The source of struggle, the part of you who fears death and desires immortality. He also looks down on those “simple people” who don’t pursue great things like him.
When you think about death, what are some of the thoughts that come up? This can be for yourself or others. Perhaps one of the thoughts in there goes something like this: “It isn’t fair, it’s not fair that I should die, that anything should end. I’ll find a way to avoid that kind of finality…”
The force inside you that those thoughts come from responds to death and loss with the desire to become immortal. It wants to become “somebody”, to make its mark on history, or to simply live on through the memories of others. I can come up with all sorts of ways to do this, too. For instance, say you have a hobby you like, such as Badminton. Maybe this part of you thinks about training to be an Olympic level Badminton player, and to win fame and fortune through that. THEN it will be remembered, THEN it will have surpassed death.
My Inner Warrior, being stared down by The Knowledge of Death, who often takes the form of a blood-stained hawk.
Today, a challenge was given to me: to accept death. My warrior encountered the side of myself who dwells in the knowledge of death (and all of the most horrible aspects of reality). This made me realize the warrior side of me was still weak, still not looking death in the face.
It turns out that the side of myself who appeared as a hawk with bloodstained wings (who I mentioned briefly here), and the side that keeps death in mind, are one in the same. Needless to say, many other parts of me try to ignore him or avoid him, thinking instead about particular aspects of life that favor what they want in the moment, rather than the whole.
For instance, think about goals. If you have a goal in life, thinking about how death would render that goal meaningless probably isn’t going to help you. It might bring you down, or, even if you do accomplish the goal, thinking about death might leave you with an empty feeling.
And warriors operate on goals: they see a goal, and break through the barriers standing in the way. But what is that warrior fighting for? If they kept death in mind, the impermanence of things, would they make the same choice?
Had a talk with another one of my malcontents today, who I call “paranoia”. Found out several things about this guy:
His whole job, as he defines it, is to avoid death.
Since there is no room for error in this job, he can get pretty stressed out.
Also because of no room for error, he often extrapolates suspicions about what might possibly lead to death, and tries to make sure those paths are avoided. This can get pretty extreme, for example something like, “we’ve got to make sure we keep up good appearances to others so that we don’t get stigmatized and thus are more likely to fall into poverty and thus die early.”
Ultimately, his purpose for starting this in the first place was to preserve life. By doing his job right, he can preserve the lives of those who enjoy life.
By consequence, he is afraid of letting down those who enjoy life, for if they are ever endangered, he’s often the one to get the blame.
I finally got him to calm down a bit when I told him that if any of those he’s trying to protect ever did blame him, or ever did die – whatever might have happened is part of life – and he can rest in knowing that he did everything he knew to do possible. Anyone who still has a problem with this is being unfair to him. Maybe it’s a small change, but at least I got through to him. He was extremely paranoid, after all. And even if it’s a small voice within one’s self, that paranoia can make life pretty chaotic.