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The greater the outward show, the greater the inward poverty. — Krishnamurti

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important, it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”
~John O’Donohue

“To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”
~Bill Watterson

“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.”
~Daniel Defoe

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”
~Walt Whitman

“Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous YES to one’s own true being.”
~Paul Tillich

I’ve spent my life solving inherited problems that took the form of challenges — such as: Can I make art?, Can I have a good marriage?, Can I live in another culture and function normally? (especially linguistically).

Why should those things be paramount? They just seemed to have been bred in the bone for me. For most of my life, I never questioned them. That was just the path I was on and none of these things were at all easy, precisely because of my family history. They required struggle, failure and pain, but there was no getting off that path.

And it’s not over because, having mastered those things (it only took fifty-something years), other issues rise up to be dealt with. At this point,I have to take these new efforts rather more lightly. It seems to me now that every detail of life, including money, is a spiritual exercise to be entered into in the spirit of play.

If I have learned anything, it is that life in the physical world is spiritual play and that learning how to be a real human in this world can be a joy. Learning and growing on your true path is joy. It’s certainly not druggery. It’s not grin-and-bear-it, it’s natural delight. The Puritans among us might be shocked by such a philosophy.

I don’t think we are here to make a name for ourselves. I think we’re here to become aware of the bonds of love that exist between everything and to act upon that insight so that it enters more fully into the world.

I’m not sure I could have seen that I was going in this direction when I was younger. I had a young man’s problems. I was unconscious of what was driving me, but those things were paramount until they were resolved enough to release the next level of conundra. Every stage looks insurmountable until they’re behind you.

And yet, every stage is about love, about relationship, about forgiveness and empathy.

Even when I was young and full of confused self interest I kept an eye on wiser souls and what they had to say about living as a human. I collected ideas and puzzled over them, contrasting them to how I was thinking and reacting to things. I noticed how far I was from depth and wisdom. I couldn’t help wondering why I created so many traps for myself.

That was my path. It’s still my path. I live with uncertainty, with unresolved and basic life questions even now in my eighth decade. I suspect, though, that the Universe is a huge love-construct, that everything in it is a project of love. Our focus on conflict and opposition is an optical illusion we’re convinced is real. I expect some argument on that point; I can’t prove it, I can only say I sense it. Not very scientific, but then I don’t pretend to be logical or scientific.

I know I can’t sell these ideas to the world. Most people will pass right over them because they come at the wrong time. All I can do is try to lay them out as clearly as I can in case someone in a moment of need stumbles across them and can use them.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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