Human ambition is without a doubt an overwhelmingly seductive force in our lives. We can even state that it is our natural and biological inclination to want to gain power over others as an innate survival instinct. For this seemingly simple desire, we would do almost anything to be the foremost influential individual of paramount importance in our respective groups. We wish to see ourselves at the apex of the structure; to be that supreme masculine expression of dominance over others and over all our would be challengers. We yearn to be at the center of concentration and command; to be that symbol of feminine source from which all ought to derive their sustenance and their dependent needs. Our pursuit for worldly power is in essence a race to the top and a race to the center. It is a never ending hunt that consumes us. For once we reach our destination, we take notice of those other far more attractively enticing tops and better situated central positions of potential threats; belonging to those whom we simply cannot tolerate to exist outside of our closely cherished spheres of influence. So we hold on to our precious positions as tight as we can, and we push and we pull to grow our forces. We reach out to others to aid us and to propel us toward our ambitious goals, because we know that without the support of those around us and below us, there can be no top to be had and there can be no center to hold on to.
Our supporters are those who help us in our ascent and we in turn help them to ascend with us. But our followers do not always see eye to eye with our vision, and there are times when those detractors must go and be banished from our inner circles. They are intentionally kept further down the structure to better prop up the status quo. Arrangements are made to place human buffers and administrative barricades between us and the threats, lest they should have the opportunity to do those things that can prove dangerous to our secure stations. A hierarchy of useful conformists is formed to protect our structure, while ensuring to never allow the challengers to climb up from the bottom of the organization. Stability is established, rule and order is set up to govern our hill, and the vision of our unquestionable supremacy is allowed to continue on unobstructed. These are the unspoken but well practiced attitudes and methods of the materially successful in our world. It is the corporate mindset; the political mindset; the criminal mindset. Not mere selfishness or unintentional but necessary decisions due to force of circumstances, but the fundamental mindset of an abusive power drunk who cannot wake oneself up from one's deep inebriation. And like with any abuser, we who do not wish to partake of their self interested indulgences can either become their casualties or become the enablers and the feeders of their addictions. The best course of action to take under such circumstances is to simply refuse to play by their crafty terms and conditions and to end the vicious cycle altogether. Because at the end of the day, reality simply is and it exists outside of anyone's artificially restricted paradigms and opinions of importance; least of all the views of edictal addicts and the pretzeled upside down world of the absolutely power mad.
The conquest we ought to undertake instead is to gain power over ourselves and over our desire to become authorities over others. We each have our responsibilities and duties to perform. There are those who depend on us. We have our roles to play to serve each other's needs. But in a world of equals, there can be no masters; only those who choose to serve and those who ask for assistance. This essentially means that we are all accountable to one another and we depend on each other. Instead of a hierarchy of the strong over the weak, or the most ruthless over the clueless, or the most wealthy over the poor, we need to fundamentally shift our thinking going forward. We already know that the dependent cannot lead themselves; only the resourceful can. We also know that the undeveloped cannot lead themselves; only the cultivated can. And we naturally know that the sick cannot lead themselves; only the strong can. It is up to each one of us to take on the task of gaining power over ourselves in whatever capacity we are able to take on. And we need to personally do this if we are to become as powerful as we are capable of being.
- Choice: There are situations and times when our options are severely limited. It is very easy to find ourselves becoming stuck in a mode of thought and attitude that hinders our abilities and stunts our confidence. But there are always ways and alternatives to work around the obstacles presented before us; if we are able to recognize them and if we can effectively use them to our advantage. The path forward may not always be readily visible or the circumstances may be oppressive and demoralizing, but how we react to these challenges is something we have personal control over. And this is the power of choice. We can choose to be victims in the moment of our trials or we can choose to be something else; anything but to be stuck in that unhealthy position of self pity. We can choose to continue the abuses we have suffered unto others or we can stop the proliferation of damaging patterns and draw the line stating that the carnage stops with us. What is important is to find the center of our inner power and to draw from the source all that we need to pull through. And we need to be humble enough to accept that there are times when we are not as powerful as we think we are, and that going it alone is not always the best way forward. Everyone needs help sometimes and it is not a sign of weakness to ask. Even though we may not be willing to admit it, the choice is always there and we are not bound to the imposed perspectives or only to the limited options presented to us by external forces. Our choice is ultimately ours to make and there is absolutely no need for us to be afraid of taking it.
- Change: Lasting change comes when we change ourselves. But it is also true that the more we change, the more we stay the same. Sometimes we would like to be somebody else who is more to our liking. At other times, we would like to leave behind who we used to be and be reborn as a new person. We might believe that bringing ourselves closer to the social mold is the preferred way to live out our existence. But then again, we might go in the opposite contrary direction, and perhaps simply choose to not make any concessions either way at all. The transformative power to alter ourselves allows us to be who we want to be. The process can be destructive if we are compelled by harmful views; of ourselves and of others; and if we are driven by motivations that are superficial and sadly misguided. The damage we do to ourselves by being receptive to the powers of others instead of listening and discovering who we are within is equivalent to relinquishing our own unique potential. Rather than pretending to be somebody else and hoping to one day become that pretender, we must instead embrace who we are and who we always were deep within. And that begins by being kind to ourselves and by forgiving ourselves of our shortfalls and failings. We need to find our broken pieces and make our peace. We need to believe that we have the power to transform our world for the better. And we need to trust that the changes we invest in will pay us back in ample dividends; trusting our gut and choosing to go long with our potential and not selling ourselves short out of our lingering apprehension.
- Charge: Having the will to take a single step in the direction of our heart is to take charge of our destiny. It is to take a leap of faith despite the dangers and the risks involved because we are open and responsive to our call to power. When we take charge of our lives, we invigorate ourselves and affirm our ability to take action. And that action may be to do the impossible, or to do those things that no-one else can do, or to be that individual who is called to be at the right place and at the right time as an answer to an unsaid prayer. To be inactive and to be evasive on the other hand is to do the contrary; to discharge and to disable our potential from power. For us to think that being unconditionally submissive is a sign of virtue is a false position to take, and is rather a negative reinforcement of our lack of self-confidence and self-respect. Fundamentally, letting others run our lives is the opposite of self-empowerment, whereas being in charge of who we are is to stop seeking external affirmations and to become our own boss. To be a good boss to ourselves then is to do what is right by us; by challenging ourselves to be better rather than focusing on our mistakes; by using encouragement and support as far superior motivations than to live by fear of scolding and corrective measures. We must take charge, recharge, and then encharge ourselves into our core center and work our way up to the pinnacle top of our enriched lives.
But as willing and as confident though we may be, we must also be cognizant of the predicament we find ourselves in and realize that obtaining our inner power is intentionally made vastly and increasingly difficult due to extenuating circumstances. Of course in the face of unrelenting assaults it is very easy for us to give up and to just go along with whatever situation we find ourselves in. We are human after all and we cannot point fingers at each other when we ourselves are subject to those and many other similar vulnerabilities. By describing our situation however, we can identify the hindering factors at play and have a chance at doing something about them. Let us consider this allegory then: In a clean and temperate ocean are many fish of various kinds who swim about happily in a stable ecosystem. The fish live in balance with one another, moving with the seasons, and even the mammalian leviathans who consume many shoals of the smaller creatures live in equilibrium with their surroundings and their shared habitat. But one day, along comes a large ship gliding upon the surface of the deep and starts taking entire populations away, proclaiming that the sea is bountiful and confidently stating that there are always more to be pulled out from the vast depths. Soon another ship arrives, and then another, until one day an entire fleet comes along to scoop up the remaining few and to scrape the bottom of the seabed clean of all lifeforms. When they are finished with their total and complete plunder, nothing remains, and all that is left is empty and barren. The maritime fleet eventually disbands in search of better opportunities when they apathetically acknowledge the lifeless emptiness, but the fish that used to thrive in the ocean are no more. The question we must personally ask ourselves in this story is then whether we are one of these fish or whether we are atop on one of these ships. If we choose to stay in the water, then we must abide by its rules and keep under the law that governs our kingdom. If on the other hand if we choose to be among those who float above it, then we are not of the same kind as those who choose to stay in the water and are in stark opposition to all who would live there lawfully.
The line is clear then, and any who choose to place themselves above the law and who choose death over all that lives, including ultimately themselves and their own are to be looked upon as the enemy. Proudly sitting on their jolly floating ships, these sort could never conceive to stop their madness, for their ambitions and greed have absolutely no restraint nor do they have any remorse or any qualms about the havoc they cause. The legions of the incorporated are of a singular mind to take everything for themselves until there is nothing left outside of their domain and control. They would bury their way into every facet of innocent lives, influence and leverage the fulcrums of power with all available levers of persuasive means, privatize and lobby their way into every public office and legislature imaginable, invest and buy their way into key positions, memberships, and boards to guarantee their ever growing list of both short and long term interests. They would even burrow their way into our business to take control of the means for us to simply live decent and modest lives by dictating the channels of our interactions and methods of trade. We who are caught up in their gargantuan nets are forced out of necessity to become their uncritical and unthinking drones; trained lifelong to eliminate and to replace our individuality and original thought with a vacuous and soulless culture devoid of any real nourishing meaning; just good enough to do our assigned tasks, to follow orders, and heavily conditioned to never question the status quo; stuck to be humiliatingly subservient to an incompetent and conforming management class as they persistently chip away at our humanity to break our little remaining spirit. We are intentionally and methodically kept down below the glass ceiling in the kill zone by every means of their machinations, for they fundamentally do not see us equals nor can they even fathom that they are the cause of such miseries or even bring themselves to apologize for the monstrosities and the harm they inflict on their fellow human beings. The immaculately uniformed and enchantingly charming ubermensch would disparagingly brand us as live stock with their market shares, proudly strutting about in their charitable and philanthropic drags, magnanimously disseminating their cadre of instituted advice to solve the crisis they themselves invent and foment, and insist that they are the heart and the brain of communal and social and democratic ideals, nay the trusted guardians of the whole world under their iron-clad corporate levels of infinite descent into hell, when they are in fact nothing but overgrown tumors sucking and draining the life out of everything they touch. Despite their numerous pages of virtual fictions purporting their limited liabilities, there are actual consequences to face in the real world where the dirt meats the rod. Every single individual is personally responsible for their actions and inactions, their complicities and their conspiracies, and every single person whether legal or semi-pseudo-conditionally-sorta-kinda-maybe-artificially real are entirely liable for all damages caused, whether deliberate or otherwise. Terms and conditions do indeed apply; read the fine print above the dotted line; there is nowhere to run and there is nowhere to hide; for the livid maw of the deep dark cold depths can not, do not, and will not ever abide the bloated dead to pass by unchecked.
Yes, we can be as righteous as we would like, and we have our reservations and we have our doubts. We are not invincible and we are not always as strong as we would like to believe we are. We fail constantly and we make mistakes. We have our limits and we have so many faults. But the thing is, these are what makes us human and we ourselves are why we go through the trouble of living in the first place. It would be a shame for any of us to be deprived of the chance at redeeming ourselves when we fail so much every single day. We are essentially here to help one another, and none of us are meant to go it alone or to solve our problems on our own, but to be there for each other and to lift up those heavy loads carried up on our burdened shoulders. Realize then that we already have the authority to save one another from our numerous trappings and hardships, because we are able to and because we are asked to do so. To deny the request is to deny our authority; the authority that comes in common to us all. We serve this alone, and none before. We serve life and that which loves life. We serve the eternal; from the beginning - all the way to the end.