Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Golf Lesson No. 9 - Being Present and Enjoy Yourself
“To thine own self be true "- Hamlet, William Shakespeare
BILL MOYERS: Do you ever have the sense of... being helped by hidden hands?
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
- Power of the Myth, Joseph Campbell
The roving two sailors from the Gdansk Yacht and Golf Club debated once about the value of smacking the snot out of a solid dimpled ball around some manicured field.
“Golf is golf” the king’s ancestor protested “and there is nothing more to it. No soul is more pure or brain is more over-flowing with wisdom as a result of recording what some green-jacketed self –righteous exclusive club member decided to call a ‘birdie’ or ‘eagle.’ “
He continued “ even the most skilled tiger who burst from his cage earlier than most has demonstrated that there isn’t necessarily a relationship between moral character and collecting trophies and big checks.”
“But the gods must have blessed some of the players more than most” the second one stated.
The first one added “but then maybe some players may have sold their souls to the wrong god or fallen angel in order to rise to the mountain top of public adulation. Their abundant winnings don’t open heaven’s gates any faster or wider. Though a select few have used their rewards for a greater good. ”
“That all may be true “ paused the second one “ but it’s a game that is so difficult to master isn’t it?”
The first one added “but I have heard that it is a game…. ‘A game that can’t be won only played! God is happiest when his children are at play’ ”
“But you don’t even play by the rules” rebuked the now angry sailor.
“ I play by paradise rules …”
“What the heck does that supposed to mean?”
“ It’s about being authentic to yourself…. sometimes I get lost in the competition of life. I ought to win this. I ought to achieve that. I read that we lose our authenticity in all the ought to’s and should of’s . I just desire any opportunity where I can be completely who I am …no more no less. Besides I can’t get bogged down beating myself up by playing by the rules made up for a game by somebody else.”
“So what’s the point in playing the game then?”
“Well, to be honest, it is a great excuse to get outside with nature and to be present to all the living grace that surrounds us.”
“Then go for a hike in the woods or on a beach.”
“ I could do that, there is a time for stroll in the forest and contemplative walks along the shoreline. …But I enjoy your company, the laughs and cigars and you like to play this game so that’s where I want to be. Yet, I must admit that every once in a while everything seems to click and falls into place, especially when I am completely relaxed and let go and my swing suddenly lifts the ball into the most beautiful arching flight out of nowhere and soars to precisely the point I had envisioned. I can just see God smiling too. “
“So you play golf to keep God smiling?”
“Well sometimes I get that same feeling when I try to write something original in a journal, play a song on my guitar or catch the wind with a sail on a boat. I just try to be present, get away from the distractions, feel the peace and let it take me to a place where I am my self and precisely who I am supposed to be.”
“That’s all nice but what did you get on the last hole? I need to write it down in the card you know.”
“It doesn’t really matter. Does it?”
“And so I play.
I play on.
I play for the moments yet to come...
... looking for my place in the field.”
- The Legend of Bagger Vance, ( Hardy Greaves),the Movie
Feel the Flow