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Ratification of Presence and the Diminished Ego


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Excerpt: Ah...it was just a matter of time, wasn't it? The critical mass has been reached, resulting now in the phenomenon of mob mentality. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to count. But pretty soon, just when we try to swallow the ingnorant notion that we are all equal, we begin to discover that in fact, we are not. And there it is, isn't it? Think about the correlation of this 'karmic rating' and the general bodybuilding mentality. Its suddenly not about being excellent for its own

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  1. #1
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    Ratification of Presence and the Diminished Ego

    Ah...it was just a matter of time, wasn't it? The critical mass has been reached, resulting now in the phenomenon of mob mentality. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to count. But pretty soon, just when we try to swallow the ingnorant notion that we are all equal, we begin to discover that in fact, we are not. And there it is, isn't it? Think about the correlation of this 'karmic rating' and the general bodybuilding mentality. Its suddenly not about being excellent for its own sake, but rather, it becomes a bastard child of this endeavor and grows into the hideous goal of being better than your brother. I can compare the karma point idea to the common and perile idea that a bigger, stronger man is somehow a superior man. Many lifters that I know lift for the sole purpose of intimidating others. This is easily understood when you consider that one of the primary motivating factors of lifting weight (in the beginning) is to dispel the intimidation that one feels as a result of being perceived as small or weak. So the solution is simple, right? Lift and get bigger, and I will no longer feel intimidated by my own smallness. But look carefully at what so often happens here. There is not an eradication of intimidation, but instead there is simply a shift of direction. I am now big enough to intimidate others. Or win the girl. Or whatever. Its all an illusion. The endeavor is still primal in the brute...the establishing of a higher rank in the pecking order of the mob. And now you are saying to yourself that yep...you know people like that, but YOU are not one. Right? I am ashamed to admit that I am guilty of the very thing I despise. I have a great deal of my own ego tied up into my appearance. If I am not shredded to the bone I begin to get irritated, and eventually I become disillusioned with the idea that my worth is a result of my bodyfat percentage. I even fall for this self dillusion with the conscious knowledge that there are certainly as many ripped assholes as there are out of shape genuine brothers of humanity. I don't mean to get on a soapbox here (I am often guilty of that, too), but I wonder what would happen if there were a steroid that fortified the mind. If you could inject something that would make you kinder and gentler, more compassionate, etc....would you? I wish that there were a way to trade cuts for wisdom, or muscles for kindness. There is plenty of brute strength in this world, but amazingly, there is not a corresponding amount of protection of the weak and lifting of the small. I looked at this thread on the board about no more pictures and posedowns and so forth. Nothing but a power play. A juvenile attempt to ratify their position on the ladder of perceived importance. I'll tell you something. I am certainly blessed with a very fit body. I am lean and strong and carry the appearance of endurance and grit. And yet, it is my closest friend...a woman with cancer, a woman who battles fatigue every day, who is able to help others both in and out of the gym much more effectively than I ever have. I look strong, but she IS strong. I wish that sending someone strength, or self esteem, or karma, really was as simple as clicking a mouse. I would click her all the karma I could ever get, and then some. But guess what? I can't. And that is a good thing. Why? Because character, strength, leadership...these are things that must be EARNED. I train every day to look better. I am trying to train every day to BE better as well. You wanna click some karma? Then go do something positive for someone today. That's the real deal, and it can't be clicked away or voted off. PEACE

  2. #2
    Pro Bodybuilder whodaman's Avatar
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    Damn, are you coked up bro? Just kidding, I wish I had some ritalin so I could pay attention to everything you just wrote...pretty deep bro.

  3. #3
    Pro Bodybuilder Ercole's Avatar
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    "Damn, are you coked up bro?"

    LMAO!!!

  4. #4
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    Strength is not one dimesional,very good point.What good is a strong body if you lack the will to keep it .We must survive all obstacles and unexpected stressors placed before it in life. .We must be strong of mind and body,after all the mind is what drives the body.

  5. #5
    Pro Bodybuilder ironmaster's Avatar
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    Yes......., but, mr. shredded, isn't the pursuit of excellence in any endeavor a worthwhile thing? It isn't all about muscleheads and narcisstic fitness chicks. For many of us, training is a key part of a successsful way of life. Nearly 30 years ago, I learned how to set goals and work hard to achieve them.....in the gym. Those same qualities - discipline, sacrifice, and determination - apply to every facet of life. They will make you better at business, marriage, parenting or whatever you set your goals to achieve....including helping others.
    For me, I'm way past the place in life where appearance is very important. I train now, because I refuse to give in to the process of aging which eventually breaks us all down and reduces us to dust. Many of my peers are well on the way.

  6. #6
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    Well said master,very true.Stay at war with the steel!

  7. #7
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    Ironmaster...indeed, the very point of the post. Perhaps I was to convoluted in my delivery. Which is not unusual for me. If you want to read my take on the imposition of will and its effect on aging there is a thread at .infopop.net in the hall of fame posted by Bjaarki entitled 'A Solitary Quest'. In the thread there is a very thorough investigation of the concept of redemption through the pursuit of excellence for its own sake and the responsibility it imparts on those who achieve it.

    If you're interested, that is.

  8. #8
    Amateur Bodybuilder
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    Well put, but don't get down on yourself. What you describe is merely being human.

  9. #9
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    Shredded,

    I always enjoy your insight into this game we play....It's not the overall quest we seek, but in the end, a mere transition from one plane unto the next.

    Faced with the fear of our own mortality, we constantly endeavor to preserve a way of life, and the very core of the existence we love.....as with death, the plane changes, as does the goals....In the the...the quest as well.

    Keep with the quest Bro.....

    Ranger

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