Updated: Oct 20
“Every setback is just another opportunity to sharpen your skill and solidify your strategy for eventual triumph” - A. W. Finnegan
There comes a time for some of us in this lifetime to reach a point in questioning why we exist, who put us here and for what purpose? What really is this Great Mystery we call Life and the Universe? One thing we can say with certainty is that the Universe and this world has an underlying order to it, a self-sustaining order or drive, a force or energy that propels life forward and allows it to come into existence. This order is inherent in the physical and spiritual realms, and we are bound to it always.
From the moment life comes into existence, it struggles for life, it fights for survival, it toils at the mercy of adversity, inertia and Time. It is driven forward by some will power or driving force that pushes onward in the harshest of conditions and environments to come into existence, live as it may, and submerge back into the vast ocean of infinity.
All we can say with certainty is that this underlying force is inherent in all living things and forms. Even the habitat in which it lives has an order. This order or force has imparted to its many offspring, built-in mechanisms to survive. Moths with large eyes on their wings to scare off prey. Lions with massive paws with sharp claws and sharp teeth to kill and fetch itself food in order to survive. The scorpion with its big stinger full of venom from its tail to pierce its victim for food or fend off its prey. They all face numerous obstacles. Every day they live is full of risk and danger.
My comparison to the animal kingdom is only an analogy to show that this drive is inherent in all life, to show that there is an intelligence behind the entire universe. The Divine essence is present in all living things, in varying degrees. Humans are of the higher degree, in which more responsibility is placed on them. Because we also have a significant degree of the lower, animalistic nature, we are responsible for being in control of it and using it in a moral way.
When life is born into the physical realm, go up against incredible odds, yet they are able to experience the love of surviving, of adventure, of connection in mating, bringing forth more life, nurturing their newborns before letting them go off into the world on their own to continue the battle onward to maintain its strenuous existence. To carry the torch of struggle and survival. Over time, life begins to acquire for itself more suitable traits repeatedly executed and willed into existence by those who came before it. These traits soon become the instincts or survival mechanisms inherent in all the future progeny.
In human existence, order also exists, and while some similar survival mechanisms that exist in the animal kingdom are also present in human beings, Humans are of a different order and degree of consciousness than the animal kingdom. Humans have more emphasis on the higher, spiritual nature inherent within. They have more emphasis on creative expression and morality. They are also forced to struggle and overcome obstacles that can be just as painful as the physical struggle for survival in the animal kingdom, but socially and morally the human existence is apart from the animal kingdom, forced to adapt and grow in the higher nature, or be pulled into the pit of suffering and misery to its inevitable defeat.
All of this is shaped by our response to one chaotic angle: Adversity.
Adversity is the cruel sword that severs the limbs of complacency, the coldest rain that covers the warmth of comfort in a freezing sheet of ice. It is a manifestation of cause and effect working in the confines of Time. Time is the dimension of Saturn, symbolized by the Reaper. The reaper is a symbol of reaping what has been sown, continuous execution and transformation. This angle of existence can be the most chaotic and appear terrible and cruel, but in reality it is cruel to the evils of ego and self-made kingdoms of illusion and untruth. They say the truth hurts. It hurts when we live lies. It is the poison of sewing infected seeds to bring forth diseased fruits. It is the painful realization of repeatedly making the same mistakes resulting from repeatedly making the same bad choices that brought forth the same bad result.
However, the chaos of Adversity is not always destructive and cruel. It depends how you live and how you approach it. When one begins to know the resilient, surviving force within us all, to understand the illusions we weave into this existence, one can begin the process of unraveling them, training to adapt and function within adversity’s currents. One can move with it instead of against it. When we find ourselves bitter, angry, resentful, and beaten down by life, we can transform our life by changing our direction to allow the cruel current of Time and Adversity to push us forward instead of being devoured in the undertow and swallowed back into the vast ocean of darkness.
The moment one realizes the powerful feeling of being carried with its current to move forward, one may find it is not so cruel, but very empowering and life-giving. One may realize that the conflict in utilizing Adversity’s blessing was restrained by the inability to move beyond the confines of comfort and the old ways of doing things. It is prevented from chasing the wind for a life of self-made illusions, a failure to accept what is, let go of what was, and step into the Unknown. The evil of fear, especially fear of the Unknown, prevents most of us from reuniting with the current of Adversity, one of the terrible aspects of Time. Adversity, Risk, Fear, and the Unknown are some of Time’s most terrible forms.
In Time, Adversity is your teacher, your life’s personal trainer, it is the basis of your apprenticeship to Master your Destiny in accordance with Truth. We learn what love really means in the face of Adversity. It brings forth our weaknesses. It brings forth our strengths. It brings forth that underlying drive to survive, to overcome, to push forward. Adversity will either strengthen and empower us, or it will weaken and destroy us. It is we who decide in which direction it takes us.
Adversity will test us at every step, to see who is devoted from who is not. Adversity will impart the Truth to us and see who is trustworthy and sincere from who is dishonest and double-dealing. Adversity will prove the phony romance from an everlasting marriage. Adversity will cut the weak and fearful from the brave and courageous. Adversity is the light-bearer of character, the test of loyalty, devotion, and Heart. Life is full of struggle. Life is full of cruelty, cruel people with malicious hearts, who find solace in abuse, tearing others down, lying and cheating you. Malicious hearts that don’t hesitate to take your kindness for weakness, to repay selfless Love and sincerity with dishonesty and ingratitude.
There is no growth without struggle, there is no gain without pain. When we skate through life on the surface and live only through the surface of comfort, living through fear, we fail to pierce the depths. We fail to pierce the depths in which growth exists. We fail to lift the veil and bear our light in the world full of darkness. We fail to see the way forward. We fail to live fully. We live only with mind and body, rather than living with mind, body, and Soul. It is through Adversity that we lose ourselves. It is in the midst of Adversity we rejoice and learn that we were much more than we could have imagined.
We discover the substance of who we are when we align with the current that carries us around the Adversities that face us every day. We discover our capability. We discover our creative spirit to shape our nature like the four elements that make this plane of existence: Water, Fire, Earth, Air.
In Adversity’s ever-changing current we become like water, to assume formlessness, to bend ourselves around the new shapes and forms of life’s environment, fully adaptable and resilient.
Through Adversity’s darkness we become like fire, raging through the cold winds that threaten to extinguish our flame and glory.
Through Adversity’s current we become like air to carry ourselves through the motions of Time and the strain of its inertia.
Through adversity’s stormy, chaotic weather, we become like Earth, to form solid principles, realistic approaches, for our Truth to stand up against the tests of Time, hardened like stone to the brutal realities and vicious elements of its environment.
In traversing these elements we find a 5th element: Spirit, the force within us that carried us through, that non-physical essence of Will-power, filling us with the inspiration to struggle onward, to inspire us with the gift of choice, to find expression like the four elements within this physical existence to the service of our survival. With the gift of Time and Adversity we see through the Illusions covering the surface of physical existence. Adversity is the current we learn to face when our Great Mother sends us into the wild, out of love for our survival, to learn to stand on our own and in our own light, hoping that we remember her embrace as we enter the Unknown, to carry ourselves forward, struggle, overcome our obstacles in the glory of Her gift of giving us Life.
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Many thanks to my true friends, few as they are. To my family, and my extended family. Many thanks to those who took their time to work with me, artists, musicians, my mentors in Natural Law, fitness, and life in general. Special thanks to Guru Vashish ji, for his kindness and selfless assistance in taking the time to help me in my studies and respect to the care of the Great Mother Kali Maa. Blessings to my friends no longer with me who have passed on. Many thanks to heavy metal music for getting me through some of the toughest times: Dissection, At the Gates, Dark Tranquility, Death, Sepultura, and the many others. Finally, I want to thank those who have no faith in me, those who don’t believe in me or appreciate me, it is the fuel that drives me forward…