Vince Lombardi, the revered football coach of the Green Bay Packers decades ago, has been pushing up daisies for a long time. No disrespect is intended here. Sometimes, our most effective teachers educate us to quickly—or eventually—learn that their lesson is not a fit for us anymore.
For many, he had a lot of directly wonderful lessons. We’ll look at some of those here, too.
This is what he said:
Living with that as a truth may be a great leap for some, yet it is a mud bog for others who might otherwise be ready for more spiritually advanced ways of living.
There are many paths to awakened living. Part of the path for some is to pursue excellence in sports, getting skilled at playing chess, or being a part of a debate team. Valuable lessons can be learned in these processes.
And playing the game from a strictly worldly perspective is a recipe for frustration and eventual surrender to more spiritually sane ways of living one’s life.
Winning in the world has to do with beating somebody else. There is someone else to outfight or out think or deceive. Winning in the Big Picture is about finding your power in a way in which there are no losers.
As long as any fighting is involved, the spiritual game cannot be won. Awakening is a product of awareness and of allowing the heart to express.
At some point, in some lifetime, we come to understand that focus and passion primarily directed at worldly success at anything tends to be at least one of these: anemic, temporary, false or destructive.
True success in living is not based upon how much money you have, how attractive your partner, how often you have sex or how cool your friends think you are.
It is not based upon how well you can throw or catch a football, how well you can defend your quarterback or how often you can tackle the other quarterback for loss.
Success in any competition is not lasting, deep success. It’s just a temporary satisfaction, a way of feeling better about yourself for a little while. And like any satisfaction based upon making it look like you are better than somebody else, it can be a destructive satisfaction, especially if vengeance is part of the aim.
Feeling like you have to beat somebody else at anything in order to feel good about yourself is simply spiritually stupid.
If winning is the only reason you compete, consider the possiblilty that you lose out on potentially power-expanding, life-enhancing lessons that might otherwise be learned:
* How it doesn’t really serve you to get depressed, whiny or angry when you lose
* How it can feel good to congratulate the winners…and mean it
* How losing can motivate you to improve your game if you are not stuck in whining, anger or depression about it
* How you can appreciate an athletic or intelligent move on the part of your opponent without feeling victimized by it
So the audience will know who is winning and who won when its over, that’s why. And so the next time the game is played, both parties will know where they stand in any rankings. It’s not so that the one on the short end of the score can feel more angry or depressed. It’s not so that the winners can strut around like an adolescent turkey on the day after Thanksgiving. Coming in second can motivate one to step up their game for the next competition.
Let’s look at some more Lombardi quotations so you can see if they fit for you:
I love that one. It’s throughly beautiful, potentially inspiring.
I don’t get this one. Football is a brutal sport, not a contact sport but one of body and brain damaging collision. Medieval? It’s about as civilized as Roman gladiators fighting to the death for the entertainment of arena audiences.
So how could going football-less be medieval?
And that can inspire many to worldly success. And many more to frustration and anger. But is it really a fit for you now? Not accepting that you just lost the game means that you are now not OK. It is a rejection of the present. For some, this simply provides a motivation to get better. Others carry anger, victimization or other power-draining mindsets:
* The official made a bad call and it cost us the game. Damn!
* I shouldn’t have had those extra 4 beers last night.
* They cheated.
* They just got lucky. * I blame it on our coach.
While few are ready to hear this, maybe, the most destructive aspect of living for those who are stuck is want. When we are wanting, we are not letting now be enough. The egoic mind is a want machine: rarely satisfied, always needing or wanting more of what we think we do not have enough of and wanting less of what we experience as oppressive.
If our team record last year was 10 wins and 6 losses, we set it up in our heads that if we do not win 11 or more games this year, we have failed. Is that spiritually smart?
Dropping wants and needs, turning them into unattached preferences is a major and empowering shift along the spiritual path.
I won’t even get in to the “Lord” thing here.
Our bodies can take a lot of punishment. To subject them to punishment for the entertainment of other people is a little medieval. Especially when the contestants are often physically or mentally impaired for the rest of their lives.
And if we live our lives as if we must convince our mind of anything, we are fighting with our own selves. Football, as much as any other sport, eventually is teaching us that the path of life is about dropping the battle within the self, healing the inner split, the imagined schizophrenia that we all live until we drop identification with the imaginary ego.
Consider the possibilty: any person’s finest hour is that time when she or he realizes that ultimate success is not about claiming victory over anything outside the self. The greatest victory is in dropping the inner battle that we allow the imaginary ego to wage upon the heart.
The imaginary egoic mind—along with our society’s institutions—tell us that lots of things that are possible are impossible. Do you think that it is possible for you to become fully awakened in this lifetime? Ego and society tell you that the answer is “no,” because when we wake up, it’s lights out for ego and corrupt institutions.
Lombardi had this one right:
For people who are ready and willing to move beyond any current status quo of frustration, chaos, depression or anger, the facilitating work I do is designed to smooth your path to awakening, to true power, to truly living. It is for the courageous few, offered without hype.
And with humor and other aspects ego would tell you are silly. To learn more, see this.
Here on Monday, June 1: Part 2 The Spiritually Insane Way in Which So Many Watch and Participate in Sports