There are certain movies out there that depict the lifecycle of a Sage. As I’m working through this book, I am having small epiphanies and recollections of experiences I’ve had and experiences to come. At Warrior PATHH we talk of the 3 primary emotions. Those being joy, fear and sadness. Many will argue that there are more “primary” emotions, but this is what we have found. Many will say that anger is one of the primary emotions. We say anger stems from fear and/or sadness. So, it’s interesting to hear Yoda say, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to suffering”. I understand that Yoda is a fictional character and the Star Wars story is fictional. However, many scholars, philosophers and theologians will argue that there is much symbolism in the story line to something greater. Something bigger than humankind. If you take that quote of Yoda and sit on it, think about it, really digest it, you cannot help but begin to agree when you relate it to your own life story and personal experiences. You get upset at your child who is about to run through the parking lot or who is playing with matches in the house. Why do you get angry? Truly? Because you fear they may get hurt or burn the house down. You fear something. What about a fight? A real fist fight. For fear of losing and getting beaten, you get angry and pummel your opponent. If you did not fear your opponent, you would probably be completely relaxed. That’s why you see those who are well trained keep their cool. That anger boils and builds over time and morphs into hatred. When you have hate in your heart there is suffering involved. Your suffering. Nobody else suffers when you hate something. It’s your hate, therefore, your suffering. Yoda was a smart dude.
In the Count of Monte Cristo, the old priest says to Dantes, “Here now is your final lesson: do not commit the crime for which you now serve the sentence. God said, ‘Vengeance is mine’”. Then Dantes replied, “I don’t believe in God”. The priest simply said, “It doesn’t matter. He believes in you”. I have found myself serving that sentence. It is a grudge and a pre-meditated plan for revenge. So, while I’m living life, walking around with this plan or thought in my mind, it’s festering inside me. It’s eating at me and breaking me down. I would begin to feel not only guilty but paranoid that I was going to get caught. I hadn’t even done anything, yet I felt like I had. Truth is, I was serving a sentence, suffering, for a crime I had not yet committed.
In the movie, Kingdom of Heaven, there is an old knight who is also a priest. He counsels Balian while he struggles with his relationship with God, or not hearing from God. Encouraging him that God desires congruency in people. The priest says to Balian, “Holiness consists in right action. And courage on the part of those who cannot defend themselves. And goodness. What God desires is here,” he says, pointing to Balian’s mind, “and here,” pointing to his heart. ”And what you decide to do every day, you will be a good man. Or not.” You decide your attitude every day. Each morning when we wake up, we have a choice to be a good man, or not. That is pretty deep, and liberating. That leads me back around to Viktor Frankl and my favorite quote of his. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”.
As we go the way of life and walk our own path, we grow. We either grow like a vine and become fruitful or grow like a weed and choke out what is good. We decide, we have that choice. Do we live in the fear Yoda speaks of? Are we living the sentence of an uncommitted crime the old priest warns of? Is our heart and mind connected and do we choose to be the good man the old knight is encouraging us to be?
“The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old”. – Proverbs 20:29