Strength and weakness

Strength bereft of purpose is but mindless savagery.

All power requires constraint to enable freedom, unrestrained power leads to corruption.

Too many who hold power hold an equal amount of moral certainty that they have not earned. Feeling weak and powerless is a necessity if one wishes to experience the full spectrum of life. Learning to ask for help is difficult, and rarely done by those who have lived in power their whole lives, there is simply an expectation of control and obedience.

One needs know power and also helplessness. To understand the need for aid while also retaining a sense of personal freedom and strength. Individuality coupled with an understanding that we need others to thrive. Without a tribe we are isolated, lonely, but a tribe can be dangerous as well, creating division and cruelty.

Creating a balance is difficult. But we have to do it.

Cultural evolution

What drives Human culture forward is imagination.

The capacity to create new realities within our minds was a game changer in our evolution. Language is what enabled it, being able to put word to thought allowed us to shape our reality in a way that simply was not accessible to us beforehand.

Evolution is moving forward in new and interesting ways, utilizing culture to drive itself at speeds never seen in history.

The bashing together of minds from all over the world has created a giant pot of ideas that are just fermenting and growing.

It really is an exciting time to be alive.

What defines us?

What does it mean to be an individual?

Are we to be judged on the color of our skin? the misdeeds of our ancestors? hair? style of dress?

How about the foods we eat or the music we listen to?

What defines us truly?

Most of us go through life merely reacting to whatever our lizard brains throw at us. Consciously attempting to express who we are should be viewed in a positive light as it is our attempt to self reflect and figure out the world around us and who we wish to be within it.

To explore ideas, disassemble them, and come up with new and exciting ways of viewing the world is paramount to a society that wishes to progress and grow. We need to embrace complexity, refrain from putting things and people into little boxes.

But to do all this all of us requires us to be patient. We need to allow people to stumble, to say the wrong thing, to ask uncomfortable questions, to push ourselves to see the person behind the question and not just violently react whenever someone says something we disapprove of.

Social media has created a culture where its cool to start attacking whomever you disagree with without taking a single moment to attempt to understand why a person is saying what they are saying.

We can do better people.

I open at the close; Death and sacrifice

I open at the close.

I still remember the first time I read those words in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and had to work through the idea that Harry was going to die.

I remember feeling disbelief, rage, disbelief again and finally despair.

I had been through so much with Harry, and even though it infuriated me that it had come to this end, I had to accept the outcome because, after all, this wasn’t my story.

Luckily for me Harry ended up surviving, and all my emotional tumult was wasted. Yet even though I have re-read Harry Potter dozens and dozens…and possibly dozens more times since I was a child, every damn time I get to that part in the book I get super emotional. I realized a long time ago that it wasn’t about the fact that Harry would die(seemingly!), but more so that he was ready to make that choice. For someone that young to choose to die so that others would simply have a chance at a safer life was truly a beautiful ending for someone who had given all(albeit for nonsensical reasons due to the fact that half the stuff in Harry Potter is plain stupid, and I say this with deep love for the books!).

Self- sacrifice to something bigger than yourself is a difficult concept for many as we all live in such a narcissistic bubble these days, but it is the foundation of most hero stories and is what draws us to many of the characters in well known books and shows.

The idea of the hero is so pervasive because it touches upon a core issue for many of us, which is to push away that deep biological drive to save ourselves.  The hero does not want to die, but she believes that the responsibility to aid others is paramount and is worth dying for.

I think the world would be a very different place if each of us had something we felt was worth dying for, because it would give a deep sense of purpose to our lives.

In the end, death is the final chapter. Whether hero or villain we all must walk through its doors in the end. The reality of death pervades all life, sweetens it and terrifies the shit out of us.

The question is whether at the end of it all, we can look back upon our lives and know that, at the very least, we tried to stand by our beliefs.  Tried to figure out who we wanted to be, and strove towards those ideals.

And if you are one of those great souls who gives their lives in service to whatever your ideals are, hats off to you.

I will leave off with this little story pulled from the book bird by bird by Anne Lamott, because I believe innocence and the heroic many times go hand and hand.

20190919_101634

Burden

There is a path hidden before me

Layered with dirt and tendrils of ancient Giants

Watchers wrapped in armor of bark and leaf

Standing Sentinel over Time

Waiting, judging, to go left or right

Or straight through the heart of what could be

Choice is a burden we all must carry

Until it grinds us all to dust

-Jason B

The perfect world will never exist

Heaven is nothing but stagnation disguised as paradise.

A perfect world where nothing ever happens and there is no growth, no decay,

the perfect resting place for those afraid to face the reality of the chaos that is existence.

It’s a harsh statement, but existence is harsh.

But it is also achingly beautiful, and that beauty cannot exist within a vacuum.

Coming to terms with this is one of the greatest issues of our time, and I don’t have any special understanding of how to make it easier to come to grips with.

Life’s a shit show, and we are all just around for the ride.