This week I am looking for self-control. I see lots of control and not much self.
Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself. – Soren Kierkegaard
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Self” is sometimes called the ‘ego’ and sometimes another reference to ones ‘soul’ and for the most part we are taught to be self-conscious and suspect of anyone who pays too much attention to themselves.
Self-control may be another habit we acquire along the way accidentally on purpose.
I was the new kid in school every other year. New town, new friends and new beginnings was the rule. I learned how to meld with the locals quickly while not offending the current pecking orders in place. I developed habits that have both served me and some have added layers of difficulty. There was not a lot of ‘juice’ or excitement in school. I learned how to do all the ‘homework’ during class time, I filled every slot with a class, took no study halls, seldom if ever brought a book home and put off until the last possible moment any project with a due date. I was a jock, a nerd, I took home economics as the only boy in class and was one of two in typing. It was only difficult because there was so much to do. Each part was simple or effortless when done when assigned or it appeared. I liked ‘nibbling’ on a project in my mind until the possibility of completion was at risk. There was a lot juice there and the habit is still in place.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting. – e.e. cummings
First, you need to know what you are not.
YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND! (Not ‘your’ thoughts or what you think!)
“The first time I heard somebody say that, I didn’t like the sound of it one bit. What else could I be? I had taken for granted that the mental chatter in my head was the central “me” that all the experiences in my life were happening to.
I see quite clearly now that life is nothing but passing experiences, and my thoughts are just one more category of things I experience. Thoughts are no more fundamental than smells, sights and sounds. Like any experience, they arise in my awareness, they have a certain texture, and then they give way to something else.
If you can observe your thoughts just like you can observe other objects, who’s doing the observing?” – David Cain http://www.raptitude.com/
The attack on anyone willing to take a stand for personal initiative, self-sufficiency and independence from the collective in today’s left leaning syndrome learns how to dance. If you can’t or won’t dance the collective subsumes you. Discovering your ‘self’ should be the first priority. That ended about age five for most people when they shipped us off to government approved schools and put us into groups. They trained us to be quiet, sit still, do as told and talk when called on. How did that work for you?
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. – Friedrich Nietzsche
Self-control is about learning how to fly for your “Self”. If you are not your mind, or your thinking or the myriad thoughts washing over and through your brain, whom do you say or claim you are?