It always amazes me how a few short words from one person can make such a big impression. Indians (from India), have a reputation for being spiritually wise people. That’s not to say that there aren’t spiritually wise people everywhere and from all races and religions.
A young woman, a Indian student in Italy, wrote this comment for me recently :
“The Fate vs Free-Will is a very tough debate that’s almost always on in my head, I almost always felt as if being mediocre was my fate. Then someone told me ‘Never believe anything that makes you weak.’ After that it’s been much easier to believe that taking charge of my own destiny might actually overwrite what’s already been ‘fated’!!”
Surya Bhattacharya – perpetuallyperipatetic.wordpress.com/about
Thank you Surya, you are a very wise woman indeed 🙂 Personally I’m not a fate’ist, for similar reasons to those my friend has so eloquently surmised above.
SO WHAT ?
New challenges always seem to greet us when we’re least expecting it. We get comfortable in a comfort zone, then a family member gets ill or one loses one’s job, and so on and so on ad infinitum. Problems and challenges happen, that’s life.
What’s the real issue ? Generally it’s a time when we have to draw on our inner emotional strength in order to pass through the eye of the storm. Sure we can look for our props, the people around us who take care of us, love us, protect us etc.
But my experience is that ultimately one needs to learn to be become strength self-sufficient, or as best as one can. Why ? Sometimes we need to be strong for others, and strong for ourselves at the same time. And more obviously sometimes we are alone without the help of allies, friends and family. Whoever said “it’s lonely at the top”, is partly what they meant.
So what separates then men from the boys and the women from the girls in this respect ? Emotional strength, simply put. Some might call it strength of character, some might call it lucky genetics or whatever. Physical strength (and beauty) is a minuscule factor with most of these challenges. I could sum this up in one sentence – “Is that what a man looks like ?” – Fight Club. Physical strength (and beauty) could even be a hindrance, why ?, because those who are or seem to be strong are more likely to be challenged on it. That gets “old” extremely fast.
Alpha-men and alpha-women for me don’t look like what I see on TV, pretty face, gleaming muscles. Why ? Because those things are relatively meaningless when it comes to the strength to endure, persist and refuse to fall over when the shit hits the fan. Nelson Mandela – did he have a six-pack, bulging biceps, no, I don’t think so – but emotional strength he had a-plenty. What does make the difference is in what we think (and therefore feel). Alpha-men and women in my eyes are ordinary folks, who face the hard times with same spirit and gusto they do for the easy times. Some of these people “make it” and become in the eyes of society extraordinary people. But don’t forget they are still made of the same stuff as the rest of us. They aren’t superior to us or deserve any more respect than anyone else.
The real secret is in what those people think to themselves, and how they interpret what’s occurring. Is it a continual extrapolation into their impending doom and destruction ? Or do they see challenges as opportunities, see change as inevitable and something to try to harness to their advantage ? It’s a rhetorical question as I’m sure you understood.
Within that “the extrapolation of doom” can be useful, draws on prior experience and can prevent one from making the same mistakes over and over. So a mechanism to be paid attention to, but not to be allowed to become totally dominant. Otherwise we’d make a couple of mistakes or have a couple of problems and then never try *anything* again. Perhaps leading to learnt helplessness, apathy and a negative-fate’ist point of view. A victim of one’s own imagination rather than the wielder of one’s own imagination. So care and caution should be exercised not to use this creative imaginative process to one’s own harm.
Flip side – there is a creative imaginative process I’m calling “the extrapolation of success”. It’s the positive side of the same coin, the creative imaginative positivity-negativity paradox. Again this can be a powerful tool to make us feel better, motivated, and inspired, add whatever positive words you like. But again care and caution using this process is called for. Why ? The expression is “living in cloud-cuckoo land” is well known and widely used. For those not familiar, it means living in a dream not in reality. Others may see it as arrogance or extreme pride – So you could be under attack for your positive thinking !!!
Conclusion – For me it’s simple wisdom that’s easy to understand, which isn’t complicated by layers of bull-shit. Straightforward wisdom for ordinary people. So – “don’t believe anything that makes you weak” or “never believe anything that makes you weak” as my friend Surya said.
Note – It’s up to the individual to learn how to use their internal processes. It can be hinted to by others, but it’s only through the individual’s own awareness and practice that he or she will learn.
🙂 And … For with readers with an extremely short attention span …
For bottom feeders (summary readers)
Be strong mentally and emotionally – change your thinking if you don’t feel you are. Creative imaginative, positive and negative processes can be used helpfully or harmfully. The strong I believe use these processes to aid themselves in being emotionally and mentally fitter and stronger. Hence – “don’t believe anything that makes you weak”
The spiritually wise will pop up from time to time, to remind us of the obvious … so hopefully we don’t continue to f*** it up for ever !
Resources & Sources
Photo of Surya Bhattacharya (c) Surya Bhattacharya perpetuallyperipatetic.wordpress.com/about
All other photos from morgueFile – thanks morgueFile
Notes for commenters:
Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button.
Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.
I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.
Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.
Warm regards, Don Charisma