Discipline: The Means to an End

In this genre, players must survive against increasingly difficult opponents. With the no-respawn mechanic, it’s possible to complete each match with a clean slate and start again if you’re killed too many times. Some games in this category include DayZ, H1Z1: King of the Kill

Vintage man playing violin outside of his tent.

This Manvotional, I felt, fit nicely with this week’s topic, “Freedom From…Freedom To.”

Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline (Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline), 1916 Maturin, Basil William

We don’t persevere in [self-discipline] for its own sake, but for the sake of what is beyond it. And we suffer such actions of self-denial and self-restraint because we believe and know that it is only through such acts that we may reclaim control over all of our misunderstood talents and learn to wield them with vigor and delight like we have never known before…

It’s like if someone with a tremendous musical ability but no technical instruction, who could never get the highest results from his craft, were to study under a great master. The first lessons he will have to learn will be, for the most part, to correct his mistakes, not to do this and not to do that; it will seem to him that he has lost all his former freedom of expression, that he is held back by all sorts of technical rules, that whenever he seeks to let himself go he is checked and hampered. And that is undeniably correct. But, as he learns more and suffers as a result of his learning, he will soon realize that new ways of expressing himself will open up to him that he had never imagined. He knows, he feels, that he is on the right track, and as the channels are prepared and the barriers against the old bad methods are more firmly established, he feels the mighty tide of his genius rise and swell, he hears the shout of the gathering waters as they sweep aside every obstacle and pour forth in a mad torrent of glorious sound. All of his days of discipline and pain are rewarded with the delight of seeing his masterpiece fully realized. In those apparently fruitless days, he understood well well that restraint and discipline were just the means to a goal. The finish is always in front of him, and the end is always a good thing. The death of his old, unskilled, and ineffective tactics is just the beginning of a wider and more complex activity…

[Discipline] is pointless without such a motivating goal; it is harsh self-torture. Who doesn’t realize that we need to fill our lives, not empty them? Life is much too powerful a force, and our nature is far too optimistic, to be satisfied with simple control and suppression. Many a person who has given up one thing after another and emptied their lives of interests after interests discovers, much to their dismay, that their energies, without outlets, turn inward and retaliate in morbid self-analysis and sickly scruples. They need an outlet and a set of interests. You can monitor a stream’s flow while planning to shift its path, but you can’t stop it. If you attempt, it will merely gain power behind the walls that are holding it back, beat them down, and surge through with an increased strength and volume due to the constraint. And the flow of life cannot simply be slowed down. Many a guy who tries to restrict himself in this way discovers that temptations have only gotten stronger and passions more fierce over time, and that the momentary resistance has made him worse rather than better. What he needed, what might have saved him from failure and despair, was to be taught that all the constraint was only temporary, and that the only way to move the stream into its rightful path was to teach him that all the restraint was only temporary.




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