Back in my aviation days, another lifetime or two ago it
seems, I flew airplanes for a living, and was also a flight
instructor. In those days part of flight training included spin
recovery. For many of my students this was the scariest part of
learning to fly. When I was a flight student myself, spins scared
the hell out of me.
the US Federal Aviation Agency, as it was called then, thought
spin recovery training necessary. After all, many pilots had
gotten themselves into spins. And, not knowing spin recovery
procedures, never made it back home again.
Spin training involves taking
the aircraft up to several thousand feet above the ground. Then,
from level flight, you pull the control stick back steadily until,
nose-up, the plane shudders, finally stalling.
You keep the control stick back
and shove the right rudder pedal to the floor. Suddenly, below
you, the ground is whirling crazily, dizzily, faster and faster.
Nose straight down now, you’re plunging to Earth, disaster only
You ease the control stick
forward while pushing on the left rudder pedal. The spin stops and
you ease the plane back into level flight again.
It’s fairly simple, but can be
terrifying at first. Some planes were more difficult to handle in
spin recovery than others. The Piper Cherokee was a popular flight
trainer in my day. A relatively easy plane to fly, and forgiving.
If you got a Cherokee into a spin, accidentally or on purpose, it
would recover from the spin by itself if you just released the
controls and completely let go of it.
What a beautiful metaphor, I’ve
often thought, for life. When we feel like we’re spinning out of
control, all we have to do is just let go.
In your modern world many of you feel like your lives are spinning out of
control. This is a time of great change and, often, chaos and confusion. And
it’s happening faster and faster all the time.
Many of you are holding on far too tightly. You’re holding onto everything
— your values, your loved ones, your material possessions, even your spiritual
ideals — far, far too tightly.
And so the spinning continues, an ever-increasing downward spiral. You feel
lost, hurt, not knowing where or to whom to turn.
Now this is not a bad thing. For you will all eventually learn, in John’s
words, spin recovery. The value of spinning out of control, or the feeling of
it, is that it’s a grand opportunity for you to practice allowance.
And you might ask, “Well, Joseph, what is allowance? And what has it to do
with the state our world is in today?”
The answer: Everything!
Allowance is simply letting go, letting everything and everyone be okay
just as they are, where they are. We know that may sound like a prescription for
disaster to your ears. But look at where your world is today. Can it get
anything but better from here forward?
Many humans have this “saviour mentality” as we call it. Their values,
their beliefs, their way of life are the way. You know, it’s my way or the wrong
way — that kind of mentality.
Until you, as a human race, are able to get beyond needing others to live
as you think they should, you will continue spinning out of control.
But you, individually — in your own personal lives — can practice spin recovery
and get your life back into “level flight.” It doesn’t matter what the rest of
the world is doing.
Even if every other human on the planet is spinning out of control, you
have the power to live a peaceful, joyful, abundant life.
Just let go of your controls and you will be amazed at what happens.