I’ve always wondered that if it’s true that we create our own reality, why is it we can’t make people appear and disappear when we want them to? The desire to change our environment is integral to our suffering, it seems. I’ve had the strangest life and this has been one of my biggest questions. If we create our own reality, why is my reality so haphazard? What in my energy makes for abrupt starts and endings? My teachers would say that it is karma, that something in my energy in the past created this slide show of meaningless relationships. Oddly, though I’ve come to realize over the years, that someone I meet in one moment, influences another moment way down the line even though they are no longer there. In this way, I’m not sure we’re ever disconnected from the people that come and go from our lives. There is meaning, but it is spliced over different time frames and I may not know one moment from the next what gift this person brings later. It’s the way distributed systems move, that sometimes when we try to make sense of it in a hierarchal fashion, we fail miserably. The whole thing is a vast illusion of separation until we realize that even the smallest act can have much larger significance, not just for one individual, but many.
One Choice Among Many
Recently, I had a water heater break on me. It’s a standard 40-gallon gas water heater that is located centrally and distributes how water throughout the house. I called the gas company to come and give me an estimate ($1300), which they did. I then scheduled them to come and replace the water heater and all of a sudden when the second people come, I’m told the water heater can’t be replaced due to improper venting. That I can’t put it where it was before and my only other option is to place a tankless hot water heater somewhere else, costing me thousands more due to some new regulation on gas hot water heaters that did not apply to the old one. Of course, I turned them down. I decided to look at a different system and started with solar, moved to electric, and then realized: “Why do I even think I need a central hot water heater?” The house is small, it’s pretty much just me and an occasional visitor and I don’t need gallons and gallons of hot water heated day and night. It’s overkill. What I need is a distributed system that heats only the water I need when I need it. Come to find out there are point of use mini tankless heaters I can use that will work fine for my needs. They cost about a couple hundred bucks. Instead of having one central heater, I am opting for multiple tiny heaters around the house. Why? It’s less expensive to install and replace. I would never bother repairing, just switching out. When one dies, two others would still be working, hopefully. There would no longer be a huge tank somewhere ready to rupture at the worst possible moment – making me shut off all the water to the house because of a faulty shut off valve. It’s the idea that a distributed system is going to be far less expensive, and much more robust for the minimal needs I have, easier to repair, and far less dangerous or destructive. Just as I reasoned that out, I understood why we are now establishing connections all over the world on the Internet. Distributed systems are far more practical for sustainable living and we’re mirroring that in all aspects of our lives, even friendships on Facebook or Twitter.
The Effect of Distributed Systems
So, what happens when we start to adopt a distributed system in some area of our lives? For us, it can change our preferred patterns of behavior. If someone else notices, they might mimic your choice. If enough people notice, and choose a distributed system, like mini tankless hot water heaters, the gas company’s very existence is threatened. We might begin to wonder about our furnaces next. When we choose a distributed social system, instead of hierarchal we begin to move in ways that are healthier for us and the planet. We stop thinking we have to listen to the experts at some company because we’re all experts. We generate more creative solutions and begin to figure out that the idea that our choices are limited is a fallacy. They’re only limited if we’re tied to systems that limit them. If we opt into newer systems, we generate greater freedom. When we friend someone new, we’re opening new avenues of creativity and potential. Every person is a treasure to be discovered. Even our ideas of family are changing. It is no longer just who birthed up, it is also more distributed with step-families, adopted families, and friendships that are completely virtual, at times.
Are We Really Standing Still?
Our movement on the planet appears to be slow. The Great Recession has felt very stagnant for numerous people, with movement into new jobs and new opportunities appearing limited. However, it’s probably a mirage. If we are truly opting out of hierarchal systems to a more distributed approach, what we need to look at is micro-movements now, not major shifts. It’s not about whether one large company falls – it’s bound to as things get more and more distributed. Those systems will appear stagnant and broken, however, underlying that there must be a literal foaming sea of movement as individuals create distributed lives that are far more sustainable in their very micro-movements. Maybe it’s a tiny movement like opting out of central hot water heating. Maybe it has to do with opting into something like Twitter. The pattern of our very lives are changing, but not in physical structures, it’s in a movement of choice and awareness. Once you start to realize that, you realize that world is literally vibrating with excitement and new choices as every individual takes up a Creator role.