Friday, July 25, 2014

HAVE YOU BEEN SAVED: PARALLELS BETWEEN JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY AND LIFTING

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Was this quote uttered by Jesus of Nazareth or the majority of trainees?  The statement contains within in many carryovers between the beliefs held in Christianity among other western religions and those perpetuated by a great amount of lifters and gurus discovered on the internet.  In it, we are claiming that it is not the mighty, strong and worldly successful entities that are blessed by instead the unsuccessful, for it is these individuals that will one day achieve success in the face of the others.  How can we support and abide by this philosophy in the face of evidence that suggests otherwise?  As a renowned warrior poet once pontificated, you gotta have faith.

No, not him, the one that got busted for glory holing

Faith is what is needed when there is no evidence of results or pattern of observable success to reassure us.  Even though we cannot see results, nor do we understand the methods that are being ascribed to us in order to achieve results, we must still have faith that the method we are following works.  This faith is the only driving principle for many to continue down a path, for as they continue to not observe the results that they seek, they must believe that they will one day receive the reward that they are justly due as a result of their due diligence and unwavering loyalty to their faith.

We observe this in many new and unsuccessful trainee, who latch onto one method or way of thinking as the “one true path”, and despite the fact that they are not succeeding with this approach, they refuse to “abandon their faith”, and instead insist that one day, they will receive their eternal reward.  In order to stay true to the faith then, it becomes necessary for one to surround themselves with like-minded member and followers of the one true faith, while also casting out the blasphemers and sinners.  Those latter individuals are destructive to the community, for they question the validity of the faith, and in doing so weaken and destroy the faith of those who are already wavering, in turn weakening the community as a whole.  Faith necessitates reassurance, which necessitates volume.


But what exactly is a sinner?  A sinner is one who willfully strays from the one true path, acting intentionally rather than accidentally, fully aware of their transgressions.  The sinners in the community of training engage in practices that fly in the face of the upheld values and norms under the church of iron.  They willfully utilize “dangerous form”, unintelligent training practices, and in general train, act and think differently from what is accepted as the standard.  A sinner may be an atheist, refusing to worship at the altar of Rippetoe, or maybe they are simply an agnostic, not having full faith in compound movements being the only worthwhile way to train, or maybe they simply don’t keep kosher, mixing their Westside Barbell training with their raw lifting, but in all instances, they violate the faith.  Whereas a true believer is content to receive their reward in the afterlife, a sinner is concerned with glory in the present, seeking gratification in THIS life by engaging in deviance.

What is the problem with sinners?  They get results, while the faithful do not.  While the faithful continue down the path of the chosen people, enduring hardship, adversity, plague, pestilence, draught and war, the sinners never seem to encounter any sort of consequence for their deviant ways.  They defy the teachings, and in doing so grow bigger, stronger, and more successful.  The very existence of these sinners calls into question the beliefs of the followers, for how can it be that these heathens and infidels seem to receive the rewards of the just while the chosen simply suffer?  What is the answer?

If this was still legal, youtube comments would be a lot more tame

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.”  We now understand the meaning and intent behind this expression, for in it is the assurance that, though the followers are not strong now, their time will come.  This belief is based upon the notion that the reward for faith is not encountered “in this life”, but in the afterlife.  Sure, the sinners are getting bigger and stronger NOW, but just you wait.  Soon, they will get hurt, sick, injured, small, weak, disqualified, banned for life, or die as a result of their methods, because what they follow is not the “true” path.  Additionally, in the future, the true followers will be rewarded with unfathomable gains and progress, and not only will they have the assurance that they obtain these ends “legitimately”, but in doing so, they will also be free of injury, disease, or any other complications.  The followers are promised that if they ignore the gains of the sinners and just stick on the true path, they will eventually be rewarded, while the sinners, who are enjoying progress and success now, will most surely be punished.

Nietzsche has a different interpretation of this teaching, believing that what we are witnessing here is not the recipe for salvation, but instead an instance wherein the herd mentality is being explicitly conditioned within the group in order to ensure the obedience of all members, limiting the instincts that drive success and progress and instead sewing the seeds of mediocrity.  We have developed values that are simply those instincts that limit our exposure to adversity and hardship, and in doing so limit our progress.  Individualism is great for the individual, but negative for the society as a whole, and as such, whenever the possibility exists in order for a group to come together and form a unit, it becomes vital that what we consider to be “valuable” are those traits that minimize individuality and promote cohesion, and in doing so cast those who aspire to be different as “outcasts”.  We tell the meek that they are blessed because we need them to remain meek, and we demonize the strong because they destroy the society of the meek.

  
It only takes one 

We must keep in mind that the only observable reality we have at this point is that the sinners make progress following the methods that they do, while the faithful do not progress with their methods.  Anything other than this is purely speculation, and is primarily based on hope for misfortune among the successful (easily understood as simply “envy”) while at the same time fear mongering the faithful in order to ensure their obedience.  The faithful willfully choose to avoid following a path with a clearly observable pattern for success due to the fear of an uncertain and improvable future reality, for there is no guarantee that the acts of a sinner will always result in harm, but there is observable data that it WILL result in success.  Meanwhile, what they faithful DO engage in is a path wherein there is no observable pattern for success AND another improvable future reality.  There is no way for them to know that their actions will one day result in success, much like there is no way to know that the actions of the sinners will result in failure.

Additionally, we have no proof that the punishment for the sin is a result of the sin itself, and not simply the result of aging.  We are in this instance entertaining the notion of Predestination versus Free Will, in that many trainee want to believe that they have absolute and total control over their future, and that the decisions that they make today will most surely result in a desirable and predictable outcome in the future.  However, we must remember that getting older in general takes a toll on even the hardiest of men, and that there are many instances of people laying in hospital beds, dying of nothing.  Joint pain when you get older may be the result of harsh training, or it may simply be the result of aging, as I know of many older individuals who experience this pain and never deadlifted anything over 135lbs, good form or otherwise.  If we may already be doomed regardless of our choices, isn’t that even more of an incentive to make the most of THIS life and deal with the afterlife once we get there?


On the other hand, these guys must've already made a deal with the Devil to be this successful only knowing 3 chords

Fundamentally, we have arrived at a dispute between spirituality and organized religion, witnessing that once we attempt to codify and enforce an idea, we end up defeating many of the positive qualities it once had.  The “commandments” of training, like religion, were all intended as ideas meant to protect people, but once they became rules, the meaning got lost.  We lost the intent and instead fixated on the rule themselves, claiming that they were of divine origin and therefore infallible.  However, we must keep in mind that, with the presence of these rules, we do not have the power to condemn others, only to live our lives according to our beliefs.  We do not have the power to say “you are going to Hell”, as this is God’s call, much like we do not have the power to say “you WILL get injured if you do that.”  We did eat pork not because God would send us to hell, but because it contained Trichinosis, and we tell trainees not to round their backs not because a rounded back is a guaranteed risk of injury, but because a new trainee won’t be able to tell when it’s acceptable to round versus when it is not.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, for in reality, the holy and faithful are in no place to judge, for while they may live a life of purity, they still bear the original sin of lacking success.  Those that have not succeeded are in no place to judge the methods of those who have succeeded, for they are still unclean in the eyes of the gods of iron.  You must be baptized in the waters of success before you preach at the pulpit of training.  No one wants to hear a sermon from someone still waiting for enlightenment and divine inspiration, for they are just as much a lay person as those in the pews.  Until you have achieved success and “seen the light”, it is not your place to stone the infidels.


Just kind of hard to take seriously at this point

I leave you with the last words of Machiavelli.  "I desire to go to Hell and not to Heaven. In the former I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, while in the latter are only beggars, monks and apostles."

2 comments:

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    1. Your comment is eloquent in its simplicity, haha. Thank you.

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