Among the earliest of lessons taught in diving is recognizing and mitigating the pathway of stress leading to anxiety which can lead to panic. There are physical, physiological, and psychological factors that can impact this dangerous pathway; and so we are given the basic tool and skill sets to protect the human from these factors.
As dive training progresses, so do the challenges in that the tools and skills become more complex, with demanding dives allowing for less and less margin for error. Over time, many of these tools and skills become ‘standardized’ and it becomes easier for the next guy or gal, while others continue trek forward with finding new limits of the tools and skills, and then adapting them for the next step. That is exploration, and is inherent in human nature.
Thinking about exploration in this context – making progress – doesn’t have to be isolated to diving, and there are obvious [to me anyway] parallels to the world view that we [humanity] might consider taking in a more global context. Let’s leave our shores…
Among the only times when I find true peace are when I’m underwater. For me, the entire process whether for work or for play is a spiritual and holistic experience. I truly feel free from the stress and anxiety of our terrestrial existence, and am forced to acutely focus on myself – my life support, my mission, and continuing to make progress. Do this thousands and thousands and thousands of times, day in and day out, for a couple of decades, and the world starts to look like a very different place.
Driving to work – stress, stacks of paperwork – stress, pulled in a million directions – stress. We all have it, we all have to find ways to deal with it, and the world is not at all changing in a direction that will alleviate that for any of us in the near term. Personally, I know I have a finite journey, and being the non-conformist that I am, refuse to fall victim to all of those societal plagues. My duty, OUR duty, is to make things better, not worse.
With a bias towards the underwater world given the privilege I’ve had in making a career within it, I look out from the beach and see a new frontier for all of us…hopes, dreams, possibilities, and opportunities. That’s not to say I want to run away from the rigmarole of the terrestrial world in search of something better; rather I truly see a global balance not being reached because we aren’t capitalizing, responsibly, on the many gifts of the sea. I and others have written about this numerous times, and as I sit here in my shop ‘tinkering’ I am realizing that my motives for the tinkering with new diving technology, day in and day out (when not diving or bogged down with the ‘stress’), are to help us make progress…every linear foot made further from the beach, every additional minute spent on the bottom, and every paper written describing the baby steps are all part of our inevitable progress towards ‘a new life in the sea’.
The pressure we put on ourselves as ‘explorers’ and the authors of the human destiny manifesto is one of those funny things – we’ll never really become the person or the civilization we want to be, at least not in our own lifetimes. The trick is to carry on with no regrets, make progress, and ensure that the next generation has the tools and the skills to build upon the groundwork laid down through so many important efforts and ambitions along the way. The rest just has a way of working itself out.
So, what am I doing today other than Blogging? Today I have organized the final stages of tinkering for what will prove to be an ambitious set of baby steps in leaving our shores with some purpose, and to make progress.
Any guesses what’s on the bench?