Thomas Sowell tweeted, “We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.” If only it were that; it’s actually much worse. We’ve abdicated the entire main course of responsibility and are, instead, eating our “deserves” first. Specifically, that so-and-so doesn’t “deserve” this or that. People attacking cops don’t deserve to be shot, and really sick people don’t deserve to die of a new virus — that’s the moral of 2020.
You know what we all DESERVE? Joy, freedom, and expansion, in infinite quantities, eternally, because that’s who and what we are, in our pure positive energy form. And not only do we deserve it, but we get it, minus a little pinching off here and there. My bad mood is, from a vibrational/spiritual perspective, an umbrella I put up against the sun. My entire life might be that bad mood, but no matter how I cling to it, I will re-emerge into pure positive energy, when I croak if not before. The point of Law of Attraction, or spiritual metaphysics, or a walk with God by any name, is to acknowledge that for-sure truth but then to see if we can invite the pure positive energy into our lives *before* dying. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some of that now? We don’t have to wait. We can lighten up, surrender our umbrellas, and get a little more sunshine right this second — or this second, or this second. We all are Source, experiencing itself in physically embodied form, having arranged itself into a panorama of micro-perspectives; metal shavings called forward by the same magnet.
So that’s what we deserve. The question of what we *make inevitable* is something else entirely. We put our energy out and it comes back to us as a mirror. It’s not like we have one bad day and next thing you know, our mirror energy comes back as a cop shooting us, a virus killing us, our car going off a cliff. The universe speaks to us in highly personalized symbols. When we’re unable to interpret those symbols and keep putting out the same energetic boomerangs, that’s okay — they’ll get bigger and more obvious. They start as emotions, grow into experiences, harden into beliefs, accrue into events, and at some point we ask ourselves: what could I have done differently? How do I deserve this?
Instead we should ask, how did I make this energetically inevitable?
Analogously and as I’ve shared before, Nick’s core perspective is that we’d all benefit from getting strong first, AND THEN. And then training up in the sport of our choice, massaging our appearances into a more preferable form, advancing our own physical interests as they evolve. But most of us skip this foundational first step. His definition of “strong” isn’t a retreating goalpost (except for himself personally lol) by any means; it simply has to do with ratios of bodyweight. Being able to squat, push, and pull — the only three human movements really at our disposal — at a reasonable percentage of what you weigh.
This approach is imminently rational. It de-insane-ifies the whole concept of deserving. He doesn’t deadlift 2.6x his bodyweight because he deserves to, but because he’s made it inevitable. Part of that making-inevitable process involves putting too much weight on the bar sometimes, or going for one more rep than makes sense, failing, then throwing his hat on the ground and yelling obscenities into the sky. He makes that inevitable too :)
Getting strong first, AND THEN x y z, is a step we’re skipping in every area of our lives, often. It’s not emphasized to us. Becoming mentally strong is an endeavor that can feel just as programmed and rational as a good barbell routine, with the “resistance” we face being just as good for us. In order to become mentally strong, which is a relative concept necessarily involving other people, we have to speak truth. Speaking truth is the “rep”, and doing so in increasingly non-supportive environments is the weight. This should never be mistaken for aggression, as the pursuit of physical strength is in no sense aggressive, relative to other people. It’s a solo pursuit, and speaking truth is, too.
Now, there’s a whole lot of people mistaking their aggression for “speaking truth” right now, in the world, and so I have to be careful to really clarify what *I* mean, on this topic.
The amazing thing about resistance training is that YOU must change, in order to move the weight. *You* must become an efficiency machine, doing everything that is necessary and nothing that is unnecessary, towards your goal. If your truth isn’t working on other people, take some weight off the bar until it does. It’s just as retarded to scream “truth” at people hostile to your position as it is to go for a three hundred pound squat on your first day. Back up and get stronger with what you can do. It’s not the weight’s fault you can’t move it, and if you can’t move it, it doesn’t mean it’s because you don’t deserve to; it’s because you haven’t made it inevitable.
For example, I love the feeling of knowing myself to be mentally the stronger one, in a conversation with another person. It’s not a flex, it’s just a fact, and it happens fairly often. And if I could distill that feeling into one specific knowing, it’s a knowing that I have spent more time telling the truth, to myself and to others, than they have, and under more circumstances. I can move more energetic weight than them.
Conversely, I’ve encountered many people who are mentally stronger than me, and guess what? I love that too. It’s also a clear feeling, and a knowing that they have moved more truth than me, and under more circumstances. This is a person I’ll look up to, because I can feel their pull, I can feel their strength. It has nothing to do with being bombarded by them; quite the opposite. I know I can’t trick them or bait them into saying something they don’t mean. They’re an efficiency machine, offering everything that is necessary and nothing that is unnecessary, and more comfortably than me.
How did they get this way? The same way anyone gets that way — in the gym of life, where we either waste our time doing curls in the squat rack, or leverage our sessions intelligently and rationally, towards measurable strength gains.
When you hear the phrase “speak your truth”, do you automatically interpret that as a hostile scenario? I tend to, because that’s the way people who are mentally weak use it. But that’s not how I mean it here. If it was true, no one would disagree with you, right? Unless it’s not true for them. Are you at war with what’s true for them? If so, you’re already over-extended. Personal truths are like family trees — we all have a common ancestor, if we go far enough back. We can all agree on something, and it behooves us to figure out what.
Why would any of us be at war with what’s true for other people? I know the scarcity answer: because what’s true for them is hurting me. What’s the abundance answer, though? Well, more importantly, here’s the abundance question: does it matter to you what other people in the gym are doing? How much or little they’re lifting, whether they’re doing it right or wrong? It shouldn’t, because you’ll have your panties twisted 24/7 if so. Other people doing it wrong is a big part of what life is about. We can always go up to people and tell them how to do it right. Those people will frequently tell us to fuck off, depending on how we’ve leveraged our energy, as is their right.
Other people’s truths are no more or less hostile to us than a set of 45’s, which can actually feel quite threatening under the wrong circumstances. Another gym analogy, and probably the most important one of the whole blog: you wouldn’t think that someone lifting more than you somehow subtracts from your own threshold, right? They have their threshold, you have yours, there’s plenty of weights to go around, and if you’re not performing where you’d like to be, it’s because you haven’t yet made it inevitable. It’s got nothing to do with anyone else.
Believe it or not, and I know this is a hard sell, but that same abundance exists, in potential, in every aspect of our lives. Someone receiving more money than me does not impact the amount of money I can receive. Someone receiving more ease than me does not impact the amount of ease I can receive. But it’s never about deserving, because we all deserve everything all the time. We all deserve the best, every day, every moment. What do we get, though? Whatever we’ve made inevitable.
Admitting that nothing is anyone else’s fault is exhilarating and depressing at the same time. Hitler could not have “spoken his truth” so successfully if no one was receptive to it, and in a position to be manipulated emotionally. Are you in a position to be manipulated emotionally? If so, that’s your “fault”, despite not being what you deserve. And I’m saying this as someone who’s been manipulated emotionally in the past, and probably will be again in the future. We’re never really out of the weeds, until we croak, and that’s okay. We level up in this video game by getting killed a couple times first, hopefully not literally, but from a metaphysical standpoint, definitely literally.
Jordan Peterson is a great advocate of telling the truth on a program of progressive overload. Say what you think and get your ass kicked for it, because that’s exactly what happens and you ought not shrink from it. Regroup, make it better, sort out your inefficiencies and loopholes, and then say what you think again, but better this time. Rinse and repeat, forever. The world isn’t “mean” for rejecting you; it’s all just resistance, and healthy, functional resistance at that. The better you get at speaking the truth, the more churn you’ll create. The stronger you get in the gym, the more weight you’ll have on the bar, and with commensurately higher stakes. We’re not here to remain fluffy vulnerable chicks in a padded nest, we’re here to grow strong wings and fly.
If you like my competing analogies (I sure do), please check out my blog consortium, competinganalogies.com, where I share the stage with the far more focused, and taking far fewer prisoners, perspective of fellow blogger April Lee. We’re looking to attract additional bloggers who share our sensibilities, which are pretty much all over the place except in regards to a core concept of doing no harm but taking no shit. April Lee has a consistently better internet connection and work situation than I do, and tends to provide a more multi-media experience which is really fun. I’m often barebones, writing in my long johns in the cab of a truck in the middle of nowhere, fire season 2020.
I said earlier in the blog, the universe speaks to us in highly personalized symbols, which we often can’t sort out. We can notice them, at least. I’m looking through the windshield at a hot air balloon right now, floating in the cold blue sky. The balloon’s colors are primary. That could mean anything, or nothing, to someone else. For me, it’s a very clear association. Almost one year ago, I was freezing my ass off, teaching people to back 18-wheelers in a large parking lot, along with my fellow instructors. We were blowing on our hands, stamping our cold feet, and yelling at students to chase the trailer, get out and look, that sort of thing. The balloons were everywhere overhead, and one even crash landed in our parking lot, right there in the 90-degree alley dock station. Students scattered, orange cones were knocked down in the course of its sideways-y lurching crunch. This is totally normal for Albuquerque in the first week of October — barely controllable balloons, baskets, and people, raining from the sky, brushing themselves off, laughing and paying cash for any damages caused. We’d all spent an hour in pre-dawn traffic just to get to work, from two miles away in my case, due to the annual influx of global ballooning fans.
My personal life was extremely unsettled at this time, although poignant in its uncertainty, and every day felt like negotiating rip tides of consequence I could barely understand, let alone control. Much like a hot air balloon. The echoes of that time still affect me, but I feel their beauty as well as their pain. I think it was a net gain, and to the extent it wasn’t, I ask myself what I could have done differently and I do know the answer. So I don’t know what it means to see a hot air balloon this morning, but it feels like a reminder to stick to my guns like the happiness of my future self depends on it, because it does. I don’t feel much at stake, personally right now, because I’ve done the work to render my preferences largely inevitable, which is maybe the meta-symbolism of the hot air balloon. In a situation with so little sideways control, become excellent at the control you do have, which is only up and down.
Also, in the course of writing this blog, the right side of my peripheral vision persisted in interpreting the pre-dawn mosaic of spotlight glare, shadows, and bright colors as a large figure standing just outside the truck, at my right shoulder, in some sort of uniform with bright stripes. It wasn’t, and I glanced several times, only to have it resolve as just normal stuff. Five gallon buckets weighing down the hard-frosted astroturf, metal steps, sheet metal siding, stripes of DOT tape and rows of lawn chairs.
What do symbols mean? Usually the first and most obvious thing that occurs to you, as my friend Pastor Andrew taught me, several fires ago. The most obvious thing that occurs to me is the looming national chaos, the erosion of my freedoms backwards, the unwelcome expectation of erosion of my freedoms forwards. It really does feel like a specter, standing at my right shoulder while I work. Anyone who doesn’t feel this must be in such a small box of their own creation, already. But that observation alone reminds me — I can make the box of my creation bigger.
Maybe an example of exploring personalized symbolism, or maybe only a ramble. Either way, today is another great day to make the desirable a little more inevitable.