Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Kahil Gibran: Embracing Defeat as the Source of Wisdom

Kahil Gibran's poem Defeat gives me a new perspective on making mistakes, not measuring up, not meeting expectations: Defeat is our teacher, our companion on our path who reminds us the path is the point not the destination which may on any given day prove to be nowhere we want to be anyway.

Defeat can remind us that some destinations are not what they seem when we fix on them, that if we persist in directing all our efforts toward them they will prove to be desolate or worse, desolating of our souls: Perfection, fame, praise, awards, power, recognition, riches, to name a few, are glittering prizes with empty or decaying centers if pursued and grasped for themselves.  If you make them the point the path itself is pointless.

This has reminded me that the theme of my storyworld --the fruits of the Spirit--is supposed to be the point of the whole project.  The vision was to have these fruits embodied in the characters.  But somehow I've lost, or in some cases, never gained, the ability to embody them in my own life.  I forgot to make Spirit my own destination.  With that dereliction I've turned my project into an empty exercise of ego.  No wonder the words have wearied of me.

Love, joy, peace, hope, faith, mercy, patience, justice, grace to name just a few of these blessings of Spirit must grow in the compost of defeat as the ego has no need for them.

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