Norwegian Adventures !

Long before I started to run marathons, I was first – and always – a mountain hiker. Few things in the world can compete with the soothing solitude, the vast valeys and views, and the fresh air in the Norwegian mountains. This summer 2013 came to contain a pack of the best of my beloved second country.


As written in my July posts in 2009, 2010 and 2012, this hotel Dalster and its surroundings is a very, very special place for me. This year I managed to climb a few of the peaks nearby (Ruten and Sprengpiggen) and also tried something new, namely to ride on horse through these marvelous landscapes, to cut it short an absolutely fantastic and breathtaking experience ! Even this very day of writing I miss my white companion, Dari, of Åsli Ridecenter. Below you find a collection of the finest impressions from the Dalseter days 2013, click each picture to see in larger scale (opens in a new window/tab). In the horisonts you have the mountain chains Jotunheimen and Rondane, I have hiked a lot in these areas when I was younger. Pure love.

Jotunheimen and Besseggen

The perhaps most renowed hike in Norway is the airy climb over Besseggen, a quite demanding trip but still no harder that both kids and elderly can manage it within 8-10 hours.  You sure feel walking in the footprints of Peer Gynt and in companionship with the Norwegian “mountain” poets such as Aasmund Olavsson Vinje and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Nobel Prize Laureate 1903). Toss in some tunes of Grieg and the norwegain experience is total ! The trip is often done by taking the ferry from the nice hut Gjendesheim and thereafter walking back from Memurubu.

The Old Strynefjell Mountain Road and Videseter

The next experience was mainly in the car. I know what you might think. However, I am talking about the trip from Gjendesheim to Videseter passing through on the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road and in very rough and remote landscapes.

Aurland, The Nærøy Fjord and Gudvangen

The danish writer Karen Blixen made the mysterious Nærøy Fjord known through her poetry. The fjord has in recent times been added to the list of UNESCO Heritage sites and the nature is indeed as breathtaking as the pictures you see. We took the car ferry boat from Flåm to Gudvangen – passing lovely Aurland [in proximity of the incredible Aurlandsdalen], probably the most scenic fjord trip in Norway, possibly the world. We were not too lukcy with the weather, though, however, we still enjoyed coffee at the Stalheim Hotel with the spectacular view onto the Gudvangen Valley.

Haukeliseter, Hardangervidda and the meaning of Life

The last part of the trip was spend at Haukeliseter on Hardangervidda, another of the larger norwegian mountain areas. The weather was phenomenal and we managed to climb yet another peak. I have hiked in the norwegian mountains since I was 4 and days and landscapes like these bring me back to the thoughts and feelings I have had since I was that little reflective kid in the vast Nature. The intuitive feeling of the shortness of a human life span. The recognition of Nature and Life itself being so much bigger, richer and outlasting than a single individual, a community, an era in the civilization, even a geological era. So what is a Life ? It is just the days passing by, the feelings you have, the stuff you do. A human life has no real extension or span after we die, and to have a real Legacy is first of all not LIFE and secondly entirely an artificial construct based on the willingness of the hereafter. Basically, we human individuals will be remembered through two or three generations – at best – and will most likely be entirely forgotten after just 20-30 years after we die. This may sound depressing but it leaves an important point for how to live our life: DO NOT CARE ! Do you feel this or that, do you do this or that, are you rich or poor, skinny or a fat ass, nobody really cares. The important thing is that YOU care.
Unfortunately, we live in times where the media and the Internet may seduce us to think that all kinds of crap is “important” and will have “lasting effects” and what not, however, this line of thinking and living is hysteric and completely out of proportions if you ask me. No, the mountions and the Nature teach and reconnects us to the profound wisdom of living: The important thing is that you just live and let the days pass by, hopefully in happyness and with your loved ones around you, doing stuff you like. It is that simple.

Search your Feelings

Music, literature and movies all possess the power to affect us in very deep ways. We call it “art” when we are left truly altered and “reborn” in some aspect. Thus, “The Godfather” was the “I Ching” for (american) men for a generation and the “Star Wars” sequel continue to thrill and engage each new batch of youngsters and spectators alike. The concept of “The Force” is timeless and pervades all cultural and religious barriors that may otherwise be in the World. The idea that all matter, energy, is connected is not only intuitively straight-forward and emotionally strong, it is also a scientific “fact” and a brutal dictator of consequences in both the world’s economy and the globe’s ecology. We are one !

Now, this post is not about the outer world nor the Globe. It is about your inner world and your psychology and your feelings. Your feelings point you to the important issues in your life, to your dreams, your fears, your friends and your enemies, escpecially your imaginary enemies which/whom may in fact be artificial products of your own nerveous system. Only you know. So, as it is said very powerfully by Darth Vader: “Search your feelings” ! What this may cover is also: search your subconscious. I do not have the latest scientific data on this matter but from what I understand from the headlines of the material emerging more and more these past decades, it is likely that our brain, our subconscious, recordes and stores as good as everything exposed to it. Millions and millions of bits of data, of experiences, of words, of colours, of scents, of sounds, all the good and all the bad that you have ever been involved with. This is, if true, incredible in itself but what is of greater importance and for you to act on is: it also governs all the decisions you have made, ever since your childhood. And let’s face it: your Reality is first and foremost the product of your own decisions. There are no real limits, psycologically, for a human in this world. We all live in our own created fences. We can all, potentially, remove these fences. We just need to identify them and evaluate if we still believe that thay exist or are useful to us. Most often, they are not. The fence you needed in a given situation or period of your life, most likely childhood, is probably not relevant anymore. So you may uninstall it and install a new and better one. You must change – change your beliefs. So, search your beliefs, keep the useful ones, change the bad or dysfunctional ones. It may sound simple – and it may be just that ! Simple.

In fact, your can inspect your outer world to examine what your subconscious holds. It is very likely that your outer, physical reality directly reflects your deep subconscious decisions or beliefs about the world. Please understand that this covers “for normal people”. I am not talking about people living under extreme situations such as in extreme poverty, war zones or being patologically sick. I talk about normal people like you and me being able to read this in the first place. So… find something in your outer world that you dislike… and then… Search your feelings ! Be honsest to yourself, really honest. Does this outer world “thing” correspond to the belief you hold yourself, deep down ? Does it align with your actions, your thoughts, your beliefs, your feelings ? Does it ?

Well… most proably yes. Do your want to change it ? Then you must revise something. You must unlearn the learned (as Yoda says). You must create your new Reality. Doing this may involve a lot of work, it may cost you… but rest asured that if you don’t act, nothing changes. Surely, it may require help and supervision from others to accomplish your change, you may need help from a psychologist to understand and heal your childhood wounds and dysfunctionlities (we all have these, all !), you may need coaching to improve your self-esteem, your may need a physical trainer and programme to change your diet and body etc., all this is trivial, what is not is the fact that YOU roll all this to happen. Because YOU decide to. Other people do this, some more natural than others but other people do. So why not you too ? Do you still finds doubts in yourself ? Seach your feelings why ! Only you hae the power to either keep or change your interpretation of your Reality, in fact, your Reality is not an objective experienced Truth, it is your subjective interpretation. Change your beliefs (or your feelings) and your Reality changes. It is that simple.

I may elaborate more on this, for now I wish you a Happy New Year 2013, let it be a truly new year in your life.

The Flux of Life and Matter

Watch the video above in full screen and 720 dpi resolution. You may think WTF, nothing is going one here and this is seemingly the case. Yet, this video contains everything you would ever want to know about our existence. Let me share my thoughts.

I remember at age 6 sitting by this very spot in the Norwegian mountains, it was an unusually sunny and warm day and I was together with my granddad on my mothers side. I remember thinking exactly what I will write in the following. I was thinking that sitting by this peaceful and soothing “river” was a unique moment never to come back. I was filled with love to Nature and to experience the calmness that only mountains can give you. I was thinking that this water would keep on running for years and centuries in complete disregard of mine nor my grandfathers nor anybodies existence (indeed, he, and my father, died the following year), in complete neglect of our feelings, dreams, hopes, lives. I found this to be a great comfort ! That the flux of Life and Matter continues long after the short visit we Humans pay on Earth. People may be born and raised and die, wars may be fought, Kingdoms may be destroyed, the water keeps on running, the Flux of Matter continues. Uncaringly.

So, “what matters ?” did I think. “Does anything ?”. The answer was all around me. The warmth of the sun, the love of my grandfather, the sounds and the mountain we had to concur that day. Our little goals in life, insignificant to the vaster landscapes but important to us. The belonging to time and place. The thought that we just exist, that we cannot fail. That the water will keep on running anyhow. That you need to love the stuff you are doing, that you have to caretake and collect the unique moments of Life, not beceause they matter much but because they matter to you.

I have visited this little river many times since in my Life and revisited these thoughts. And even though the old Indian saying goes that “you cannot swim in the same river twice”  (the river has changed and so have you) I still find myself back at age 6 and in the same comfort that Nature is at fix and that everything worth knowing always have been and always will be, that I have been fortunate enough to understand, that the mountains will outlive me, that one sunny day may represent an eon and make up for insights and feelings to remain for a lifetime.

So please understand: The Flux of the elements is eternal – we are not. Use your Time with Love and Wisdom.

State Machines and Happiness

Being a computer geek, professionally, I work with data. A very common thing in a computer system is the maintainance and changes of STATE. If you replace the word “computer” in the last sentense, you have a perfect description of a woman. LOL. Ok, let’s just say: a human being. This post is on some thoughts on the keeping of the Human State … of Mind and on the pursuit of Happiness. Issues that matters to us all every single day.

Ok, let’s start by understanding what STATE can be. As for the Human Life we can define three states:

L1. Unborn
L2. Living
L3. Dead

I will not go into discussions whether there are more states than these, ie. if the is a L4 for Heaven or whether we repeat cycles L1-L2-L3-?-L1-L2-L3. What should be of some importance to you is your current state L2. We all tend to forget the fact that our days in L2 are finite. We DO enter state L3 at some point, beyond which all other states, issues, wealth and worries do not seem to follow us. So be grateful for your L2-state every day, do good and useful things, love someone, love yourself. You only have so many days.

Love yourself. Often we do not. We are unhappy because the outer world does not mirror our expectations. So why do we act like insects when things don’t fall out perfect for us ? We should be better than that ! Insects are driven by chemical substances, pheromones, and are as similar for many other dynamics in Nature forced into a stimulance-response pattern, attack or retreat. We Humans are a bit more subtle, we have a million different states for our mood, mind and feelings, so why not refine their usage a bit ? Anyways, let’s list a few core states:

C1. Hungry
C2. Sleepy
C3. Afraid
C4.Feeling Safe
C5. Aggressive
C6. Horny

You might think that most men just go for C1 and C6, but truth is that we could list tons and tons of additional states here. You see, the states are actually not so important, well, at least not if you have the luxury to get food and water every day. What really is interesting are the MECHANISMS that set our states. Are you happy because of something in the “outer” world or because you choose to yourself ? Do you need outer proof in order to feel happy or can you be “just happy”. Analyze what really makes you happy. Is it Money, is it your Partner, your Kids, your Family, your Friends ? And does the lack of these make you unhappy ? If so, why ?

There is a lot to be said about our states and it is a very complex matter. First of all, please realize how quickly your state may change. You hear a piece of music that reminds you of your Childhood or a lost love… and your state changes. You scent the fresh-cut grass cycling home from work… and you are back to the summer holidays in School. You hear dissonant violins in a horror movie… and are scared as hell. Oh yes, the media and movie guys know how to manipulate your states. The question is: do you ?

Surely, the Human Psyche is playing tricks on us. You see, we might think that we have narrowed down a certain state and why and why not we are in it… only to find (later in Life) that the REAL determining state is a completely different one. You could for instance again and again choose partners that leave you and put you in a sad state.. only to realize that the real state triggering this is your own state of being in/handling loss to which you are familiar and feel safe in. Or you might eat too much food making you feel happy for a short while… but actually being escaping the real issue you have: the lack of self love. Or just love. Thinking about it, I consider Love/being loved to be the universally one true state we all long for.

I’ll write more about “State Management” later.. also with respect to Running. Meanwhile, ask yourself some questions.

What state are you in now ? And why ?

New Technology and Old Spirituality

One of my favorite books is the “Meditations” by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It’s fascinating to contemplate that the most powerful man in the World actually was a Philosopher. “Meditations” was written almost two Millenniums ago but is still ever so relevant. Just take this quote as an example:

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment

So easy to read and agree with, so hard to practise ! I guess we forget again and again that we filter the “Truth” ourselves, as brilliantly captured in the movie “Memento” and so powerfully explained in the sort-of scientific teachings of NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) and in the more spiritual ones by Seth/Jane Roberts, especially the book “The Nature of Personal Reality”. As described by Leonardo da Vinci we Humans are left with the powers of our Senses. NLP and Seth elaborate that we each create our own subjective, personal interpretation, an inner representation, based on the “data” from our senses. We tend to think that our experiences is the “Reality” or “Truth”. They are subjectively but not objectively, cf. Marcus Aurelius. Do dwell on this for a minute !

The Vision is perhaps the most powerful and persuading of our Senses. If we have seen something, it must have “happened” and it should be possible to establish a common Reality with others witnessing the same events. Right ? Wrong ! We are still filtering, we are still being Subjective. Intriguingly, take this piece of new technology as your aid: a camera that takes completely unfocused images ! See this example  and play around with the picture (click around): https://www.lytro.com/living-pictures/2325

Woo ! Imagine that our Mind could do the same. Refocus.

You were right, Marcus Aurelius !