There is a beast inside all of us and it feeds on our rawest emotions. It is the part of us that wants to eat, to fight, to fuck, by any means possible; a pure unadulterated passion that will cease at nothing to be satisfied.
My friend H’rina once commented about my work on boxing, saying how the sport was such an interesting phenomenon.
“Basically, you got two half-naked guys, inside the ring, beating the shit out of each other,” she told me. “It’s like we are stripped down to our barest animal instincts.”
For the most part, that's true. The physical act of hurting another person is part of our human nature (which is why I always ask the naysayers of boxing to look in the mirror), but the thing about boxing is that it is a place to learn how to harness that impulse, to wield anger into a skill, and where violence brushes against friendship, against valor and perseverance, and maybe even becomes something somewhat honorable.
It is essentially a metaphor of what we are trying to do with our lives. Our beast is our power in this world and we have all been given one. There is a moment everyone should take to ask themselves: why was I given this power? What am I to do with this all this force?
We hurt in the acting of complete passion, both to others and to ourselves, and if we let the beast take control, we become lost. On the flip-side, a life without passion makes us boring and fucking dull, afraid to do anything meaningful in life. Thus, the training of this beast is the becoming of what it is meant to be: a force to make us do good in the world.
That is why discipline is crucial. Not like the conventional notions of discipline where we mindlessly obeys some arbitrary set of rules, but instead serve a self-determined internal code that we have created through all that we have lived.
There is a fine line between discipline and conformity. One is controlling the beast, the other is disconnecting with it. I damn sure don’t believe in losing touch with our instincts, but I do believe in learning how to control them, to coexist with them, and to train them into something that can create more love.
It’s always been about the middle, always the middle.