On the benefits of being lost

[Freedom] evolves once man is a complete being, when both of his basic impulses [of change and immutability] have developed, and it will therefore be absent so long as man is incomplete and excluded from one of his two impulses; and should be capable of restoration by all that returns him to completeness.*
(Friedrich Schiller)

One never reaches a horizon. It is not a line; it has no place; it encloses no field; its location is always relative to the view.*
(James Carse)

The important thing about being lost is to admit when you are.

Don’t pretend you still know where you are or where you are headed.

Then you begin to see the benefits.

One of the problems with our lives as we have come to find them is that we can be too found, which would be too much of Friedrich Schiller’s immutability impulse and not enough of the change impulse, and too much of James Carse’s boundaries and not enough horizons.

Lost is good sometimes.

We pay more attention.

We are open to more possibilities.

Sometimes we find ourselves lost and when we notice this, wondering how we got to where we find ourselves, the contents of our days and the contents of our life, then we can use this towards something more, different, better … .

We can also get lost on purpose; it’s where we find who we really are and what we have to gift:^

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.^^

(*From Friedrich Schiller’s On the Aesthetic Education of Man.)
(**From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games.)
(^Check out Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost and Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(^^Thomas Merton, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer: Day 23.)

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