A Reflection on ‘Amor Fati’

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Given that I recently got a tattoo of the phrase ‘amor fati’ (which means to love one’s fate), I wanted to write a short reflection on what the term continues to mean for me.

There is no doubt that we continue to live in uncertain times. No one quite knows where we are going and what the future holds. We exist in a liminal space of unknowing; a time of transition between worlds.

It is easy to cling onto the promises of ideologies which proclaim they have the ‘right answers’ to move forward. They relieve our anxieties and give us a map to make sense of the world. However, I’ve come to realize that all these assurances are just a façade. The efforts of the modern world to influence and control the will of nature still remain futile at best.  

Nothing is ever set in stone.

Nothing is ever guaranteed.

The external world is and will always remain in a state of change and constant flux. ‘Amor fati’ is a reminder to cultivate inner strength and fortitude. We may not know what the future holds, but if we develop the virtues, character and resilience to overcome whatever arises, we will be alright. As the Stoics constantly remind us, we can not control out events but rather we can influence how we interpret them.

So, in the spirit of ‘amor fati’, let me learn to love everything which happens in my life – the good, the bad and the great unknown. This is what I believe to be is the spiritual path. It requires one to be fully present, and embrace the full spectrum of our human existence.

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.

Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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The Artist

You can now listen to an audio rendition of my poem The Artist embedded in the post:)

A Life of Virtue: Philosophy as a Way of Life

https://anchor.fm/alifeofvirtue/episodes/The-Artist-e17om91

 The artist retreats into himself He closes his eyes and surrenders to his imagination His mind opens a gate to vast inner landscapes Time collapses, the heavens slowly unfold The artist loathes mundane ‘everydayness’ He raises his brow at the gossip, trends and fashion of the masses They are those who walk blindly, who worship false idols; Who revere fancy things, shiny things, the kind in which envy brings For the artist, his path is clear He follows his call towards Truth and Beauty His pen is the hammer which frees us from the chains of conformity His art shakes us out of the prison of ‘routine’ His words pull us towards the divine, the sacred The artist is our liberator He lights a flame deep within our souls, and awakens us from our dogmatic slumber This paves the way towards authenticity and self-actualization The moment is fleeting yet…

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The Artist

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An audio rendition of my poem The Artist


The artist retreats into himself 
He closes his eyes and surrenders to his imagination 
His mind opens a gate to vast inner landscapes 
Time collapses, the heavens slowly unfold 

The artist loathes mundane ‘everydayness’
He raises his brow at the gossip, trends and fashion of the masses 
They are those who walk blindly, who worship false idols;
Who revere fancy things, shiny things, the kind in which envy brings  

For the artist, his path is clear 
He follows his call towards Truth and Beauty 
His pen is the hammer which frees us from the chains of conformity
His art shakes us out of the prison of ‘routine’ 
His words pull us towards the divine, the sacred 

The artist is our liberator 
He lights a flame deep within our souls, and
awakens us from our dogmatic slumber 
This paves the way towards authenticity and self-actualization 

The moment is fleeting yet urgent 
We receive our gift 
A new way of living,
A new way of being in the world

We scrape away the superficial rot amassed in our souls, and
seize the possibility of true freedom

For in order to find ourselves, 
We must first lose ourselves


 
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