The Majesty of Calmness

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/08/11/manvotional-the-majesty-of-calmness/

The man who is calm has his course in life clearly marked on his chart. His hand is ever on the helm. Storm, fog, night, tempest, danger, hidden reefs— he is ever prepared and ready for them. He is made calm and serene by the realization that in these crises of his voyage he needs a clear mind and a cool head; that he has naught to do but to do each day the best he can by the light he has; that he will never flinch nor falter for a moment; that, though he may have to tack and leave his course for a time, he will never drift, he will get back into the true channel, he will keep ever headed toward his harbor.

Letter 52: On Choosing Our Teachers

http://www.lettersfromastoic.net/letter-52-on-choosing-our-teachers/

You may be sure that this refractory nature, which demands much toil, has been implanted in us. There are obstacles in our path; so let us fight, and call to our assistance some helpers. “Whom,” you say, “shall I call upon? Shall it be this man or that?” There is another choice also open to you; you may go to the ancients; for they have the time to help you. We can get assistance not only from the living, but from those of the past. Let us choose, however, from among the living, not men who pour forth their words with the greatest glibness, turning out commonplaces and holding. as it were, their own little private exhibitions, – not these, I say, but men who teach us by their lives, men who tell us what we ought to do and then prove it by practice, who show us what we should avoid, and then are never caught doing that which they have ordered us to avoid.

Half-hearted, lazy effort

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-daily-stoic-ryan-holiday/1123659871

As we get older, failure is not so inconsequential anymore. What’s at stake is not some arbitrary grade or intramural sports trophy, but the quality of your life and your abiity to deal with the world around you.

Don’t let that intimidate you, though. You have the best teachers in the world: the wisest philosophers who ever lived. And not only are you capable, the professor is asking for something very simple: just begin the work. The rest follows.

The Myth of Sisyphus

http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/hell/camus.html

But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Parkour as a technology of the self

(Part 63 of 65 in ~ My Journey in Parkour)

I’m working on a crazy idea as a side project. Totally unrelated, I’m reading Julie’s CinéParkour. I’m just reading along this evening, and I get to this paragraph. This is so apropos of my train of thought these past few weeks.

Mind.
Blown.

Julie Angel, from CinéParkour, pg 152:

Traceurs are active subjects within dominant power relations who use parkour as a technology of the self; an active transformative tool, to create and understand themselves and move away from fixed notions of identity and behaviour. Through a process of critical thinking and self-awereness traceurs problemitise and set ethics by which they adhere to. Parkour becomes a ‘practice of libery’, where traceurs practice freedom as a lifestyle, based on inventions and styles, that create ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections, to reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle, away from the dominant notion of ‘bio-power’ and other dominant discourses.

‘technology of the self’
‘freedom as a lifestyle’
‘ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections’
‘reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle’

§6 – I Choose To Fall!

(Part 18 of 22 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!

Three thoughts:

I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. But I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest.

~ unknown

 

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