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Everything is a Battlefield

“Elevate yourself above the battlefield.” ~Robert Greene.


Life is a battle. It’s a battle against bewitchment. It’s a battle against sloth. It’s a battle against the pollution of the mind, body, and soul. Most of all, it’s a battle against entropy.


You are going to die. There’s no wiggling out of this absolute fact. In the meantime, you have your life. But everything in your life is at war against you. Entropy is ever present, eating away at what you think you own, slowly taking away what you think is yours.


As James Salter said, “There is no complete life. There are only fragments. We are born to have nothing, to have it pour through our hands.”


You turn away from entropy, again and again. You distract yourself with this or that task. You go on an adventure. You fall in love. You start a business. You start a family. You erect fortified comfort zones. But entropy will always be there, looming like a moth attracted to your fire. It smashes itself against all the shields you’ve erected. It outflanks you, an abyss you dare not stare into.


In the slow war with entropy, it will steal your adventure. It will eat away at your love. It will dismantle your business. It will separate your family. It will topple your walls. Death is always there, a looming specter. It whispers into your ear, “Live!” it says, “I am coming.”


“Live!” it says. But how best to do that on a battlefield? Is it better to ignore it and curl up in a ball at the center of your comfort zone? Is it better to cling to what you know, to pacify yourself, and lean on outdated religions? Is it better to escape through drugs or other addictions?


Or is it better to rise above it all and transcend your attachments with a good sense of humor?


The battlefield doesn’t have to be a warzone filled with dead bodies and hyperviolence. It can just as easily be your life. It can just as easily be you against death, you against your own mortal angst, you against God.


On a long enough timeline there is no timeline, at least regarding your own. Which is why it behooves you to live your best life. To utilize a sound strategy, especially in the face of tragedy. And the soundest strategy is elevated nonattachment.


As Seneca said, “It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.”


On any battlefield, it is always wise to elevate yourself above it. To gain a bird’s-eye-view. To go big picture to see how all the small pictures clash. To go Meta to see how everything connects to everything else. To gain perspective despite your fallible perception.


You elevate to prioritize what matters and what doesn’t. To figure out what to give a fuck about and what to let slide. As Rumi said, “The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.”


The great part is that what’s important and fulfilling is entirely up to you. But there will always be consequences for your choices. There will always be the greater law of the universe to contend with. Better to align what you give a fuck about with the healthy dictates of the cosmos so as to avoid the unhealthy consequences of ignoring them.


You elevate to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy. To distinguish between written manmade laws and unwritten universal laws. To discover why written laws shrivel into nothingness beneath the primacy of the unwritten law of the interconnected cosmos. As Hermann Hesse said, “As anywhere else in the world, the unwritten law defeated the written one.”


You elevate to discover your own conscience as pure law. To become the personification of checks and balances. You see how the answer is teaching people how to become bigger than the law, how to gain the capacity to have their own conscience as pure law, and how to become a more valuable human.


As Niels Bohr said, “Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are.”


Because only elevated people with their own conscience as pure law will have the courage and humor needed to make things better than they are. Only elevated people with their own conscience as pure law will have the audacity to paint the universe red with their insouciant curiosity, to mock the sinister self-seriousness that outflanks them, and to create their own meaning.


You elevate to get ahead of the curve. Above the battlefield, you see how everything is on the curve. No exceptions. You’re able to develop a good sense of humor. You use it to level the battlefield. Bias is squashed. Circular reasoning is straightened. Cognitive dissonance is curtailed. Ideologies are flattened. Your mind opens wide to the vital difference between possibility and probability.


Self-as-world and world-as-self becomes the supreme perspective. Egocentrism is trumped by eco-centrism. One-dimensional independence is subsumed by multidimensional interdependence. You see how it’s okay to shed outdated skin. To cut the dead weight. To burn off the dross. Life is too short to waste precious energy on outdated concepts or living in regret. The past is the past. Elevated above the battlefield, you see how it’s okay to forgive yourself and forgive your ancestors for their ignorance. It’s okay to move on.


When you elevate yourself above the battlefield, the world opens, the fountainhead overflows, the Philosopher’s Stone reveals itself. It launches you past cultural conditioning, indoctrination, and brainwashing. And as the world opens up, so do you. Your mind opens. Your heart swells. Your soul unlocks. You become a sponge for higher knowledge, hungry and hopeful for novelty. Adaptable and improvisational, you become a dancing Lao Tzu Master.


Elevated above it all, your radical sense of humor transforms the battlefield into a daisy field. Hardheartedness is transformed into lightheartedness. Seriousness is transformed into sincerity. Nihilism is transformed into adaptability. Hubris is transformed into humility. Fear is transformed into fuel.


The absurdity of the cosmic joke is a blackhole sun? So be it. Elevated above the battlefield, you’re able to turn the tables on your existential angst and have a laugh.

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About the Author:

Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.


This article (Everything is a Battlefield) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.



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