Wednesday, August 8, 2018

“… and into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir

8 August
“The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
Learn to let nature get in the way. Let’s suppose you’re wrapped up in some variant of that oh, so delicious sense of “Poor Little Ole’ Me!” wounded pride/self-pity. Then you step outside and find yourself in the presence of a breathtaking sunrise, or a sunset – get the message. Nature, or God, or the Universe is trying to get something through to you. It’s subtle, and it requires a certain degree of tranquility, and it goes something like this: “put the thing [whatever it is that you’re wrapped up in] in some perspective by focusing on this!” My guess is, whatever it is that Nature is calling you to revel in is probably more valid than that Poor-Little-Old-Me thing. When you think of it, self-pity is everyone’s natural prerogative. Or, to put it crudely, it’s as common as dirt. But that sunrise/sunset can be, if you and I but permit it, uplifting, transformative. So is the crystalline ring of your child’s laughter, or the subtle aromas of flowers, or the plumage of the simplest of birds, or the taste of pure water on a really hot day, or the feel of your kitten’s fur, or fresh air pumping into your lungs as you go jogging in a torrential downpour.
Will this trick work every time? Of course not – some problems are REAL problems. But if this is a vehicle for self-pity you need to know the following: succumbing to the seductive power of self-pity will of necessity set you on the lookout for the next pebble on the road of to trip over. And since self-pity, especially validated self-pity, is so powerfully seductive, when you do succumb to it, unfortunately you really ARE as common as dirt.

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