I was listening to a program that dealt with the probe heading across the galaxy to explore Pluto. They said that the probe was going to orbit earth and then head the wrong way, away from, Pluto to go past Jupiter. By this path there would be a bonus of speed that would come from getting close to the giant planet that would result in the gravity of Jupiter flinging the probe deep into space such that it would get there sooner and use less fuel than simply flying there directly. This is what I am going to do now, take you past Jupiter such that you will get a more clear point than if I would just tell you.
When the idea of discovery or exploration is discussed there are several ways to get this done. One is to just stand back and watch the thing in direct observation. How it moves, what it does, the seasons it steps through by stages. This is fine as an observation, but you know there is more, and you ponder the way to get closer. So you set out to “orbit” for a while going in either the same direction and speed to observe one spot in particular or in the opposite direction so that you can get as much of the picture as possible. Another way to observe is to pick a spot and land a probe there for direct contact in that spot. This is limited in scope, but ever so much more empirical in results gathered. You are then to find a way to leave but know that you have left a part of yourself there as a result regardless. We will always leave a footprint for our steps taken. In the program that I was listening to there was another thing though. It was the “use” of the great planet as a slingshot, and nothing more. Simply to fly by and the great planet knew nothing of it. It was less that the mosquito for it was completely unaware of the existence of the fly-by, nor its use of the gravity that it took as a byproduct of the simple existence of the enormous thing called Jupiter.
So, what then are we to make of this? Well here is a thought. We have friends that are the Jupiter to us. Seemingly larger than life and on occasion we will come to orbit them in observation and take notes and learn from their simple existence. Forward in the same cadence for a while, or in counter rotation trying to scan as much of their knowledge and being as possible for we know there is not much time and we must act quickly. At other times we will be given the privilege of a landing. To walk with them and be in their circle of activity long enough to get a very close interaction, even if only on a very narrow scope for a very short period of time. It is part of what is to be captured in an interview with someone, perhaps a general or a battle warrior that fought many years ago and you are trying to glean what it is that makes up a hero. Although you cannot smell the things they smelled or spit the dirt and blood of the battle, you can get some bit of the person who is telling the tale simply for the chance to talk to them that watching would not get even kind of close to. But then there is the third act of this great planet. The thought. For to simply think of this person while far away or all alone in a crowd, you will be strengthened and buoyed by this thought. Like the probe flying past the “gravity monster” you will not diminish them in any fashion. You will be strengthened for simply the thought that you had of them and they will never know.
This is the power of gravity and its “command” on you. That is what “Jupiters” do. They draw us to them. They can be anyone, or any thing that has the power to compel you to be “adjusted” by that call. In the context I am describing it is a call to be better, to do good, to move past your smallness and to grow. There is a part that is what was on the bracelets, you remember the “WWJD” ones. But that soon turned from a simple call to purity and turned into a tyranny of oppressive compulsive behavior monitoring by either yourself or your pier group. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about your friend that stayed close in a hard time. The grandmother that was your cheerleader and the lover of all that was you. Perhaps a teacher, friend, mentor, or coach. Perhaps it was the “ideal” of all of them that is found in Ghandi, or Mother Theresa, or Desmond Tutu or some other candidate for sainthood. This ideal that would find you a friend and not a “project” that needed help. That is a different type of friend all together.
There is one more part of this to cover. When you stand afar and watch this Jupiter interact with someone else. You will then see what they are and the power they have over others, and then realize that they have that same power over you and they use it deftly and with purpose, yet without guile or malice. This is the power of the gravity by observing the effect on other objects. It is note worthy that our galaxy would not hold together if Jupiter was not a part of it. It has that much effect on others in the galaxy. This type of observation is something that takes time. It is something that is noticed by the effect of Jupiter being both close and then far and then close again. Then you will see the effect. But you need to be patient. You need to watch closely, over time.
So what then… well how about this. We are all Jupiter to others. Some will want to come and orbit, some will want to talk. Some will think of you and you will never know it. What then are you to do? My recommendation is to simply “be” you. If you start thinking about being Jupiter you will start wondering about who might be watching, or when, and it will make you not a Jupiter any more. You only become Jupiter by being authentic. If the one you would call Jupiter knew they were being watched they would generally be embarrassed and defer the thought. That is what makes them a Jupiter in the first place. The minute you think you are one is the minute you stop being one. So that is the fact of being what you are is simply the best thing to be. You will need to know that we are all that to someone. We need to own that and to walk in the notion that others are watching, and are effected by what we do. We should do well. Freely living and being authentic. Giving to those we come near, taking little from others, as the gift of a friend.
Here is the next part for this book. Use it like a Jupiter. It is what it is. To some it is a thing to explore deeply in one place or story and to someone else, it is to be thought of on the way to somewhere else. At times you will orbit around an idea or a few stories that connect, and at other times it will seem far away and of no value. That is as it is. Let it be so. It is a group of thoughts and stories that are to make you think of things or think of things differently. That is the function of this book. It is not a treatise on deep theology, nor a commentary on the plight of mankind. It is a place to go for a while and at times land on a story and explore it more. Or not. It will exist and move about with no thought as to your appreciation or irreverence. It cares not if you use it as a table topic or a coaster. It is not a book of erudition and sophistication, but of exploration of the you that you are. To that end, dig, probe, or at least begin to explore the you that you are. Find the deep places of your soul and relish them… then go grow some more! That is the joy of this work, that you would love you more, and then that you would give that to another.
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