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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Camelot Was Built On Confluence

Now JFK and Jackie must be one of history's most famous couples. The era in which they were the President and First Lady was referred to as Camelot. The stuff of legend. When elected JFK dedicated himself to nobly fighting the common enemies of mankind:- tyranny, poverty, disease and war. But how did the Camelot tag come about? It was not till after his death that the association happened and the person who began it was his widow, Jacqueline Kennedy. By ironic co-incidence two days before the asassination, there was a ball at the White House and Camelot was played. She quoted the lines as favorites of the President and said- "There will be great Presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot".

Yes, but what has this to do with 'Confluence' I hear you ask? Well just about everything is my immodest reply! Let's do some basic checking shall we? John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born May 29, 1917 and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born July 28, 1929. Their birth years were twelve years apart, which you should know by now makes them 'Confluent' for 10 months out of a possible 12 in every 'Life Cycles' 'significant year' (ie. 19/24/31/36 and 43 in their case). That's the closest match I have presented to you so far. Now we all know they had relationship difficulties, due mostly to JFK's philandering and Jackie's overspending, so how exactly did their relationship work and why could it be considered so special?

In a forgotten corner of her correspondence Jackie wrote a note to a Newport friend, that in 1949 (as a College Junior) she had just met Jack Kennedy. This was in their combined 'Years of Broken Pathways' (at 19/31). So they met when 'Confluence' was present. Her description of him was:- "a charming, confident,and handsome but insistent flirt, to whom she responded with indifferent amusement, yet absolute attraction." As a blueprint for their marriage it was very close. Even though they went on separate journeys for a while, it was again in their combined 'Years of Revolution' at 24 and 36 that they married in Sept. 1953, in the society wedding of the year. So here was 'Confluence' again when they marked the transition to marriage.

Jack was quoted as saying:- "I'd known a lot of attractive women in my lifetime....but of them all there was only one I could have married...and I married her." They also had to immediately face Jack's severe back pain, caused through a war injury, that was to result in two potentially life-threatening operations not long after. 'Confluence' can sometimes mean facing mutual dramas, be they physical danger or emotional hurt. Even though they shared a close and supportive family life, his affairs took their toll. There is no more poignant quote about their relationship than this one:- "Jackie was a woman full of love and full of hurt. They were two private people, two cocoons married to each other, trying to reach into each other. I think that she felt that he, being so much older than her, that it was up to him to reach more. But he couldn't."

However things took another and more positive turn in their next period of 'Confluence'. When was this? I'd like you to actually tell me. OK, how's it done I hear some ask? Just add seven years to the last period of 'Confluence' (in 1953/4), because the 'Year of Broken Pathways', at either 31 or 43, is seven years later than their last combined 'Year of Revolution'. So that makes it August, 1960 to end May, 1961. No prizes for guessing what their combined challenge was at this point. Jackie, even though pregnant, had helped in the campaign and her knowledge of languages was beneficial. It was a narrow victory and she was one of the youngest First Ladies.

It has been written of this time that "they fell in love all over again" as they had to face both the campaign and gaining respect in the top job. It was said after a year in the White House:-"the dynamic of their relationship was changing and there was a more consistent pattern of expression of mutual love and devotion." There was also no doubt that Jack needed her comfort and advice especially after the Bay of Pigs.

I'm going to let Jackie have the last word, because nothing sums up the power of 'Confluence' like this does. Everything about their relationship was the veritable definition of what I mean by the term 'Confluence'. If your relationship has it, as well as mutual respect and admiration and the capacity to forgive, then you are truly blessed.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 Jackie said :- "If anything happens, we're all going to stay right here with you," she remembers telling her husband. "Even if there's not room in the bomb shelter in the White House. ... I just want to be with you, and I want to die with you, and the children do, too – than live without you." May the cycles always bring you good fortune.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

One Small Step-Confluence and the Moon Mission and Neil Armstrong

These titles are getting longer, but that's the way it is when you have a couple of different points to make. Neil Armstrong's recent death brought the world's focus back to the first steps taken by one man, and by logical extension all of mankind, outside of our planet on July 20th, 1969. This is forever enshrined in our history. Now what does it possibly have to do with the theme of this Lesson of posts, known as 'Confluence'? Well this serves as an ideal opportunity for me to look at the next aspect of 'Confluence' and that is having shared time with others in projects, adventures and the like. However long their duration, you are closely relating to usually a small group, for sometimes a very important purpose. There is no doubt that the Moon Mission qualifies as 'a very important purpose'. Once again, as with romance, it's not essential, in and of itself, that you be 'Confluent'; rather it is a desirable extra, that can lead to greater empathy and bonding in times of challenge or crisis.

So, this being the case let's do a little analysis of the Moon Mission team, shall we? Neil Armstrong was born August 5th, 1930 and Buzz Aldrin was born January 20th, 1930 and Michael Collins was born October 31st, 1930. What does this tell you? Yes, they were all 'Confluent' with each other for every 'significant year' in their combined lives. This would make an ideal combination for a small 'hand-picked' team. You all know how much drama they had to face, when during the landing Neil Armstrong had to take over manual control of the Lunar Module, to find a suitable place to land and they almost ran out of fuel. What you probably don't know, is that when they climbed back into the Module for their lift off, they accidentally broke the ignition switch for the ascent engine with their bulky spacesuits, and had to use part of a pen to activate the launch sequence.

Now let's go a bit further shall we? Let's set up a hypothesis for testing. You see this Moon landing did not happen when all three astronauts were in their central, mid-life, age 36 'Year of Revolution'. So what did happen, that could be considered a reasonable turning point in their careers? Well on January 27th, 1967 Apollo 1, designed to be the first lunar spaceship, caught fire on the launch pad, killing astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee. After the inquest on April 5th, a group of 17, including obviously Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, were told:- "The guys who are going to fly the first lunar missions are the guys in this room." This was to be the new age/directions for the eventual team. However, it is arguably a little outside Aldrin's 36th year (which ended on Jan. 20th, 1967), but in terms of other aspects of 'Life Cycles' theory, it's a complete match.

However, I'm an obsessive researcher. I'm not going to just sit back and let matters be with Buzz Aldrin. The record shows that Aldrin was confirmed as a pilot on the Gemini 12 Mission (11th to 15th November, 1966). This was the last Gemini mission and his last chance to prove himself. He set a record, showing how astronauts could work outside spacecraft. The story gets more valid, because Gemini 9A (3rd to 6th June, 1966) saw Aldrin improvise an effective docking technique, when the rendezvous with the target vehicle failed. He only got this chance because, once again in a disaster: the original pilots of Gemini 9 this time, were killed when their plane crashed into the McDonnell building in St. Louis, Missouri on Feb. 28th, 1966. This was Aldrin's story and all within his age 36 'Year of Revolution'. This is now a 100%. match with the theory.

Finally let's reflect on Neil Armstrong's earlier life. At his age 24 'Year of Revolution' (Aug. 5th, 1954 to Aug. 5th, 1955), he had just graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering and decided he wanted to become an experimental research test pilot. He applied to Edwards Air Force base, but they had no open positions, so he went to Lewis Field. However, in July, Edwards made him an offer and his new career and thus his new age/direction was commenced. Finally let's try Neil's age 31, 'Year of Broken Pathways' (Aug. 5th, 1961 to Aug. 5th, 1962). Were there any obvious challenges and direction changes? On 15th March, 1962 he was named as one of six pilot-engineers, who would fly the Boeing X-20 space plane, when it got off the design board. In the months that followed he then became more and more excited about joining the NASA Apollo program. He applied in June and although a week late, his friend from Edwards slipped it into the pile without anyone noticing. He was eventually selected and thus his challenge and direction-change was begun in earnest.

Check any biographic sources you wish, but these were undoubtedly Armstrong's highlight years for change. Oh, and please tell me if you think all my carefully complied evidence is just pure luck. Because, so far, no one has and in all probability, it will remain this way. Why? Because I deal in facts and thus it has the ring of truth about it, that's why! Till next month:- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune".