TE LawrenceSome felt he was a charlatan, a complete fraud, built up on myth. Some believed Lawrence was hyped up by the media at the time. I don’t believe so but I do not know. Draw your own conclusions. I have read many books on Lawrence in my lifetime and find him to be a introspective, critical, tough and intelligent although he wasn’t without his faults. He was naive and very conflicted with himself. He was more of an intorvert than an extrovert.

Yet he was a brilliant thinker nonetheless, an amazing tactician and he was something that we have very few of today, a warrior/scholars. Lawrence was able to ride more than 50 miles a day on a camel and earned the respect of his men for outpacing them. He was able to construct his words into deep meaning phrases that showed his insightful sensitivity and perceptive mind, but he was not a weak person. He did have an injured psyche and was at times very fragile but to accomplish what he did took much willpower. The world did not have the luxury of counselors back then. Lawrence did not trust many men.

He had a small body. He was only 5’5″ tall and had a large head and was aware of this. So, he took on many personal challenges to test his will. He would hold a lit match stick and allow the flame to extinguish, but only after it had already burned upon the skin of his finger. He took long distance bicycle rides and subsisted solely on milk on bread for energy. He stayed up for days without sleep in order test his mental and physical endurance.

He once walked 1100 miles alone across the Middle-East. This trip was spent viewing Moorish and Crusader castles and cataloging antiquities. He nearly died after being beaten badly during a mugging in Syria. He deprived himself of food and water to test his ability to withstand hunger.

I have hyper linked a great website to look at. Much of his biography and writings can be found here. Do we make myths out of men? Certainly we do. We have done that for Churchill, Lawrence, Alexander the Great. In a thousand years what will our heroes of today look like for those beyond?

You will find some pictures and a chronology of his life. In many areas he was emotionally stunted and yet at the same time he had a very perceptive mind. Simply brilliant. You can make up your own mind.

Thomas Edmund Lawrence 1888-1935

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

I loved you, so I drew these tides of
Men into my hands
And wrote my will across the
Sky and stars
To earn you freedom, the seven
Pillared worthy house,
That your eyes might be
Shining for me
When we came

Death seemed my servant on the
Road, ’til we were near
And saw you waiting:
When you smiled and in sorrowful
Envy he outran me
And took you apart:
Into his quietness

Love, the way-weary, groped to your body,
Our brief wage
Ours for the moment
Before Earth’s soft hand explored your shape
And the blind
Worms grew fat upon
Your substance

Men prayed me that I set our work,
The inviolate house,
As a memory of you
But for fit monument I shattered it,
Unfinished: and now
The little things creep out to patch
Themselves hovels
In the marred shadow
Of your gift.

Quotes by T.E. Lawrence:

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“We were fond together because of the sweep of open places, the taste of wide winds, the sunlight, and the hopes in which we worked. The morning freshness of the world-to-be intoxicated us. We were wrought up with ideas inexpressible and vaporous, but to be fought for. We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns, never sparing ourselves: yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep, and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.”
“Many men would take the death-sentence without a whimper, to escape the life-sentence which fate carries in her other hand.”

“You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That’s the feeling.
(T.E. Lawrence to artist Eric Kennington, May 1935 )”

 “By day the hot sun fermented us; and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars.”

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About The Author

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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