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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate

ygolo

My termites win
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God, your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It is in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson

Thoughts?
 
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Totenkindly

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Thoughts?

Yes, the attribution is incorrect. It should be attributed to Marianne Williamson.

Note About Nelson Mandela

This quote is often found on the Internet incorrectly credited to Nelson Mandela from his Inauguration Speech, 1994, especially the last sentence of that quote, "As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

For reference, here are links to two official African government sites with Nelson Mandela's 1994 Inauguration Speech:

* Mandela: Inauguration Address -- Cape Town, 09 May 1994, via South Africa Government Online Official Web site.
* Statement Of The President Of The African National Congress Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela At His Inauguration As President Of The Democratic Republic Of South Africa Union Buildings -- Pretoria, 10 May 1994, via ANC's (African National Congress) Official Web site.

I will come back and give a real answer when I get some time, though... just clarifying right now. :)
 

Splittet

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It’s all very poetic, but I think it is bullshit, as a result of Ni in overdrive. I think very few experiences the world like that, and a lot of the argument is based on the existence of God. By seeing the existence of something greater, we see the existence of greatness in ourselves.

I however am not a believer in God, which make me doubt this high-flying greatness. From the perspective of evolution, I find it also unlikely individuals have unlimited talents that they don’t access. Nature is not that imperfect. I would use the same argument against the statement we use only 10 % of our brains.

But hey, what do I know? I am a passive nihilist … I have like the most pessimistic philosophy in the world. :p
 

anii

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That's one of my favorite quotes. I've heard it attributed to both sources; one was likely quoting the other.
 

GZA

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Its all very poetic, but I think it is bullshit, as a result of Ni in overdrive. I think very few experiences the world like that, and a lot of the argument is based on the existence of God. By seeing the existence of something greater, we see the existence of greatness in ourselves.

I think that the God part needs to be taken as a greater meaning. It doesn't literally need to be "God", "God" can be viewed as a symbol of ultimate purpose in life. We are created to do great things, perhaps, is a better way to think of it. In terms of evolution, that doesn't fit, but evolution and science can't explain everything; this is philosophical, and philosophically I think many people do, in some form (God or not) beleive that there is a purpose or reaosn to live, or that they have specific jobs or duties that they as people naturally feel obligated to do (which actually fits evolution quite nicely).

Although I don't agree with the idea that people's greatest fear is having absolute power, and I don't think our greatest fear is having none, either, I think what he is saying is still quite valid. He is talking about enlightenment, actualization, and in that sense he makesa great deal of sense.

First, to get it out of the way, "Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" isn't great because it doesn't even fit the rest of the quote. The rest of the quote is about enlightenment and enpowerment, but this doesn't totally fit that. It has a slightly different meaning; it is absolute power while the rest of it is self-enpowerment and freedom, but to me it still comes off as being fancy talk.

"We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us." That makes a great deal of sense to me, we were born to manifest what our spirit is and can do. We were born to make something of ourselves.

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." That, too, makes a lot of sense. If you can free yourself and really live in total autonomy, I think you would inspire people a great deal. Can you imagine knowing someone who lived like that? That would sure inspire me, that would make me want to become like that in my own way.

So, putting the "Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" aside, I think thats a really good quote!
 
R

RDF

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Thoughts?

Concerning the inspirational passage in the OP:

Stripped of questions of attribution, stripped of God and the religious issues, and purged of the chicken-soup-for-the-soul and glurge-filled mode of expression, I think the passage does, in fact, contain an important truth.

When we are children, our fears are simple: The world is big and complex and fast-moving, and we are small and weak. If we're not careful the world may slam into us, roll over us, and leave us lying mangled by the side of the road.

But when we are adults, our fears may be more complex. We may be competent or even brilliant in most areas of our lives but balk at doing simple things because we feel too clumsy or conflicted. One wrong move, and the environment around us may collapse like a house of cards or entangle us like a spider web or swallow us like a quicksand bog.

Thus, you have the phenomenon of intelligent, capable adults spending their lives alone because they didn't learn the rules of socializing and dating when they were teens and now they figure they'll just make a hash of it and upset everyone so it seems simpler to avoid it outright. Or you have people putting up with dysfunctional relationships with parents, friends and family because it seems safer and easier to put up with abuse and frustration than to risk upsetting the apple cart by asserting oneself. Or you have competent people who remain in unchallenging fields or jobs or positions because it seems too late in the game to start go back to school and change fields or contemplate a move into management and compete for a leadership position.

We see other people around us cutting a wide swath in life and maneuvering confidently and safely through these same obstacles, but we assume they had a better upbringing than us or have some special quality that we don't have or they are simply too stupid to see all the dangers around them. Or we open up and unburden ourselves in anonymous environments like Internet message boards and find support and understanding there, but we don't trust people in real life to operate the same as people on anonymous forums.

So in this kind of context, the passage in the OP can be helpful and even reveal an important truth or two: If others can do it, then why not me? Who or what am I really serving by hiding my capabilities and desires from others? Is it okay to assert myself, even if it means possibly putting myself in opposition to people I care about?

My opinion:

It's actually not that hard to get ahead and achieve what you want. For example, sooner or later most people routinely take a little time to learn the basic rules of personal investing. They learn the benchmarks for success and failure, study the risks involved, and then invest their life savings and trust the system to work. Well, most other big challenges in life are pretty much the same. You take a little time to learn the rules, you figure out a couple basic principles or benchmarks that will help you measure progress and avoid getting sidetracked and bogged down in irrelevant details (remember the Clinton campaign formula: "Keep it simple, stupid!"), and then you jump in and trust the system to work.

Those who have already succeeded and achieved what they want in life will usually vouch that it's not that tough or dangerous to get ahead. They may even try to boil things down for you and try to spell out some of the basic principles or benchmarks that they themselves found particularly important for getting ahead. See the following thread for a good example: http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/nt-rationale/2311-manual-intjs.html

But still there is ultimately a leap of faith involved. The first-time investor has to put his life savings on the line and trust the system not to grind his money up and swallow it whole. The person hitting the social circuit for the first time has to put his feelings on the line and trust the social system not to grind his emotions up and swallow them whole. And so on.

And that's where an inspirational passage like the one in the OP can come in handy. It's a reminder that others have done it and you can too.

So you use the passage in the OP as a wake-up call and look at the fears that are holding you back and weigh them against what you would like to achieve. And then maybe you seek out the advice or example of others who have already achieved the things you want (like ps646566's "Manual for INTJ's" thread, or maybe a biography of an admired public figure, or maybe a self-help book) and see if the basic principles and benchmarks that they used will work for you too.

And then, finally, you take what you've learned and make your own choices and do what's right for you. After all, it's your life. :party2:

I'm the one that's gotta die when it's time for me to die
So let me live my life the way I want to

"If 6 was 9," Jimi Hendrix
 

ygolo

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Yes, the attribution is incorrect. It should be attributed to Marianne Williamson.



I will come back and give a real answer when I get some time, though... just clarifying right now. :)

Fixed.

That's one of my favorite quotes. I've heard it attributed to both sources; one was likely quoting the other.

Williamson was earlier...and it doesn't look like Mandela used it.
 

Totenkindly

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God, your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It is in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Unlike what someone else has said, I don't think it's "bullshit." I agree that it probably takes too definitive of a stance ("our deepest fear" -- well, is it really? How do we know?) -- but that's because it is meant to inspire/motivate/encourage, not Ti-style delineate truth. So judging it for something it's not meant to be seems to be a waste of time.

Perhaps some people are frightened by their own darkness, unlikes what Marianne says -- but that wasn't her POINT here. I know that timid people, one of whom I am -- people who have spent their entire lives squelching themselves down in order not to draw attention, not to make others uneasy, not to seem prideful, not to look overbearing, trying hard to respect others and leave room for them to grow at expense to the self -- DO seem to experience what she is describing and need to be reminded of what matters in life.

The truth is that some people really are afraid of cutting loose and letting people see us as we really are, because we don't want to overshadow others nor become self-aggrandizing. And if taken too far, this is bad for spiritual and psychological growth... and it deadens our contribution to others. We make ourselves ineffectual, we cover our gifts, we don't give what we should be giving... and we usually feel depressed and not very worthwhile and needlessly ashamed.

Even if God doesn't exist, why on earth should we hamstring ourselves? Why should we dampen what we can give to the world? what purpose does it serve? Should someone with the potential to be a world-class tennis player or writer or musician or speaker or businessman simply tell themselves, "No, I'm not going to fulfill my potential?" That's silly. It doesn't serve ourselves or the world to water ourselves down.

And what I have seen is that people who let themselves blaze forth and be who they are, to their fullest capacity -- people who have consciously had to make that decision (rather than those who just do it out of unwarranted pride -- DO inspire others to drop the masks and stop limiting themselves. They pass passion along. They help others find meaning and joy in life.

I think freedom begets freedom. Authenticity begets authenticity. Openness begets openness. You want to inspire people? You want to build community? You need to drop the walls and be who you are. With no apologies and no excuses.

[And along with that... what FineLine said, if the "divine purpose/God" aspect is bothersome. :) Regardless of God's existence or purpose, the truth still holds.]
 

Athenian200

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It seems to be inspiring people to face their fears in order to achieve their goals, by dispelling the illusion that there is more dignity in remaining unheard, small, and meek. I very much like it for that reason.
 

wolfmaiden14

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Of course it's frightening to realize what you ARE capable of. That means you might actually have to MAKE AN EFFORT, in order to be what you know you can/should. You might actually have to make some mistakes to get there. You might be laughed at because what you want to do isn't popular.

That's scary as hell. And also why it's so inspiring to see someone else willing to take that chance. :)
 

Usehername

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And what I have seen is that people who let themselves blaze forth and be who they are, to their fullest capacity -- people who have consciously had to make that decision (rather than those who just do it out of unwarranted pride -- DO inspire others to drop the masks and stop limiting themselves. They pass passion along. They help others find meaning and joy in life.

I think freedom begets freedom. Authenticity begets authenticity. Openness begets openness. You want to inspire people? You want to build community? You need to drop the walls and be who you are. With no apologies and no excuses.

:yes: that's what i've experienced/witnessed, too. i've been blessed with a lot of examples of Impossible Human Accomplishments From Flawed Humans Like Me in my 21 years. People need to believe in themselves, find their passion (which often aligns with their talents) and give their all. Then amazing things happen.
 
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