The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

So who are you?

If you realized that the nurtured spiritual part of yourself would accompany you on your eternal journey and that everything that you have labored so hard to accumulate would vanish the instant you depart this world, would it alter your daily agenda? – Walter Cooper

I help out a little in the WordPress.com technical support forums answering questions and helping with problems where I can. It’s an interesting experience and I find joy in being able to help people out. A lot of it is simply answering the same questions over and over. The search functions in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and forums leaves a little (OK, more like a lot) to be desired, but a good portion of people don’t even attempt to search, they just type in a (many times cryptic) question and hit the submit button. Some of us (volunteers all) that help out have files we keep on our desktop with answers to questions asked frequently and with links to FAQ’s and answers that already exist. With questions we have an answer for in our file, we just copy and paste. No sense describing (inventing) the wheel over and over again.

A small portion of the posts are frantic and thick with drama, in effect saying, “my blog is my life and if this problem or that isn’t solved this moment, my life is over.” Panic, fear, stress, doom! One such case lately has to do with a bug in the Akismet spam filter used at wordpress.com. The bug, according to WordPress staff is ellusive and they have not been able to track it down. Since 92% of the comments made on blogs are spam, disabling it is not really an option (some blogs get over 4,000 spams a day), and because the software used at WordPress.com is multiuser, it would be difficult to give us each the option to turn it off on our individual blogs. There are a number of us caught up in this bug (don’t really know how many) that are not able to review all the comments caught by Akismet so we cannot tell if it is catching legitimate comments or not (apparently for some it is). A problem to be sure, but is it really the end of your world?

I took care of this by putting an explanation of the problem on my “Contact/Comments” page, so if you make a comment and your comment doesn’t show up within a day or two at the most, use my contact page and I’ll manually add your comment for you until such time as WordPress solves the problem.

This all reminded me of a program called Heartline that I attended at the Monroe Institute. When each of us arrived, we were told to not tell anyone what we did for a living or discuss anything about it. At the kick off meeting that night after dinner, the trainers explained that we all have a tendency to identify ourselves, at least partially, by what we do for a living, and for that week, we would not be able to do that.

Now I don’t think many of us at the program thought that we used our profession to help define who we were, but it soon became apparent to all of us that we did – at least to some extent. Each of us I think caught ourselves at least a few times, and by the end of the week, even with us trying not to give any hints, most of us had a pretty good idea what the others did.

This brings us back to the quote by Walter Cooper at the beginning of this post. When we leave this life, all the physical things we have accumulated (including our blogs and any comments received or not) will not accompany us, only the experiences and lessons of this life will go along. Do you really want part of that experience you take along with you to be stress, panic and trauma because you missed some comments on your blog? I sure don’t, but we each make, and live with, our own choices.

Choose wisely.

8 Comments

  1. Richard, I love the quote at the beginning, and I have snached it for my personal file (not blog!) I have witnessed many of your helpful answers in the fora, and we are lucky to have you there. It does amaze me how wrapped up I and others can get in how our blogs are functioning. Your Walter Cooper quote’s last line “Would it alter your agenda?” is quite provocative, and causes me to want to turn of this machine and take a walk outside! In the weather!

    But before I do, I realize our computers will someday vanish–but what about our blog posts? And these comments. ‘Google’ would have it that they exist forever 🙂 , but I wonder if they are now “out there” in the field along with every thought we’ve ever had?

  2. The whole thing is about balance and keeping all the different elements that make up our lives in proper perspective. I get too wrapped up in computers, the internet, and blogging at times as I think anyone can. The trick it to be aware enough so that when we imbalance our lives, we recognize it and regain the balance. Not always easy, and that is alright. It’s all part of life.

  3. Can’t tell how seriously museditions meant this — “I wonder if they are now “out there” in the field along with every thought we’ve ever had” — but my answer would be, of course they are! That’s what’s called the Akashic Record.

    (I have heard that the Akashic Record has been re-recorded onto CD but have not been able to confirm this.)

    I think one of the biggest jolts we’re going to get when we move over to the other side is how much damage (and hopefully how much good) we did with our unexpressed thoughts. Thinking that thoughts are private, are ours, are without consequences, we spew havoc all around us, (and sometimes blessings as well, fortuately).

    Edgar Cayce said, Thoughts are things.

  4. Frank, I’d like to get a copy of that CD, let me know if you find it! I was a little tongue-in-cheek, here. In appreciating Richard’s post about how he found spiritual musings while answering technical questions, it just seemed ironic to me that these machines which take up so much of our time and energy will soon disolve into nothing, yet these words I type now will be my responsibility forever. Daunting or liberating depending where I’m looking. Thoughts are indeed things (although I would have attributed that quote to Ernest Holmes! 🙂 ). I’ve had a look ’round your blog. I’m impressed. Peace.

  5. I’ve heard rumors of a limited edition boxed set complete with a DVD recorded in Dolby 5.1 surround sound, and directed and produced by Spielberg and Lucas. 🙂

  6. Sometimes I get discouraged when bloggers don’t look for answers first. The FAQs is an excellent resource. It’s painful witnessing those who post over and over again thinking that somehow elegant rhetoric and compelling argument will “get the Akismet job done”. In the world of internet technology this just ain’t so — bugs are elusive.

    Sigh … and one can easily get carried away by the drama on forums. I certainly have on many ill considered occasions. The recent panic over the editor malfunction presented us all with lessons — will we learn them?

  7. Not searching for answers sadly seems less of an exception and more of a rule today. I have friends that call me with questions about how to do this or that on their computer, and I’ve taken to having them go to the computer, get into help and then type in what they are wanting to know about. They are simply amazed that the answer was right there. Imagine that!!! But it’s easier to just call or email Richard. Same in the forum.

    For some drama seems an integral part of life, they thrive on it, and it can be difficult to deal with since once in drama mode, nothing you can say or suggest is going to satisfy them. They want that pound of flesh. If there is another editor malfunction we will probably see many of the people who were caught by the bug this time back in the forums, caught once again. When you are able to help, and someone says thanks, that makes up for a lot of it though.

    I hope Matt and Automattic realize how fortune they are. This is a really good group of volunteers.

  8. Thanks for the reminder. I decided a while ago that when I go the only thing that will matter to me is whether it can be said of me, “She loved well.” All the rest, just stuff and noise.

    One aside about FAQ’s — nothing gives an excuse to be abusive when contacting “support” but I’ve so often spent 20-60 minutes hunting through FAQ’s without ever finding anything that addressed my question that I want to respond a little to one of the comments and say sometimes us ordinary folks just jump to making another post or asking another question rather than waste our lives trying to find answers…

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