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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
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.
Cervantes' 'Don Quixote'
Don Quixote - Pablo Picasso