(An excerpt from our upcoming book)
“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” --Chinese Proverb
In the movie ‘Batman, The Dark Knight Rises’, there's this chasm of intense depths by which only in myths and legends has anyone ever escaped. I personally love using this concept as a metaphorical example of any health, mental, societal or economic problem that we have deemed to be impossible to salvage or improve.
As an example, Fibromyalgia seems to be common with people who’ve had extremely challenging circumstances and suffer from resulting extreme levels of internal stress that manifests as actual pain and tension in the body. Just how people can suffer from stressed induced heart conditions and so on. Fibromyalgia is such a complex pathology that many doctors still don’t think it’s ‘a thing.’
The chasm imagery represents the magnetic effects of negativity itself. Having been to the depths of human existence multiple times over, I can now look back at it in awe of its power to grip one into its supranatural embrace with ever increasing strength until it appears to 10x anything you may have to try and climb back out. And how it has this gripping force of an ability to make you think that negative parts of yourself, the world or your history entirely define you.
Although this metaphor applies directly to a smaller percentage of the world’s population, many of us seem destined to find ourselves there at one point or another. I would also argue that although we have made many strides as a society, there seems to be these forceful under currents that threaten to pull us under, until we finally learn how to overcome it.
Or how often can we be stuck in an invisible chasm of hatred or aggression and mistake it for enlightenment or activism?
We simply can’t afford to spend our lives ignoring the glass door of stress, as well as the pain within ourselves and of our society.
What also fascinates me about this chasm is where the “muscle of positivity” becomes more and more challenging to even attempt until positivity and the idea of peace itself becomes insulting, angering, and potentially “worthy of counterattack,” much akin to our last outstretched fingers of humanity slowly sinking into the mud.
Why are we inclined to assume that the chasm is “impossible” to overcome? Glass door aside, why are we so quick to assume things have no cure? There is always a cure, we just have to find the combination of actions that lead to the best result.
With that said, Bane was tossed into this chasm. He was bruised, broken and angry over all the injustices he had faced… And from a place of rage, he dedicated his existence to getting stronger and stronger and stronger until he could overcome it in what I later call “fight or flight based self-improvement.” He managed to break out while thinking he was fighting for the common person. He thought we was fighting “the system” but had become, unfortunately poisoned by his anger, the enemy of the people.
On the other hand, Bruce Wayne was thrown into this chasm as well, but he was motivated to overcome it from a place of kindness and peace, also what I call ‘rest and digest-based self-improvement’ in a later chapter. He managed to overcome it and emerged a hero.
We’re not just talking about overcoming our impossible here, but also making sure we motivate ourselves with the right energy source. Unfortunately, it can seem to be easier to motivate ourselves with rage than peace. Amateur weightlifters often make extremely angry looking faces when they work out while pro bodybuilders look far more at ease then then an amateur lifter.
We must each learn to stop fighting from a place of anger. We’ll cover how that’s possible in other chapters but for now the most important thing is just learning that maybe, just maybe, we need to change our motivation, our reasons, our vision, our language without, and especially within. We need to become willing to recognize the pain and reasonable wishes of ‘the others’ while doing our best to kindly push back against things they may demand that are likely to have negative effects.
What’s really tough about the chasm is it seems to become this disgusting and motionless area that we slowly begin to feel defines us, including the disease called age.
We tell ourselves, “It will always be this way. This is just life now.” -Which in essence are negative affirmations, or statements with implied permanence that our brain and universe will then work to help manifest. We are always making new cells quickly enough so that we have a brand-new body every seven years. But we’re always giving those cells poor instruction. “You’re old, fat, have low energy, are angry, always sick etc etc.” I think our cells need better instructions! There's so much negativity in this world that we don't need to add to it.
Not only is that language not helpful, it will manifest over time. Almost as if we were powerful wizards, where our thoughts become reality. Our beliefs have magnetism to them, slight and gentle yet always present. And the deeper we go down, the greater the speed our decline appears to become.
What I love about the chasm in particular is that, just like in life, and just like in the movie ‘batman’, there is always something we can do to improve things. There is always something we can do to make things a little better, healthier, beautiful, getting into a little more motion, just one more footstep, trying to organize our living space to be a little more enlightening or positive etc. There is always a next inch and as long as we focus on that then even the impossible slowly becomes history. There is always a path to peace…
…When I was young I used to wrestle with the old older kids and I'd get really depressed because they would always kick my butt. And one day one of them told me, “Hey don't worry kid, in wrestling there is always a move you can do. There's no such thing as being stuck…”
I thought he was full of it. Two weeks later I was in a tough chokehold and was about to fall asleep. Lucky me. I don't know why but I acted on an impulse and rolled backwards and found it easy to get out of it.
Just like in life, no matter how stuck or how formidable or how painful or how impossible a chasm may feel, there is always going to be something that we can do to improve it. Inch by inch.
There is always hope and not from a place of “fairy dust” but an actual mechanical fact for nothing in this life is immovable, permanent, hopeless etc. I truly believe these lessons are the doorway to being able to finally make lasting change for the better. I believe they are the main hope of our society itself from overcoming its chasm and a potential point of no return.