Thursday, June 12, 2014

Good ol' Character!

By the time I get the courage I am drunk and you are tired...

I have always been a fan of people with great character. Fictional characters also. Personality is there abouts as well, but character seems to spring from somewhere deeper. To me anyway, there seems to be a scale that runs from the shallow end of personality to the deep end of spirituality. And character lies somewhere comfortably in between. I say comfortably because things always seem to work out when you hit that sweet spot in the middle, while experiencing the other extremities now and then for a bit of adventure. But that middle ground is your stability. In Buddhism they like to talk about "the middle way" a lot.

Personality, to me, is based in reality. It is the image of ourselves that we present to others briefly. Banter, chit-chat, small talk all fall into this category. News programs like their weathermen/women to have bubbly personalities. Your favorite fruit and veg grocer might have the same, but you can never get a good sense of a person from this alone. It seems like this personality image can be easily discarded. If you spent your whole life small talking and chit chatting, it would seem wafer thin. It would feel like you spent the whole time splashin' your toes about in the shallow water at the beach. Sure, you'd get a bit of sand and foamy water between your toes, but it would get a bit pointless after a while.

The weird thing is is that some people get stuck in this "extremety". They overindulge in it, and fail to see anything outside of it. Their life is shallow chit chat. Whether it be the weather, their local sports team, their favourite TV show etc. it's all good "common ground" stuff. It greases the social gears at work. Sometimes families even rely on it. But it can become extremely frustrating. Nothing substantial ever gets spoken about. People are always looking for the right thing to say, the socially acceptable point of view. It's the easy way out.

The other extremity is spirituality. It is profound, deep, they talk about "oneness", "reality is just an illusion", "we are the unconscious part of God's dream" etc etc WHAT!!?? That jump between chit chat and "cosmic energy" is just too great. That's why to the average person, spiritual types seem crazy, and why to spiritual types shallow people seem crazy. The shallow "feeling" of small talk seems to crash when it encounters spiritual "we are all projections from the source" talk. And one side ends up thinking the other is crazy.

I have met my fair share of "profound", "deep", "intellectual" people, and I can honestly say it can be just as frustrating as small talk. It's an obsession with "the profoundness" of things. I have been there myself. And I annoyed the hell out of myself. It's just being stuck at the other extremity (the deep end) of things and not being able to see the way out. For example, in the morning you wake up rubbing your eyes, turn and mumble to your partner "what are you doing today...." and your girlfrind/boyfreind says "I'm communicating with my higher self. Reality is just an illusion, we are all God" What!!??

The way to get out of this in my opinion is finding the sweet spot of character. Character lies somewhere in between. When I think of character I think of honesty, courage, bravery, humility etc. Now these things can integrate with everyday life. It's the rock on which you can "build your house". From this stable platform you can indulge in a bit of small talk AND spirituality on the other side. The "leap" isn't THAT great. You're the link between the two extremities. The physical (personality) and the non physical (spiritual).

Anyway, to be a great character you've got to WANT to be a great character. Let your mind go in that direction. It's got to be a vision that pulls you towards it. You will get your own moments of clarity. You will look to great characters that you admire. You will figure out the core principles of their character. Hard work, humor, courage, bravery, honesty. You will incorporate these ideas into your own life. You might see great changes. Anyway, I just like to ramble sometimes and that's that. No great "one liner" sentence that sums it all up. I shall talk more about character in the future.

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