Saturday, April 1, 2017

Seldon Crisis

 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. ~ Isaiah 30:21

I feel much better.  I’ve just passed through a Seldon crisis.  It was very traumatic for me primarily because of my reaction to it; I temporarily let go of trust and tried to force an issue that was on its way to being resolved.  However, now that the crisis has passed, the issue is settled, and I feel so much better.

Philip Pullman wrote a story about a subtle knife that had an edge so sharp it could cut openings–windows–into other worlds. The technique involved moving the knife through the air until its tip touched a snag–an invisible stitch–that indicated a passage between worlds.  The knife could not be forced; the wielder of the knife had to let the instrument do its work.

Going through life is like wielding a subtle knife.  There are countless choices among countless paths that one can take.  When do we push and when do we pull?  When do we persevere and when do we let go?  As for me, I get in trouble when my instinct tells me to let go, but my brain insists I plow ahead.  This usually happens when my brain is listening to someone else and trying to follow his or her agenda.
A friend once told me that our Western culture is big on “do, do, do”, but falls short on “be.”  We are trained–even encouraged­–to ignore our instinct and wholly rely on reason.  In fact, we constantly get affirmed for acting out of our rational brain.  But this strategy does not always produce the best decisions.

Sometimes people instinctively know that they should not listen to the rational self, but they have so distanced themselves to instinct, they are not even aware that instinct is talking.  As a result, they make decisions based on their emotions, often with disastrous results. Witness the recent Republican health care debacle. (But that is another Seldon crisis.)

As for me, I am glad to be through my personal Seldon crisis; I hope I have learned a thing or three from it because right now, I feel much better.

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