#842 The Gita-Avengers

The Battlefield in Our Hearts

The other day I went to see the new Avengers: Endgame movie.

Of course, I’m a fan of (super)hero stories and I also love flipping my brain off as I enjoy a well-produced movie with a well-told story.

In fact1: As we’ve discussed, movies are my preferred way to get a nice little dose of recovery-mode entertainment.

In fact2: Alexandra and I haven’t had a TV for the entire 12 years we’ve been together ( 🤓 ) as I know my pickled brain well enough and refuse to get sucked into the vortex of never-ending-cliff-hanging-binge-able TV shows. 🤯 Movies provide the perfect, discreet escape without the risk of falling off one of those Irresistible cliffs.

(Note to self: Get out to see a movie more often and remember Tal Ben-Shahar’s great wisdom: It’s not that we work too hard; it’s that we don’t recover enough!)

So…

As I’m watching the Avengers confront evil on an epic battlefield, I was reminded of another epic saga that took place on a different mythical battlefield.

The day (or so) before I watched the movie I read Eknath Easwaran’s wonderful biography Gandhi the Man. As we’ve discussed, it’s amazing. Highly recommend it.

Do you know what Gandhi’s “spiritual handbook” was?

Although he studied the Bible and the Koran, his go-to guide was the Bhaghavad Gita.

Do you what that book is all about?

It’s about a reluctant warrior who needs to show up on the battlefield of life.

Here’s how Eknath puts it: “The battlefield where the narrative is set represents the individual human heart, where the forces of light and darkness, love and separateness, war incessantly for mastery over our thought and actions. In the dialogue which unfolds, Arjuna, the warrior prince who represents every man or woman, seeks to learn the art of living from Sri Krishna, the Lord of Love, who is the outward manifestation of Arjuna’s deepest self. Arjuna is a man of action. He is not interested in metaphysics or airy theories; he wants to know how to make every moment of his life count, free from anxiety and fear.

He continues: “His questions are practical inquiries into the problems of living, and Sri Krishna’s answers are simple and to the point. We are born to fight, he tells Arjuna; there is no choice in the matter. Our every desire must bring us into conflict. But we can choose how and whom we will fight. We can turn our anger against others, or we can turn it against what is selfish and angry in ourselves. We can use our hands to strike at others or to wipe tears away. It is a call to action, and that is why Sri Krishna describes the heroes and heroines of the Gita’s ‘way of love’ in the language not of sentiment but of war.

Yep. That’s what I was thinking about as I watched that Avengers movie (which, btw, if you watch closely, parallels a lot of the same themes).

The most important theme?

The fact that LOVE is the hero’s secret weapon.

That’s Today’s +1.

Here’s to showing up as warriors on the battlefield of life and listening to our inner daimons as we face the forces of light and dark within our own hearts.

And use LOVE as our ultimate weapon.

P.S. Any time I think of the Gita and its emphasis on that battle, I think of Socrates and his parallel wisdom. He tells us: “I desire only to know the truth, and to live as well as I can… And, to the utmost of my power, I exhort all other men to do the same… I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict.

← What he said!

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