A Will to Lead and the Grace to Follow: Letters on Leadership from a Peculiar Prophet
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Since the dog knows nothing of programming, you must justify every statement you make. In the process you will often discover the mistake. I know it sounds weird, but it really does work! How we relate to it creates the future. What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
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An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered. To live is to be slowly born. The point is that the process is reversible. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional [or scholarly] writers. We are not the only experiment. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. Live the questions. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life. Regularity chauvinists are people who insist that you have got to do the same thing every time, every day, which drives some of us nuts. Attention Deficit Disorder - we need a more positive term for that.
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Hummingbird mind, I should think. For example, if I was going to teach arithmetic and I only knew about Roman numerals, you might get the idea that multiplication is extremely difficult. Given the idea of Arabic numerals it becomes a lot easier. If we took Roman numerals, the Romans have no way to express zero. If we have the wrong abstractions, we can make things which are intrinsically rather simple very difficult. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction.
Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes.
A Will to Lead and the Grace to Follow · Abingdon Press
Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together. It is because we dare not venture that they are difficult. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. But such uncertainty lies at the very heart of human creativity. What if I embraced it?
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They simply have impotent goals that do not inspire them. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. The answer is surprising but clear. In weakness. Why there? Because in our weakness, our familiar ways of controlling and manipulating our world are being stripped away, and we are forced to let go from doing much, thinking much, and relying on our self-sufficiency. Right there where we are most vulnerable, the peace that is not of this world is mysteriously hidden.
You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. It is not so interesting that every person is seeking pleasure, but it is most interesting to see how everyone is seeking his pain, looking out for it.
So it is with the human soul. While the soul goes through pain, torture and trouble it thinks that it would have been much better if it had gone through life without it. But once it reaches the culmination of it then, when it looks back, it begins to realize why all this was meant: it was only meant to tune the soul to a certain pitch. The immense fulfillment of the friendships between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality almost impossible to describe.
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And it makes it practically impossible to argue about programs independently of their being executed. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Brutality is not honest. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. The moment you try to free yourself from fear, you create resistance against fear.
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Resistance in any form does not end fear. What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it, not how to resist it.
Only your grievance about the past can do that. Knowledge is a love affair with answers. Just keep going.
A Will to Lead and the Grace to Follow: Letters on Leadership from a Peculiar Prophet
No feeling is final. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. A love where no one sacrifices to another, but grace is evoked through the sharing of deep vulnerability. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting.
Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We must look with absolute equanimity to everything that may come and we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world direction full of wisdom. It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely to live out of pure trust without any security in existence, trusting in the ever present help of the spiritual world. Truly nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail.
Let us discipline our will and let us seek the awakening from within ourselves every morning and every evening. People need to be given a chance to tune into themselves. Dialogue is a deep process.
For me, this requires some quiet and inner peace — and some time for interaction.