My Philosophy of Life begins with an acknowledgment of the Catastrophe.
The Catastrophe is. It is a “Given”. It can’t be avoided. But it can be disrupted.
The point and purpose of my life isn’t to avoid the Catastrophe, or pretend that it’s not there. Nor is it to surrender to the Catastrophe. The point and purpose of my life is to move towards My Better Self within the Catastrophe to the best of my abilities.
The Catastrophe includes (but is not limited to) my mistakes, failures, disappointments, and my Diminishments (as I get older and slower). It also includes non-optimal situations and adversity.
But without non-optimal situations and adversity there can be no adventure. Adventure depends upon the fact that the Catastrophe is “lurking” nearby.
On trips, the Catastrophe questions me daily:
- Who are you?
- What are your espoused values?
- How do they compare to your actions?
- What are you thinking about when you encounter this adversity?
- Who do you want to be when the going gets tough?
<– I heard all of these questions as I moved ever-so-slowly up this slippery boulder slope (no trail) in St. Mary’s Alpine Park, October 2018.
To disrupt the Catastrophe requires the development and demonstration of character. The Catastrophe simply doesn’t know what to do in the face of character. Character baffles the Catastrophe. And when the Catastrophe is baffled (albeit temporarily), progress can be made. Only at these times can I can navigate “productively” within the Catastrophe — navigate towards my Better Self.