We Write Ourselves.

“How noble and good everyone could be, if at the end of the day they were to review their own behavior and weigh up the rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the start of each new day, and…certainly accomplish a great deal.”

— Anne Frank

We literally write ourselves. Honestly and truly, with reflection, we create our identities. Or, our habits do. It’s all in the stories we tell ourselves…

“I am time, the destroyer of all; I have come to consume the world. Even without your participation, all the warriors gathered here will die. Therefore arise, Arjuna; conquer your enemies and enjoy the glory of sovereignty. I have already slain all these warriors; you will only be my instrument.”

The Bhagavad Gita (Easwaran’s Classics of Indian Spirituality) (pp. 187-188). Nilgiri Press. Kindle Edition. Translated by Easwaran, Eknath.

The Gita is primarily about non-violence, and this quote is quite shocking. God is literally telling his instrument, Arjuna, to kill even though it’s in complete contradiction with the non-violence he has taught throughout the rest of The Gita.

In this part of Arjuna’s story, it is his responsibility. His foes are dead anyway. Whether he acts, or not they will die today. Krishna has just given Arjuna a vision of the depth and breadth of his wholeness. All of it. In the vision he is Vishnu, creator and destroyer of worlds. He is time. He is everything.

When I think of responsibility in that way, I am reminded of this Oppenheimer quote from when they first successfully tested the nuclear bomb in the Manhattan project. He said:

“I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”

— J. Robert Oppenheimer

That’s Vishnu.

“The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.”

— J. Robert Oppenheimer

They ended World War. Now it’s all small in comparison.

That’s responsibility
The math is clear.
Objective.

These stories give me perspective for my story, and that’s the one that matters because it’s the one that motivates me. In a way they make mine feel small, and manageable.

We write ourselves, so get on with it.

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