(Part 18 of 37 in Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)
I’ve now read the entire book several times, and Chapter 6 never ceases to inspire!
I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. But I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest.
It ofttimes requires heroic courage to face fruitless effort, to take up the broken strands of a life-work, to look bravely toward the future, and proceed undaunted on our way. But what, to our eyes, may seem hopeless failure is often but the dawning of a greater success. It may contain in its debris the foundation material of a mighty purpose, or the revelation of new and higher possibilities.
Failure is often the turning-point, the pivot of circumstance that swings us to higher levels. It may not be financial success, it may not be fame; it may be new draughts of spiritual, moral or mental inspiration that will change us for all the later years of our life. Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it.
~ Chapter 14, “Failure as a Success”, from Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty, by William George Jordan, 1907
The application in the Ways is to falls in life. To be able to take a disaster or a great failure, with the whole personality, without shrinking back from it, like the big smack with which the judo man hits the ground. Then to rise at once.
Not to be appalled at a moral fall. Yet it is not that it does not matter. The judo man tries by every means not to be thrown, but when he is thrown it does not hurt him and in a sense it does not matter. It matters immensely, and yet it does not matter.
‘Falling seven times, and getting up eight.’
~ “Falling”, from Zen and the Ways, by Trevor Leggett, 1978