Friday, June 28, 2013

original intent

I am no scientist. I explore the neighborhood. An infant who has just learned to hold his head up has a frank and forthright way of gazing about him in bewilderment. He hasn’t the faintest clue where he is, and he aims to learn. In a couple of years, what he will have learned instead is how to fake it: he’ll have the cocksure air of a squatter who has come to feel he owns the place. Some unwonted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent, which is to explore the neighborhood, view the landscape, to discover at least where it is that we have been so startlingly set down, if we can’t learn why. 

— Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


  1. Annie Dillard captures something that I witnessed when seeing a video of my husband's Grand Niece right after delivery. She too was looking around as if to find her bearings, looking as if she had landed in some strange place... It was as if Being ItSelf was looking out through her eyes trying to figure out where It was... It was amazing to see this. And it made me wonder if it is really true what the spiritual teachers say, that it is Being ItSelf that wishes to explore and experience this world in order to know ItSelf... And yet, the naming of things, fixating on the temporal world, does seem to divert us from knowing this Inner Being - in a sense from knowing our Self...

  2. "Some unwonted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent." this is so startlingly true and should be easy but isn't. the work of simone weil is trumpeted in such a line, the working away from the dominance of the ego.

    it's interesting what mystic says above. to witness such an articulation of what happens! each time we lay a bridge to get back to the place of where being comes from, it creates both bridge toward and away from. language, our most essential tool for knowing, leads us also towards ignorance.

    but the natural world! oh, if only we could truly see the natural world! and how we hurt ourselves and the natural world with the distance we impose with all of our progress.


  3. Because this "diverting" from original intent happens so quickly after birth, Ruth, doesn't that make you wonder why it takes so long to get back to the original intent?!


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