never satisfied, undirected, always looking for the next thing. Each must decide for ones self, does he want to be a wandering generality with a monkey mind, or a meaningful specific with a mind directed toward freedom.
Each is the ruler of his own kingdom within the mind. There are no outside forces acting on ones SELF. It is only our decision to react that seems to substantiate an “outside force”. We all have the choice of slavery to the monkey mind and fear or freedom to direct our mind to be in alignment with Union and Love. Let us today retrain our minds to naturally flow with Peace and Love.