I know, it’s a worn-out concept. But I never tire of it because for me it began with breaking glass. There was no peacefully flowing stream, no meditation. I wanted to destroy and rebuild but when I realized I couldn’t smash the existing system I decided to make my own. For me.
I wasn’t interested in what might work for anyone else. Selfishness was the fount of my creativity. Of course, I read and watched those others at first. Role models influence, and our initial instinct is to mimic what and who we perceive to be successful. In the modern age we simply touch a screen to “like” them and imply distant, virtual similarity. Back then, the process required more blood and meat. To imitate in a meaningful way one had to learn a language and a skill, and to accept the discomfort of uncertainty. Because of that investment, I realized quickly that, no matter how successful or popular, there were people and pastimes I did not want to emulate.
I didn’t need to be like anyone else, only to learn from them. And I certainly wasn’t going to live my life hoping that others would like me. I fought on several fronts: against the difficulty of genuine change, the powerful need to be accepted, and against the programming that made my revolution necessary. Confronting myself was the hardest step. Before I could become who I wanted I had to understand who I was.
If I wish to continue growing this will never change.
Right now - today - I don’t want to be the old me, to imitate my former self. Fucking well move on. Wherever it leads. I can’t force it. I can’t force it well anyway. I simply aim towards the goal that interests me in the moment, walk towards it, avoid distraction so I don’t forget that goal and … then I become what comes.
There is beauty in repetition, in perfecting the repetitions, and in the efficiency that evolves from such narrow, focused practice. On a micro level these details are important and necessary. But repetition on a macro scale eventually kills the spirit. I simply cannot do the same thing or be the same me until the day I die. Repeating myself only hastens that day. I am, of course, stuck with my experience and the skills I have developed. We all are.
Total revolution is an impossibility after a certain number of miles but I encourage exactly that revolution in anyone who can still change themselves and their course. Go for it. Break the chains. Unless your future happens to correspond exactly with your nature. If that’s the case well, be and do who you were born, raised and influenced to be. If not, break glass, rise against.
I don’t urge you to raise a flag against boredom. That’s not a values and ideals problem. That is a self-management issue. No, the flag I want to see fly heads a column of people fighting against recipes, against “supposed to” and expectations. I want to see angry people flip cars and toss molotov cocktails at the conventions that prevent freedom of thought, of expression, and above all, of action. Reject what ever holds you back. Destroy it if you must. I’m not talking property. I am speaking about norms. And the life we accept because we bought into it.
Everything we think and say and do trains us, consciously or not. Training is conditioning. My dear friend Burkey commented brilliantly that, “Our mental and emotional (spiritual) conditioning governs how we see the world …” He insists - and I agree - that we are conditioned by what we do, how we consciously train ourselves. Can you understand how what you do daily - the decisions you make and the actions you take - affects what you might or will do in the future? Never an action without reaction. Never a choice without consequence. Examine this.
I fought the conditioning of my youth and warred against the norms nurtured into me. I fought that war for years. I made it a lifestyle. My constant battle allowed independence. It allowed me to think freely, and behave the same. But the loner is always drawn to the pack one way or another. Understanding this is useful.
Now, in a quest for greater freedom I find myself willing to accept bonds I would have slashed and burned as a younger man. Is it a bad thing? An irreversible thing? Or inconsistent with my ideals? Maybe the lesson of age is that I don’t need to confront and reject what appears to block my path. Maybe, I can use The Man to do exactly what I want, harness his power and momentum to achieve my own goals. Leverage.
These days fitness and sport performance are tied to language and politics. Most people step to the loudest drumbeat, and appear to be comfortable doing so. Or chase the latest, greatest, finally-proven or at least demonstrated tactic or device. A minority chooses a different beat. Marginal compared to the norm but still a man-made beat. Unfortunately, many of them shout about it. They make it a fight instead of a simple choice. They judge. They condemn. All to justify their own actions. To elevate themselves even though they are doing more or less the same thing as everyone else: picking shit up, putting it down and eating food so they can keep doing so.
At the time of this writing I don’t think it wise or necessary to waste energy on (continued) confrontation. Revolution requires an establishment to fight against but once you revolt there is no need to maintain a relationship. Don’t stay so long that you become what you fought against. Reject what didn’t work for you and move on. You don’t need an adversary. You just need to change. Or, in the words of a dear friend, you shouldn’t “give a shit about people who don’t give a shit.”
And that may be the best definition of evolution I have ever heard.