Mark Blasini


On being grounded


"The life of man upon earth is a warfare."

- Job 7:1

This quote is an important reminder that what we are struggling against in life is life itself. Sun Tzu calls this Heaven.

Heaven is those forces and events in life that cloud our thinking, provoke us to act rashly or fearfully, and deceive us into thinking that the good and the bad we get out of life happens to us, and not something we make ourselves.

Heaven is the sudden illness that strikes a loved one, unexpectedly. Heaven is the stock market crashing, retirement funds being wiped out, housing prices dropping, unemployment rising.

Heaven is your car breaking down, the roof leaking, the hurricane coming, the heater not working, the pandemic spreading.

Heaven can also be the "good" boons we receive. It's that lottery win, that sudden boost in viewers for your channel, that great date you went on. That $20 bill you find on the ground, that compliment you received, the praise you got in the press.

All those things function to deceive you - to make you think that you are lucky or unlucky, to make you think you have to keep the luck up or accept your fate. To push you to extreme thinking - that you either have all the control or none of it.

Sun Tzu teaches us that the only way to clear your mind of the deceptions of Heaven is to focus on the reality of the Ground. The Ground never deceives you. It always tells you the truth. (This is the real meaning of the phrase "to be grounded.")

The Ground tells you what options you have. It tells you what pathways are available to you. It tells you what space you do have control over, even if it's only a little. It tells you what work you can still contribute and how you can still make the best of a bad situation. It also tells you what dangers may lie ahead - what to avoid and what to prepare for.

The point here is simple: stop worrying about the forces of Heaven and focus instead on the reality of the Ground. Focus on what is possible, on what you can do, what's available for you. Not on what has happened.