Revisit And Revise

Pidgeon Pier (Alan and David on the Sound) by David Robinson

I used this painting as the cover image for The Ground Truth. I call this painting Pigeon Pier.

With the success of my book, The Seer, I’ve been revisiting some previous manuscripts and ebooks. I have a lot of them, mostly unpublished and unseen. One of my favorites, and one that I am considering revising and releasing, is called the Ground Truth. The ground truth is a military term and denotes the difference between the truth as seen by the generals in the war room (an abstraction) and those actually doing the fighting on the ground (actuality). I gave the book the subtitle: Six Dynamic Relationships That Will Change Your Life. Marketing claims are usually brazen. The book is really about how to orient to personal truth.

As I’ve been revisiting the book, I’ve also been revisiting several of the concepts in it. One concept that has been much on my mind lately is the Hero and the Anti Hero. Here’s an excerpt from The Ground Truth defining the concept:

In a small notebook with a red cover I found a drawing. The image is horizontal on the page. On the far left I wrote the word “Hero” and scribbled a circle around it. On the far right I wrote, “Anti-Hero” and also scribbled a circle around it. The circle with the Hero and the other with the Anti-Hero are connected with a line. The drawing looks like a cartoon barbell. I must have been explaining this to someone; I can tell by how emphatically I scribbled the circles.

The Hero and The Anti Hero was a revelation that Harald shared with me a few years ago. Harald’s first language is German so he used the term Anti-Hero instead of villain or devil or “big dog yapping in my brain.” I like Anti-Hero because it is actually more appropriate than any term I might have used.

He told me that he’d spent much of his life trying to rid himself of his inner Anti-Hero. It had consumed much of his life, this powerful inner voice of self-criticism and judgment. It plagued him and the more he resisted the Anti-Hero the stronger it became. One day, exhausted by his inner turmoil he had an epiphany. He realized that the way to rid himself of this Anti-Hero was to stop expecting to be a Hero. In fact, his expectation of being a savior, being perfect, being everything to everybody was the very thing that fueled the Anti-Hero. Letting go of the Hero dissipated the power of the Anti-Hero and what was left was…human. Beautiful, flawed, funny and messy, Harald was a human no longer at war with himself.

Internal warfare causes split intentions, split intentions create internal warfare. It’s a feedback loop. As Harald discovered, trying to be the Hero in the eyes of everyone else split him into two pieces: the unreal expectation (Hero) and an ever-vigilant judge (Anti-Hero). Harald was attempting to control what he could not control: the expectations and responses of other people. His happiness was contingent upon the responses of others so he was constantly measuring his worth against others responses: The actor (Hero) and the measurer (Anti-Hero). The internal warfare was inevitable.

In the next few days I’ll write more on The Hero and the Anti Hero, and what a few years and new eyes have brought.

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