My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Frantically Doing Nothing

There is a presumption that in times of crisis any action is better than no action. It is commonly thought that this failed dichotomy is nothing more than a manifestation of our fear of failure through inactivity. If you have ever seen someone drowning, you know all too well that the natural instinct to thrash around supersedes the basic knowledge that our bodies naturally float. The same is true for many other predicaments as well. The second someone believes that their situation is in peril, fast and frantic movement of any kind is naturally preferable to simple, slow-paced logic.

This phenomenon isn’t new. In Greek Mythology there is a God of drowning named Charybdis, whose actions caused her to be turned into a sea monster and lead to phrase "between Scylla (another monster) and Charybdis.” It was the ancient version of “between a rock and a hard place” and was designed to teach not only how to stay out of harm’s way, but why we do so poorly once engulfed within it. What I contend is that our evolutionary defenses against physical danger has slowly descended deeper into our psyche and now acts to protect us from ourselves.

What we are now afraid of is the quiet moment preceding any test; we fear that beneath us is nothing but failure and that drowning in the lake of one’s being is a fate far worse than death. And if one were able to dive further, past their faults, doubts and death itself, they would encounter the horror of who they truly are.

Our intuition knows what the truth never hides and our subconscious responds in defense. We fear what is most precious; something so valuable that it must be protected at all costs. We fear that our inaction will force us to see ourselves honestly and death holds no fear of the truth. My recommendation is to let yourself drown. Let life consume you. Maybe you will float and maybe you won’t. Either way, you will have faced yourself and won.

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