Monday, 13 September 2010

Prevailing Winds

With any kind of flight, the stability and condition of the air around the aircraft (be that powered or free-flying) is an important factor in the duration, quality or indeed possibility of the flight.

As ever, it is a matter of reading the invisible by the effect that it has on the visible, in order to judge what may or may not happen.

An odd thing that pilots discover during the process of learning to fly gliders is that air speed and ground speed are not the same, and are in fact mutually exclusive. Simply put, if your air speed is 10 miles-per-hour directly into a wind of 10 mph, then your ground speed will be zero. Put another way, you may actually be flying very fast, but from the ground you are still.

The movement of the invisible forces of the air condition the flight to such an extent that we have to work with it in order to arrive at the place where we have to arrive. To try and land with the wind behind us would force us to the ground at near terminal speed, so we fly into the wind.

I was cycling into wind over the weekend just past, and this whole notion occured to me once again. I think that I have to regard the Spirit as the air in which I try to fly. I know there are times when I have seemed to the world that I am at a complete spiritual standstill (I may have even shared their view), when in fact, I was passing through the Spirit at speed. I think it is easy to become hooked on the achievement of ground-speed in prayer rather than air-speed. Temporal speed or spiritual speed?