Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dockers and Floaters: from Stairway to Heaven (Blog)

Understanding the Seekers: Schema of Dockers and Floaters

Envision a flowing river, wide enough that houses are built along at least one side. See docks in front of some or all of the houses, with land extending behind the buildings, then roads and towns off in the distance. Look at the river, and spot the rafts on them, wood log rafts or rubber rafts or plank rafts. They float along, headed downstream. 

On the rafts are people, one person usually, but sometimes two, or more if the raft is large. No motors; all is silent on this river except the sounds of nature or some quiet talk among the two or three or so together on the larger rafts. And there can be distance between the rafts; or they can be in sensible proximity.

Turn the gaze to the river's shoreline, the houses, the docks. See the home dwellers, finished with their career work for the day or weekend. Perhaps it is Sunday, and they are observing the Lord's day of rest. Perhaps not, but regardless the people are outside, drawn by what distinguishes their homes, and that is the river. 

The people on the river's bank, all along for miles and miles, notice the people on the rafts. They see while the rafts pass, one by one, their particular home and float down a ways, until the river bends or the view is too distant. The people on the rafts drift on by, slowly or rapidly, depending upon the current, based upon weather conditions and the river's concourse. The people on the rafts can see the home dwellers, their homes, their docks, their land, some woods, and the roads and towns off in the distance behind. Those on the rafts notice one after another, as they float downstream, those on the land.

Now consider what those on the land (some walking out to their docks for a better glimpse of ones on a raft) might wonder or think? What would you wonder or think, seeing a person (or two or three) on a raft, floating down the river? What are they doing? Where are they headed? Why would someone just float down a river on a raft?

What are the floaters thinking, as they float by and notice house after house and the people in them or outside, maybe more inside in our technological age, but always on land? Well, these people with their docks have houses, jobs, property to tend and earth to till, on-going contacts with society, cars to drive on the roads that lead to the towns. The floaters see the dockers and their effort, or at least some tangibles of their lives. But the dockers, those on the land with docks, might not comprehend what the floaters are doing or why they are doing it, for they float on by, alone or with a few, and then they float out of view.

On occasion the floaters float into the shore. Maybe they have  raft pole to change their course just enough to veer toward land. They dock if the docker is willing to have them, and most dockers are. After all, the floaters do need some practical provisions, and the dockers need and possess the practical provisions stored in their houses or have the transportation to go into the towns to purchase them, and have money to do so from their jobs. 

The floaters might need to fill up a water canteen or get some food grown on dockers' land or stored in the dockers' houses, although the floaters can also eat the fish of the river if they catch them, and can go to shore where there are no docks and homes, and forage for food along the river's edge and wooded areas.

The dockers are kind to share with these floaters, who they might not quite understand. They may develop thoughts of animosity for what the dockers could view as a waste of existence, as seen from the dockers' perspectives. Some dockers might want to know what it is like, floating on the river, and wonder what is the view upstream and downstream. 

The floaters are most appreciative for the dockers who help provide some practical aspects of their way of life. Young dockers might be intrigued by the floaters; old dockers may reflect on years of wishing they were floaters, but never could break away from land to try floating. Many dockers, at root level, consider the floaters a bit irresponsible and daft, and discourage the young from ever considering being a floater. It leads to...where? But staying on solid ground is secure and results in tangible productivity. 

Very few floaters, once they set off from river's edge (often from places where the river was but a stream) ever regret being floaters. Nor do they desire to be dockers, for they see dockers one after another, and the houses and land and roads and towns and cities beyond. It is all right for dockers, but floaters are floaters and must push off from the dock after a brief landing, and continue floating down stream.

Where do the floaters go? They follow the river and encounter whatever natural events occur on rivers. They never see too far what is coming, nor what is beyond the bend, but they have learned to follow the river's course, and eventually they find the river widening. Eventually the river will flow into the vast oceans, and at that point the floaters will need to either dock or put out to sea. 

By then, the floaters are adept at floating and not thrown off course by challenges requiring innovative adaptation. They may need to then live as dockers, but they would never become dockers, not really. And any dockers who may decide to float after years of docking, would need to go against solid ground, set off on a raft, and learn the ways of the floaters.

Dockers may not understand floaters, but floaters tend to understand dockers. It has to do with perspective, intuition and vision. Floaters have a broadened view. They not only see and experience the stream through river to ocean, upon shore and beyond, but they also see the dockers' land, dwellings, roads and beyond. They cannot see into the dwellings except at night, if curtains not drawn, but they sense the inside represents the outside. 

And while floaters come into shore when necessary, they do so briefly for they must continue to go with the flow. Floaters emanate from a dock, from some given point. They may have been born into a docker family but decided to become a floater from childhood intrigue of encountering floaters. Or they are born from birth waters, and seem never to be meant for land.

Floaters appreciate dockers for the good and practical. Dockers are salt of the earth. Dockers, too, have a perspective, and it is a practical, sensible, grounded perspective.

Maybe it has something to do with the thought that somehow, dockers very much know the ground beneath their feet; they stand on terra ferme. They work with what they know and touch, what is solid and firm. They know there is a Creator of all heaven and earth, and live with what they see, touch and know, here and now, with hope for heaven with practical assurance of its existence. 

Floaters seem to intuit what was before the here-and-now without being able to describe or define. They also are looking for what is to come, and living their lives while seeking. But they live on the water that flows above and between pieces solid ground, as well as falls from the skies. Their sense of God the Creator is perhaps experienced in more the grand scheme of things, but among others, in awareness of and appreciation of others. Dockers give floaters sustenance and solidity. Floaters give dockers variation and vision.

God created both dockers and floaters. They are inter- and intra-dependent, although some could argue that dockers really do not need floaters, that floaters simply add a touch of adventure and mystery. Perhaps floaters risk causing ire. It is said in Scripture that Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was sitting at His feet, not helping her with the tasks at hand. 

It may be presumed there are more dockers than floaters, just as there are more people with predominantly active lives than contemplative. Silly schemas like that of dockers and floaters, added to the numerous, sophisticated terms, analogies, constructs and comparisons that attempt to explain our human and spiritual variances, trying to live in the world and yet be not of it. No schema or theory is a pure replica for any set example of human and spiritual circumstance. 

Only Jesus Christ is the pure example, of God as Man, who was born, lived, suffered, died and resurrected. He is the only way to have full perspective and understanding, through love, as He comprehends all of life and all that is not.

But in and of life, perfectly exemplified in the life Jesus lived among the imperfect human dockers and floaters, there are individual factors, degrees and levels to any action and inaction due to the mystery of God and His creation of souls—created in His image and likeness—another mystery!

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