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Jordan Peterson: Formidable Force.

Jordan Peterson: Formidable Force.

Our world, the world of Humans, is an artificial one, a skewed reality. Many feel that all outside forces need to accommodate us, so that we are not offended. We have to remember that this is far removed from the natural order of life on planet earth, where survival is only possible through adaptation. We need to adapt, or perish. Now, our societies go to extreme measure to ensure that no one is offended. Of course, that seems like a compassionate, moral undertaking…but what are the long term effects? If you need for the world to bend to your needs at every turn, you have defined yourself as possibly the weakest person on earth. As Canadian Psychologist Jordan Peterson has brought to light, as he lectures on responsibilities, and the dangers of weak people.
Martial Artists have long known the dangers of weak people; it’s weak people that commit the atrocities highlighted throughout human history. Why? Because weakness breeds fear, and fear leads to all of the horrors of modern society from gang violence to mass shootings.
Martial Arts is a study of “The Contrary” approach, and it works like this: If you want an ordered society, it begins with empowering the individual. How do we do this? By willingly engaging in conflict and ultimately it’s resolution. we engage in conflict when we push the limits of our capabilities, and there is no bigger conflict than the risk of mortal danger. When a person enters Martial training, it is often because of fear. As they train, they willingly take on more and more conflict until at a certain point, their fear has diminished or becomes even negligible. This happens not because the individual was shielded from hardship, but because they willingly embraced hardship…and when they have ventured on the path long enough…the danger they sought to prepare for seldom comes! Why? Because they are not thinking like a prey animal any more, desperately seeking safety in numbers, but like a predator. It’s only at this stage that true compassion and empathy awaken, and the warrior seeks to empower others that remind them of themselves…not so long ago.
Facing the conflict at hand is the path of liberation, and no growth happens in the absence of conflict. Martial Artists have known and practiced this principle for thousands of years.

How is your adaptability?

How is your adaptability?

Some people seem to have everything under control, as if they lead charmed lives. If you examine the life of any of the true human heroes, you will see a life that survived conflicts that would crush most of us. We think that we should create control measures that would prevent some of these things from happening… but the more we try to exert rules and control on life, the more out of control life becomes. If we were to examine the lives of true Warriors; we would see that they don’t try to control anything, but they practice the art of adapting to the environment. We think they are magical, and in some ways they are… because they understand that you don’t even control your own heartbeat…trying to control the world is madness. If you want to see true Warriorship, start with the life of Viktor Frankl, or my 13 year old cat, Peanut.

Black is black…isn’t it?

Black is black…isn’t it?

Our world, and reality itself as we experience it, is a virtual interpretation orchestrated by our brains, based on its interpretation of frequency spectral inputs of light and sound, and the interpretation sent along neural pathways on the presence, pressure, and “feel” of touch. This interpretation is created and based not only on our physical structures, but on our DNA, our experience, and our cultural indoctrination for the first several formative years of our lives…at the minimum. Siblings have much different experiences of reality from each other, despite commonality in genetics and upbringing. So is it even possible for anyone else’s view of reality to be “more correct” than our own?

Head-on collision.

Head-on collision.

It’s a dangerous state when our mind-held beliefs become calcified even in the face of irrefutable evidence.
It’s even more dangerous when we believe that the voice inside our heads, with all of it’s tangled logic…is us.
If it IS us…then who’s listening? Who is listening to the voice in you’re head?

Paradox of Ferocity.

Paradox of Ferocity.

That’s right. Only the truly dangerous are capable of true compassion. Dangerous individuals are strong, empowered individuals and in almost any situation, they do not feel threatened, so they can CHOOSE to be compassionate. A weak, powerless individual is not compassionate; his flaccid response to a situation is not choice; its the only response he is capable of, until he has been oppressed long enough to explode in rage.
Empowering individuals is the single most important thing a society can do to reduce violence.

anger.

anger.

Mark Twain had some great quotes like “Never argue with a fool…onlookers may not be able to tell the difference” and “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it”.
These may be paraphrases, but Mark Twain was keenly aware that the biggest threat to our well being is our own rabid thoughts, and unchecked emotions.
I see the danger every day…looking back at me when I brush my teeth.

Expanding Ignorance.

Expanding Ignorance.

Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “As the circle of our knowledge grows, so does the circumference of the Darkness”. Darkness is often equated with ignorance (“until I saw the light”), So its no stretch to say that the more we know, the greater our ignorance. In fact, he was also know for the saying that “a person’s intelligence can be directly related to his/her ability to entertain a contrary viewpoint from their own, without needing to believe it”. Maybe it would be wise to adopt a neutral stance as we age, toward new, perhaps strange ideas. Maybe it can best be summed up by a little plaque my daughter gave me when she was very young; perhaps an indication of the thoughtful woman she was to become. The Plaque said, simply, “I’m not young enough to know everything”.

Tao of Peanut.

Tao of Peanut.

This little gal and her brother showed up at my doorstep about 12 years ago. Don’t know where they came from. Morris, Peanut’s brother, disappeared about 6 years ago and I, like others in the neighborhood, were devastated. Still, Peanut has remained constant, and she continues to teach me so much. She never cries. She never destroys anything. She largely leaves the birds alone (though every once in a while, keeps them in check by demonstrating her abilities)…in fact, she was relaxing on the porch under a birdhouse brimming with a new House Wren family, who paid her no mind. She is always ready to meet the occasional neighbor on their walk, and she is definitely the queen.
She puts “Alone” contestants to shame, as she has effortlessly survived her entire life outside, and never once showed an interest in coming inside. She expects nothing, appreciates everything, and adapts to anything. We could learn so much from her.
Oh, and I’ve never seen her white fur dirty. EVER…

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