Transform Debt Into Audacity
"Debt is a trap,
especially student debt, which is enormous, far larger than
credit card debt. It's a trap for the rest of your life
because the laws are designed so that you can't get out of
If a business,
say, gets in too much debt, it can declare bankruptcy, but
individuals can almost never be relieved of student debt
So you're in debt... What does that even
In the basic face-to-face sense, it means you "owe"
someone money. Sometimes you're able
to pay someone back, and sometimes you're unable. In a
person-to-person agreement debt is what it is.
But in the postmodern
sense it means, as Ambrose Bierce defined,
"Debt, n: An
ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the
It is this type of
hyperreal debt, illegal and illegitimate debt, and debt used
as systematic oppression, that this article is attacking.
Let's say you kicked
the bucket right now. What would your debt "mean" then?
"He that dies
pays all debts."
Let's say you owe
100K in student debt.
So what? They can
take away a car. They can take away a house. They can take away
land. But they cannot take away your education. They can,
however, garnish your wages.
So you have to be
You have to muster an
outside-the-box type courage that verges on impudence. You have
to turn the tables on caveat emptor (buyer beware) with - the
way more relevant - caveat venditor (lender beware).
you have to
transform debt into audacity.
Like Edward G.
"Youth is in
danger until it learns to look upon debts as furies."
Here's the thing:
you only live
once (as far as 'we know'). So it behooves us to make
the best out of it.
Getting an education
is a stellar way of making the best out of your life.
So what the system is
corrupt and makes us pay too much for higher education. Get an
education anyway. Debt be damned! Carry your debt with honor.
Then transform it into audacity.
Use your student debt
as a sword of truth:
money is an
illusion, debt is an illusion. The only reason it "means"
anything is because we agree, psychosocially, that it means
We can just as easily
agree that it "means" less than life, less than the heart, less
than human flourishing, less than almost anything that has real,
shelter, and basic human needs.
We could agree with
this, and thus properly align ourselves with cosmic truth. Debt
is a fiction. The problem is, we too often confuse fiction and
So it goes...
The man of courage, the man of audacity, the man who realizes
that debt is nothing more than a cartoon in the brain, does as
Henry Longfellow wrote:
"He looks the
whole world in the face, for he owes not any man."
Transform Fear and Guilt Into Fearless Forgiveness
"Our culture has
used guilt and shame as the primary means to motivate people
to be good by its standards, so it is no wonder that people
feel guilty, and that they need to atone - or sometimes to
have someone else atone for them."
Fear is a dragon.
Guilt is a king.
Both must be
"overcome" in order for our authentic self to emerge, in order
to buy back our soul.
Each one of us has
our own dragon to slay. Each one of us has our own king to
dethrone. Nobody else can do it for us. It is our responsibility
We slay the dragon of fear by transforming fear into
courage. We dethrone the king of guilt by transforming guilt
into forgiveness. But it's not easy.
There are pitfalls
and setbacks galore.
As George Orwell
become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they
have rebelled they cannot become conscious."
And even if we should
achieve a state of fearless forgiveness, there is always power
tempting us into becoming too powerful, enticing us to make our
In order not to
become a tyrant, we must - after slaying the "dragon" and
dethroning the "king," after bringing peace and order back to
the "Kingdom" - give up our power, relinquish the throne, and
then continue our journey.
Wisdom comes with a
curious mixture of taking responsibility for our prior choices
and actions while being as creative as possible in finding new
ways to continue our journey.
The journey is the
thing; even at the expense of power, and maybe even especially
at the expense of power.
Here's the thing:
poison. Don't act out of self-pity; act out of self-love.
Make peace with the too-heavy guilt inside you. Untangle the
Gordian Knot of your heart.
demons is the only way to unravel the binds that have bound you
to your own fear and guilt.
A courageous person
sees that fear and guilt are always an invitation to growth.
Like Warren Buffet
"the chains of
habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to
Don't wait until the
chains of fear and guilt are too heavy to be broken. Break them
now, before "now" becomes obsolete.
Free yourself now,
before freedom itself is outlawed.
Transform Moral Duty into Amoral Duty
"One has a moral
responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
I've often said,
"In an immoral
system amoral action is a moral duty. One must amorally
rebel so that morality may exist."
This is a powerful
concept precisely because of entrenched systems of power and the
complacent and inert human beings that mostly unknowingly uphold
because, if taken and applied sincerely, it compels us to live
adventurously, playfully, and it inspires deep intimacy with the
adventure films does it take to compensate for a lack of
adventure? How many superhero movies must one watch to
compensate for the atrophied expression of one's greatness?
pornography to meet the need for intimacy? How much
entertainment to substitute for missing play?"
is a tool used to keep you complacent, contented,
comfortable, unworried and smug.
is a tool used to keep you aware, uncomfortable,
vigilant, imaginative, and proactive.
In an unhealthy,
unsustainable, unjust, and immoral system such as ours - one
that forces us to sell our souls to it in order to survive - it
behooves us to be amoral agents of the first order, and to buy
our souls back.
But the currency
isn't monetary; it's dealt in courage. The exchange is done
through fearlessness and insouciance, despite existing power
structures or so-called authorities.
In order to "purchase" our souls back from the clutches of
we must be
bold in the face of the cowardly
we must be
audacious amidst the pusillanimous
we must be
brave and thoughtful amongst all the spineless
in order not
to be the Devil's plaything, we must be able to trick
we turn the
tables on evil by amorally rebelling against both heaven
Like Albert Camus
therefore we exist."
We must rebel in
order for our souls to be our own, so that we can realize that
our souls are interdependent with all things.
Indeed, in order to
reap a healthy evolution, we may need to sow a little amoral