I read a novel a few months back called Only Child, by Rhiannon Nevin. Really enjoyed it.
An aspect of the plot involved some lessons shared (supposedly) by Merlin (the wizard dude) in a book (maybe series of books) the family was reading.
The 4 bits of life advice were:
1. Pay attention to small things around you, like in Nature
2. Be curious
3. Have compassion for all living creatures &
4. Take care of someone who needs you.
These rang true for me.
As for my own curiosity...
I think I have always been a very curious person. Not sure why. Just am.
I like to poke at things (not literally) … until I can grasp some understanding – some insight – into how things (& people, & human endeavour, human “culture”) work.
What makes things tick.
I’m curious about my own personal shortcomings too! My various neuroses – hang-ups – my stubborn persistence in doing some dumb stuff over & over (& over) again. (For the record, I do usually manage to figure things out. Though some things in life have to be chalked up to mystery, of course. Mystery, with a capital M. We simply cannot know the answers to everything…)
So, I am just a very curious person.
& to be honest, kind of blown away by people who are not curious. Hmmmm. I guess I am curious about the un-curious…
Who have seemingly zero interest in figuring out how things really are. How things really work.
I really like what Dr. Kelly Brogan said in this item:
“Release the fear and move into curiosity.”
Seems to me like pretty great advice.
Those people who are seemingly not very curious?
Maybe they need to hold tight to what they have been taught. At home, at school, by some guru … whatever. By … the culture?
Maybe they need things to be black & white.
Maybe they just need things to be simple.
For sure, my own curiosity has, on occasion, led me to bark up the wrong tree entirely. For sure, for sure, for sure. No doubt about that!
Ah well. I’d have to say that, on the whole, my curiosity about things in life has served me rather well.
So. There's that.
p.s. a few somewhat random, maybe vaguely relevant quotations:
“The philosopher seeks to hear within himself the echoes of the world symphony, and to re-project them in the form of concepts.” – Nietzsche (quoted in Oliver Sacks’ book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales)
“There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling . . . Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.” – Aldous Huxley, 20th century intellectual & author of Brave New World (said later in his life, apparently, when he regretted having taken himself so seriously in his younger years). *** from a Rob Brezsny newsletter
“Let us face it: an Earthling’s sense of humor and fascination with sex makes it impossible for him or her to concentrate seriously on anything, even his or her survival, for more than an hour at a time.” – Kurt Vonnegut in a speech in 1972
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.” – Rebecca Solnit
“You must locate your deepest private feelings – philosophical, religious, spiritual – and then decide to live out these beliefs in a commensurate way, in public, as much as possible without compromise.” – Marv Davidov, peace activist (quoted in Nukewatch Quarterly, Spring 2012 issue)
“This, then, was what had come of her poor compromise, her attempt to do right, to separate the conflicting dictates of head and heart, to assuage conscience, which was, as Mark Twain had shrewdly observed, “no better than an old yeller dog.” For fairness and loyalty, however important to the head, were issues that could seldom be squared in the human heart, at the deepest depths of which lay the mystery of affection, of love, which you either felt or you didn’t, pure as instinct, which seized you, not the other way around, making a mockery of words like “should” and “ought.” The human heart, where compromise could not be struck, not ever. Where transgressions exacted a terrible price. Where tangled black limbs fell. Where the boom got lowered.” – from Nobody’s Fool, by Richard Russo (pg. 545)
“I don’t fight fascists because I think I’ll win. I fight them because they’re fascists.” – Chris Hedges, as quoted by Guy McPherson
“The truth is that we never conquered the world, never understood it; we only think we have control. We do not even know why we respond a certain way to other organisms, and need them in diverse ways, so deeply.” – E.O. Wilson
“Look deep into nature, & then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” – Kahlil Gibran
“I believe we inherit a great river of knowledge, a flow of patterns coming from many sources. The information that comes from deep in the evolutionary past we call genetics. The information passed along from hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family, and the information offered months ago we call education. But it is all information that flows through us. The brain is adapted to the river of knowledge and exists only as a creature in that river. Our thoughts are profoundly molded by this long historic flow, and none of us exists, self-made, in isolation from it.” ~ David Brooks
"You and I are flowers of a tenacious family.
Breathe slowly and deeply,
Free of previous occupation.
The latest good news
Is that you can do it,
And that I can take time to do it too, with you.” – Marci Thurston Shaine
“Be truthful, gentle and fearless.” – Gandhi
“So long as I breathe and have the strength to do it, I will not cease philosophizing, exhorting you, indicting whichever of you I happen to meet, telling him in my customary way: Esteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren’t you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige – while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry?” – Socrates, Greek philosopher, 469-399 B.C.
“In helping others we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” – Flora Edwards
“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” – Henrik Ibsen
4 Rules for Life
Tell the truth.
Don’t be attached to the results.
– Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )