“The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas.”
― Hermann Hesse, Demian
Birth is hard. It is the universe telling the youngster to break out of its world to face the new. Coming out of the comfort zone, it is the newcomer’s responsibility to courageously open the eyes to the vast unknown. It is the chick’s duty to hatch out of its egg diligently at its pace, just as it is the child’s duty to take in the first breath to initiate the use of the lungs. The struggle to abandon the existing to advance into the new is the most precious sign of vitality, and it is the mission of each individual to embrace the given battles graciously. If one finds it difficult, support can be given from surrounding forces, but ultimately it is a job that must be done alone in overcoming the obstacles. When the opportunity to do so is taken away, the individual is robbed of the initial win that proclaims the power to progress.
Every attempt to grow and blossom is beautiful and wondrous because it is a manifestation of the pursuiter’s livelihood and competence to flourish. If the fruits don’t originate from the self’s efforts, the festivity to commemorate the new developments is void of reason. No parent would cry out of joy at the sight of their child’s first steps if the merit of the outcome pertains to a mediator or to the parents themselves. The room for one to try and fail in the most inartificial condition is fundamental for the self’s confidence to arise, for the spirit knows when the credit is not its own.
My most valuable lessons come from F’s in class, my most ferocious survival instinct soared when I found myself cornered and deprived of help, the faith I have in myself to endure any barrier that the future may have on hold exists due to the “misfortunes” I happened to find during my life’s journey. If the capacity to turn around a bad situation is not encountered, it is not the fault of the situation itself, but rather the decision of the challenged to surrender to the inner voice that induces to escape instead of head-on confrontation.
If all students were readily granted a grade from C on without a failing system, the system would be committing a crime of deceiving the students, taking away the truth about their real performance, and as a consequence stealing the chance to investigate the why within themselves. It is a hard quest, but if one is to arise from the errors, it is a necessary procedure. What ought to be taught for the student to stand up from the failures is the courage to look into the downfall without negative associations and to candidly study his or her own behavior to understand the body of actions that generated the reaction. What ought to be supplied is not a granted grade, but helpful guidance and instruction tailored to each one’s aptitude and learning style, and the availability of tests molded accordingly to measure the student’s improvement.
Blame is the most dangerous enemy that obstructs the path to progress, whether that may be unreliable parents, lack of resources, or unsupportive spouse, anything that one uses to regard the self as worthy of pitying. It is the easiest device utilized to flee from problems, and is widely practiced independent of race, culture or social class, most commonly applied when the self’s worth is measured by external aspects in comparison to what the others seem to have or not. This mindset keeps the self blind from its true worth found in the internal force, fully capable of transforming to satisfy oneself, and it cumulatively clogs the passage to social development as a whole.
The Catholics summarized neatly the factors that result in our self-blindness with the “seven deadly sins“: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. Once born a human, not one is exempt from being prone to these temptations, and when the spirit is found guilty of falling into any of these, the chain reaction rooted from blame is usually evidenced in order to hide the shame one feels about oneself. No intelligence, beauty or riches protect against this human nature, and one should be counseled to be fearless and generous to accept the self’s flaws in the continuous endeavor to make the necessary corrections.
“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
― Hermann Hesse,
“Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the laws. Others sense their own laws within them.”
― Hermann Hesse, Demian