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The Spiritual Reality.

Updated 1 July 2012

The following is just a narrative taste of some of the tumultuous events which have occurred over the last three to four of years, focused primarily on elements which have touched my Boeing 727 home project as side effects. It was a difficult composition. Because it's been a difficult reality. What follows is superficial in both scope and detail. But many people will understand the story anyway, because they've been through their personal versions of the same experience.

Aspirations of the heart are often expressed by pushing the frontiers of human skill or achievement in some field. But we require a spiritual foundation for support as we pursue and, if we're lucky, savor success with any ambition. If that foundation crumbles, aspirational progress stalls or is driven backward. And previous successes, even dramatic ones, can be profoundly tainted or even rendered spiritually pointless. Social fabric failures and heartbreaking personal losses can stall or even destroy all our hopes and dreams.

So we all strive to sustain each other with healthy connections of shared authentic support, camaraderie, friendship, and love - we seek and nurture relationships which nourish us enough to provide reasonable comfort as we pursue our other dreams in our very short lives. And we usually reasonably succeed.

But those relationships must be rooted in respect, honesty, and goodwill. The moment they turn disrespectful, dishonest, or intentionally destructive and hurtful, the social fabric which binds us breaks down. Sometimes very quickly. And sometimes beyond repair.

When spiritual foundations fail as broken glass, one must accept and learn to live with the scars that deep injuries leave behind. And sometimes one must simply start over, sacrificing all that was built where they lived, worked, played, and loved.

It's a very common human experience. But it's an enormous challenge nonetheless. And it pushes our spirits to their limits.

It's far better to preserve healthy relationships of course. But that requires genuine honesty and goodwill on everyone's part. One mustn't claim that a starving person stole food when the actual reality was that they only sought an honest consideration for a seat at the table. One mustn't claim that a person hates others based upon some makeup they were born with when they do not. One mustn't imply that a member of the community is mentally ill when they are simply deeply hurt, and struggling to recover from a severe injury. And one must never compete, in any arena, by using dishonest innuendo or outright lies, nor by cultivating a desire for others to fail.

And one must never claim that they've been honest in such matters when they have not.

Nor presume that a belief system inherently insures that they're forever innocent of all social failures or transgressions. Because no system of beliefs relieves any of us of any personal responsibilities. If we are to live under a collective roof, we must all build and maintain our share of its supporting pillars. Those pillars must stand reliably, or the roof will fall. That requires vigorous construction by authentic and honest hearts. And nobody is exempt from this responsibility. Nor can anyone ever delegate this responsibility to others, nor to any system of beliefs, faiths, or a deity. We must all perform the hard work ourselves, personally. And we must never, even for a moment, forget that.

Some cultures seem to understand and respect these realities more sincerely and more effectively than others. In times of severe stress such cultures, even though alien in many ways, can become vital ports of refuge. Or even new homes. Wherever they may be. Those of us who are lucky enough to learn from them owe them a great and lifelong debt. As does, in substantial measure, the world. And we must never forget that either.

I retain numerous trusted and deeply rewarding friendships at home. But some potent and persistent toxins, even in modest quantities, fatally poison even large social landscapes. And now, for me, the air there is occasionally laced with tendrils of toxicity so vile that it's impossible to risk taking a breath. False accusations and deep dishonesties have done great, great damage, and seem to have reduced my recreational life at home to broken glass - it's currently impossible for me to feel comfortable in my traditional Oregon haunts, in spite of a rich fabric of friends with pure hearts. Flawed pillars led to the collapse of the portion of the roof I happened to be standing under. And the only souls who could repair their share of the community's pillar system seem unable or unwilling to do so. It's a profound loss, and a deeply painful and challenging period.

It's a unique irony that I've come to depend so very heavily upon the gleaming clippers in the sky to sustain me spiritually as I strive to overcome personal obstacles, and thus recover my footing enough to resume my effort to demonstrate that these great ships should live two vital lives rather than just one. It's remarkable that their service in their first life has returned to center stage in my life, ensuring my survival, so that I can resume my ambition to help illustrate that they rightly and richly deserve a long and glorious second life. As with those true hearts I love, the great, sleek, gleaming clippers above have sustained me through troubled times, so that I might return the favor by giving them hope for a much longer and more noble life too.

Bruce Campbell


The Practical Consequences.

Updated 5 June 2012

I've spent over half of my time in Nippon since 2009, leaving my 727 in the hands of trusted friends. I savor the company of my beloved sweetheart and cherished friends there, and enjoy very charming and rewarding recreation, including lots of exciting tennis. But there's more on my agenda too...

I'm attempting to maneuver into a position to execute a second jetliner home, hoping to find enough traction to pursue it seriously. But the hurdles are enormous, even though at first glance the logistics for siting an intact wide body aircraft on private land look favorable. But if an opening seems to be developing, I'll seek to enhance it with new kinds of alliances, and avoid old alliances which proved very damaging in my 727 project. I'd seek a partnership with an airliner from whom the jetliner might be purchased for example, hoping to build a publicity and resource alliance which benefits both of us. And perhaps similarly with local businesses and the bureaucracy, possibly including regular language training and practice exchange programs held on the upper deck, overlooking the ocean, free weekly open house tours, or similar community and visitor programs. But I would not allow any component salvage intrusion on the aircraft, except perhaps disciplined service procedure removal of the engines - I will never repeat that tragic mistake. I would instead seek to share expenses by sharing rewards. In a land where I already owe a great deal of gratitude.

When in America, I continue restoration and refinement of my 727 home. I can afford to do so now - money isn't quite so constraining a factor as it was for most of the past ten years. So I expect to be able to fund the remaining work worry free. That doesn't mean completion will be lightning quick or that I'll spend money recklessly - I'll still perform a lot of work personally, and there'll be other pace limitations. So patience will remain a necessary factor. But there should at least be visible progress. If all goes well.

Unless my attention is instead focused on wrestling a 747 onto a sandy beach in Nippon...

Either way, I hope I can find success. Because these great ships, gleaming symbols of a pinnacle of man's achievements, richly deserve a very long and noble second life. A compelling demonstration of that reality is desperately needed to help humanity expose a terrible blind spot caused by a failure to explore its way out of a deep hole of profoundly wasteful provincial thinking.

So that these great ships can serve truly full lives. Standing tall and proud. Almost forever...

Bruce Campbell


Copyright 5 June 2012, Howard Bruce Campbell, AirplaneHome.com.

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