|This essay, Bold Faced Truth, is the second in the seventh trilogy Questions For A Friend:||The first trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The second trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The third trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The fourth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The fifth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The sixth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The eighth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The ninth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The tenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The eleventh trilogy Questions For A Friend is:||The twelfth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
|The thirteenth trilogy Questions For A Friend is:|
Do you already envision what the
will be after you complete what you're working on now? Or do you
run the course of whatever you're currently working on all the way
through to its end before
"Everyone wants to know what you'll be doing next. Have you chosen a future in which academia and business will continue to frame all subsequent iterations of your work? Or have you already set your sights on new, heretofore undiscovered trails to blaze through unmapped territory and uncharted waters? What's next for you?"
It's often said we can't be free and open and spontaneous with that
to which we're
It's often said that to which we're
runs us rather than the other way around. When I inquire into my
relationship with you, I see love - to be sure.
I love you.
And if the truth be told, I also see something which looks like
It's the "I want to be around you" component of
"I love you".
I'm looking for a way to
- whatever it is. I'm looking for a new way to hold it.
"In examining my friendship with you, I notice there's a fine line between affinity and attachment. I can't separate the two. I share an affinity with you / I love you - therefore the truth is, to a great extent, I'm attached to you. My love and attachment occur together. Is this simply the 'good' attachment which occurs naturally with affinity / love, and which should simply be let be? Or does it get in the way?"
If I had to say one thing and one thing only about what
makes available (yes, that is a difficult selection -
there's so much ...), I would say it's a certain quality, that
je ne sais quoi which allows relationships to
in a way which, prior to it being available, could only have been
described as fantasy. What is it about this quality,
whatever it is, which so empowers relationships? Or, more
accurately, what is this about you which so empowers
"With every other relationship in my life - with my children, with my family, with my friends, with humanity at large - I can distinguish the 'I love you', and I can distinguish reasons for the 'I love you'. With you there are no reasons. With you there's just 'I love you'. With you this 'I love you' without reasons, empowers every other 'I love you' in my life. What is this about you? Why does loving you empower all the other relationships in my life?"
Once I got balance on a bicycle, it never left me.
What's similar between getting
and getting balance on a bicycle is both are gotten
experientially. Yet unlike balance on a bicycle, when I tell
the truth about it, the conversation which is
has left me on more than one occasion ... or so it's seemed. Yet
it's always come back all by itself every time, richer and fuller
then ever before, without any attempt on my part to get it back.
"Over the thirty five years I've known you, there've been times when I was 100% certain my relationship with you (including my participation in your work) had ended. In those instances I thought 'I got it all now' and 'There is no more I can get from you.'. I never thought it would restart. Yet it's always restarted - by itself, spontaneously, from nothing. And whenever it's restarted, it's restarted richer and fuller than before. What happened?"
When all is said and done (and remember, I started off as a
skeptic and a know it all), I've gotten value from what
you've said and from what you've not said. I've gotten value from
what you've done and from what you've not done. I've gotten value
from when I've agreed with you. And even when I've disagreed with
you, the facts have eventually belied my disagreement and I've
ended up agreeing with you.
"You've coached me from a distance, from the other side of the world. You've coached me from close up, face to face. You've coached me when the world's listening for you has been terrible. You've coached me when the world's listening for you has been enthusiastic. Nothing you've ever said has left me with any doubt - none - that you're the perfect coach for me. How do you do that? How do you be the perfect coach?"
Being in a relationship with you is being in a relationship like no
other. I used to regard my relationship with you as special, as
somehow unique - until I noticed you have special, unique
relationships with everyone, all of which validate my
relationship with you and with everyone else, and none of which
diminish my relationship with you or with anyone else. This is
definitely not the typical,
Sixth question (like my previous question, this is another "How do you do that?" type question):
"When I give up that my friendship with you is somehow special, when I stop making the intimacy of our relationship significant, I notice you have similar special, intimate relationships with everyone. How do you do that? How do you have a special, intimate relationship with everyone?"
question goes to
of what I say when I share my experience of
who you are
with people. There's no point in saying anything about you which,
even if true, is completely ungetable, given their
But neither do I want to short change them (or you,
for that matter) by not saying completely whom I experience you to
"In sharing your work with people, one of the points I like to make is you invented transformation. I qualify this by saying you invented transformation in the same way as Sir Isaac Newton invented gravity by distinguishing it then speaking it, in the same way as Professor Albert Einstein invented relativity by distinguishing it then speaking it, in the same way as President John Fitzgerald Kennedy invented landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade (then, by 1970) by distinguishing it like a possibility then speaking it. Is this a fair and accurate recreation of who you are?"
Given the vision of
I look at the
in today, and what's most glaringly apparent to me is how far we,
humanity, are falling short of what's possible.
At the same time I experience the joy of living a life I love, a
worthwhile life, a full life, a
life, a satisfied life. The two - the
in today, and the
of my life - at times seem curiously incongruent.
"Taking the stand that I'm cause in the matter of my own life, brings me great freedom and joy. It's more than joy, actually. It's peace, wonder, awe, and a profound sense of being privy to the great mystery. How can I reconcile these, with the state of the world with all its poverty, war, species extinction, and impending climatic disaster?"
Some of my friends who've invested years and years (decades in
fact) on thus far unrealized spiritual quests, have a hard
time giving them up. They're convinced there's
something to get. "With all this manure, there must be a
pony in here somewhere" (as James Kirkwood said). I know
what it feels like. I was like them once. It was
whom I first heard say
"This is IT!".
At the time, I misheard his
"This is IT!"
as a clever (if not brilliant)
point of view.
Somehow when I heard it from you though, I totally got it not as a
point of view
but rather as a place to stand. And when I heard it from you
as a place to stand, I also got its gorgeous corollary
"There's nothing to
This is it. There's nothing to get.
Wow! Just ... wow!
"Your assertion 'My monastery is the whole world' is pure genius. It pivots on the sublime realization that 'This is IT!'. It's amazing how hard it is for us to get this. We're thrown to deny it with everything we got. Does this prove God's testing us and / or that she has a sense of humor?"
If I agreed to all the requests people make of me to carry gifts to
you, bring you their greetings, or send you their love, you and I
would be busy for hours and hours without getting any
done. I know what it means for people to have you know how much
they love you. I wish I could communicate everything they ask me to
communicate to you - individually,
But practically it isn't feasible. So now I'm going to deliver
every single one of their communications to you all at once,
combined, in one breath:
"Everyone loves you.".
"More people than I can possibly name in the time we have available, have asked me to send you their greetings, to acknowledge you for what you've made available, to wish you well, and to thank you. What should I say to them?"
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