I have been hearing: do what you are passionate about and you’ll love your life.
Right. But how many of us know what it feels like to be passionate? How many of us are willing to give ourselves over to our passion? What is passion? Is it 21st century, (i.e. hip) to be passionate? I don’t mean irate. I don’t mean interested. I don’t mean enjoy talking about it… I mean passionate?
What is passionate anyway?
When I look at it in Hungarian, the root of the word is suffering. Agony and ecstasy, I am not kidding you! ‘Primal forces are about to explode’
Even in the dictionary that is the original meaning. “an extreme or inordinate desire” that sends you to agony and ecstasy. Inordinate means ‘Exceeding reasonable limits; immoderate’
When we look where we can locate Passion of that type we find it in the police reports, we find it in addicts, we find it with zealots, we find it, but really rarely in the domain of work, vocation, or anything “normal” like that.
So when someone tells you to find what you are passionate about, for the most part, you are screwed.
Why? Because, in my experience, the age we live in, has trained us to find safety valves, cheap shortcuts, replacements to what was going to make us passionate.
The story of Billy Elliot inspires people because he had the courage and the standing power to suffer the burning from inside, to oppose his father, to go through what he needed to go through to give his whole life to his passion: dancing.
Did it get easier for Billy Elliot at any point? The moment it got easier, it wasn’t passion any more, it was suddenly his ordinary life.
I saw a French movie about a sculptor, Camille Claudel. In that movie we can track the two stages of passion: Camille was passionate, and Rodin, the famous sculptor, a legend in his own time, used to be passionate. At the time of the movie, he is parasitically living on another person’s passion, sucking her dry. Camille doesn’t stop being passionate, and ends up in a mental institution.
Being passionate is on the thin line between mad and normal. Passionate is painful. Passionate is the spirit wanting to express itself through you, and it doesn’t relent.
I know a little bit about sexuality through my work with all kinds of people in that area. My experience has been that people, when they start to feel a little bit of tension (the spirit pushing from within) turn to some release, chemical, shopping, eating, their hand, a hired hand, and therefore they only experience the beginnings of tension and their release is a puff… not an explosion worth going for.
I know people who get “all creative” when the tension hits, but the “creativity” has no direction, it is only disperse, dissipate the tension.
Which means, in a way, we live in an impotent age, where we never allow enough tension to build up so we can actually do something worth doing… and that is true for every area of your life.
How you do anything is how you do everything. You can be a “handy” guy on one hand and a powerful creator on the other… you avoid tension that is sexual, you’ll avoid creative tension too.
This is why all the passion books, and all the passion courses are bs… they don’t mean passion, they mean hobby. They don’t mean passion, they mean “like.” And there is no energy there… the first boulder in your path will stop you and send you to the hills screaming…
Learn staying standing in the face of tension. In every area: hunger, thirst, sexual desire, desire to pick up the phone, text, send an email, etc. and expand the time you can hold the tension… Be willing to suffer the tension. Be willing to go a little crazy.
If you don’t: your life will always be humdrum, boring, inconsequential. And the spirit will never fully be able to work through you… you’ll waste a perfectly good life.