Life Lessons Warrior Training

Want to Learn Controlled Folly? Take Acting Classes

ProofIn A Separate Reality, Don Juan said to Castaneda, “A warrior must know first that his acts are useless, and yet, he must proceed as if he didn’t know it.  That’s a shaman’s controlled folly. ”

What does it mean to know that your acts are useless and yet proceed as if you didn’t know it?  Why would anyone bother to do anything if they knew their acts were useless?  What he means by this is that for a warrior all outcomes are equal, and the ultimate outcome is Death.  Nothing can save us from that.  So all that really matters for the warrior is the present moment.

Yet as human beings we need purpose; we need to somehow convince ourselves that our actions matter.  A warrior doesn’t take herself seriously.  She knows it’s all a game.  But in order to get up in the morning and challenge herself throughout the day, she convinces herself that what she does matters.  That’s controlled folly.

When I reached the point where I really understood that my actions didn’t matter, I fell into a slump.  I thought, what’s the point?  Yet I wasn’t ready to give up and die.  I wanted to go on having this human experience, so I knew I needed to learn controlled folly, but I didn’t know how.

Spirit must have guided me to take acting lessons, because that’s what I did.  Now I’m studying for the role of Catherine in Proof by David Auburn, to be performed in about 4 weeks.  I’m beginning to understand what it means to “act as if it mattered,” when I know it really doesn’t.

I’m beginning to feel and understand controlled folly from the inside out.  Now it makes sense.  I can choose any role I want to play and play it with gusto, proceed as if my actions mattered, yet in the end I let go of the outcome.

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