Human Nature, Jane Paterson Basil, Knowledge, Life, Self-Knowledge

Down to the Stones

A bit of advice to those of us who would know ourselves…

I have learned in life we so often hide from what has hurt us, shocked us, or traumatized us — hide beneath layers a thousand lies deep.

Some of those layers, the lies of our own creation, but many the creations of others: The creations and conventions of our culture.

If you want to be the artist of your own life, the one who shapes and interprets the truths of your own experiences, you usually need to dig down deep below the shadows, down beneath the lies you’ve told yourself, down below what conventions have told you to believe you experienced.  Down to the stones themselves.

That is no easy thing for most of us; it’s truly easy only for those of us lost to madness.

It requires more than determination alone, more than honesty alone, more than courage alone — it requires above all sound intuition.  For without any one of those four, we easily stray into the lies, and are lost there endlessly chasing after shadows as each one recedes to be replaced by another.

(Thoughts upon reading Jane’s poem, “Cold Where Women are Wet“.

7 thoughts on “Down to the Stones”

  1. Never quite thought of it like that – the lying to ourselves I mean. The digging around in our own shadows looking for the kernel of truth and light to lead us through the inner world.


  2. A wonderfully and simply written piece, Paul. Quite thought-provoking. It makes me want to be a bit quiet for awhile and tend to my stones.


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