The disappearance of Flight MH370 reminds us all of the transience of ‘the good old days’. September 11 and Pearl Harbour had the same effect and of course the ill-fated Titanic, which was as insulting to our vanity as was the proposition from Copernicus, that the Earth was no longer the Centre of the Universe.
None of us like being put back in our places but these events along with countless other disasters, whether man-made or natural, remind us each time that we are subject to forces beyond our own control. Oedipus Rex was not alone in his vexations.
So what can we do? How can we strengthen ourselves to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as Hamlet would have wanted? We can insure our possessions against misadventure but what about our inner security? No proposals there in the letterbox.
We feed our bodies but we also need to feed our soul with strengthening nutrition to withstand these simple twists of Fate. Keeping an even keel can be a big ask in some of the tricky situations we may come across, but keeping your cool can be an enormous asset and can mean the difference between life or death.
Sure, we don’t pretend to be James Bond or Clint Eastwood, however we can be our own ‘Cool Hand Luke’. We can develop an inner resilience that enables us to bend with the wind but not be snapped by it. The strength of water, which can wear away rock, is in its ability to flow and adapt which the rock can’t. Immutable Fate becomes a putty in the mind of one who has become detached from the drama of self entanglement that besets those who identify with the external phenomenon.
Meditation is the most direct method of anchoring the soul to that which does not change. The benefits of this practise have been widely promoted and cannot be over-emphasised. It is your best friend and benefactor and costs absolutely nothing.
For those who don’t know where to start, Qi Jong is a good beginning.