Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Search for Equals

There are, one assumes, people who have it all. A happy childhood and a loving family that always gets along; true friends who'd come help them bury a body; a job they love that pays outrageously well; a life partner who is their soul mate. They are in great shape physically and emotionally, have attained a deep spiritual peace, and are at one with their environment, beloved by neighborhood dogs and cats, and they recycle. 

(One also assumes that if these folks decided to have a convention, it could probably be held in a phone booth, with room left over for Clark Kent to change clothes ...)

The rest of us? Probably we are either seekers still looking, or folks who never went that way, or who quit along the path. Like the T-shirt from long ago I saw: "I've Given Up the Search for Truth; I'm Willing to Settle for a Cheap Fantasy ..."

Um. So what's your point here, Steve?

Part of it for me is what it is that drives the seekers. Yeah, there are the obvious things I've rattled off above, but there is another I believe drives adult relationships: The search for equals. The desire to find one's tribe, that group of souls with whom there is a deep and ready resonance. Somebody you meet and within minutes, you feel as if you have known them your whole life.

Those folks are not easy to find. If you are intellectually-bright, there is a tendency to use that as your filter, and the monkey brain only takes you so far. Instant judgement based on sharpness of wit as your main criterion? You miss a lot of good and kind people that way. 

At our house, we call this living from the neck up; you apply your mind to all things, and in so doing, you miss those matters of the heart.

(You can also live from the waist down, and that's as bad. Both are, in my view, shallow ways to live. Yeah, your hoo-hoo will get you into trouble, but so will your brain.)

The balance is to live as a whole being, in the moment. Be here now.

How simple that is. 

How absolutely not-easy that also is. 

I'm just bringing it up as a topic; don't look at me for the answers as to how to do it. I'm working on solving that one, but I ain't there yet. "If you do the best you can, nothing else matters worth a damn." is, for me, true. But some days, the best I can do comes up lame ...


Anonymous said...

"If you do the best you can, nothing else matters worth a damn."

Sounds exactly like the advice my parents used to give me. Do the best you can. That invites mediocrity. It can be self-limiting, an excuse to never realize one's true potential. "The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."--Arthur C. Clarke

Steve Perry said...

With all due respect to Clarke, bullshit. "The best you can" invites reality. The idea of giving 110% sounds great, but you cannot give more than 100%, period. For a writer, precision with words is all we can hope to manage. A thing that is impossible, by definition, cannot be done.