Understanding the role we play in our own lives is a process that requires as a beginning only that we admit that we are powerless over the unmanageability of our world. In doing so it is revealed to us that we are not, in fact, powerless at all. This seemingly intractable paradox can be explained with the maxim that if it is we who are responsible for defining our experience of the world, then it is also we who can transform that experience by re-defining it. Simply put, we can change the world by changing our minds. Gandhi said something similar. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” he said, and defined our greatness as human beings as “not so much in the ability to remake the world, but having the ability to remake ourselves.” Smart man.
Learning how to do so requires a rigorous clarity and a direct, honest analysis of the true nature of things. It challenges us to understand and accept a number of simple principles that seek to educate and guide us, even if they do not necessarily inspire us. There may be a time for incense and candles and fripperous pseudo-spiritual mumbo jumbo if that is your wont, but let us do the work first. Let us shine a bright and clinical light on the shadows of our mind, and use the investigative and analytical powers of that mind to explore the incongruity that is ourselves and our relationship with the world.