Doing the Impossible

Today is the 41st anniversary of the first person walking on the moon. Less than 8 years earlier, on September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave the “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech announcing plans to go to the Moon before the end of the decade.

What an ambitious task! Especially in retrospect. Given the technology of 48 years ago when the announcement was made and 41 years ago when Apollo 11 went to the moon, it seems like they did the impossible. We have 10 times more memory and computing power in the average smart phone today than the astronauts had on their spaceship. Can you imagine using your iPhone or BlackBerry as your only computing resource for space travel?

Henry Ford is credited with saying, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” NASA, the astronauts and their support systems believed they could achieve this monumental goal in the 1960s.

Most people alive today do not remember Apollo 11. They have grown up watching Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, etc. They think of warp drives, worm holes, “Beam me up, Scotty,” and cloaking devices as the technologies that go with space travel. Apollo 11 had none of that and yet they made it to the moon, and to me the more amazing part — they made it back to Earth safely!

Here is the launch:

And the first moon walk.

Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Young (not including video)

The Joy of Thinking Less

Almost all of us are burdened with thinking too much. I myself attained a fifth-degree black-belt equivalent in thinking too much. I thought all the time. I had my ego tied up in being an intellectual, which I thought was a good thing.

I believed that my ability to think “in-depth” about things, know the history and inter-relationships of things gave me value. I was always trying to figure everything out. Always wanting to be ready with the answers if someone asked.

About 25 years ago someone said to me that not everyone had a zillion thoughts in their mind all of the time. How could someone not think all the time? It was a concept I could not ‘grok.’

Until I stuck to a regular meditation practice and witnessed a calming mind within.

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No Heaven, No Hell, No Karma

I’ve never been able to get behind the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Karma. They all presume that there is a “person or persons” that is/are separate from us and keeping score. It also presumes that there is a fixed set of rules by which they keep the score. (And of course, the rules vary, depending on your religious system.)

Heaven, Hell and Karma are reward and punishment systems. If you do what is on the “approved” or “recommended” list, you get a ticket to Heaven or Good Karma. If you do what is on the “no-no” or “sin” list, you go straight to Hell or have Bad Karma.

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