Wave Theory

Mon 29th Apr 2019

An ocean wave is not something usually thought of as special. In fact most of the waves passing through the oceans do not even get the privilege of a transient thought. But pause to consider for a moment what it is that a wave represents.

When a wave passes through the ocean it is not made up of water particles. It is not a single mass of water moving to someplace. It is not even a physical mass of anything. The wave is made from energy. It is this energy that makes the water particles move up and down in place. It does not move to water itself to a different location, it merely makes the physical water move up and down in place as the energy of the wave passes through it.

Just as the ocean wave is not a physical entity, but a collection of energy travelling in along a certain direction through a certain medium, the human mind and consciousness is also not bound to any particular physical thing. It may not seem particularly intuitive that your self, your being, doesn’t belong to your physical self. But just like our humble ocean wave, it is the energy creating the wave that at any given moment is passing through a physical body of water and is causing those particles to shift in-place to create what others can perceive as a physical wave. Just as you, and the energy that is you, at the present moment is manifesting itself through the physical medium that is your body. Twisting and turning, jumping and learning, in this insignificant blip in time before the energy passes onto the next part of the wider sea.

What is the energy of our ocean wave for? It starts thousands of miles in the middle of the ocean, travels endlessly through the sea, occasionally interacting with the energies of other ocean waves whose paths are similarly aligned, before finally ending in a crash on a beach.

Whilst it might be easy to say that this energy we call a wave has ultimately no purpose, it is easy to overlook the purpose it provides to other things just by existing. Surfers look to this energy of a wave to manifest itself through the water particles at that instant to give them that moment of pure happiness as they ride it without a single thought in their minds. And just like snowflakes, no two waves are alike, which keeps our surfers on their toes, shifting and moving in the currents to find the position of the next best ridable wave.

If you were to take a clifftop vantage point and watch our group of surfers doing this for a while, you would quickly notice a pattern. As the majority of waves come from their long journey, slowly approaching their final destination, the majority of surfers are fighting it out between each other to be in a common and predictable spot where the waves tend to break. However, keep watching and you will see that the best waves ridden by a small group of surfers actually break in completely different spots to where the majority of surfers are fighting it out. These waves don’t break as often and so their patterns go largely unnoticed by the crowd, but those that take the risk and venture out by themselves to the places others are not looking, get rewarded when the best waves come through, not only getting a better ride, but also not having to compete with the saturated crowd on the most common of waves.

One other pattern you might notice, as the omniscient observer from your clifftop vantage point, would be that whilst you can see the waves that are coming in the future for the surfers below from your third dimensional view. To the surfers floating almost flat on the ocean the view of the future is limited only to the wave next peak. They cannot see if beyond this peak will come a wave of a lifetime or if the ocean goes flat.

If you were the surfers on the ocean what would your strategy be? Miss this wave in anticipation of something better behind it, but with the knowledge that you may have missed the one wave that might have given you the ride of your life, and behind it no other waves will match? Or would you take the wave that currently is coming, and not think of the other waves that were, or the waves that could be, but focus on making the current wave as exciting and fulfilling as you can, every time?

If you have just been blindly reading thus far and haven’t managed to guess already, this is an analogy. You are the energy that is creating the physical wave. At each point in time passing through the next physical state that creates the actions you and others observe around you. In this physical state You are also the surfer, faced with the decision of taking the wave you see or letting it pass by. Sticking to the crowded spot which you know will have waves, but where the waves have been ridden a thousand times before or taking a risk and moving away from the comfort and complacency of the crowds to the possibility of a far more fulfilling opportunity.

The choice is yours, but understand that this particular point in time will only happen once and will only be going in one direction.