“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ― Joe Klaas, Twelve Steps to Happiness
There’s a paradox between expressing our life through a child’s eyes — think beginner’s mind — and the transition that (supposedly) comes with adulthood.
But it misses the point; namely, to be who we are means to grow up.
No, I don’t mean to take on adult sensibilities — particularly those written in the language of ‘more’ — but to grow into who we were born of of our mother, i.e. true self.
If this language seems archaic and outwith a society that insists on us becoming more of more, i.e. the personal development paradigm, then any language that insists on letting go into the abyss of contemplation is so out of whack to hardly register a flicker.
I can say this: growing up is about dying. In indigenous communities they enable this by right of passage, where the child dies and the adult is born. In so doing, the newly born adult supports something vaster, more meaningful and truthful to their environs.
(Imagine asking our children to go through a right of passage. They’d never do it. Going without their mobile phone for a day is as close as it comes!)
I used to think my work was about betterment, but I no longer follow that path. Instead, it’s about understanding the death of one mindset to a new, bolder one, where something vast and ethereal fills the landscape of our thoughts and actions.
If that sounds a bit will-o’-the-wisp then that’s only because we’ve never given consideration to our past and whether things like leaving home, getting our first job, marriage, children and death has annihilated anything more than a fixation with material things to keep our demons quiet.
Honestly, do you feel you’ve transitioned to anything more than recreating your past?
I could be wrong, but perhaps this is the biggest challenge of our time: for all of us to stand on our own two feet.