So much of what draws me to ancient philosophy as well as Buddhism and Taoism is the focus on it as a way of life. These are not merely arguments about language, logic, or epistemology. No. They are a spiritual with an intense focus on what it is to be a human being in the world. This concern and interest is likely clear in both this blog and my other.
Stoicism, Buddhism, or Taoism would all give us some keys to enduring hardship. It is part of the spiritual path, the human path, really. You, your narratives, your values, and that which you hold dear will be challenged, threatened, and maybe even destroyed in the course of your life.
Some post-rock songs do a great job in emphasizing the mystical yet down-to-earth nature of this journey through their combination of title and emotive landscape in the music itself. There’s a wandering, accepting journey through life, empowered even in the face of challenges. As spiritual practitioners, it’s such resolve that we can only hope to emulate when things are tough. Truly, with grit, we may find there’s some joy in being present for the challenge – another aspect that songs like this emphasize – rather than just despair or fear. There’s room for a panoply of feelings: our lives are a tapestry with nuance, depth, and dynamism if we open ourselves to them, be vulnerable yet resolute, and trust in the process.
As is said in this beautiful quote by Pema Chödrön:
Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart, p. 19
One of the best examples I can think of for a lesson and perspective like this is “The Only Way Out is Through” by Long Hallways. May it soothe and inspire you in your own life’s path.