Ok, first off. Is this a shameless plug for my book?
Yes of course it is. But also I would like to explain my reasons for writing the book in the first place. Now I am aware that most of you are writers and creators so I’ll spare the “it was yearning inside me” tropes for another time. But the reason I wrote this is purely to see if I could.
To see if I could take an idea inside me, not the story mind you. But the idea of being a writer, and putting it into the world. Showing people, some close to me and others that are not, that I can be more that what is always on display in front of them
To show others your writing is to let people inside your head, even if your writing fiction and a character in no way embodies any of your own characteristics, those thoughts and words came from somewhere in you. And when you show others this, I have have found it to be more anxiety inducing then public speaking. Thankfully when people read my book (which is about a very violent and otherworldly cult) they didn’t change their opinion about me too much.
So this experiment was a success, the data was recorded and now I am halfway through my next book. Thank you for reading and supporting me.
“This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
– Albert Camus, The myth of Sisyphus
Followers of my writing know that I depart from topics that I take up only to return to them eventually down the track somewhere at sometime. Many reasons I suppose for this behaviour. First amd foremost I am a writer that enjoys many topics and I am fascinated by many things. But the one thing that acts as a tree trunk for all the meandering concepts, stories, advice and rants is philosophy, and how we can take the deep thoughts, meditations and questions from dead and alive men and women and apply them to our lives.
An absolutely beautiful guidline of philosophy is it rarely ever has a set interpretation, rather it offers a new way to think about ideas or problems or indeed yourself. And that’s where we come to Sisyphus.
The long and short of the ancient myth is that Sisyphus was a great king who was hated by the gods. They had sent their version of death to claim his sole many times but each time he outsmarted them. Finally, finally hades hatched a plan to put a large boulder at the bottom of a long slope in a cave, at the top of the slope was a hole that lead to the outside world. Hades and death brought Sisyphus down here and told him “we are sick of this game we play, we only have one final test for you. Roll this boulder up to the top, then you you will claim immortality, but once you start, you cannot stop till you reach the top”
Sisyphus was bold and had already outsmarted the gods and death itself numerous times, so he flicked back his golden hair and placed his hands on the boulder. It was heavy but he could roll it slowly, and by the time he got to the tope he had expended all his strength. But then the boulder jumped out of his hands and rolled back down to the start. Hades had cursed the boulder to never reach the top, effectively trading Sisyphus in this constant pushing then walking back down and pushing for all of eternity.
How do we apply this to our lives? Well let’s look at his task. An unlikeable one to be sure. He could wallow amd lament. He could thrash his feet and cures the heavens. Or he could spite the gods that cursed him. If we imagine Sisyphus setting about his task with a broad grin, laughing as the boulder rolls to the bottom, then he hasn’t lost. He is the king of his own environment. Completely in charge of how he views his reality and not tossed about carelessly by forces beyond his control. And by reframing his outlook. His life will forever be positive.
If you enjoyed this please share and tell me what you think. I would love to delve more into philosophy at some point. Also follow my new writing instagram, – kj_thewriter
So. You are injured. Or you have no time. Or you are somewhere that stops you from training physically in some way.
What do you do?
Get mad, frustrated, these are the things I used to do when I couldn’t get my physical training sessions in. It took me a long time to realise that what I was doing was hiding behind the physical distraction of training to make somthing better in my life (relationships, work stress, mental health issues) this isn’t to say that I didn’t love training because it’s one of the pillars that hold my life up. But it was the only pillar back then.
This is when I found I could plumb the depths of my mind, I started small by asking myself why I missed training so much, why did it mean so much, what would I do if I could never train again.
This not only got my mind working but also introduced me to my first concepts of philosophy. I was having a Socratic dialogue with myself. I didn’t appreciate this moment for a long while but it laid the path for me to philosophy which in turn laid the way to art and creation and building multipul pillars to hold my life up.
So what can you do?
Start a Socratic dialogue yourself, with yourself. Be terrifying with it. Don’t hide from questions, ask deeply and truly even when it hurts. Pull back what feels safe and what you know people see you as, why are you doing xyz? Our old friend Socrates didn’t do these things to others (most notably his friends in Plato’s discourses) to hurt or humiliate or seem like he knew better because he didn’t, he just wanted to get to the raw truth that he knew would help. He saw on the battlefield (not many know but he was a extremely competent warrior) that truth in one’s morals and ability will always bring saftey. It’s why he questiond the state that lauded praise on him initially then sentenced him to death by suicide which he gladly did to prove that he would never give in to another’s false ethics.
“Ships are safe in harbour….but that is not what Ships are for” – some guy I met in a Pakistani tea house 2014
How many of you haven’t changed or updated your program in 4 weeks? 6 weeks? 10 weeks? Ever?
Consistency is key in training but there is a time when Consistency turns to ground hog day. We can get comfortable in our standard excersises and we get great at them but we need to understand that if we are to grow, if indeed we are to sail to new lands we must leave the saftey of the harbour. Search out someone that can teach you a new movment, learn pilaties, pick up a heavy kettle bell and go for a 1 mile walk.
Comfort is for the weak. Competencey can sometimes mean stagnation. Grow. Fight . Pick up something new, suck at it, get good at it, find something else.
A great evil lurked deep within fenrir that was yet to manifest itself to the Asiŕ. The gods were largely ignorant, all except Odin, the all father knew that in time this great beast would destroy the world and through a vain attempt at subverting prophecy he had the world eater bound 3 times in great chains under the pretence of a game, knowing full well the wolf would break free. On the fourth time odin had the dwarves work their magic on golden chains and he and the other gods all presented them to Fenrir.
“Oh great Fenrir, how strong you have become, how large you are now that your den is too small” – jested odin – ” I have one more test for you, if you are game, let me bind you in my personal chains, that is if you are not afraid “
Fenrir eyed the chains suspiciously before agreeing on the stipulation that one of the Gods place their sword hand in his mouth as insurance that they would let him out. The gods became nervous, they all knew that fenrir would be held captive by these magic chains. It was though , with a great sigh, that Tyr , the God of war and honour and the one who raised Fenrir placed his hand in the beasts mouth. Fenrir struggled and strained yet the chains would not budge, finally he gave in, realising the gods plan and that he had been tricked. Tyr looked to the great wolf that gave him a flash of betrayal, and with a nod of acknowledgement Fenrir tore the hand from Tyrs wrist.
We all have duties that manifest in different ways, some small others enormous. We should strive like Tyr, even though the outcome will perhaps be unpleasant. We have a duty to our allies, our friends, ourselves…. and we cannot fail