The skills of Avatarism have led me to want to do more exciting things in my life and that has led me to be able to access states of ecstasy and fear. I have found that the more you access these emotions in a controlled environment, the more you have mastery over them, learn to use them. When mastery of the self occurs through testing the limits of who you are and what you are capable of, paradigm shift occurs within the mind and heart off that intrepid Avatar. Here is a story that illustrates this point.

Scuba diving off the coast of California I witnessed the most amazing sight. Sixty foot long Kelp beds extending down from the surface in cathedral like arches and “Rooms.” I was struck by the beauty of this floating holy place. I was seeing natural beauty in a whole new way that was alien to me. There were fish of many sizes swimming in and around the dark green tendrils. In the distance, I saw the deep black of the ocean. I had the feeling that I was a child again and I was so excited by the texture, and the size, and the movement in the warm current, and I was overjoyed and full of wonder. My mouth would have dropped open if I didn’t have a respirator in it.

Just  then I see another diver come swimming towards me. I thought this was weird because we were supposed to stay in buddy groups of two divers at all times. He started gesticulating  towards my head and I got the idea that there might be something lurking behind me, like a huge, hungry something. But it wasn’t a shark, or a whale,or even a sea cucumber. The diver turned out to be the instructor and after he swam up to me, he put his hand on my shoulder and started to bring me up to the surface, a hundred feet up. I had popped an O ring and there was oxygen escaping from my tank and soon I would be out of air.

I had only been diving three times after my lessons in a West Hollywood pool so I didn’t know what the hell was going on. We swam a few feet then paused to decompress and we handed back and forth his respirator as mine had now run out completely his training and expertise saved my life. As I rose from the water and climbed onto the boat I realized that I was still in that state of wonder from thr kelp beds. The life threatening situation actually took a backseat to the totally amazing natural wonder of it all. I was neither scared nor bothered by the whole, “no oxygen thing.”

It seems like  wonder has a kind of anti depressant, or anti anxiety action. Wonder prevented me from freaking out in what could have been a really bad scene. (If you swim to the top suddenly from a depth of a hundred feet, you could risk air bubbles forming in your blood and get the bends, a very dangerous condition)

Children have wonder, watch them find something new. Eyes wide, open mouth or smiling, eyebrows raised in rapt attention. Being a clown in Cirque Du Soleil gave me a potent example of this when the director Michelle Laprise told me that that is what they look for in performers, Wonder. I saw glowing examples while performing as well, on the faces of the audience members.

With adults you have to give them a lot of whizbang and fervor to push em’ into wonder. Kids are easy, “got your thumb!” and they freak! Adults seem to need more and more intense and fantastical stimuli to bring on the wonder. But wait, all is not lost, you can re-learn wonder, by simply imitating wonder until it occurs. This really works. 

Look closer at nature, closer……there!

Open your eyes real wide, open mouth, or smile, eyebrows arching.

Now you’re doing……“The wonder face!”

It may feel weird, but keep it up for a minute and look at stuff, see what gets activated. 

Wonder is a great additive to a normal day. Use it for play, loving, appreciation, surprise, and any other emotion really, it pairs nicely.-iRev Alexander Polinsky

The mind of a child is easily in wonder, and super elastic in its ability to learn, copy, and execute games. The adult mind can reason, draw from a wealth of experiences, and stay calm when intensity arises.

Know both, the child mind and the adult mind. Use both to balance play and discernment together. 

Be wonderful today.

Alexander Polinsky

Avatarism is an inquiry into the nature of character itself. An open source game/philosophy for conscious character creation

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