Questions and Reflections IX

As much as I’d rather be associated with the Greek god Apollo, god of truth, light and the arts, the story behind my name is a bit less luminous.
I was born to two teachers and they came to the conviction that they would not name their children the same name as any child they had taught or could possibly teach in the future. They also happened to be a strange mix, being at once Sci-Fi geeks and athletes.
I was born without having a name selected, so I was initially given my middle name, Isaac, until a proper name could be decided. My father was reading the novelization of Battlestar Galactica at home after my birth and it was decided that I should be named after Captain Apollo.

What would you tell someone who felt alone?
I don’t know if there are any exact words I could offer, but I would try to create intimacy with that person in an attempt to ease loneliness. A depth of relationship and engagement in genuine friendship can be hard to come by, and I imagine that is a root of a lot of loneliness, so I would try to create that.

Who do you love?
My family, my friends, my lover and, in my best moments, everyone. This is one of the great adventures of life, to explore and defy the boundaries of our love, to include in that love each soul we can. I strive daily to take part in this exploration.
Love is at once an absolute and a gradient. An enlightened saint may love everyone as an expression of divinity, someone entirely caught up in ego may only love herself and there are some who can not manage even that. I imagine each of us are somewhere in the midst of that spectrum between not loving and boundlessly loving. Part of the grand movement of evolution is toward greater and greater love, blossoming out toward an ultimate Love. Our very trajectory is aimed at this expansion, but cultivating love is still necessary for us to take part in.

Pick a word of the day. Tell us about it.

n. Buddhism
An enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others.
[Sanskrit bodhisattva?, one whose essence is enlightenment : bodhi?, perfect knowledge; see bheudh- in Indo-European roots + sattvam, essence, being (from sat-, existing; see es- in Indo-European roots).]

The Bodhisattva ideal means a tremendous amount to me, and is a guiding template for how I wish to live. A bodhisattva is in some sense embodying the Christian ideal of being “in the world but not of it,” in that a bodhisattva is liberated by enlightenment (not of the world) but remains fully engaged in the world and works to help others attain that freedom. In an evolutionary context, this ideal can be expanded to include a sense of stewardship to development, something I feel is essential to unleashing the potential our future holds.

Is the Force real?
I haven’t had experiences of a clearly psychic nature, so I might have to wait for an answer to arise. There is compelling evidence for some forms of psychic phenomenon, but “Is the Force real?” isn’t a question I can answer with conviciton because too many of the claims and notions are muddied. I do keep an open and skeptical mind about it.

What did you learn yesterday?
I learned of anthropological findings in regard to gender differences over time. I’ve been enjoying a facinating read through Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology, Spirituality and one of the later focuses is on gender role differences throughout cultural development. Understanding the co-created circumstances of each developmental era really helps to clarify concerns for gender equality and the vital role moving to higher and higher levels of development plays in moving toward a space where equality and honoured differences can both be active.

What have you been taking for granted?
Lately I’ve been taking my physical health for granted. I’ve allowed my routine of exercise and my diet to fall out of focus and I’m now working to improve both.

What is your favorite part of waking up every morning?
I more often wake up in the afternoon, but when I do wake up in the morning my favourite part is taking some time to catch up on what is happening in the world, reading feeds and news sites to begin my day with a sense of connection with the wider world.

What’s your favorite game?
When I was a kid I had a number of favourite games to play, from Monopoly with my sister to HeroQuest with my father and my friends. I also enjoyed video and computer games of many types. Today I game rarely and exclusively in social settings, with roleplaying and easy to pick up games being my favourites. Gaming is more of a social glue with a number of my friends rather than a way to pass time, because the real play is with the world.

What’s your number one goal for today?
I have a lot of e-mails from my dear friend Alisha that I should reply to and I hope to do that today. Keeping up correspondance can be a challenge and I’ve fallen behind during this week, something I always feel badly about.

If you could win an award for anything, what would it be?
Perseverance comes to mind. It’s a bit more flattering than its mirror in stubbornness, which first popped into my head. When I commit to a goal I tend to doggedly follow it through to some conclusion, and I think there is something admirable to this when I don’t take it too far. I’m not one to back down from a challenge once I’ve accepted it, even though I stumble on the way to the goal.

What does summer mean to you?
Summer is a social season for me, when I spend every hour I can spare with my friends and enjoy a city that is most alive during this time of year. Some of the most joyful times with my friends took place during the past few summers.
It’s also a time of activity, when I’ll spend days alone hiking though parks and taking in the beauty that abounds here. Walking in woods during the summer was a favourite activity of mine when I was growing up and first gave life to my passion for hiking.
In my youth I reveled in camping and came to love gardening in the summer but maintained my bookwormishness by reading in the shade on lazier days. Now I miss it all quite a lot.

What do you love most about your work?
It’s definitely the people I interact with, especially a few co-workers. I’ve been blessed to meet some authentic and delightful people while working here and that has been the core aspect of this job that has kept me here.

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