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Aergia and Agenoria

Few things poison the self quite like inactivity. This isn’t always our fault, perhaps maybe we have an injury which has limited our physical abilities. Maybe it’s simple exhaustion and we just need to recuperate. These are understandable. Things happen when we don’t expect or want them to. That’s a part of life. What I refer to is self imposed inactivity. Where you yourself made a conscious choice not to act, usually without any good reason. Unfortunately this can be a dangerous trap to fall into, and one which may prove difficult for some folk to escape. 

Among the lesser known deities of the Greek and Roman pantheons are Aergia and Agenoria. Agenoria was a Roman goddess associated with motion. She was seen as an important deity in childhood. Her association with children learning to walk, speak, and so forth. Her personification as motion and development even went on to inspire the name of a steam locomotive constructed in England in the early 1820s. Aergia (or Socordia in Latin) is the antithesis to Agenoria. Aergia was a Greek goddess associated with sloth, laziness, and indolence. Two deities with conflicting attributes, but both of whom relate to Inertia. 

Inertia is a widely known concept in the world of physics. Simply put it is the inherent property of something which opposes a change in its motion. This can be an object standing at rest refusing to budge, or something in motion where its directory and momentum are unchanged by outside forces. So it can be seen as both the unstoppable force, and the immovable object. Raidho and its merkstave counterpoint. One being of journey underway, the other a frozen standstill of the chariot that carries us. 

Aristotle’s theory on potentiality and actuality used the terms “energeia” and “entelecheia” the former meaning “being at work” and the latter “being at an end”. Aristotle’s belief would seem to be rather than being a theory of motion in a physics sense, to be applicable to being alive. Being at work means progressing through life, Being at an end being a stopping point or rather the halting of progress.

For those of us that seek something better in life, motion is second nature. It’s the thrill of the chase, the bliss of running across open terrain with the wind in our face. The thrill of success and experience further fuels our fire. Many forces within life will oppose you and get in your way, however this may manifest. But when in motion we remain in motion, unchanged by resistance or delay. 

But what of the flip side to this coin? If inertia states that an object in motion remains unchanged in its trajectory, what of something more static. What happens to the man who has a flat tire in his life so to speak? This is a situation many find difficult to break. Remaining motionless. Unmoving. When in this state, it can be very difficult to get the figurative ball rolling again. Many of us have been there at some point or another. Call it burnout, struggle or even worse just laziness. Burnout is something most struggle with from time to time, but naturally, we commit to overcoming it. Laziness however, to me is just a form of soul suicide. Many times this is due to the fact they see the necessary work to change something as not worth the effort. So they just give up, and accept the lesser. The adoption of the “That’s just the way it is” mentality only adds further weight to the ankles of those that adopt it. 

Most of us can recognize this, however not always the case. Some individuals are truly content with being static in their life pursuits. I suppose if someones perfectly fine going through the motions but never truly moving past their banal yet comfortable bubble they’ve put themselves in, all the power to them.

But are they really content when they could be so much more?

When events are put into motion, healthy momentum keeps the movement forward. Onwards and unchanging. Alternatively, when complete lack of motion is achieved it can be very difficult to initiate movement again. Momentum in life is a self feeding, self supporting process. Onwards motion in the form of personal achievements along with a rabid desire for growth and adventure. Friction from forces or influences which oppose that consistent momentum are easily overcome when our self shows no sign of wanting to slow down. 

I liken this to that feeling that we get during physical training. Once you get into the flow of movement, in the energy of the moment you are in full unchanging momentum. You get that feeling that you are unstoppable since nothing can slow or change your pace. When you achieve that trancelike state, and no force earthly or otherwise can dissuade you. 

Then you’ve got the other guy that decided to skip the gym today. Then maybe the next day as well. In terms of getting the ball rolling, this is like throwing a cinder block in the nearest river instead. It’ll just be harder and harder to get moving. Outside forces can’t move what doesn’t want to be moved in this case. 

Inertia being defined by unchanging momentum or stagnant cementation may not just be about the literal physical forces at play but in everything else we do. The longer you choose to not make a move on something, the harder it’s going to be down the line to finally do it. Whether this is through fear, uncertainty or just plain old “I can’t be assed” it’s just adding more weight to your ankles. Unstoppable force or immovable object? Aergia or Agenoria? That’s for you to decide. 

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