Carrots and Sticks

What a treat it would be to live without the need to be always pulled by carrots or pushed by sticks. We must admit that only a small petty portion of our lives fit into such a category. In the vast majority of cases we work for the sake of either merit and reward or to avoid the loss of reputation and status. These quite outweigh the rare examples where we venture off in a direction, or towards accomplishment of some aim, simply for the sake of doing it. Our psychology has been conditioned by upbringing, education, and particularly the media, to seek our pleasures and avoid our pains; and once the day is complete, we are left rather hollow inside. You see, living a life of duality lacks the substance to fill us in the right spots and engender that gravity of character we know, consciously or not, to be the birthright of human beings.

There are times when we stumble upon an idea which rushes through our entire being and motivates us to manifest it in the world. We can describe it as being possessed by sheer force of the idea that has descended upon us, and to sink our teeth into that positive momentum as we ride the wave passed any obstacles that stand in the way. The pleasures and pains of social status have nothing to do with it, and by virtue of that fact our strength is beyond the box of what society ordinarily perceives as possible. Cultural norms rule the land of perception, and if laws of duality govern those norms than we must thrust ourselves beyond their reach to truly understand what is possible when the lawmaker’s bonds are bent or broken.

To be guided through life by pleasure and suffering alone is far too deafening to the senses. Our devices of ingenuity soon begin to rot and dry up into a shrivel of their former selves. The honest curiosity of a child departs and with it our possibility for sincerely enjoying ourselves passed the glib ups and downs of adulthood. Life far too quickly becomes one in which we seek to loiter or to be left as an idle object in the shadows of events. The rest of our time will be in avid avoidance of what we perceive as chores and tiresome necessities. If it is not demanded, then we will likely forgo the honour. Should there be a cheap thrill around the corner, we will surely dive headfirst to satisfy the craving.

And in the wake of all of this is a higher possibility where a man clings not to pleasure, nor pain, but accepts each event for everything it offers and calmly set his sails towards experiences that hold promise to his development.  He seeks events which challenge him, not necessarily through suffering, but by testing his attention to the details and subtle nuances. He will witness his travels and journeys from door to door as he enters opportunities which promise of further insight. The key to everything is in his eye to spot the unknown and his willingness to step into them one by one, damning any misgivings or doubts he may meet along the way. The paradigm of duality encourages a mechanical nature, a way of being which favours a sleepy approach to living life. Like sluggish intestines, people of this variety extract nutrients from life in the poorest fashion possible to their potential. So we must discard it in favour of something else far more uncomfortable, and yet infinitely more rewarding.

The attributes of a man who betrays his conditioning, and forsakes self-absorption towards his customary pleasures and pains, is that he begins to act not based on preference or inclination, but by a rational disposition which seeks to extract the most out of the time he has been afforded in this lifetime. Our slavery in perception is based purely on our personal likes and dislikes. We believe we are right in setting forth the rules of what is good and bad, and live the rest of our lives clinging to that subjective regime as if it did anything more than constrain and retard our range of experience. It is by forsaking our personal inclinations and favouring unknown territory that we act in a manner which honours the gift of life, and perhaps even holds the possibility of our becoming better human beings.

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