How little we change

Boehme has a note before one of his books, in which he asks the reader not to go farther and read the book unless he is willing to make practical changes as a result of the reading. Otherwise, Boehme says, reading the book will be bad for him, dangerous.” (my emphasis added) — Robert Bly, A Little Book on the Human Shadow (pp. 76-77), HarperOne, Kindle Edition

Imagine swearing an oath to do as the (said) book says.

No, not that sort of imagination — the nice to have variety — but one where you ingest and live out all the messages and ever-so-hackneyed takeaways.

But you won’t.

You’ll read the book, share a few pithy quotes and then go back to sleep.

Hell, I’ve been there in spades.

To my mind, it’s the difference between knowing and learning.

(I love the description of a PhD; namely, ‘pile it high and deep’. Cf. that to wisdom — you can’t buy that in degree form.)

Yes, we know a lot but the more knowledge we garner, the less space we leave to learn.

Put it this way: the wisest people are not those who know the most but are those — and there are precious few — who are released from their competitive spirit and are willing to let go of all they’ve been told, read or been conditioned to believe is how to make sense of life.

In many ways, this is much like Zen Buddhism.

This time of year you’ll see lots of people write about and invite you to make a new plan for 2019 or set a slew of Big Hairy Goals. My advice: stop reading these posts or articles beyond the heading unless you’re willing to manifestly change your life.

Actually, the best thing you can do is to let go of everything that’s been holding you back chief among those is your desire for more…of everything, especially happiness.

Blessings and big love during this festive time.

Julian

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