In ancient belief systems from around the world, Nature itself was depicted as feminine. Even now we refer to the planet as “Mother Nature”. In Eastern thought, the ground, the moon, water, ice, etc are all perceived as being of yin energy, which encapsulates the feminine. Now, while some people view Nature as loving, giving, and beneficent, the reality is that “she” is really capricious, callous, and indifferent. The same ground that provides humans and animals with a variety of nutritious plants to eat also produces poison. The river that nourishes a town could just as easily become engorged and wipe it away. Of course, Nature’s benevolence and malevolence are just concepts made up in our limited, human frame of reference. In truth, the planet doesn’t notice if people live or die; the planet just does what it does and WE are the ones that need to make adjustments. Nature doesn’t care if you find a baby goat adorable, if you don’t build a proper enclosure for it, it will get eaten by a predator. There’s no malice in such a scenario, there’s just what is.
The Woman as Temptress phase of the monomyth addresses this dichotomy. First the hero encounters the loving, caring, healing expression of reality’s feminine nature when he has his Meeting with the Goddess, only to be confronted with her opposite, almost immediately. Of course it’s not overtly perceived malevolence that he must face, rather it’s something more insidious that he must deal with and overcome; it’s the nature of his own weakness – his own flesh.
In his masterful book, Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men author Ryan Michler addresses our inner weakness when he talks about what he calls, “The Natural Man”. In chapter 3 he says, “The Natural Man is weak. The Natural Man is a coward. The Natural Man is lazy. The Natural Man is a liar, a cheat, and a thief. The Natural Man wants something for nothing. The Natural Man is pathetic. Unfortunately, the Natural Man is within all of us.”
What’s gotten our species as far as it has is not a penchant for adventure and magnanimity. Our earliest ancestors, for the most part, played it safe, stuck with their own kind, and took as many shortcuts as possible in order to keep themselves and their offspring alive. It wasn’t until civilization became more established that attributes like bravery, selflessness, sacrifice, trust, generosity, and other high-minded moralistic ideals could entrench themselves in our behavior. Still, our most primitive ancestor’s programming remains at the root of our brains, which is why very young children need to be taught not to steal, not to hit their friends, to tell the truth, etc. Toddlers are raw, unfiltered humans in their basest form and, as a father I will admit, they’re dirty little savages. That’s what we all are at our very cores; selfish, short-sighted, and tribal. Our bodies don’t want to do the hard work, they want us to shovel unhealthy food into our faces, stay weak, and screw with reckless abandon. Our higher minds, however, know that that won’t give us a fulfilling life.
Dr. Jordan Peterson speaks a lot on the subject of living a fulfilling life. His wise counsel is to live a life filled with meaning, which is not something that we can do if we just catered to our baser instincts. His best-selling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos dealt strictly with mitigating the seemingly malevolent forces of life, only to help us understand that it’s really how we deal with circumstances beyond our control that determines our level of success. His admonition to do things like “Stand up straight with your shoulders back” and “Clean your room” instills in us the tools needed to get over our baser instincts to take the easy way out.
On my first round I was tempted to stay with a network marketing company, a good one at that. It could have helped me to make a lot of money, but it was not accurate to who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I succeeded in overcoming that temptation, and I quit the business, focusing instead on my brand and my mission. When I found WFG, I became a partner because I realized that I could make a great deal of money, but remain true to my calling while doing so. However, another temptation crept upon me, and it’s one that, I’m sad to admit, I didn’t overcome, and this time around, I failed this stage.
Knowing what was coming before the Covid-19 Crisis began, and since I didn’t yet have a large volume of business coming in with WFG, I signed on with UberEats so that I could still make money while the places I worked at shut down. Within a couple of weeks I figured out the best times and routes to drive and was making good money. While I was doing that, however, my friends and mentors at the offices of Revolution Financial Management were busy doing something meaningful with their lives.
After the stock market took a massive dive, my colleagues were taking back-to-back appointments over Zoom to help everyday Americans save what was left of their retirement funds, as well as getting people the protection they needed for their families, should the worst happen to befall them. They were even signing on new business partners at an incredible rate. They were busy acting as the force that people needed in such volatile times, while I was busy ferrying hamburgers to already obese Americans for a thirty percent markup. Of course I justified it at the time; I needed to “pay my bills” and to “get ahead of things”, which were perfectly valid reasons, but they weren’t accurate.
I know full-well that when humans are up against a wall with no options left they somehow find the means to pull a hat-trick. Hell, it’s what I’ve been writing about and vlogging about and making podcasts about for the last few years! So, when things got tough, instead of putting my nose to the grindstone and getting to work like my colleagues, I channeled my competitive and addictive nature, not to the really important work like they did, but to menial work – to driving and delivering. I did it because it was easy, and comfortable; because I love being not only busy, but being in physical motion. I caved to the Natural Man inside of me, and instead of driving to make what I knew was enough, I drove to make MORE. My naturally competitive nature came out in full force and I went at it like an addict, seeing how much money I could make in the shortest amount of time. I made a game out of it, but it was one with no respawn, a defect I discovered when my failure became obvious, and I had to make Atonement With the Father.
Dr. Jordan Peterson: