Thursday, November 15, 2012

Life should close like a good novel

Now I see why the wise are usually portrayed as also old.  All of a sudden, the grand sweep of life begins to make sense, what I sensed correctly and what I missed by a mile. I just had to reach the d√©nouement of various strands in my story.

Today is the 32nd anniversary of my father's death and, unlike my father who just missed his 60th birthday as he did meeting his first grandchild, I passed both markers toward the fullness of life.

In past weeks, out of nowhere I have been happening upon realizations, some trite, some obvious, but all humbling and reorienting. I am reminded of the process Carl Gustav Jung thought occurred at this stage of life: he called it "integration."

I see integration as a phenomenon in which the parts of us that compartmentalized themselves for often practical reasons (the parent, the employee, the friend, the lover, etc.) now come together to deepen our philosophical understanding and weave a whole Weltaanschauung (I love using this word! Look it up!).

How foolish and arrogant I was! How much effort wasted on foolhardy enterprises! How humbling it is to realize that I am no better, and probably no worse, than any other human being, especially those I have criticized without mercy!

The beginning of wisdom, I suppose, is to realize how little one really knows. Thank you, Socrates.

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