“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Last week I lost my voice. Whenever I would swallow any ounce of saliva it would bring my eyes to tears due to a painful sensation at the level of my throat. When I was outside I would barely breath, the wind was effectively provoking my swollen bronchial tubes. I smiled as I walked along. I can’t change this condition.
At same time I was having surgery for an ingrown toe-nail. I refused to take Tylenol’s so was I blessed with a few nights of bad sleep. Cold sweats and fevers became good pals of mine. Audaciously, I did my public presentations, mild exercises and went to work. I can’t change the inevitable, but I can change my reaction to it.
Later that week I was preparing for a sparring session. I was placed with two guys who were bigger and heaving that I was. I took many blows to the head. My lips are purple and my neck is sore. I did not wince, nor cry aloud. It is so. I chose to do this.
Then last night circumstances put me outside in the cold rain for a few hours late at night. I was freezing and wet. It was good. I was not tired, nor disturbed. I couldn’t change the weather, but I could change the way I dealt with it. So I tried to keep moving as to remain warm. I caught a bus and without paying attention to my situation I opened a book and started reading.
The world can be pretty harsh sometimes, I don’t know where some of us find the strength to summon up principles in unfavorable circumstances, but thank god for that. To be a slayer, is to have sudden realizations that our every move and reaction can change the course of history in subtle ways.
I don’t think this is a viable philosophy, but there is something satisfying about conquering and defeating our self and doing so is easiest when we are tested in difficult conditions.