I haven’t written anything in prose in awhile, but after a particularly fun evening spent in conversation with friends – old and new – I began to think about how it’s the singular experiences in life, and not the days, weeks, or even the years that change us.
It’s the people who change us.
Because if you live in a modern city, you will literally meet thousands of people across the span of your twenties alone. But of these thousands there will be perhaps less than 20 who will be remarkable in their own right. People whom you simply can’t ever forget and can naturally fondly recollect with a deep and abiding measure of genuine gratitude. Perhaps a teacher, perhaps a friend – perhaps someone beautiful with a kind ear and a bright perspective.
But oftentimes these game changing things aren’t pretty. Game changers come in a myriad of forms. My personal experience is that some of your deepest and richest spiritual insights will be discovered in your darkest places. And don’t worry about having to go seek the darkness in your search for the light; the darkness comes uninvited without fail. Life naturally contains challenges and you’ll have plenty. And my wish is not that you don’t have troubles, but that you discover the right lessons, insights, and messages that are contained within them.
And it’s all meaning. Perception is merely the filter. However, when you don’t understand the importance of moments and experiences as the life changing things that they are – you don’t harvest the richness that you are capable of evoking by merely remaining mindful of the power of life to touch you – to turn you on.
There’s a kind of alchemy that occurs when you interact with someone on an open and authentic plane. As Carl Jung once wrote:
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
Last night I spent the evening smoking hookah with friends. And I felt a glimpse of a feeling which Marie Louis Von Franz detailed in describing a “burgundy fueled dinner party” with Carl Jung and friends.
I knew that it would take me twenty years to digest what I had learned that night
And maybe it won’t take me twenty years to digest last night – but I’m in no hurry to forget about it, and I’d almost be happy if it did.
Here’s to hoping last night lasts.