like there is no "REAL LIFE 101" or "BEING
HAPPY 101" in university coursework, there is no "BEING
A MAN 101"; we learn as we go. We are taught many things
as factual when so many are just what worked for our role
models. It is up to us to find what works for us.
Who are our role models? Our fathers, teachers and coaches,
friends, co-workers, bosses, TV and movie actors? I have
met quite a few men who have inspired me and motivated me
to reach beyond the ordinary. But I have also been disappointed
by some that have gotten bogged down in satisfying someone
I think a man, foremost, is a warrior. Not in the common
interpretation and not in the aggressive self-assertion
that so people mistake for confidence. The warrior fights
the battles within. That is where wars need to be fought.
Most external fights are merely a distraction, a diversion
from fighting the necessary battles within. Most aggressive
self-assertion is projection of inner fear, projections
of limiting beliefs that there is not enough for everyone.
It is easier to blame others for our rage than to realize
that we have the power over our perceptions, over our thoughts,
over the fears that come from no other place but within.
So what does the warrior battle?
He questions beliefs to find what is truth for himself.
He battles the stray negative thoughts that run across the
field of his mind.
I'm talking about the self-defeating "what-if"
fantasies. This is usually accompanied by those nasty words,
"would", "should" and "could."
Thoughts can create emotions, emotions can create thoughts.
Fear is a thought that quickly manifests itself as an emotion.
The “What-if / second guessing” cycle is so
destructive because it takes the thoughts and emotions spiraling
down into a deepening black-hole.
What is the most peaceful, soul-joyous moment you have
ever had? I bet it was one where some experience had shutdown
your thoughts to almost non-existence, and you felt the
joy of experiencing the moment.
Humans, like other animals, are instinctive creatures.
The difference is that many human parents and society do
their best to discourage the development of instinct and
instead teach a bunch of rules which seem to make sense
for a while, and then leave us in turmoil when we discover
these rules don’t fit us as growing adults.
And the tragic part is to watch grown adults cling vehemently
to beliefs that they know in their own hearts don’t
fit them. I know because I have done this before.
The even greater tragedy is when men cling so strongly
to these beliefs that do not match natural laws, and man
attempts to alter nature because his ego can rationalize
the need to destroy life rather than face the truth of a
mistaken belief. Just look at all the evil and bloodshed
that has stained history, performed in the name of God.
The intellect is so seductive because our egos are so tightly
linked to the intellect. Ego is the opposite of spirit.
Ego is control, spirit is surrender to the flow of universal
intelligence, like the "collective consciousness"
Carl Jung spoke of. Youth is about mastering what we can
control, maturity is about surrendering to what is truly
powerful and allowing divine right action to create in our
lives. We are all here on this planet to learn and
grow - grow up to the innocence we once had as a child.
The intellect is seductive because being reasonable is
such a high value. Now I was fortunate that I have the gift
to use both halves of the brain with significant energy
and we can all develop this. This has given me the perception
to go into one half and look at the other. When I look from
the creative half at the intellect, I see a machine that
emulates the creative process, tries to give birth by bearing
down with force of will.
This process is restricted to the 10% of the brain
that science speaks of. The creative part knows to open
up to the flow that is all around us and allow ourselves
to be enchanted with our connection to all things. Good
musicians know that the best performance happens when we
stop thinking and let the creativity flow through us.
There is no UNDO function, but we can decide if our failures
feed success or just repeat again and again. I know I've
had my share of garbage dumped on my brain's hard drive,
our job is to find it, delete it, replace it with quality.
Quality in, quality out, garbage in, garbage out.
So how do we know the difference between truth and garbage
data stuffed on the brain's hard disk?
It's the heart that knows, the instincts, the gut feelings,
the truth we hear in our moments of silence. A predominate
message of this "techno" age is that intellect
is king, answer to all problems. But this is one piece of
the puzzle and the vacuum created by not developingn our
intuitive skills leaves people devoid of their own truth,
waiting for the next guru to show them the way.
When we fully develop - develop mind and spirit, intellect
and intuition - we figure out that our access to truth was
there all the time and is accessed when we trust our access
to the truth. Trust our heart, our gut, our instincts. Trusting
your heart is scary, especially when "friends"
around you tell you that it is foolish to do so. Following
your heart is scary especially when you have been hurt before,
and hurt severely.
But on every instance that I have been hurt, I look back
remember when a little whisper spoke to me from in my heart
and said "watch what's happening here", and I
didn't listen. The lesson is being in touch, sharp to hear
that voice, raising our awareness when we hear the voice.
And the voice stops when we stop trusting it. Like so many
things in life, use it or lose it.
And the only way to show you trust it is to get up out
of the dirt and saddle up again. Life is beautiful, Life
hurts, everybody's childhoods were difficult, everybody's
life has its own unique challenges, we need to be careful
not to build castle walls that also keep out our ability
to feel joy and pleasure. I want the good stuff, and I'll
take the pain along with it if that's what it takes!
So what is the warrior's job? The vigilance to monitor
our thoughts, shut down the noise to reach our peaceful
inner truth, and the courage to follow our hearts. This
is the butt that needs kicking.
that is necessary for the triumph of evil
is that good men do nothing.
~ Edmund Burke,
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician ~