My next “disaster report” isn’t quite ready yet and may take several more days of prep, so for this week’s blog I’m taking a brief look at quite a different topic…
Wolves… one of my favourite animals – who can resist them? They are the spirit of the Wilderness and also represent the survival struggle of the Native Americans, as both have been persecuted by “civilization” and lost much of their freedom to roam at will. So many of the places they once roamed free have been bisected by fences, roads and railways.
What do you see in the image below?
Both of these forces are at work inside every one of us, seeking dominance of our hearts and minds like two wolves. The story goes that a Cherokee boy, feeling peeved at the way a friend had treated him, went to his grandfather for advice.
Grandfather said: In all of us there dwell two wolves. One is Evil: personified by greed, hostility, anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, arrogance, self-pity, inferiority, lies, self-pride and ego.
The other is Good: represented by joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindles, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
The boy thought for a minute and then asked fearfully: But which wolf will win?
Grandpa replied: The one you feed.
Whether we are NT or somewhere on the Asperger/Autism spectrum, we still have our two wolves to feed.
Anger, when correctly tamed and harnessed, can be directed towards fighting injustice, cruelty, violence and hatred. It is selfish anger we need to overcome. When we see or hear of people or animals being abused in any way, our justly kindled anger and sorrow needs expression. We can’t be neutral when there is so much injustice in the world.
One just needs to take a look at Star Wars to see how important decisions can be and how profound and lasting their impact can be. Choices have consequences which can’t always be foreseen, even by Jedi minds…
Uncontrolled fear and anger can lead to the Dark Side, as so well expressed by Master Yoda. The 900 year old Jedi warrior was truly an paragon of patience and self-control. He didn’t just sit and meditate all day long. He was, after all, a Jedi Master. In Attack of the Clones he goes to Geonosis with part of the brand new Clone Army of the Republic to assist the Jedi against Count Dooku and his droids. In Revenge of the Sith we find Yoda going to war again on Kashyyyk to help defend the Wookiees against the droid armies of the Trade Federation.
He battled the newly self-appointed Emperor in the Senate chamber after virtually all the Jedi had been wiped out per Order 66. When Yoda’s game attempt fails he is prepared to go into exile and await the proper time when the Force would be ready for the Jedi to rise up again under Luke and Leia.
Luke Skywalker is instrumental in bringing about the fall of the Emperor when he chooses compassion over vengeance and refuses to join the Dark Side. When he spares his father’s life he is changing the course of an entire galaxy. The Emperor attempts to kill the young Jedi with increasingly lethal bolts of Force lightning. Darth Vader, after a brief inner struggle, chooses Luke and destroys his evil master, rejecting the hold which the Sith Lord had over him. Thus he brings balance to the Force and achieves redemption, despite all the vicious and murderous acts he performed during his sojourn on the Dark Side. Luke, by a single act of compassion, and knowing full well the Emperor will seek to kill him, spares his father and is saved by him. Vader dies happy, knowing that his son chose a higher way.
Despite many hardships, Frodo, though actively seeking no particular reward or honour for his act of bravery, succeeds in his seemingly hopeless Quest, despite the Ring’s increasing power over him. Theis power renders him unable to destroy it at the crucial moment, but Gollum bites off his finger and briefly claims his Precious before falling into the fiery Crack of Doom clutching the evil Ring to his twisted bosom. But Frodo is the one who has brought it many hundreds of kilometres across mountains and rivers and through the frightening Mines of Moria, fighting everything from Black Riders to a humungous spider along the way. Gandalf was well aware that Hobbits were less easily corrupted than Men and that size counts for little.
Every individual, every organization, country and religion has its two wolves fighting for dominance. Many believe they are the only ones who are right and everyone else is wrong, full stop. That’s why there are so many different churches, sects and religious groups. Sometimes the differences are so trivial as to be amusing.
That’s why we have “religious” extremists who have allowed hate to devour their character to the extent that they are ready to kill or bomb other people whom they’ve never met. They have reached a point where you cannot reason with them because they have lost their ability to connect with others and their “good wolf” is dormant or even dead.
Serial killers had a choice, but once they made that first wrong decision and killed the first victim it became easier for them to suppress their conscience and kill more. They become so desensitized to the needs of others that they become solipsistic in their attitudes and Ego dominates their every act. They often battle with self hate because the two wolves are still vying for dominance. This self hate gets directed at others in a vicious cycle.
On a more personal level I too have my two wolves and the one I have to battle most is anger at trivia. Your wolves may have other issues trying to dominate you in their endless quest for attention and feeding.
Life is truly a learning process no matter your age and the grey-muzzled wolves are just as much at loggerheads as when they were cubs! And if you look back on your childhood you will recall many events where your two wolf cubs tried to rip each others’ necks out!