Achievement, success, hollow bones and justice warriors – Universal Justice at work
Over my career, I have been privileged to have had profoundly intimate conversations with super-high achievers who knew their path left them empty.
No amount of achievement, wealth or success could attend to the hollow bones of their soul.
I have worked with hundreds of people like this.
Behind the veneer of success, the smart suit, fancy car, and lavish home lurked questions that would not be silenced.
This extraordinary work – being witness to the interiors of high achievers – their insecurity, uncertainty, imposter syndrome, anxiety, isolation, confusion, shame and sense of some essential ingredient missing – helped me understand that no matter what our station or privilege in life, the shadows of our psyche are real.
Knowing this allowed me to reconcile my own feelings of shame for not ‘making it’ in the exterior world of success, choosing instead the interior world of happiness, delight, and lightness of being. This world matters far more to me.
It also enabled me to begin to live what has become Synergistic Accounting that accounts for value in 6 domains of input and 6 domains of output. Measuring only one domain of success is not accurate. Just as measuring GDP growth is too narrow to effectively measure of humanity’s success on Earth. We must always look at the whole.
I have also been at the effect of the supposedly brilliant tech or start-up genius who has sold their integrity for the seduction of money, fame, status, and power.
That effect has been the denial of access to funds, support, or anything that would elevate my venture. Society, governments and communities love to back a winner. Or what appears to be a winner.
These golden boys (they are mostly men) pretend an image of glitter and fabulousness. They are wildly skilled at spell casting, convincing mostly sane, rational people to risk something to back them.
It is all smoke and mirrors. They will look you in the eye as they stab you in the back, completely at peace with the destruction and pain they are unfurling. Not a whip of conscience biting at their heels.
Sometimes these golden boys will get away with spell-casting and manipulation for decades, scraping the spoils into their coffers as they leave those who propped them up starved.
I find it despicable. I wonder when we will learn to never give these people the light of day. It is the light we give them they want the most. Fame. Attention. News cycles.
Yet we do. Again and again. It is always a good day for a grift. **Grift – to obtain (money or property) illicitly (as in a confidence game)**
We only learn by being caught in their shiny web, where we might spend days or years believing we are fully conscious of our choices. Only to discover, painfully, that our contributions have been sucked into the giant vacuum cleaner of greed and accumulation that fuels golden boys’ bottomless pit. Our coffers emptied. Not just our financial coffers but our energy, skill, knowledge, activity, passion and service.
This past week we might have witnessed one of the most remarkable grifts ever. Bigger and bolder than Enron. I am speaking, of course, of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX.
In addition to that, I am writing this at the very moment in time Donald Trump is announcing his 2024 run for president in his gilt sprayed room at his palace. (I write Sunday Syntropy on Wednesday so we can edit it properly.)
A man of hollow bones indeed, who cares little for anyone but himself. A highly seasoned grifter who has spat out millions of people as he stashes illusions into a box of more illusions, hoping to turn them into something real.
We must stop revering the shiny, the glittering. More often than not, it is fancy dress and cosplay. **Cosplay – the activity or practice of dressing up as a character from a work of fiction (such as a comic book, video game, or television show)** The seductive spell to get us into the trance of belief, an antidote to our own hollow bones.
The big promise wrapped in gold leaf is the one to be suspicious of. And fools are we to fall under the spell.
More often than not, the vein of real gold comes wrapped in brown paper, with no fanfare, no trumpets. So often, this vein of gold that will transform our lives into something beautiful is so lacking in glamour that we might miss it entirely. This is its way. No seduction required. Just noticing.
At times like these I remind myself of the wheels of Universal Justice, operating on Kairos time. (Kairos time – the clock of the heavens.)
Like the Hindu belief of Karma – Universal Justice never happens when or how we want it. But Justice is always served.
It may be because I believe that the miracle of our individual existence is not contained in one lifetime, but is instead eternal. However, I have no idea what that eternal form looks like.
I arrived at this conclusion not through reading Eastern Philosophy, but rather in the anatomy lab, where I spent a year as a medical science student.
The more I studied human anatomy, the more awe I felt for whatever animated LIFE. Here I was dissecting people long dead, yet life or any semblance of it was no longer there. Only the fingerprint, the carrying vessel.
At the tender age of twenty, it seemed impossible to me that the animating spirit of this vessel was dead. Too much complexity. Too much brilliance in the onion layers of anatomy.
As a young justice warrior I learned, as most of us do, the very hard way: Justice often refused to dance on a human timeline. While it fuelled my actions, my rage at injustice became my own black pit. Instead, I had to hold the possibility of Universal Justice – Karma – as the larger force.
We have to hold belief and hope in something, for if we do not, there is nothing.
Those who have profited off the backs of humans, life, and our Earth, with zero regard for the consequence to others, those who set out to cheat, harm, lie, kill, and exploit will be held to account. Even if the account is the shadows that arrive in the dark hours to taunt and prey on their soul. Even if that account is the emptiness they see in the mirror. I can feel compassion for these parasites of society in my quiet moments.
Unlike the work I have been privileged to do with high achievers who knew external success was a part of the whole of success and not the whole, people who knowingly and callously profit off others have hollow bones and empty souls.
The Kairos clock ticks. And while we must stay at the fray of Justice warriorship, we might take solace in Kairos and Karma doing their work too.