Sunday, September 8, 2013


OK… so it wasn’t the smartest thing I ever did.    Granted!!!  

But my Father-in-Law whom I dearly love was the one that thought having a concrete block as an anchor for his boat was a good thing.   How was I to know that the laws of gravity would prevail… and a more astute sailor would let go of the anchor sooner.   

I waited a little too long as I tried throwing the anchor overboard in a rocking boat.  I’m not sure if I hit the water first or the anchor beat me by a second or two.    We did both get wet.     Lesson: You have to remember to let go of the anchor!!!

Maybe that introduction was the thing that first got me started thinking about the stages of life. As I have progressed through my own experience I have found at least three main stages: The Anchor, the Buoy and the Balloon.

Letting go of the Anchor…
Anchors seem like a good thing. They certainly are useful in holding the boat in place and serve as reassurance to the mariner.

But since that moment years ago I have remembered how clinging to an anchor can have disastrous results.   For one thing I found that all anchors aren’t cement blocks or heavy metal pointy things!!

My personal anchors have been the type that often held me back, kept me from moving ahead and prevented me from soaring.   And the problem with anchors is that, once in place, they aren’t visible, they are underwater, hidden from view and maybe forgotten, sometimes stuck in the mud, entangled in unseen objects on the bottom of the river, lake or ocean. 

Many of us may have been restrained by the anchors of limited finances, education, fear of public speaking, heights, failure, disease, death, loneliness and the list goes on.

As long as we cling to the anchor, we will not move forward, and… as I quickly learned, may get pulled under!!!

I have likened the Anchor phase to my early experiences, trying to find out who I was, to grow and learn, but held back by self imposed anchors of limited thinking.  Then I moved along to the Buoy stage.

Life as a Buoy…
Imagine the incoming waves, surf high and powerful… and the buoy… bobbing up and down  but well grounded, unmoving, serving its role as boundary, safe keeper of  mariners.  Somewhat anchored, but able to move freely to perform its mission, the buoy, along with the lighthouse, serving faithfully, needing no thanks, no high fives or pats on the back.

In my experience, the Buoys represent the steady daily life of a dad, a husband, a son, a brother, an employee, a friend.     During the Buoy stage, I found inspiration and guidance from The Holy Bible.  This wonderful book can be read as a powerful historical novel,  a record of incredible courage,  battles fought, won and lost, challenges faced and overcome, stories of the power of love, tenderness and healing, true stories of man’s struggle to escape the bonds of a matter based, temporary existence, striving to find the spiritual reality. And, most importantly, the record of the  earthly life of Christ Jesus, who selflessly taught, helped and healed and showed that Life is Eternal.

The Balloon Ascends…   
I am now in my Balloon phase!!   Now to be honest, as we go through the stages, from Anchor to Buoy to Balloon, we don’t entirely leave one phase as we enter another.  There are still vestiges of former stages, lingering and attempting to allure us back, retrograde steps, which we constantly must resist. 

As we step into the Balloon basket, we notice the Anchors, the sand bags that are attached to keep the balloon from ascending.   Yes.  Even when we get to this point the Anchors try to keep us earthbound.    In order to fly, to ascend, to soar, we have to drop those anchors, cut them loose, fearlessly discard the ballast and baggage that seem to safely harbor us to the old and familiar, and prepare to reach the heights.

Rising easily without the Anchors of fear, doubt, resistance, stolidity, anger, revenge, and pain holding us back, trusting the lifting power of our Creator, divine Mind, our thoughts soar, we climb to a greater  understanding of Spirit, eternal life.   

As physical science begins to realize that life is not in matter, as observed by Dr. Einstein, “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”;   and that behind the electronic vibrations that we perceive as matter “We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.’ as observed by German Physicist, Dr. Max Planck,   and that in reality “all is consciousness as observed recently by Biologist/Physician  Professor Dr. Robert Lantz in his book Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universethe view from the Balloon is exciting.   We begin to drop the idea that we live in matter and lift our thought to the reality that life is in God, Mind.

Religious pioneer Mary Baker Eddy, in the late 1800s, far before physical scientists started observing matter as an illusion, perceived what Jesus was teaching when he taught that life is Spirit.  “God is aSpirit: and they that worship him must worship him inspirit and in truth.”   (John 4:24) 

 In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,  Eddy  gives a sort of translation of degrees of growth spiritually, a journey from belief in the physical universe  with its fear, depravity, sensuality, pride and envy up to the Spiritual understanding where we reflect wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding… LOVE.   I think of what I call  the “Anchor to Balloon experience” as following that pathway.   Here is a link to her book.

The following hymn has helped me on my journey from “Anchor Man” to beginning my Soaring trip as a Balloonist:

From sense to Soul my pathway lies before me,
From mist and shadow into Truth’s clear day;
The dawn of all things real is breaking o’er me,
My heart is singing: I have found the way.

I reach Mind’s open door, and at its portal
I know that where I stand is holy ground;
I feel the calm and joy of things immortal,
The loveliness of Love is all around.

The way leads upward and its goal draws nearer,
Thought soars enraptured, fetterless and free;
The vision infinite to me grows clearer, 
I touch the fringes of eternity.

Christian Science Hymnal   64


Melissa Hayden said...

Always wondered how to get a rise out of you! Now I know how to do it: through the strength of Spirit!

Matt said...

I really enjoyed this. Thanks for posting.

I've recently become acquainted with Dr. Einstein's personal encounter with Christian Science, which apparently came about because of a healing he witnessed of Dr. William Underwood at the Atomic Energy Agency in New York, in which Underwood was healed of exposure to radiation. This led to Einstein investigating Christian Science for himself.

There are a number of quotes preserved with respect to Einstein's thoughts on Mary Baker Eddy's discovery, but this is perhaps my favorite:

In an affidavit by Mary Spaulding, wife of the famous violinist Alfred Spaulding, was preserved a conversation she had with Albert Einstein in the New York City Reading Room on 42nd Street. Dr. Einstein's high regard for Science and Health is reflected in the following: "Science and Health is beyond this generation's understanding. It is the pure science. And, to think that a woman knew this over eighty years ago!"

Pam said...

Thanks, Patrick. I kept thinking of MBEs Translation of Mortal Mind and her statement about there are never retrograde steps in Science.
I had a friend who likened life stages to a meal...Salad Days, Entree and Dessert. It's all the same feast, I think, just different tables.

Patrick Collins said...

Thanks to each of you!! OK Melissa, you got me!!
And Matt, thanks so much for the information on Dr Einstein and Mrs Eddy, so interesting.

Pam, you are correct. I was paraphrasing Mrs. Eddy's Translation of Mortal Mind. I did't want to misquote her or shorten her version so I just summed it up according to my understanding.

Thanks all!!!

kelkmac said...

beeeeautiful!!! Another great life-lesson turned Life-Lesson, which I will happily share. I appreciate your posts!!

Poet said...

Very well written, Pat. Think you've hit this one out of the park!
Love and blessings to you,