Letter From The Editor
For November of 2016

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THE CAPTAIN'S TABLE




This is an analogy familiar to anyone who has taken a trip on a cruise line and it revolves around the captainís table, an invitation only dining experience where those lucky enough to receive such an invitation would find themselves dining among the people who keep the ship running. The selection process is random with it normally going to guests who have amassed many hours at sea with a particular cruise line. To look at the deeper meaning of this scenario, let's say the table is on a cruise ship we'll call third dimensional Earth which would be synonymous to the real world we wake up to every day. As with every cruise ship, there are a mix passengers and crew with the majority of passengers outnumbering the crew by a substantial margin, this is all about that margin. What defines a passenger on this cruise is someone enjoying the trip but not taking the time to delve into what makes the the cruise ship run. A perfect example would be my mother whose only major contribution to the planet was to meet my father so that I could be born. She was a person with deep religious convictions who worked until retirement and died safe in the knowledge heaven would be her final reward as she was welcomed through the pearly gates by Jesus himself. That knowledge brought her through her life and it will take her into her next one where the cycle will start all over again except that in the waiting period, she'll find out how things really work and hopefully will try to pass on what she learned.

The typical passenger on a real ship is looking to use the cruise to relax while away from a job or school and knows that while all that may be waiting, there is nothing to do in the meantime except enjoy the ports the ship visits, eat the fantastic food prepared by teams of cooks night and day, work off the weight from that food in the gym, jogging track, basketball court or dance the night away at any one of the many nightclubs. Pools and jacuzziís help to sooth sore muscles or one could schedule a masseuse to work out the kinks while letting go of all the cares in the world. If they should get tired of the main dining room, specialty restaurants abound with tastes from around the world and staff specialized in serving their selections to perfection. The only bad thing to be said for all this pampering? You definitely donít want to be a passenger. Itís fine to enjoy the trip, be comfortable in the experience and revel in the indulgences but the real heroes of this analogy are the staff, those who paid the same amount to be on this trip as the passengers but get to do the all work helping to bring this ship to port. Saving the port's location for later, there's nothing to say that the work the staff does is hard or that they can't have as much or even more fun than the passengers. For them it's a labor of love and something they feel drawn to pursue.

Metaphorically speaking, this cruise has been going on for so long, no one can even remember when it was they even came on board. Since then for most people, it has been an endless series of buffet lines and live entertainment with the ship rarely stopping and when it does, it is to let crew off before taking up the trip again. Every time the ship stops, beautiful ports of call lay almost within armís reach but the only way to get to shore is to be a part of the crew and that means working with the ship instead of just enjoying the trip. That can sometimes be a challenge as there always seems to be new inducements to stay a passenger forever appearing almost on a daily basis. There is now WI-FI around most parts of the ship and the entertainment options are completely staggering. Where once the choices of how to fill a day were fairly limited, now there are water parks, driving ranges, VR headsets and social media. There are also though worries about the ship taking on water and a number of passengers have become too alarmed to enjoy the trip while elsewhere, passengers in a few of the compartments are constantly bickering over politics and closet space. Inevitably everyone reaches a point on a personal level where they decide the trip has gone on long enough and it is time to see what is available off the ship. That is when that person would get up out of their seat at the captainís table and become a part of the crew serving those still seated.

Now as a part of the crew, they would take on any tasks that they were best suited and take advantage of their unique talents. This was a fairly new ship even before all the upgrades with the passengers and crew just getting their sea legs in comparison to the beings at the ports the ship passes. Those ports are other worlds, galaxies and dimensions some of the crew get to visit and tell of their wonders. One task a crew member might choose as their form of service may be in sharing what they have learned about those ports with the other passengers who may then get up from their seats to join in the servicing of others. As the table starts to have less and less people sitting and more empty chairs, the serving of just the crew becomes easier and a lot more fun.  It could even come to be that everyone will eventually decide to serve instead of sit and at that point the cruise will finally come into port to let the crew disembark to enjoy the wonderful future waiting. That's a long way off with plenty of storms to steer clear of but in the meantime, thereís plenty of time to study and prepare from the shipís extensive collection of library archives on how best to interrelate with those higher dimensional former passengers once that gangplank finally gets lowered.

In love and light as one,

Russ and Karra