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Fighting windmills

Dedicated to the Don Ouixotes of World Wide Web

If you have ever read Don Quixote*, you'll remember that he was fighting windmills. Everybody is doing just that, fighting windmills. Don Quixote was the figment of a writer's imagination, a man who believed himself to be a great warrior. He thought that every windmill he met was an enemy and started battling with it. That's exactly what we are doing within our own hearts and that's why this story has such an everlasting appeal. It tells us about ourselves. Writers and poets who have survived their own lifetimes have always told human beings about themselves. Mostly people don't listen, because it doesn't help when somebody else tells us what's wrong with us and few care to hear it. One has to find out for oneself and most people don't want to do that either.

What does it really mean to fight windmills? It means fighting nothing important or real, just imaginary enemies and battles. All quite trifling matters, which we build into something solid and formidable in our minds. We say: "I can't stand that," so we start fighting, and "I don't like him," and a battle ensues, and "I feel so unhappy," and the inner war is raging. We hardly ever know what we're so unhappy about. The weather, the food, the people, the work, the leisure, the country, anything at all will usually do. Why does this happen to us? Because of the resistance to actually letting go and becoming what we really are, namely nothing. Nobody cares to be that.

Everybody wants to be something or somebody even if it's only Don Quixote fighting windmills. Somebody who knows and acts and will become something else, someone who has certain attributes, views, opinions and ideas. Even patently wrong views are held onto tightly, because it makes the "me" more solid. It seems negative and depressing to be nobody and have nothing. We have to find out for ourselves that it is the most exhilarating and liberating feeling we can ever have. But because we fear that windmills might attack, we don't want to let go.

Why fight all these windmills? They are self-built and can also be self-removed. It's a very rewarding experience to check what's cluttering up one's own heart and mind. As one finds emotion after emotion, not to create allowances and justifications for them, but to realize that they constitute the fertile ground for sincerer and warmer approach between humans.

 *Miguel Cervantes' 'Don Quixote'
Picture: Don Quixote - Pablo Picasso

Michael Politis







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