Know Thyself

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses.

Behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road.

Long before I dance under those lights.

Theory is not mastery. Repetition is.

If its systematic you can improve it, over and over again.

Muscle memory, miling, the neural connections go from forming a little string, to turning it into a cable wire.

But what I’ve learned is you don’t control everything in life.

You don’t control what you look like, or how to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and your body from degenerating.

You don’t control who comes into your life and you certainty don’t control all of the lessons that the universe has in store for you.

So you can’t possibly account for how everything will work out, but you know your destiny.

You know what you want and you know why you want it on the deepest level.

And thoughts you can control.

Thoughts contain matter. Thoughts influence actions.

So the self talk is not hubris, or false pride, but its affirmation.

Its an understanding who you really are.

Who else is going to tell you, you are the greatest?

But you always carry your humility with you.

And you carry the same will to act when you are winning or even when you feel like you are dying.

That’s the mind of a psychological warrior.

But at some point the purpose is in a different intensity.

Letting go can be just as beautiful.

The legacy cannot be complete without it.

Everything that has a beginning has an end.

To appreciate life and all its glory, it must come full circle.

But here’s the distinction:

You are gone but never dead. You are away but never forgotten.

The message leaves an imprint forever.

How you lived; be true to yourself and to truth itself.

Its polarizing yet unifying.

Its tough yet gentle.

Bold yet humble.

And now the world needs a new champion.

Not only in the ring, but outside of it.

Who is going to step up and follow what had to be done?

Who is going to perpetuate the legacy?

An authentic life is a full life.

Know thyself and greatness will be yours.

— But if you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize. —

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Undecideds

Good morning.

My prayers are with Ronnie Burke’s family today, I know yours are too. My prayers are with Officer Rafael Martinez and his family – they are not struggling with the loss of a child, but they are struggling with a terrible truth. My prayers are with those families, and with this one.

You know, I find myself on days like this casting about… for someone to blame. I blame the kid he stole a car. I blame the parents, why couldn’t they teach him better? I blame the cop, did he need to fire? I blame everyone I can think of and I am filled with rage.

And then I try and find compassion. Compassion for the people I blame. Compassion for the people I do not understand. Compassion. Doesn’t always work so well.

I remember as a young man listening on the radio to Dr. King in 1968, he asked of us compassion and we responded. Not necessarily because we felt it but because he… convinced us that if we could find compassion, if we could, express compassion, and if we could just pretend compassion, it would heal us, so much more than vengeance could.

And he was right, it did. But not enough.

What we’ve learned this week is that more compassion is required of us and an even greater effort is required of us. And we are all, I think, everyone of us, tired. We’re tired of understanding. We’re tired of waiting. We’re tired of trying to figure out why our children are not safe and why our efforts to make them safe seem to fail. We’re tired.

But, we must know that we have made some progress. And blame will only destroy it. Blame will breed more violence and we have had enough of that. Blame will not rid our streets of crime, and drugs, and fear and we have had enough of that. Blame will not strengthen our schools, or our families, or our workforce – blame will rob us of those things. And we have had enough of that.

And so I ask you today to dig down deep with me and find that compassion in your hearts. Because it will keep us on the road. And we will walk together, and work together. And slowly, slowly, too slowly, things will get better.

God bless you. God bless you, and God bless your children.

santos

 

The Second Letter

Two days before humanities historic moon landing, William Safire was asked to prepare a speech for President Nixon to read on television to the world if Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became stranded on the moon…

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Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes on the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

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Consciousness and its Contents

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The one thing people tend to realize at moments like this is that they wasted a lot of time when life was normal.

Its not just what they did with their time, its not just that they spent too much time working or compulsively checking email, its that they cared about the wrong things. They regret what they cared about. Their attention was bound up in petty concerns. Year after year, when life was normal.

And this is a paradox of course because we all know this epiphany is coming. Don’t you know this is coming? Don’t you know there is going to come a day when you’ll be sick or someone close to you will die… and you’ll look back on the kinds of things that captured your attention. Because even if you live to be a hundred, there is just not that many days in life.

It is always now. However much you feel you may need to plan for the future, to anticipate it, to mitigate risks, the reality of your life is now. Our conscious awareness of the present moment is, in some relevant sense, already a memory. But as a matter of conscious experience, the reality of your life is always now.

And I think this is a liberating truth about the nature of the human mind. In fact I think there is probably nothing more important to understand about your mind than that if you want to be happy in this world. That the past is a memory, its a thought arising in the present. The future is merely anticipated, it is another thought arising now. What we truly have is this moment… and this.

And we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth – repudiating it, fleeing it, overlooking it. And the horror is that we succeed. We manage to never really connect with the present moment, and find fulfillment there. Because we are continually hoping to become happy in the future; and the future never arrives.

Even when we think we are in the present moment, in very subtle ways, we’re always looking over its shoulder – anticipating what’s coming next. We’re always solving a problem. And its possible to simply drop your problem, if only for a moment, and enjoy whatever is true of your life in the present.

There are more connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue than stars in our galaxy, and yet our inner experience offers absolutely no clue-we are subjectively unaware of most of what our minds our doing. And yet when we think about what matters… what matters is consciousness and its contents. Consciousness is everything. Our experience of the world, the experience of those we care about is a matter of consciousness and its contents.

So whatever the origins of consciousness, the most important question for us is: “How can we truly be fulfilled in life? How can we create lives that are truly worth living given that these lives come to an end?”

So the frame we put around the present moment is important, and largely determines our experience of it, but it seems possible in fact to experience life more nakedly than this. To experience it without an obvious frame. To pay attention to the present moment closely enough so that you are not doing anything to it.

Now you might feel that your consciousness is in your head, or behind your face – but as a matter of experience, these are just more sensations arising in consciousness. The only evidence of your face and head is as sensation arising in consciousness at this moment. Whatever you can possibly notice-in your body in your mind in the world-has only one place to appear, in your conscious experience.

Now I’m not saying this is all just a dream. But as a neurological matter it is very much like a dream. It is a dream that is constrained by inputs from the external world. And the dreams we call dreams at night are dreams that are not constrained by the external world.

But your mind is all you have, its all you ever had. Its all you have to offer other people. We are all trying to find a path back to the present moment, and good enough reason just to be happier.

If your constantly ruminating about what you just  did or what you should have done or what you would have done if you only had the chance, you will miss your life. You’ll fail to connect with it, you’ll fail to connect with other people. Being the mere hostage of the next thought that comes beaming into consciousness isn’t useful.

So if there is an antidote to the fear of death and the experience of loss, its compatible with reason. I think its to be found here. The purpose of life is pretty obvious; we are constantly… Why do we create culture and form relationships-beyond matters of mere survival?

We are constantly trying to create and repair a world that our minds what to be in.

Sam Harris

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Dream

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Someday – isn’t on the calender.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday?

It’s on there about four times a month.

No Someday.

But when it comes to our dreams, it’s probably the busiest day of the week.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we were all inspired? If the world wasn’t full of uninspired people?

We’re all taught that life is tough, life is a bitch, life is hard… but it’s not.

It’s pretty easy, right? It’s pretty easy to skate by and go through life.

The awful truth is, life is easy.

Living – truly living, chasing a dream and truly living – is hard.

Living is a bitch. Living is tough.

Especially when you switch it and you ask yourself:

‘What am I dying to do? What is it that puts that fire in my heart?’

And let me tell ya, there is something – if you’ve ever chased a dream you know that it lights a fire in your heart.

That whether you reach it or not, it warms everyone around you. And everything around you.

Don’t wait until Someday to answer that question.

There is nothing more important in your life than figuring that out.

We’re all dying. But if you’re not chasing your dream, you are already dead.

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~ Steve Mazan ~