I have come to drag you out of yourself
and take you in my heart.
I have come to bring out the beauty
you never knew you had
and lift you like a prayer to the sky.
of all the wicked illusions….the one where we cannot possibly know…..
inquiry for today~ do not deny yourself a little gold in the palm of a hand…
Annie Dillard titled one of her books “Teaching a Stone to Talk,” but the real issue, as Dillard knows, is teaching ourselves to listen. The inner life of any great thing will be incomprehensible t me until I develop and deepen an inner life of my own. I cannot know in another being what I do not know in myself.
The conclusion seems clear: we cannot know the great things of the universe until we know ourselves to be great things. Absolutism and relativism have ravaged not only the things of the world but our sense of the knowing self as well. We are whiplashed between an arrogant overestimation of ourselves and a servile underestimation of ourselves, but the outcome is always the same: a distortion of the humble yet exalted reality of the human self, a paradoxical pearl of great price.
I once heard this Hasidic tale: “We need a coat with two pockets. In one pocket there is dust, and in the other pocket there is gold. We need a coat with two pockets to remind us who we are.” Knowing, teaching, and learning under the grace of great things will come from teachers who own such a coat and who wear it to class every day.
~Parker J. Palmer