Take a moment to watch this time lapse video of the lava just wiping out the car. The car doesn’t stand a chance. How can you not feel the soul trait of Awe when you see the ongoing volcanic activity from Kilauea? This feeling of Awe can open the door to a Mussar practice secret about another soul trait.
We can feel Mussar Awe on several levels – awe at the unstoppable power of the lava flow, awe at the technology to create the time lapse, awe at overall scale of the eruption, that currently may begin to include “ballistic projectiles” from the caldera.
Seeing the car helplessly devoured is like many parts of life. Forces and events beyond our control happen. Whether they are set in motion by the Divinity, or are “just” nature in action doesn’t matter. They offer an opportunity to experience something greater, which can inspire us to greater heights. One moment the car is there, and the next it is gone. But finding Awe is not the Mussar practice secret for today.
At the same time, we are watching a video at high speed. In reality, someone could have driven the car away before the lava arrived. Sometimes these unstoppable forces of nature can be foreseen, and avoided. As someone who used to own a condo in Kona on the other side of the Island, we all knew about the volcanos. Everyone in Puna knows they are living on an active volcano. Around the world, people live in dangerous environments – some choose to stay, some can’t leave, and some never notice. So in theory, the car could have been saved, but in reality there was nothing that could be done at that time. Rather than look back and lament, Mussar offers an alternative way to address the situation.
The Mussar practice secret is to use the Awe as a path to overcome the Illusion of Control. Research has shown the people have a tendency to overestimate the level of control we have over outcomes. This even holds to playing dice – people throw the dice harder or softer depending on whether they need a high or low number. The reality is that we play a very small part in the universe. When we see things truly out of our control, it can help us to realize how little control we actually have.
Letting go of the illusion of control will significantly reduce your stress. If you no longer feel that everything depends on you, you will be more open to self care, and more open to collaboration with friends, family members, and coworkers.
Where does the illusion of control show up in your life?
Which parts of our soul lead make you susceptible to the Illusion of Control? Tale the Soul Trait Quiz to find out. Click here to begin.