The fully laden oil tanker traveling at full steam signifies all of Life as we know it. In particular, for this conversation specifically, it signifies your personal life, my personal life.
Unlike many analogies, this one works for me - on every level. The idea is this:
Turning the trimtab of my life pulls the rudder of my life which then turns my life. It works especially well when the rudder of my life is inefficient for turning my life. Of particular pertinence inherent in this new idea of a three phase turn is the implication of the unworkability of the mere two phase turn. I already knew the mere two phase turn didn't work. But I did it anyway. Then at least I could say (with frustration and chagrin, but truthfully I had nothing better to offer and knew no better) "Oh well, I tried!".
Continuing with the analogy, what does the rudder signify?
For me, the rudder signifies what Werner refers to as our patterned behavior, our rote, unthinking, automatic, always done it this way behavior. At least, that's my interpretation of what he says.
That's how the rudder is for us globally. And when I look at its inefficiencies in my own life, what I see is almost embarrassing. What I see even brings forth a tinge of sadness for everything that operating this way has wasted. Before the ecstasy of freedom which comes from this inquiry, there's a stratum of sadness to traverse first.
When I come to think of it, it's a complete mystery how my rudder (ie my rudder in the sense I've just described it) ever worked at all - even randomly. There's nothing precise or clear about it. It is accomplishment by trial and error, it is discrimination and selection by "pin the tail on the donkey", it's the kind of unmasterful success you get from "If you throw enough doodoo at the wall, eventually some of it will stick.". And although its imprecision isn't always obvious during those times I'm heavily invested in it, if I tell the truth about it, that's the best, the very best my patterned behavior is capable of.
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