Not Like The Others

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Self-awareness is a necessary precondition for spiritual growth. But it is not sufficient by itself. One reason for this is that genuine spiritual growth comes semi-paradoxically from an elevation in one’s level of awareness, which allows one to see things about oneself that were previously invisible and inaccessible by definition. It’s tricky. You can’t change what you don’t know about, but you can’t know about what needs to be changed until you change. Or something like that. What this strongly implies is that spiritual growth doesn’t come to anyone alone — you need help, another pair of eyes.

And of course, one must always be on guard against self-delusion, which can foster the illusion of spiritual growth while in reality offering only a new or different set of spiritual fetters (or worse, pacifiers). The only way to really guard againt self-delusion is, obviously, to get out there and engage with the real world, giving your new, hard-won perspectives a good and proper going-over. Get some mud and blood and sweat and tears on them, then see if they still hold up.

I have always been particularly wary of self-delusion, and perhaps my vigilance has paid off a little. Susceptibility to self-delusion is thankfully not high among my many failings. (Though how would I ever know, right?) But you cannot relax your guard, ever, I say. One look around at the pathetic flotsam people so desperately cling to in this sick, sad world is enough to make anyone wary, if not downright ill.

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Not Like the Others

The Nightmares

I, I see an ocean
Not like the others, who went away
And I, I see a palm tree
Not like the others, who went away

Now I wish you could see
‘Cause I know you won’t believe
We both thought we’d seen these things before

I’m not talking ’bout nickels and dimes
This is not like the other times
Our disappointment is no more

‘Cause these are the real things
Not like the others, who went away

I, I see a mountain
Not like the others, who went away
And I, I see the glory
Not like the others, who went away

Now I wish you could see
‘Cause I know you won’t believe
We both thought we’d seen these things before

I’m not talking ’bout petty crimes
This is not like the other times
Our disappointment is no more

‘Cause these are the real things
Not like the others, who went away

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