Thursday, November 6, 2014


Courage to be is the ethical act in which man affirms his own being in spite of those elements of his existence which conflict with his essential self-affirmation.

Paul Tillich, the 19th-century theologian and philosopher, wrote that thought in his book The Courage to Be. We all have courage. What we lack is affirmation. Affirmation is an elusive commodity, or we believe it is. We learn so we can affirm our knowledge, we vote to affirm our convictions, we marry to affirm our love, and we die to affirm our existence. We are on a perpetual quest to find and affirm our self-truth.

Conflicts surround us; opposites engage us and change deceives us. We climb the mental monkey bars of life, and expect to reach the top, but there is no top. There’s just another rung to climb or fall from. Both directions contain courage, but our preconceived notions break that courage and stuff it in a box of misguided perceptions. Our courage is then covered with the film of premeditated control. Our essential self-worth is buried without a funeral.

Courage is the ability to rise from the dead expectations that float through our mental war zone. Courage is the nature of all consciousness. It has no start or finish; no expiration date or instructions. It is an innate quality of our consciousness. All we have to do is realize we use it in every moment; in every experience and every act. Courage is the energy that fuels our existence and the dangling participle within life.

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