Friday, September 28, 2007

To thine own self be True

One of the earliest maxims that I learned as a child was: 'To thine own self be true and then thou canst be false to no man.' Oddly enough, it was my mother who taught that to me, and yet I do not think she ever has accepted the results completely! No matter how much we may declare that we like or love some one, for most people there is a divergence between the concept and the reality of that person.

We have expectations of ourselves, our parents, our lovers, our children and our friends, even of employers and chance social encounters. There is a struggle constantly between our expectations of what we want and what actually exists.

If every one is true to himself/herself, how often will any path intersect in life? I suppose that is one of the mysteries of human interactions. Somehow, we either learn to accept the differences or we become more and more remote from the rest of humanity.

Always within me, there is a desire to make dreams come true. I always loved fairy tales. In my own heart and soul, there still is a longing to experience 'happily ever after' or even the ideal vision of 'the heart's true desire'.

I pursued a peculiar logic in that. It gave me faith in the entire concept that dreams could be fulfilled. My logic was that, surely if I could make some one else's dream a reality, there would be some one in this world who would make my own dream a reality someday. In every case, however, I discovered that making some one else's fantasy a reality ultimately has resulted in a situation where I have been a little false to myself. My own dream had to be dismantled along the way...

On the other side of the coin, real human relationships often are simply a matter of compromise, of making situations work, of trying to find a middle way between two separate 'dreams' or 'visions' or even desires.

Even so, I have known of real people who found their dreams and lived them without ever turning aside from that secret vision, without ever learning to forget the heart's true desire. Is it not better to pursue the dream even if it remains a dream forever?

Those who pursue quests have opted out of 'an easy life'. Perhaps it is a fool's quest but in magic, it is the Fool who ultimately wears the robes of the Sage.

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