What a self indulgent whiny title.
What makes we middle class white westerners think that we have a right to some kind of existential orgasmic fulfillment while others scrabble for the first tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
I loathe all the pop psychology that tells us we can be everything we want to be, if only we believe. If only we follow some formula. Some ritual. Some religion.
As if there is a key to it all and our job is just to buy it. Then locate the right hole in the right door.
I am reading a book at the moment, one of those books. The books that invite you to be ‘true to yourself’. Whatever the hell that means. It is a Paulo Coelho book called The Witch of Portobello. If you have ever read any Coelho you may share my experience of reading him; you start off thinking ‘what on earth is this about?’, slightly irritated by the apparently simplistic prose, laced with truisms and fairy tale mysticism. But as you read on, you start to get it, or perhaps it starts to get you.
This book tells the story of an extraordinary young woman in her search for peace and fulfillment, or as the book puts it, the blank spaces in a work of art that makes the art possible and the pauses between musical notes that make music beautiful.
And damn it, in spite of all the above, I feel something nagging at my soul. Perhaps it is words like this;
I explained to her that before the word comes the thought. And before the thought, there is the divine spark that placed it there. Everything, absolutely everything on this Earth makes sense, and even the smallest things are worthy of our consideration.
There it is, a piece of mystical truism. That feels like mystical truth.
Perhaps we have to love what we are in order to love what we do.
Perhaps what we do is unimportant, but there has to be love in the way we do it.
Perhaps however, there is also a path of love into something else. Something that frees us to let go…
I hope so.
Thanks Chris for this post. There is indeed too much mystical truism in this world. It might be, perhaps, more important to learn to accept that not everything in the universe makes sense. In fact, a lot of things don’t make sense, and we are far from getting any meaningful answer to all the suffering we see round us (or experience ourselves).