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Waiting is… November 17, 2009

Posted by jassnight in Life, Love, Relationship, Spirituality.
Tags: , , , ,

Stranger in a Strange LandMy last post entitled, Running is… is a play on a phrase in Robert Heinlein’s cult novel, Stranger in a Strange Land. I didn’t put much thought into titling the last post but now I am sure that it is drawn from my deep understanding of Heinlein’s story.

Stranger in a Strange Land is categorized as a science fiction work however it goes much deeper than that. Masterfully crafted by author Robert A. Heinlein, it is a parody on social mores taken out of context for the purpose of allowing us to look at them through a different lens. In this light, Heinlein challenges our views on religion, money, power, monogamy, and death. It is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a lone survivor from an expedition to mars who is born from fated astronaut parents and raised by Martians. Upon returning to Earth, his perspective of society is from a completely different viewpoint. Eventually his reinterpretation and restructuring of norms and values influence humans to adapt new ways of social understanding.

Thou art God

For example, his understanding of “God” is that of completeness and connectedness with every living person, plant, and animal – Wholeness in love. “Thou art God” is his phrase to express this concept and the idea that God is within as well as throughout. “One who groks” describes a person who understands this concept.

Water Brother

The most poignant ideal for me in Heinlein’s novel is the concept of the “water brother.” It emphasizes the importance and priority of connection with one another. Based on the fact that water is a scarce commodity on Mars, Valentine ritualizes the importance of human connection by the sharing of a glass of water.  Taking something that would normally have no significance in our world, Heinlein masterfully uses the sharing of water as a metaphor for how we sometimes take our relationships with one another for granted. In placing huge value on something that is casually considered abundant and trivial, he shows us that sometimes we erroneously devalue our connections in the same way. However, much like water is essential for the body to live, so is connection to others vital for the soul to live. In the novel, to be someone’s water brother is to be within the innermost intimate circle of that person. The water brother concept is the target for many critics of Heinlein’s book because it questions the societal norms of monogamy, family structure and stratum.

We should all be so lucky to have even a few water brothers in our lives. Together, “Thou art God.”

And that brings me to, Waiting is…

“Waiting is…” is a common phrase used between the followers of Valentine. The open-endedness of the phrase emphasizes the uselessness of trying to predict and weigh the future. It is meaningless compared to the glory of the now.

More often than not we look for the “next” and lose the “now.”  Yes, many of us are finding our current situations difficult. However, it is times like these that make it so crucial to see the value of the moment. We must value today’s beautiful sunrise, the smell of a flower, a conversation with a friend, the taste of chocolate, the touch of a lover … the sharing of water.

Look around. Can you see it? Can you feel it? Thou art God.

Embrace now because, Waiting is…

Do you Grok?


Activity time:

Do me a favor.

Do yourself a favor.

Look away from the computer and experience RIGHT NOW.



What was the most pleasing part of your moment?

Share it with us by posting a comment here.



1. Deena Kay - November 17, 2009

RIGHT NOW for me is sitting at my dining room table looking out at the lake and I can hear and see the birds. We have some beautiful egrets and herons as well as ibis, cormorant and more. This lake is a bird sanctuary and one of my neighbors across the lake is a bird rescue volunteer. She has about half a dozen or more parrots. Since it’s FL and still warm here (77 degrees right now at 4PM) they’re outside in their cages a lot. Sometimes they squawk, but sometimes…. they’ll whistle at ya and even occasionaly tell you, in that wonderful parrot tongue, “ShuuuuuuT Up”. I think they’ve been around somebody who didn’t appreciate them! 🙂

jassnight - November 17, 2009

That is beautiful Deena, I wish I was there with you.

2. BigLittleWolf - November 17, 2009

Waiting. Waiting. I don’t have time to wait. (Little White Rabbit running late, late, late.)

I did look away. Unfortunately, when I looked away from the screen I saw the big clock on the wall in the kitchen, and I realized how much more I have to get done before I can sleep. Not conducive to feeling “open” or peaceful or one with anything other than the fastest typing fingers I can muster, and a multiprocessing brain.

As for your wait, I’m sending positive waves, positive waves, and ondes positives – the French version, too.

3. Nicki - November 17, 2009

Having read Stranger in a Strange Land this summer, I am embarrassed I didn’t get the “running is” and “waiting is” correlation. Where has my mind been lately?

I, again tonight, pulled over on my way home from dropping off #6 (that is Dan to you) at the high school. The sunset, while not as vibrant as last week’s, was absolutely gorgeous. I had to stop and look.

Now, I am going to finish this wonderful 90 minute IPA and then type and type all night. I have work and novel to work on.

4. jassnight - November 17, 2009

Wonderful moments – all of you. Keep them coming!

5. mamamaureen - November 18, 2009

I snuggled with one of my shy kitties. He curled up on my lap and purred for 30 minutes. That is always awesome. I don’t know how anyone can meditate without a purring cat.
Thank you for this post. I have trouble with time – always worrying about the future and not living in the present. I needed the reminder.
May you never thirst.

6. osmosisofaffliction - November 18, 2009

**“God” is that of completeness and connectedness with every living person, plant, and animal – Wholeness in love. “Thou art God” is his phrase to express this concept and the idea that God is within as well as throughout. “One who groks” describes a person who understands this concept.

Jass, I have been a confirmed ‘Grok’ for many years now. Nice post.

jassnight - November 18, 2009

Thou art God Osmosis

7. Waiting « Nicki's Thoughts, Art & Friends - November 29, 2009

[…] Steve blogged about Robert Heinlein’s book Stranger in a Strange Land in an entry entitled “Waiting Is .” In Heinlein’s book, the phrase “waiting is” was used to help one understand that […]

8. Sex, the Master’s Division « The Critical Path - December 29, 2009

[…] her. This is not unlike the same bond that Robert Heinlein labels “Water Brothers” in his book Stranger in a Strange Land. In this novel, sexual intercourse is the ritualistic act that bonds people together as one – the […]

9. Settling back into life in New Zealand « samadhisoft.com - January 11, 2012

[…] In Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein introduces this concept: “Waiting is”.  (https://jassnight.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/waiting-is/) […]

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