This line from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s late eighteenth century classic, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, tells a tale of being surrounded by abundance we cannot access [the ocean] and of being the creator of our own ruination [by killing the albatross]. OK, so this is my liberal interpretation from the perspective of a personal development coach and certified Law of Attraction facilitator. Granted.
But there are other “water metaphors” as well that speak directly to the issues of mindset, paradigms, belief systems, and one’s view of reality. Consider these three:
As well known and probably as overused as the riddle of the chicken and the egg, this metaphor speaks volumes about world view and our conscious as well as unconscious belief systems through which we filter [and create] our experience of reality.
If you see the glass half empty, you tend to operate out of lack, fear, pessimism, disappointment, cynicism, defensiveness, dissatisfaction, discontent, or a multitude of other expressions of negativity. Like the seafarer who kills the albatross, you also may be a master of self-sabotage. Collectively these personality traits and their underlying beliefs and emotional addictions are called poverty consciousness.
Of course you see yourself as objective and realistic. You tend to see those who view the glass half full as naïve, unrealistic, wearing rose colored glasses, even delusional. As a critic you often feel superior to your glass-half-full counterparts because you know how people are and how the world works, whereas those other poor souls are living in a dream world that doesn’t exist… or so you think.
The opposite cluster of beliefs, personality traits, and emotions is called abundance consciousness. Positive thinking, optimism, gratitude, making progress, getting there, people are basically good, opportunity abounds everywhere, and a multitude of other expressions of sanguinity – you don’t understand why others are so negative and always complaining. Neither do I.
The real significance of the glass-half-empty-half-full metaphor is the direction of the water in each glass. The liquid in the glass half empty continues to go down, continues to evaporate, leaving a parched and dried out vessel filled with the sediment of regrets, recriminations, and I-told-you-so’s that reinforce for our thirsty friend just how bankrupt reality is. Of course, what’s bankrupt is the paradigm; it can’t lead anywhere else but down.
The water in the glass half full continues to rise. There’s always enough to quench one’s thirst, nourishing and replenishing itself until eventually it overflows the brim, and the tipping point is realized in the material world as we attract abundance of all kinds into our life. This is the paradigm of emotional compound interest.
In both scenarios – glass half empty, glass half full – we get what we expect. What do you want and what do you expect? Are these congruent?
In Newtonian Physics, which governs in the macro-environment perceived by our five senses, water will flow downhill unless it is redirected by a force or conditions strong enough to overcome gravity and/or inertia.
It is the same with our emotions and the tendency of some people to love gossip, negativity, criticism, putting other people down, and a host of other emotional addictions that has the perpetrator unwittingly stuck in his or her own mire, and of course dragging others down with them. That’s the fun part, or at least what is required for validation.
Misery loves company, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel, and if you allow yourself to get sucked into this energy, even just to be around it, it can carry you away in a flashflood of mental, emotional, and spiritual destruction. Remember the glass half empty? There’s no quicker way to empty it than to succumb to or participate in negative thinking whatever its guise.
The course correction is first to recognize that in the world of Quantum Physics, the vibrational world, the foundational substratum of energy in which we are all connected or “entangled,” we get what we vibrate. In this world everything is frequency specific. What you put out is what you get back, whether positive or negative. Which would you rather receive? Are you able to?
The second piece of the course correction is to become aware of how our habitual language, the people we hang with, the media we wash our brains with may be causing us to give attention to and focus on what we don’t want. So, what do you want? Decide. Then take appropriate action to bring about and allow your dreams to materialize.
The River Doesn’t Become Less When It Empties into the Ocean -
It Becomes the Ocean
I have paraphrased an Indian spiritual teaching above which states that to become greater, we must surrender our limited ego identity to a higher, all-encompassing reality. Not proselytizing here, just pointing out that you can choose to see yourself as small or great, and however you see yourself is how you will manifest.
The ocean is the perfect metaphor for the cycles of life, rising and falling like the tides, the water’s edge encroaching and receding as if it were the incoming and outgoing breath of cosmic lungs. To be emotionally centered in the stillness and perpetuity of this movement, is to live in the space where we create our existence.