houston news, houston local news, breaking news in houston, houston weather at newscast media




















2012 election


Part I-Taming the beast within when left to our own devices


A cloudy day in front of Buckingham Palace, London-England


by Joseph Earnest  September 27, 2012            

Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—"Do not just live life, live with passion.  Do not live a planned, orderly life; take chances. Even the failures that may result from taking chances could be used to enhance personal growth."  The preceding words came from the great philosopher and behavioral scientist Nietzsche.


Let me ask the reader a question.  If you were given $1,000,000 what would you do with it?  Just pause for a second and think.  What would you do with that kind of money?


The reason I ask that question is because most people, when left to their own devices, would probably self-destruct, because of the beast that is trapped within, that has not been tamed. In answering the million dollar question, most people would probably think of what they would do to gratify themselves.


Yet one should ask oneself another question. How is your existence, your life, benefiting others?  We know there is something greater than ourselves for which we exist to undertake.  Yet we've been conditioned to believe that we are the centers of the universe and the world revolves around us.  Society has done an excellent job replacing the bigger picture that we should all have, with an narrow and immediate sense of self absorption.  The questions we usually ask ourselves tend to revolve around the self like, "When will I get a job promotion, or where can I find the closest movie theater or shopping mall?"


That part is the untamed aspect of our nature.  Everybody who has an addiction will tell you it started out as a habit, and now it is a lifelong addiction. This is because the self-destructive aspect of a person that he or she does not destroy in its infancy, will in the end, destroy that person.


Nietzsche believed that there were two major aspects of human nature—the Apollonian  and the Dionysian.  The Apollonian aspect of human nature represents our rational side, our desire for tranquility, predictability, and orderliness.  The Dionysian aspect represents our irrational side, our attraction to creative chaos and to passionate, dynamic experiences.


In fact both Freud and Nietzsche shared the goal of helping individuals gain control of their powerful, irrational impulses in order to live more creative lives. But how does a person gain control of irrational impulses to have a productive life? To answer that question, I will turn to classical antiquity, to the writings of Augustine.


In his book De ordine, Augustine sums it up this way: "There are then three things in which that 'something reasonable' is to be seen.  One is in actions directed toward an end; the second is in discourse; the third is in pleasure.  The first admonishes us to do nothing without purpose.  The second, to teach correctly; the last to find delight in contemplation." (Augustine's De ordine, Chapter 12, verse 35).


Augustine is simply asking us to question our motives before we embark on any undertaking.  This of course requires us to reflect (contemplate) and take an inventory of ourselves, yet this particular act is perhaps the hardest thing for a human to do, because it requires taking responsibility for our actions whether good or bad.  It is a lot easier to take responsibility for successes than for our shortcomings.


The photograph above, is one of woman raising an olive branch with a tamed lion by her side.  I personally took that picture on a trip to London, in front of Buckingham Palace, that you can see on the left.  To me, the sculpture symbolizes a life of moderation and balance.  It symbolizes someone who is whole. An olive branch symbolizes peace, which means she is at peace with herself internally, the reflection of which is a tamed lion (the Dionysian/irrational aspect of ourselves), and this peace is manifesting itself externally, through her expressive gesture with the olive branch.

Continue to Part II - Taming the beast within for more about the photo>>

                                                 Add Comments>>

Related stories:

Part II - Taming the beast within when left to our own devices





       Find newscast media on youtube for houston news and local breaking news        get newscast media news feeds for breaking news, houston local news and world news.          Get our facebook updates on world news, houston news and houston local news including sports         Twitter

 Join the Newscast Media social networks

for current events and multimedia content. 





 Copyright© Newscast Media. All Rights Reserved. Terms and Privacy Policy