I am indebted to Martin Rooney who inspired this conversation.
I'm no samurai. I don't require that context to live authentically nor
to live as if my life depends on it. But as anyone who allows truth to
go to work in their life knows, when that happens you're called to live
the life of a warrior who stands unflinching for truth in the world,
even if some of the time you stand for it reluctantly.
What truth? Whose truth? The truth that this is it and
here we are. And unless you add to that the codicil "... - that's
what's soand it doesn't mean anything, and it doesn't mean anything
that it doesn't mean anything", you'll make truth into a belief.
In other words you'll essentially be a normal human being.
It's useful to take a moment to examine the precept "it doesn't mean
anything". By itself it's almost enough to start heated arguments
and drive wise men crazy. There is meaning everywhere, to
be sure. That much is obvious. What's not obvious is the author of
meaning. A cock crowing in the east just as I have an epiphany has no
meaning in and of itself. I make the cock crowing just at that exact
moment mean something. I add meaning to what happened. Then I
forget I added the meaning. The cock crowing now means
something, something significant. Now there is meaning - the
meaning I added. But by itself, in and of itself, a cock crowing
doesn't mean anything.
One of my strengths which empowers me to remain in situations and
triumph under adverse conditions more so than others who are arguably
better equipped than I am to deal with such conditions is this: I
regard such conditions as mere inconvenience and not as insurmountable
barriers. I regard such conditions not as being in the way
between me and the fulfillment of my intention but rather as being
simply on the way between me and the fulfillment of my
intention. So I allow them to be there because they're there,
and I give them no meaning or power to shape my intention.
I regard them as obstacles on the way as if they're obstacles on an
obstacle course. An obstacle course is all about obstacles. That's its
nature. To triumph on an obstacle course you have to deal with
obstacles. So you go over them or around them if you can't go through
It's not that I take to obstacle courses as a mountaineer takes to
mountains because they're there. I'm really not that interested
in the challenge. In fact most of the time I would like to wave a magic
wand and have all obstacles disappear. But lately I've
realized the road of my life is a series of obstacles one
after the other. I've realized my life is not what I would like to get
back to as soon as I've handled all the obstacles. I've realized my
life is the obstacle course. I've even found that magic wand
which lets me make obstacles disappear. The way I make obstacles
disappear is to allow them to be where they are.
That's my life as a warrior. That's what I take on - I admit oftentimes