Change your energy source to stoke

Change your energy source to stoke.

Ethan Maurice

It’s a well-worn cliché that two basic energies motivate all behaviors: love and fear.

Ram Dass had a different lens on the dichotomy. He thought the two basic energies were love and power.

I would like to add my take on the matter. I think the two basic energy sources are fear and stoke.

  • “I should clean my apartment” is a fear that if I don’t clean, my apartment will be overrun by cockroaches.
  • “I should order these lab tests” is a fear that if I don’t, something bad will happen to my patient.

On the other hand:

  • “I want to clean” is based on stoke, excitement about having a clean place.
  • “I want to order the lab tests” is based on stoke for getting my patient better.

I think of fear like fossil fuel energy. It’ll get you from point A to point B, but in the long-run, the planet, and the human, will burn out.

I think of stoke like green energy: it’s sustainable. A person running on stoke is able to keep going, and won’t burn out, because the enthusiasm is self-generated.

My mom recently told me about her friend’s daughter who refused to do something because “she doesn’t want to be doing things out of guilt.” This is wisdom. In the short-run, succumbing to guilt-based action allows one to avoid feeling guilty. But in the long-run, the person is left doing things powered by guilt (a form of fear), and not by stoke.

Abraham Maslow called fear the deficiency realm. The buddha called it habit energy. Whatever you call it, it’s a mode of consciousness that likely evolved for our survival. The alarm bells are ringing, the boat has a leak, and you are frantically trying to plug it before it sinks.

Maslow called stoke the “being realm.” The buddha called it freedom or true nature. In this mode of consciousness, we are generous and operate from our love, our interest, our stoke.

I pray that we can all change our life energy source, as much as possible, to stoke.

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