In surrendering the illusion that we are in control we must take the greatest risk of all.
You are not the centre of the universe, you just think you are.
We learn much about our strengths and our capabilities when faced with trial and adversity.
Denial and misdirection are powerful obstacles. We will either assure ourselves that we don’t have a problem, or that the problem is not us.
The basic premise with which we began was that much that we experience in life is impossible to control, manage, or direct according to our wishes, and that our failure to admit this fact and desist was in large part responsible for making in so.
Trusting that everything will be OK requires hope. We cannot hope to change the outcome or very nature of that which is inevitable, but hope is still, undeniably, one of the greatest positive life forces that we possess.
Forming opinions about the nature of events not only helps us to understand how we should relate to them, it also categorises and defines them, thus fixing them in place so that we can keep an eye on them.
This is our domain. We define each event in a uniquely personal way, particular to us alone, and have an immediate, visceral, instinctually emotional response to it.
When we decide if something is wrong or right a contextualising is taking place.
We apply labels of emotional value to our personal histories as well; to events in our past, our current situation, and our future.
“The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist,” wrote the French poet Charles Baudelaire, and this is true of our ego also.
The integrity and validity of our world-view depends on maintaining the veneer of control and of competence. Competence in life may seem a slightly strange concept, but it is, I believe, one of our most treasured and necessary possessions.
Reassuring ourselves that “Everything in the world is exactly the way it is supposed to be” is a simple way of short-circuiting an often unhealthy preoccupation with our opinion about things.
Constructing a personal vision of the world is a deliberate and premeditated act of forceful occupation, given the obvious need to impose that structure on occupied foreign territory.
The unmanageability of the world is constantly in violent conflict with the artifice and illusion of the world we ourselves create.
This type of crisis – the gradual falling apart of our lives – is just as comprehensive and yet still mysterious. It is all the more powerful and frightening precisely because we have not been able to clearly identify what, exactly, has gone wrong.
Our lives are fundamentally unmanageable. We discern the elemental truth of it in the character and profile of dozens of events both serious and trivial on a daily basis.
Every detail of the world that i imagine, every furnishing and fitting, is populated by me with objects appropriated from the real world.
I do not consider my views or my perspective to be narrow or myopic, nor my goals and opinions to be essentially self-interested or ungenerous. But of course they are, for I make the fundamental mistake of confusing what is my own personal view of the world with the nature of the world as it actually is.
I am not, despite my best efforts, master of my world. I must apply discipline and concentration to the task of formulating my options and strategies, and exert great effort, guile, willpower, and determination in achieving my goals.