Τρίτη, 24 Απριλίου 2012

The extreme way






So I was having a rough day on that particular day. I had to deal with a  lot of of 'difficult' behavior from people around me that wore me down and almost drove me to despair. After work I sought the company of a good friend of many years to vent. He listened  to all my rantings and then he reminded to me of a story  that I would love to share with the rest of the world,along with its morale:



''There lived a wise man in ancient Greece whose name was Diogenes. Men came from all parts of the land to see him and talk to him.
Diogenes was a strange man. He said that no man needed much, and so he did not live in a house but slept in a barrel, which he rolled about from place to place. He spent his days sitting in the sun and saying wise things to those who were around him.
When Alexander the Great came to that town he went to see the wise man. He found Diogenes outside the town lying on the ground by his barrel. He was enjoying the sun.
When he saw the king he sat up and looked at Alexander. Alexander greeted him and said:
"Diogenes, I have heard a great deal about you. Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Yes," said Diogenes, "you can step aside a little so as not to keep the sunshine from me."
The king was very much surprised. But this answer did not make him angry. He turned to his officers with the following words:
"Say what you like, but if I were not Alexander, I should like to be Diogenes."


According to other sources Alexander and Diogenes shared a lot of things before Alexander concluded that he would love to be Diogenes. We will never know exactly what those two great men said to each other. But here is the morale of the story,cordially given to me by my friend:

Both Alexander and Diogenes were men of extremes,two very opposite extremes. Alexander was the man of action ,bold,decisive,massive,indomitable,unstoppable action that helped him conquer the world. Diogenes,on the other hand, advocated total denouncement of anything wordly, total letting go as the road to bliss and wisdom. Both men were outstanding and successful in their own chosen (extreme) path.

What does that tell you? If you'd like to live a 'normal',peaceful,happy life you should do,be,act and think with the motto 'everything in moderation' in mind. But if, like Alexander and Diogenes, you would like to achieve exceptional results,there are two roads ahead: either massive,bold action and a fighting spirit or total surrender,trust and letting go.

Both approaches lead to great results,both are bound to give you what you want. Because absolute truth,my friend,is always hiding in the extreme and never in the lukewarm 'middle road'. However,you  can't just begin with the one method,then switch onto the other,then change your mind again and go on faltering,expecting to achieve anything this way. This is not how it works. You have to be consistent in your chosen method or else you're on your way to confusion land.


My friend concluded: ''Eirini,you are definitely not a balanced person. You are Alexander's version of extremity.''( I guess that's why Diogenes approach appeals so much to me, it's something I'll never be able to achieve, so I'm in awe of it.).''Sometimes you take things and reactions to the extreme. ''(fucking right he is, I can listen to the same ole' song that I like at that particular moment for hours on end,like 50-60 times without tiring of it!) ''Take today'',he went on. ''You blew things out of proportion and you hate the guts of everyone and everything because of a few nuisances. You're about to wage war on all humanity for being stupid and assholish. You are overreacting. But that's OK,'' he added,''because that's how all great things were accomplished on this planet, by someone taking things to the extreme. The same passion that fuels your anger and frustration,fuels your creativity. And believe me,if you sacrifice the first,you'll end up losing the latter as well,because they are the different sides of the same coin. So go on taking things to their extreme.  Keep  at it!''


Τhe more I think about it,the more I conclude he was right. 


The two extreme ways. Of course.


Be a  man/woman of the extremes! Life is big,life is larger than life,life is extreme. The more you try to prove it is small and contained, the more it sets about to prove you wrong,with extreme life experiences or 'lessons'. 


Be an action,passionate driven maniac or choose total surrender. They are both cool and if you choose the one but you still feel critical of the other,you obviously have a long way to go. And you'll probably fail, because being critical of something means that you need and crave it like mad,so maybe you should choose the other way instead. 


Be like Alexander. Be like Diogenes.


Be your extreme self, the warrior or the prophet. 


The world is too tired of mediocrity and your safe version.




                                    Love,peace and taking it to the extreme
                                                           Eirini









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