The title is a quote from the collected works of Swami Vivekananda. My choice for the topic for this week’s 2 on 1 post came about inspired by the following comment by my fellow 2 on 1 blogger Shackman on my last week’s 2 on 1 post. “Mostly though I simply accept what has been my life essentially as my destiny – which frankly surprised me.” He zapped me further when I suggested this title with – “The Swami speaks again! Sounds good!”
Here is the Swami’s take on the topic.
In 2007, Nassim Nicholas Taleb published a book called The Black Swan. In it, he argues that human history is best understood in terms of its most consequential events. The thing about these events is that, once they’ve already happened, we always think we understand the causes of why they occurred. But the truth is, that they’re fundamentally unpredictable. We only have the illusion of understanding them. The implication, and the meat of Taleb’s book, is about how you have to expect the unexpected.
So, how does one go about expect the unexpected and also accept that there is every likelihood of the unlikely happening?
The answer lies in two parts. The first is in The Serenity Prayer. For the uninitiated, it is as follows:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Even if one is an atheist or an agnostic, instead of “God”, one can say “May I have” as a means of auto suggestion and the advice given in the topic becomes a child’s play.
The second part is in the Zen observation’
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.”
~ Matsuo Bashō
Both parts suggest developing a state of equanimity. Difficult to put into practice but, not impossible. Just about every spiritual discipline suggests that one tries to reach this stage of being, so that one can live a peaceful and stress free life.
To know others is wisdom;
To know yourself is enlightenment
To master others requires force;
To master yourself requires true strength.”
~ Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Ch 33.
Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same topic.