Let It Be

Why the authentic person does not try to be the executor, the mover and shaker of his or her life.


The authentic person does not try to be the executor, the mover and shaker of his or her life.

As an authentic person, you are a listener and a responder to your life, thus allowing whatever is bound to be, to be. You do not wish to be the playwright of your life, but rather the pen and the paper. Your wish is to be the stage for your inborn potential.

Thus, you are careful not to push your life, for if you do, you will prevent something natural and true moving you from within. You know that by yourself and for yourself, you are weak. However, your weakness might function as a channel for a greater strength. So, you are careful not to act from a false strength, but rather to try to remain weak, because only through this weakness can real strength manifest itself. You try not to allow mounting pressure and frustration to take over and push you to act prematurely. Your strength is in your ability to stay lost and disoriented, until something from within takes over. You do not allow your anxiety, your efforts, to push you into action. Rather, you are content to remain passive for as long as the true force from within is not there. This is the only force that allows you to take charge. This is also your attitude in relation to others: if that force within is not triggered by the other person, you are content to remain silent. We should be careful not to rape: not to rape the moment, nor to rape another’s life, and most importantly not to rape our own inner lives, as we try to escape from the emptiness by forcing ourselves into action. The world is full of people who get slipped discs and heart attacks – probably because they insist on action, on pushing themselves into action. These self-manufactured efforts are aroused by the aggressive powers of will and anxiety, instead of the gentle forces of life and nature, flowing from our inner being into our life.

When this gentle force does take over and happen, it is most surprising. It seems we did nothing, it happened by itself, like an arrow shooting itself from a bow, free of intention and physical pressure on the string. The arrow flies, not because of an increase of pressure, but rather because of the total absence of it, as described in Eugen Herrigel’s book, Zen in the Art of Archery*. In other words: it is either our dominant self, our ego – or our gentle inner being that can be the mover of our lives. The inner being can happen only if the ego moves aside and gives space to the real hero, lying within, waiting.

* Herrigel, Eugen (January 26, 1999). Zen in the Art of Archery (Later Printing ed.). Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0375705090.

Gabriel Raam
A philosopher, lecturer (emeritus), and expert for non-verbal communication
On self-improvement, self-work, and self-change