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Mastering Virtue - Your Weapon of Choice

Discussion in 'Wild Card Forum' started by fifthcolumn, May 23, 2019.

  1. fifthcolumn

    fifthcolumn Active Member

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    When I first woke up with my head outside the matrix, I was daunted. There were no road maps. There were no precedents. There were no authority figures to tell me how to proceed. And there was certainly no clear view of the terrain or my place in it. It felt like staring into the abyss. Unending blackness all around me, and no way to even tell up from down.

    I thought about it for a while and came to a conclusion. In an abyss, all one needs is some solid ground. If I could find even the smallest purchase upon something stable, I could at least begin to build from there.

    I had heard some New Age concepts and the one that struck me the most was the emphasis on Love. I thought that was an excellent archetype to hold up above all others. I had no doubt in my mind that if we all held the belief that Love should reign supreme, the world would be a much better place.

    I also liked the concept of Light. Knowledge is often likened to Light and I really dig that metaphor. The Light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance. To 'enlighten' yourself would have the side effect of brightening the area for all those around you. Not to mention, in the blackness of an abyss, an asshole could really use a little Light.

    So I decided that if I grounded every action I took in Love and Light, that would be all the solid ground I would need to get started. I would conjure two pillars from beneath me, rising up to meet my feet. Pillars made from the most solid footing a human could ask for- Love and Light.

    But the people who know me, know that I've got a little "warmonger" in me. Maybe it's some past life stuff, or maybe it's just a little too much Rambo and A-Team in my youth. Whatever the cause, I know myself well enough to understand that imagery and concepts of battle entice, engage, and energize my subconscious mind. So I decided I needed a weapon.

    My weapon would be a light-saber. Because the image of me flipping and ninja-ing back and forth atop two pillars, while tossing and spinning a glowing sword against the black background of the abyss is too cool for words. My subconscious mind is definitely going to play that game. But what would my sword be made of?

    I decided to look into concepts of "goodness." Virtues. Those traits that people naturally find supportive and nurturing and empowering and righteous. The one that struck me first was Gratitude. I had recently seen a number of studies showing that people who reported to feel Gratitude on a regular basis lived both longer and happier lives.

    I had also just heard a story about a medieval priest who was thrown into a dungeon for pissing off some king. Medieval dungeons were not optimal conditions for human health. Cold, damp, and filthy. Surviving off of scraps of moldy bread and lapping up puddle water that collected in the grooves on the floor- never to be let outside to see the sun.

    When they finally pulled the priest out of the hole, people were astonished. He had appeared to have gained weight! With rosy cheeks! Many said he looked better than when he went in. They asked him how he had managed it. "I just thanked God for every little thing they gave me."

    My definition of Gratitude had always been writing your Irish Catholic grandmother a Thank You card for the birthday money in the hopes that she'd lay another tenner on you come St. Patrick's Day. I had little to no real experience with Gratitude. Not like that priest.

    I decided that Gratitude would be the light saber I would wield on pillars of Love and Light in the abyss. I would learn it and master it. I would practice new techniques and employ it in situations I had never considered before. And I got better and better with it.

    What I didn't know at the time was that as you begin to master your weapon of choice, it gets bigger. It grows so large that, eventually, you can plant it in the abyss as another pillar. More places to perch and more solid ground to maneuver from. More options when you need to dodge incoming attacks, and more safe footing to employ for counterstrikes.

    And once it is planted, you can choose a new light saber.

    What is best in life? Make the abyss into a dance floor, baby.

    Pick a virtue. (The Buddhist 8-fold path is another great place to find ideas). Practice and hone your skill with it.

    Make your section of the dance floor solid ground.

    Then, no one can stop us.