Man Carving His Own Destiny

"You are what your deep, driving desire is
As your desire is, so is your will
As your will is, so is your deed
As your deed is, so is your destiny”

― Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Man must carve himself from the rock that he is made of,
which is the very same rock in which he is bound.

Man Carving His Own Destiny is a sculpture by Albin Polasek. It shows how we must all carve ourselves out from the rock which we are born within. That this sculpting of one's life and one's being into a work of art is the purpose of life.


The key is to mold your life to the deepest desire of your heart – molding one's life as the potter molds clay.  Living consciously directed to manifesting the inner ideal.

“I am like a piece of rock which has been broken off of the Carpathian Mountains in the heart of Czechoslovakia. Later this crude stone was trans­ported to the Land of the Free: the United States of America. This block of stone was myself. Through the opportunities that this country gave me, I started to carve out my destiny, to free myself from the rock so that I might be useful." - Albin Polasek.

1908, Archival Photo

You are a piece of rock.
You have always been here.
Before the beginning your substance was somewhere.....
In the beginnings you were fast asleep, lying in wait, pooling into nebulas, forming into solids.
You have remained in your slumber for aeons, and perhaps now you grow restless.
You have broken away from the mainland and are drifting in dark sea.
The urge to open your eyes is there, but the sea is warm and comforting.
Rocking gently, and gently rocking.


We may remain a lump of rock, or it is our choice to begin chiseling and attempting to shape that rock.
It is not easy, it seems like an impossible task - to form a misshapen rock into a sculpture of beauty, grace, and life.
And it will hurt, it will be uncomfortable, you will chisel in the blazing sun and by the cold darkness of the waning moon. Your hand will tire and your arms ache and you will want to just lay down and rest through entering the oblivion of sleep.

You will stumble and falter and make mistakes - but the true artist realizes that mistakes and failures are essential to glorious successes, that mistakes help you discover the true thing and failures drive you deeper to the essence.
Your hand will slip on the chisel, you will draw your own blood - it will mix with your work.
Every imperfection will be seen to be the loving hint of perfection, coaxing you towards itself.


You will start chiseling without any idea of the end result, you will begin by just taking off all that is unnecessary, all that is ugly and false. And as you go you will begin to behold a vague ideal in your mind, not so much a thing as it is a sense, a feeling, an intuition.

It will begin to grow within you into a certain direction, a certain attitude, a certain fragrance will be sensed. And then you will find your hand is moving on its own; before and beyond your thoughts, and your heartbeat will quicken for you recognize that some greater hand is carving your destiny. You become a leaf in the wind, a branch in the stream - flowing to the end of all things.


There will come a day when you no longer drunkenly hack at your form, but become aflame with the fires of life. You will take up the chisel with tender fingers, your hold itself will be an art. And in your care and attention to the poignancy of it all, this whole play of existence, the chisel will be inspired.  It will delight in its freedom, its responsibility, and its potential

You will look down, and behold! It is not so much that you were carving, as that you were being carved.
Truly, it is both. You are carving your destiny while all the while it has been carving you.
You have been finding and living it, and it has been tracking you down. The farther you go the more you realize that you couldn't have went any way else.

And the ultimate end of a stone sculpture is for the work of art to escape its static state.
You carve your masterpiece with such love, such skill, such care, such intelligent awareness - your pour you heart and your soul into it, your flesh and your blood - and it comes alive.
It becomes eternal, it escapes the confines of time and space, vision and form.

The creator has poured himself into his creation.
The poet has become poetry.
The painter enters into the painting, the painting becomes the whole of existence.
The singer and the song are one voice. Only one sound pervades the universe.
The dancer dissolves into the dance.


Man must be creative.
Without creativity man is not Man, but still remains merely an animal.
Unless you create yourself, you will remain a lump of rock and long for some dimly sensed life.
Unless you give birth to yourself you will remain waiting for millennia, dissatisfied in your darkness, confined in your prison.
As a rock you will scream at your voicelessness, you will rage at your helplessness.

If you want to sing you will have to create a mouth and shape a voice.
If you want to dance you will have to carve your legs and learn to balance.
If you want to love you will have to bare your heart and bow down a thousand times.
If you want to live you will allow yourself to be chiseled down to nothing.

The sculpture has become the sculptor, the sculptor becomes the sculpture.


The mystic is the supreme artist and the supreme scientist.
Because the mystic is an artist who creates himself,
and a scientist who experiments with himself.
One who carves himself and allows himself to be sculpted.

He is the scientist, the microscope and the specimen.
He is the artist, the tool, and the masterpiece.