Read below five mind-blowing quotes specially selected for men seeking to grow and develop the wisdom that will guide you into dealing with the incredibly dangerous pitfalls of temptation, impulsivity, indiscipline and addiction properly.
By following the below quotes you can achieve a state of preparedness for all of life’s demands and challenges.
“Sin actually translates to ‘missing the mark’, to not living life” – Neale Donald Walsch
As men in recovery we have undoubtedly engaged in ‘sinful’ behaviour. Yet a defining characteristic of the addict (in recovery or not) is in his deep, penetrating and pathological fear of being judged; of being irredeemable and of being cast-aside from the flock, left to fester in shame and pain.
Walsch here not only explains the original meaning of sin, but smashes apart the conventional dogma holding that sinning is mere bad behaviour that should be scorned and sinners ignominiously derided.
This confusion around sinning unleashes the most hellish torrent of guilt upon lost men, reducing their hearts to whimpers and chests to dust. On this path, there is only more sin, more confusion and more fear.
By reevaluating the true spiritual meaning of sin, we see it not as a deep personal flaw, but as a consequence of bad decisions taken by men without guidance and meaning.
Sin, when seen as just missing the aimed target (i.e. our goal of harmonious living), is something we’ve all experienced to greater or lesser extents.
These can be exemplified in examples as extreme as committing suicide due to the inability to deal with the relentless obsession of using to medicate pain / face the path of destruction one has caused, or spending an afternoon drinking or getting high when one has family, personal or working duties to attend to.
Both of the examples above exemplify the path of sinning as something that destroys or erodes the individual and his family / society, while the path away from sin is the path toward harmony.
This quote reminds us as men in recovery that sin is not an innate part of us, we are not ‘bad’, but have mis-aimed our trajectory of life, and that can always be rectified with astonishing results.
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people” – Carl Jung
This quote couldn’t be more prescient than it is today. We live in an era of internet outrage, when offence taking and virtue-signalling has become a method of orienting oneself in the world.
As men seeking peace, strength and stability, we cannot fall to hysteria. Such a seedbed of violent emotion offers no growth to us, only weakness and subordination as we point the finger outwards at society, parents, governments, religions.
The above entities may or may not have their faults, but while we have ours, we are in no position to order the world to our will.
Our duty is to search deep inside ourselves, free our souls, untangle the confusion in our minds and to try to live with discipline and integrity. If we achieve this, as a balanced wise man we may approach the outer world, always cognizant that action always overcomes words.
We would be unwise not to heed Jung’s guidance in these matters. Try it yourself: step away from the social media sphere of grievance mongering and anger, focus on yourself and your darkness for a few months.
Facing one’s darkness, converse to making one even more ‘evil’ is in reality the way to orient yourself in the world. It is the Great Teacher in articulating to us why and how not to judge others, how to face the world and how to discover who you really are.
To pretend one is all good is to adversely create evil. We must accept ourselves and our nature fully.
“The ego is a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment” – Eckhart Tolle
What is the ego? An animalistic, evolutionary defence against the ravages of nature, demanding we must be first at all times to develop? Maybe this is true, maybe it is just the mind when we seek identity in it, but find only pain as we succumb to the mind’s relentless demands.
However we see the ego, one thing we do know is how to temper it’s malign influence.
Tolle identifies that problem in this quote. We cannot seem to abide with the present moment, ever controlled by our erratic egos which throw us from trepidacious anxiety in the future, to heavy depressive obsession with past events and experiences.
In an era which seemingly knows so much in the realms of science and technology to our forebears, we have become deeply malnourished spiritually, as emaciated souls seek refuge in television, drugs, sex, porn and jobs.
It is time to move away from the ephemeral, empty addictions. They will never feed our souls and help us grow as men. We must take refuge from the fear of the future and pain of the past in the everlasting now.
From this vantage point, we can experience the world as it is, without bias, without fear, deeply in our fundamental capabilities as human beings. Free from the doubts, fears and constant cravings of the ego.
“The Tao is like water, it seeks the lowly level which men abhor” – Lao-Tzu
For the uninitiated, The Tao (roughly translated as ‘The Way’) is the Chinese practice stipulating life cannot be understood simply in conceptual terms, and must be actively experienced through one’s lived reality.
Lao-Tzu points out something so subtly profound that men, with our implicit grandiosity, can easily miss.
This chimes with the previous quote from Jung in that it articulates the vital idea we must acknowledge things and ourselves in our lowest forms. We must aim to be as the world is in itself, following its contours, seeking to learn from the way it moulds us.
This is the essence of true humility. Allowing life as it is to teach us, without trying to implement our definitions on it, understanding the wisdom within life is infinite and we are merely a channel through which it can flow.
Humility is not weakness. Humility is not being subordinate to other people and things. Humility is seeing oneself and things as they truly are and acting in respectful accordance.
“He not busy being born is busy dying” – Bob Dylan
This pithy line contains the intensity of every lived breath we have. It is our choice to get busy being born or get busy dying, one of the two will happen anyway whatever happens, so we sure as hell better chose to live.
The wisdom in this line not only confronts us with that decision we must make, but also represents the apex of our lived experience; that each thing we do (and how we do it) sets of a chain of events that either degenerates ever more painfully into the abyss of death, or leads us ever more gloriously and satisfyingly to the essence of living.
This opens up a whole new box of how life functions.
Not only are life and death binary absolutes, but the essence of both is contained in every breath, every conversation, every action and every desire.
It is our free will that can opt to fight against the raging resentment, sloth and impulsiveness that can lead us step-by-step, slowly and increasingly painfully to the realm of death. A death that is not just experienced by us but our families and friends, our peers and society as we dwell in the negative energy, symbiotically spreading its tentacles into all areas of life.
It is your choice to grow in life. It is your responsibility to be a living man of honour. It is your duty to bring forth the light from the dark.