What is Integrity?

I was confused with the definition of integrity. To be honest, I never took that much time to think of what it really meant to me or how it could lead to making better decisions in life. Obviously integrity is not a concept that exists if we remove all sentient beings that populate earth, but it can help us find an anchor in an ever-changing world. After all, as soon as we are brought into this world we face decisions, each action echoes in eternity. That is why I believe that understanding integrity is an invaluable addition to our mental framework in effective everyday living.

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You Owe it to Yourself

I decided to make the next 30 days of the year a celebration of masculinity in it’s various forms. We owe it to ourselves.

With the peace and love movement that followed world war 2, the feminist groups that altered men’s image(in good and bad ways), the lack of male teachers and role-models in society and the absent father in the household; it’s no wonder we have lost our sense of what it is to be a male! It would be too easy to blame our circumstances and our up bringing, but we know all too well that it would do absolutely no good. With the 30 days focus on masculinity I aim to watch movies that showcase the man in all it’s splendor, spend some time with the guys… and I want to spend time playing sports and being physical as well as read books portraying great men throughout history.

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The Bystander

By Anne Vincent-Toumelin

A round Christmas time I look at all the dinners I had the joy to partake in and express gratitude to the people who have been there for me during the year.

We make it difficult, but it is easy to open up, let the defenses down and show some good will and warmth to the people around us. We can read books and understand the concepts, but to live them; that is something else entirely. Mindfulness can render us paralyzed as an observer. We can become analytical and lose all sense of connection with the world. There are two passages from two different books that talk about this subject which I find rather important to keep in mind when we delve into ourselves.

The first passage is from Erich Fromm, an astute observer of the roots and fruits of the Personality Ethic :

Today, we come across an individual who behaves like an automaton, who does not know or understand himself, and the only person that he knows is the person that he is supposed to be, whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech, whose synthetic smile has replaced genuine laughter, and whose sense of dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain. Two statements may be said concerning this individual. One is that he suffers from defects of spontaneity and individuality which may seem to be incurable. At the same time it may be said of him he does not differ essentially from the millions of the rest of us who walk upon this earth.

The second passage is from a book called King Warrior Magican Lover written by Robert L Moore and Douglas Gillette:

The man under the power of the Manipulator not only hurts others with his cynical detachment from the world of human values and his subliminal technologies or manipulation, he also hurts himself. This is the man who thinks too much, who stands back from his life and never lives it. He is caught in a web of pros and cons about his decisions and lost in a labyrinth of reflective meanderings from which he cannot extricate himself. He is afraid to love, to “leap into battle.” He can only sit on his rock and think. The years pass. He wonders where the time has gone. And he ends by regretting a life of sterility.

This is especially tragic when it happens to someone who initially had good intentions, but lost his way. I can’t say for sure what is the best remedy for apathy. In some cases it is someones love, in other cases it is about acting in very different ways, which will produce very different results while Victor Frankl was proposing finding meaning in life. In the end, learn to know yourself, but try to keep an image of what it means to be human so you avoid falling into objectifying every experience.

And while I’m at it; Wishing a merry Christmas to everyone!

Twenty Years of Experience in One Day

I went to my usual training session at the boxing club. I am currently running a bit of a fever and feeling generally weak. I don’t know if it’s the lack of sun exposure, the 12 consecutive days of work, the training regiments I go through, the late-night partying or a mix of all of these things that make me want to hide under a rock for the rest of eternity, but as usual, I try to see what kind of gift every situation has in store for me.

Being incredibly tired starts with resistance and frustration, but usually ends up with acceptance. In that full moment of surrender things suddenly get much clearer. To the point that our usual though processes leave room for new concepts that we are usually closed to initially.

Now to get back to the training session at the boxing club, I was shaky as described previously. The coach leading our group nitpicked every false move I made. I didn’t tell him that I felt like shit; didn’t see how that would make anything better nor did I feel like there was any injustice going on. I showed up knowing I would have trouble keeping up. We were going in circles doing pads with the coach one on one. During my waiting period I was having random thoughts: about competing, about my high standards, how people interacted with me. It had suddenly dawned upon me. What if I could convince the club to host an event where I would spar for 20 rounds with different people. How much experience I would be able to pack up in that single hour? I am certain that this kind of action is a one way ticket to acute learning. The same can be said about other things in life. From fears to challenges, they all benefit from situations that push us to our limits.

I’m currently looking at my internal processes to see how direct, magnified exposure could massively shift my consciousness and open up new avenues. It is not necessarily true that we need years of experience to attain anything at all. It is about effective practical emphasis.

Food for thought.