Charting Life

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Who’s foot steps?

Here is a thoughtful piece to ponder on. For those who are now graduating from college (University) and for those of us who still chant a mantra many of us grew up with through the sixties – find yourself, follow your dream, march to the sound of your own drum:-

Today’s grads enter a cultural climate that preaches the self as the center of a life. But, of course, as they age, they’ll discover that the tasks of a life are at the center. Fulfillment is a byproduct of how people engage their tasks, and can’t be pursued directly. Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.

It’s Not About You By DAVID BROOKS – New York Times

This article speaks to much of what I have been trying to talk about recently. Specifically that one’s course in life is charted and influenced by what we encounter rather than through finding oneself first. Hopefully we are inspired to action through our lives by the wish to make the world a better place. My brother having a nervous break down (a common term in the 1960’s) had me vowing at the time to find the cure for what he was suffering from. That single event set me on a life course, and in the process I discovered myself.

Many thanks to the Reverend who pointed out this article.

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4 thoughts on “Charting Life”

  1. “The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself”

    This is a truth that gets increasingly apparent if not obvious as I get older.

    Following your pages I see wisdom with each new entry. It strikes a chord somewhere but I can’t always put finger on where so to speak. Best to just sit and listen I guess.

    With gratitude
    __/\__
    Norman

  2. I recall a story of an old Master who was being encouraged to stop work and let the younger monks take care of him, he replied-

    ‘A day without work is a day without food’.

    I know this to be true. ‘Following one’s bliss’, Joseph Campbell’s famous phrase, can only come as part of experiencing BEING through DOING, thereby losing the self, in my experience. My self has been formed by my experiences and in so doing has revealed my being. The nourishment comes through having creative opportunity; purpose. Who else is there to find, and who would do the finding?

    And losing direction / purpose is very difficult water.

  3. I always enjoyed Daniel Boone’s comment:
    ” I’ve never been lost, but once I was bewildered for three days.”
    and I amend it for myself to say that I become bewildered regularly but have learned to trust in a widening circling in stillness, to get re-oriented.
    Thank you for the Brooks link, I sent it on to a High School counselor friend here in town.
    In Gassho,
    Helmut

  4. ‘one’s course in life is charted and influenced by what we encounter rather than through finding oneself first’

    That’s an interesting point! I often think the opposite – wait to find myself, then do stuff.

    So thank you! That’s inspired me to do the opposite of what I usually do…:-)

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