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We have two battles happening at all times.. The internal and external- two sets of virtues. In the book The Road to Character, the author recaptures Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchiks’ Lonely Man of Faith where he notes two types of creation in one body starting in the book of  Genesis. These two types of creation (one body) represent two opposing sides of nature. He goes on to call them Adam 1 and Adam 2- seems fitting. So, whatever your name is, think in terms of you being two different people in one body…Adam 1 ( external) is ambitious- wants to succeed and see financial gain through his successes. He is driven, goal-oriented, productive and constantly learning in a way that will gain him high status and high reward. Adam 2 ( internal), however desires to embody moral qualities, these seem to be embedded in him…. inner peace, solid sense of right and wrong, he longs not only to do good but be good- his motives are pure and he wants to love deeply and in order to do that; he knows he has to self-sacrifice for the good of others. Adam 2 desires truth and honors creation, not money. Adam 1 wants to divide and conquer while Adam 2 wants to serve.

Adam 1 ask how things work for his advantage and Adam 2 ask who am I and why am I here? Soloveitchiks case is that the two Adams live by different logic thus creating constant tension in one body.

I will be paraphrasing The Road to Character ( that I highly recommend)…

Adam 2 lives by an inverse logic. It’s a moral logic not an economic one… You have to give to receive which by the way is part of God’s law. You have to surrender yourself in order to gain inner strength, you have to conquer your temptations so you don’t live by the flesh which is deceiving. He goes on to say that Adam 2 see that success leads to the greatest failure, pride and that failures lead to the greatest success, humility and an open mind to learn from others. In order to fulfill yourself, you have to forget yourself and in order to find yourself you have to lose yourself too. This is actually biblical.

We live in a society that encourages us to think about having a great career and much worldly success but often we do not talk about how to cultivate an inner life. The competition to succeed and win is all consuming. We are to satisfy our own desires even if it means to lose moral stakes to get where we need to be.  We are to promote ourselves however necessary to lead to the road of success. The pressure is tremendous and money seems to equal worth. However, there seems to be little encouragement when it comes to humility, self- awareness or self examination, sympathy for others and honesty.

Adam 1 can easily turn into a shrewd animal who is a crafty, manipulative, self- preserving creature who knows how to play the game to his advantage and takes no prisoners. Adam 1 spends a lot of time cultivating professional skills to keep himself in the game. Unfortunately, if that is all Adam 1 consists of, then he really is losing big time because he does not have a clear idea of the meaning of life. He invest all his time and energy to his many professional endeavors but the inner part grows cold and empty because he has not explored the deepest parts of himself- His character… He starts to judge other people by their abilities or net worth and not by their self- worth. His integrity goes out the window and he thinks he can have or do anything he wants.. He gives into temptation more often than not. He does not have a strategy to build character- everything is about what he wants. Sadly, without Adam 2, not only does his inner life fall apart, eventually so will his external life. Adam 1 will feel empty.

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The matter of the heart and soul cannot be read in a book or taught in a class but it has to come from something inside of you that actually goes looking for it. You hear many stories of people in our society that were at the top of their game and then took a big fall and more often than not, it was because of a lack of character. The bible teaches about how  destruction and a fall can come from pride and arrogance. Pride and arrogance are not character building, they are character assassins. A wise person starts to examine who they really are as well as who they want to become. They set out to put frustration and selfishness aside for the benefit and good of others and the pay off is BIG…. The begin to possess inner peace where they walk lighter and sleep better. Their minds are consistent and they don’t waiver in who they are. They are not pushy or aggressive but humble and respectable. Their is a softness about them and it is not self- seeking. They absolutely radiate and others gravitate towards them. You feel like a better person just being in their presence. These are the people who have cultivated and nurtured their inner self. They realize they are a work in progress and always will be. Developing your inner self take a life time but the minute you recognize and go seeking, you already have become wiser.

Talent is God- given, be humble. Fame is man-driven, be grateful. Conceit is self-given, be careful- John Wooden

 

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