*dedicated to Sarah for withstanding a lot of my conversations and hearing out my sob stories about dates gone wrong/right
Like most of us, I love underdog stories. Fighting can compress time, magnify emotions and reveal the narrative. I was cheering for a complete underdog Algeiri- a one division, newly crowned world champion in a boxing match against the eight division, well established and fearsome world champion Manny Pacquiao. Algeiri got beaten- thoroughly. Should he have kept his lesser belt and never fought Manny Pacquiao? Was this worthless ? Etc…
Of course, I see myself as Algeiri and the difficulties of life like Pacquiao. The emotional responses to the result- a win or a loss are also easy to guess. So these questions are foreseeable and quite common. Yet, or hence they must be extremely important. Naturally, the answers are also foreseeable.
Spirituality/growing up/mastery is about connection. It is about finding how my particular common talent can best shine using well known tools to master myself. It can then reduce entropy and connect. It is the outcome and the randomness in life that end up being unique, not really me. Just like I am the vessel for divine but it is not helpful think of myself as divine.. Although of course I am CONNECTED to it and am it etc.
The feeling of uniqueness is a sampling problem. If you are the tallest person in a village and they treat you differently – look at 10,000 villages and you will find many tall people. You may start a village consisting of the tallest person in each village and then be the shortest person in that village…So your tallness is interesting and shapes you and you should of course enjoy it and let others enjoy it but it cannot be the most important thing about you in a cosmic sense.
Initially a lot of what we feel is unique about ourselves- experiences- first love, mistakes, tendencies and talent are generally quite predictable and common. That is most of our ego. The fear of hurting our feelings and the unwillingness to face ourselves, the secret fear that we are really quite “common” and hence our lives are worthless, can keep us tied to it and we can go our entire lives without REALLY connecting. It keeps us from giving ourselves to the world and accepting the world in return, truly attaining consciousness and engaging with all the incredible raw material available to play with and create something “special” or deeply necessary.
Our ego keeps us from the connection it so desperately seeks. This is the cosmic irony.
That’s the cruel gods of myth laughing at us. However, once we are prepared to give up the ego and commit to going deep and submit to walking the path of mastery/connection to something bigger than ourselves then we start connecting to the random, evolving and beautiful world around us. As we walk this path and acquire the ability to go deep, we understand. We are closer to reality. And once our ego is not preventing us from seeing reality and we have acquired the ability to create, we can take these blocks of reality and truly create beautiful things- some of which may be unique and contribute things not seen so far or contribute known things we need or whatever needs to be done.
The egoless person is incredibly powerful. They can quite likely acquire skills faster- after accounting for natural talent because they can perceive reality fast! They are difficult to control for the “wrong” reasons (connection destroying/someone else’s ego serving). And an egoless person with skills is even more powerful. They are divine, or more precisely, can invoke divinity. They contribute to the collective conscious, the entropy reduction, the truth that we all can enjoy and worship.
So what about Pacquiao and Algeiri? So of course I think Algeiri should fight Pacquiao. That’s the only way to learn. If he wants to continue to box, he might as well learn from the master. If Pacquiao beats him because of superior random physical allocation, that’s something Algeiri can then judge very fairly. Then he can choose to keep acquiring the skill of boxing because it truly connects him to something deeper and beautiful or realize that his human self/other skills/another deeper connection will suffer because of the brain damage, limitations of the human body and physical nature of the sport. Of course if he has a better physical allocation then he can learn and get better and become world champion. The point is that he is free. He KNOWS. And then he can move quickly, freely without the limitations of the ego. Then the truth will shine- Pacquiao is the instrument that gets him closer to the truth and the world championship is noise.
As humans we need that to focus ourselves and we are not totally free of our physical self’s survival needs. But there is no need to give it “too much” importance. It should be more of the desire to respect and enjoy the random allocation that is life and an evolved form like human at that, by doing beautiful things and connecting that should drive us. Not a miser’s desire to just cling to this lucky incident of being alive. Because while dead or non-living things not being able to connect is perhaps sad, sentient beings imprisoned by their ego is definitely tragic!