The Illusion of Control

r.j. kushner
3 min readMar 13, 2023
Does anyone really have control of an airplane? Not when I’m on board.

Hello and welcome to Extreme Meditation For Winning, a new blog series where I help you take a few moments to step out of the internal chatter and into the realm of titans.

In these posts we’ll pause and reflect to consider and ponder what brings us together in this shared human condition, and determine once and for all how to defeat our pathetic minds and come out on top as victors.

Today, I want to talk with you about the illusion of control. This is a concept I struggle with often. Case in point the other day when I was sitting in traffic in an Uber. After an hour or so of waiting, I reached up and grabbed the driver’s hair and attempted to control him Ratatouille-style just to get out of there. We struggled for a bit and he ended up biting me–hard–on the arm.

I was examining the tooth marks later at my apartment when I realized — as humans, we don’t really have control over everything do we? It’s almost like that’s an illusion. However, just as I was contemplating that, I started to feel a strange sensation come over me and began to realize that this bite may have given me powers beyond my own comprehension. I suddenly didn’t need glasses anymore and the milk I was drinking started to taste like piss. In a way, I’d lost my full humanity and gained something else entirely.

Interesting.

I went outside and started to test my new powers and see how much control they might be able to lend me. I walked up to a horse and tried to see if it could understand me. It didn’t seem to, but the person riding it did, and he was extremely offended by my obscenities.

I then attempted to levitate off the ground, which worked, but only for a few seconds at a time when I picked my legs up quickly.

Sometimes life throws us curve balls we don’t see coming, and often when we aren’t even playing baseball or even understand how baseball works. The important thing is to be in the moment … or something like that.

So, maybe control is an illusion for you, but for me, it might be entirely possible. We’ll see. I still have a LOT of experiments to run. It turns out I do need glasses again, but milk still tastes like piss to me. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because it comes from a disgusting animal.

John C. Collins was a guy who once said, “You need self-control in an out of control world.” Well, I don’t know who John C. Collins even is. Maybe he’s the guy who bit me in that Uber. If he is, then I suppose I just have one thing to say: “Thank you for this gift of power.”

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r.j. kushner

Dubbed by the New York Times as “all out of free articles this month.”