I will start by pulling the roots or in linguistic terms; trace the etymology of a word.  Obsession comes from the 1500’s French and Latin roots and cumulatively means, “Action of besieging; taking over; hostile and evil spirit; siege; block and mind controller.” Obsession is a very smart dis-ease state because it uses energy to drain others, leaving its victim with nothing to transform the tragedy of their poetic words into acts of protest. Similar states, but with subtle differences:

1.      Narcissism which is the obsession with self. 2. Possession which is the obsessive war against self.

The word Passion from the  old Latin word  Pati-to suffer. Yet, dig 5000 years earlier until you hit the branch of the Proto-Indo language and you will find passion was as Pei which means to hurt within for love of all and to sacrifice all for love. Older still, we find the genesis of the word in the Passion Plays of Ancient Egypt. And still I am going to take you to my roots. Passion Plays originated in Ancient Egypt. The alchemy of the letters are now stirred by the performers of life with the breast milk of Waset-jret, meaning, She who bears the eye of Ra with the ritual art of passion.

 By the time we move forward from Ra to Jesus, we behold that he who bears to burden (cross) of humanity is called the “Passion of Christ.” Today passion means the ability to  bear and endure pain and to feel the hurt of the body of humanity.

Passion without Purpose is Obsession; Passion with Purpose is a Calling.  Passion is when you are not owned by your emotions and thoughts. You are able to strike with precision, awareness and relentless drive that energizes you. Obsession is a slave to emotions and thoughts. It is also relentless but it is not precise. It is fearful.  Passion brings objects and ideas to life; obsession turns people into objects rendering them paranoid. Passion inspires and obsession diminishes. 

And herein lies the biggest difference: Obsession lacks discipline. Discipline is the CONSCIOUS CHOICE  on where  your focus will rest. Obsession is an addict without the pill but hypnotized by anything outside of himself that will make him whole. There is a saying in my language, loosely translated, “His eyes are out,” meaning he is superficial and desperate to see anything he craves with 2 eyes that he never learns the art of seeing with the 1 eye.  So he will use people, places and things with abandon. It is tricky because it feels like passion but it is the spirit of every addiction.  You will feel turned out, turned on and center of his/her world, but you are a drug he uses to sleep. Passion is the flame turned on and up to keep you awake.

Obsession leads you to enter the darkness like some played out Bonnie and Clyde ride. You are ridden until the reptilian brain of extremism in you is triggered. You will do things and act ways that don’t seem like you. Oh, but they are you. The you who was taught to strap a gun, before you have learned how to wear your purpose. That is why you shoot yourself in the foot. You have no path to place your foot in so you stick you bleeding foot in your mouth and call it wine and victory because you did not die. Yet, to die means you lived and an obsessed person is a phantom lingering and stalking the shadow of people’s shadows.  Wake up, as shadows are small. The land of giants is embedded with purpose.

 That purpose will change, but it should ALWAYS be bigger than your shadow. Rarely does our culture ask: What is your purpose in life? If they do the answer is career, wife, money etc… Purpose is so much deeper than that. The careers, wives and homes can change; the money can come and go; even your kids become adults and leave; but the purpose is the consistent thread that runs through everything.

Now the tangible. The discipline. You can either respect your purpose or address the fear that is stopping you from respecting it. For now, start here. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers we find the 10,000 hour rule. Genius is common, but mastery requires you spend at least 10,000 hours on your passion. Genius becomes insanity without the implementation of passion’s ritual. Now, go back up and reread what I shared about ritual/passion in Ancient Egypt.

Every martial artist and monk is ritualized. They are aware and can explain the mystic dimension of why each gesture is used and still open up like a fractal lotus and see what only the ritual of passion can expose. And they do it over and over again until they not only master it; but until it becomes their holy ground. The space that only the sacred of beings may enter. Why do you think monasteries are hard to reach? Sacred knowledge even more so. They are still and silent in a world snagged by every net on the willow’s web.

The flip side of ritual is habit a word that comes from what nuns wore. They would wear the same outfit every day without thought until it was habitualized into an addiction and then eventually normalized into the illusion.   

Passion is not normal. It is extraordinary. An eagle soars high and when it dies; it falls. Normal. A phoenix though explodes and  crashes on to the ground where it incinerates into dust. The difference between an eagle and phoenix?  From the ashes of purpose, the phoenix learns how to master its flames and rises, turning fire that killed it into a disciplined flame that stuns nature as even she is perplexed how passion found purpose for her fiery wild child. The eagle flew out of habit; but the phoenix flies out of passion. Not even death clips its wings.

 Obsession fixates on a man, woman, child or thing. It is small and petty sight. Passion has vision that serves man, woman and child by naming it humanity and removes things that make it inhumane. Whereas obsession is driven by revenge; passion is upheld by the scales of mercy and justice. An obsessed addict wants to feel either good or nothing at all. Passion of Consciousness is about feeling everything and then some.  So let me end with a simple exercise to start you on that path of purpose and passion. A simple quiz that is the less generous than Noah’s Ark. He allowed many 2’s. I do not.

Imagine: The entire world is going to be hit with an apocalypse; but it will  NOT kill anything. Instead every living thing will keep living, but not in peace. Instead torture will visit and never leave every human being in ways that will make hell envious. There will be no light, hope or love. There will not even be the relief of death. You are told that you are exempt from this infinite suffering and can either go with God or stay in hell until you become a demon yourself, but first before the decision is made; you have to answer 3 questions:

1. God gives you 10 minutes to pick what 3 things you can bring with you to heaven (can be anything: people, places or things). Name them. 

2. Too much luggage, God says. 5 minutes are left and God demands that out of the 3 things you picked, you can only bring 2. Name them.

3. One minute is left before you are swallowed by Dante’s Inferno forever and thinking you are about to leave like Noah,  God states,  “You can only take one thing with you. Name it.

What is the answer? Explain the answer.

What you have is the first glimpse of your purpose. Can’t read what it means? Take the quiz again and again; consult with people or read about the words you picked. The answers can be different, but they will possesses the same principle.

Now there is so much detail not included here in this quiz I use in my sessions, but this is a simplified version to get you going. You have 10,000 hours that can be wasted obsessing and it will end with regret. Or you have 10,000 hours waiting for you. In a world fearful of death. THAT is hope. 10,000 hrs. And the next hour starts now. Make it messy, imperfect and let it rest in failure without fear so that you can go to the next hour a little less fearless. You have just engaged your purpose and it will be the most passionate love affair on earth and if you find a twin soul that also has that passion and discipline, then you will outlast every marriage on earth. All other forms of marriage is mere cheating.


Now, this question is an extra credit. A riddle I answered years ago and since I do not allow people to cheat off of my test, you must take your own.

 God forks your path and says, What are you doing? You can’t take anything with you!!

What do you do? Why didn’t God “save” the others from torture? How do you make your own heaven God asks? How do you get past his gates? What did God (ancient knowledge for atheists) do differently than humans? And if you are obsessing about these questions, let your passion discipline you and the answer (The Purpose) will be revealed.









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