Updated: Oct 20, 2022
To my mind development, growth, fulfilment and progress is a given
... it's how we're travelling that's important.
The problem is that we can never see whole picture... and sometimes not even the wood for the trees. So, what to do... how's best to travel through the woods?
Like I said, I enjoy living in a forest, being my destination - and exploring pathways that appear... not always, obviously, I get just as lost, down, frustrated and impatient as the next person.
Over to Descartes. I happened upon a snippet of his work when I was reading,
Apologies Ollivier Pourriol for obliterating your name - no disrespect - it is a really good book... shame I'm not that good at 'on the spur of it' photography :-)
All of which is timely, as I'm a bit lost in a forest of my own just now.
Anyhow, it was in the section about starting, continuing and indecision - when the mind loses ground to other forces. That's when intuition, instinct, love, joy, passion, spirit, insecurity, anxiety, fear or overwhelm override personal 'good' sense. It's like we're there, in it, and it's a far from pleasant place to be. For Pourriol,
'when a person's understanding has no impact on their will, the best thing is to imitate'
- fake it 'til you make it - it's like 'knowing' where you're heading and getting there or thereabouts as best you can. Pourriol refers to Descartes,
'those who on finding themselves in a forest, don't wander around in circles, this way and that, nor come to a halt in one particular spot, but just keep walking in the straightest line possible towards their given destination, refusing to change direction for unimportant reasons, particularly since it was only by chance they chose that destination in the first place: by this means, even if they don't get to exactly the place they meant to, at least they will eventually get somewhere where the likelihood is they will be better off than in the middle of a forest.'
How do you travel when lost in a forest?
I like to wander - my mind is made for wandering: often picking up on little gems that hold inspiration that I think will be relevant in some other way, only to find later, they're not at all... their relevancy was only in the inspiration they provided along the way. Yes, sometimes the wandering is in more desperation than others. Sometimes though, those connections light something that's more substantial, longstanding even. Then there are those lifelong connections - the things that endure no matter what... hmmmmm.... very special indeed.
That said, before I can make any progress whatsoever I first get back to myself exactly where I am... and, as I am inherently English - that calls for a cup of tea - or equivalent. At the moment my 'cup of tea' can be anything from an outburst of profanities (I have my favourites) to a quick walk around the block, shavasana, qi gong, Yoga, sitting quietly just breathing or looking outwards.
We each have brains, minds, senses, bodies that are uniquely ours... that make our paths and journeys uniquely so. The key is to become aware of when you are lost, indecisive, dithering etc. and have a veritable arsenal of tools with which to re-centre, ground and get back to self.
Back to Descartes, Pourriol et al for another take away from this discussion... it does also show that none of us ever wholly know where we are, where we're going and how we're going to get there - if indeed at all - no matter how good we are at faking it. Yes, it is true:
Indecision is Normal
In that we are also going to experience indecision and indecisiveness - sometimes flailing, other times as clear as a clear thing, and for the main part not really knowing what we're doing at all.
Somewhere though, even in the darkest of dark where there's life there is light - a light that has potential for inner knowing and enduring sense of self.
As to faking it 'til we make it... I think we all do a bit of that as some point or other - consciously and/or otherwise. That said, when connected even in the teeniest way to that inner knowing, we're never that far off track.
Next Time: No-Brainers
I'm not practicing just now, but if you'd like help with any of this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The forest is never as gloomy with other people by your side.
Thank you Canva for the artwork