But not every King of Wands day throws us the same challenge.
Sometimes it demands we turn our attention outwards to examine ourselves in relationship to others.
TODAY HOWEVER, he demands we turn inwards and examine ourselves in relationship to ourselves.
Kingship means sovereignty. Sovereignty requires autonomy – the ability to function free from control from the outside. Sovereignty can only be achieved when we know precisely what it is that we stand for and, most importantly, why.
Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living. The King of Wands would agree.
According to Nietzsche, guilt greases the wheels of society ; it provides sanctions for bargains not met. In by-gone days, unmet obligations invoked actual physical punishment – branding or amputations and the like . Yet in more civilised times, punishment is more likely to be self-inflicted through the guilt trip. The guilt trip our ultimate indulgence Upon returning from a guilt trip we feel refreshed – redeemed – ready to get back into the swing. But the ‘swing’ of what? Of more promises and obligations that we’ve neither the will nor the means to keep?
We might have more luck in keeping our obligations if we focus less on we what owe to others and more on what we owe to ourselves.
Of course it’s neither possible – nor desirable – to wholly ignore the demands of others in order to be ‘true’ to ourselves. Indeed the paradox is that for many being ‘true’ to ourselves is a ‘cop out’ for failing to do just that.