Know Thyself

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, foresight and intuition are the two pillars of an effective strategy, whether it is at a state level or at an individual level. But foresight and intuition are largely the results of experience and travel rather than book learning. Foresight and intuition gained from personal experience translates into effective book learning, as was suggested by Nietzsche. But book learning on its own does not necessarily translate into foresight and intuition.

I was told at a very young age that my sense of foresight and intuition were above average. The closest friendship and mentor-pupil relationship I had in high school was with Theodore Penton, a former army sergeant who served in the first Persian Gulf War and is originally from Louisiana. After retiring from the army in 1999, Penton taught an American government course at Columbus State University in Georgia before moving to teach here in Northern Virginia in 2005. I happened to be one of his first students. Penton started off his teaching career here in Northern Virginia by teaching a psychology class and a philosophy class, before moving on to teach an AP government class. I took Penton’s psychology class in my junior year of high school, and I took his philosophy class in my senior year.

Due to his experiences in the first Persian Gulf War, Penton was initially a radical and was highly critical of the two Bush Administrations before becoming a moderate, and I happened to know Penton during his radical days as a teacher. On occasion, the school administration would send one of their people to sit in his classes and monitor what he would say to his students. Nevertheless, Penton’s experiences in the army and with politics not only developed his own sense of foresight and intuition, but he was also able to see those abilities in others. He pointed towards me one day during class, and he told the class that if there was ever to be an emergency situation in the school, I would be his right-hand person to manage the situation.

I was also actively being recruited and vetted by the U.S. military during my senior year of high school. I was not sure why, given that I was a lazy and mediocre student. And in the end, these recruitment efforts were turned away by my mother, whose own sense of foresight and intuition were to be outmatched only by my late grandmother. But as I grew older, my sense of foresight and intuition would only grow stronger.

My sense of foresight and intuition became most acute and profound in 2019, when I knew for sure that a global disaster was looming. My belief in 2019 was that humanity was facing either a natural disaster or a global war, given the way things were going. Thus, my sense of foresight and intuition in 2019 led to anxiety, night sweats, and extensive meditation and prayers at night in preparation for what was coming. And what came was the coronavirus. In turn, this coronavirus pandemic affirmed to myself what Penton and others saw in me all this time.

In addition to affirming my sense of foresight and intuition, coronavirus also served as an impetus for a level of literary output that I did not expect out of myself. Although I am angry and upset to a certain extent that most people were not able to see the impending disaster coming as I was able to in 2019, the reality is that most people are not deserving of foresight and intuition. Thus, I have grown accustomed to what has been allotted to me, in addition to becoming accustomed to the lack of foresight and intuition amongst the overwhelming majority of people.

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