Self-knowledge might be the most difficult of life’s rewards – the hardest to earn and the hardest to bear. To know yourself is to know that you are not an unassailable fixity amid the entropic storm of the universe but a set of fragilities in constant flux. To know yourself is to know that you are not invulnerable.*
To open ourselves to the way of insight is not an easy thing: we find ourselves struggling against the inner resistance of all we already know.
What we find though, perhaps as we get older and are mindful of all our mistakes and failings, is that openness and change are critical to life:
What you love to do will grow in you as you stay true to who too are and allow yourself to change and develop freely.**
As I was reading this morning, my encouragers lined up:
You observe a lot by watching.^
Pay attention to the world and train yourself to notice the details that others miss.^^
A god can create a world only by listening.*^
Incomplete knowledge leads to asking what-if questions, because the questioner has treated reality as undetermined; it’s up to you to make sense of it.^*
May we come to the realisation that we only use a small part of our capacities to see and understand more, and that all we need to pursue this way are learnable:
*From Maria Popova’s The Marginalian blog: Bob Dylan on Vulnerability, the Meaning of Integrity, and Music as an Instrument of Truth;
**From gapingvoid’s blog: Life without dissonance;
^Yogi Berra, quoted in Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score;
^^From Rohiit Bhargava’s Non Obvious 2019;
*^From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games;
^*From Richard Sennett’s Building and Dwelling.