Saturday, November 2, 2019

Too Late Smart?

The English language seems to have enough words; over one hundred and seventy thousand at last count, yet there is a feeling I have these days with no word to describe it accurately. One word comes close - peace. Yet that word has too many other connotations. This sort of peace isn't the one that contrasts with war, for instance. It is better thought of as a calmness, a feeling of assuredness; no matter what goes on or how bad it seems, all will be well. Maybe serenity comes closer. Is there some word that is a combination of peace and serenity?

In order to experience this feeling, I have a 'feeling' that one has to live long enough and have done enough things that one has regretted. After all of that, one needs to have accepted all of those follies, too. It might help to have done enough things that fall under the category of necessary but not generally acceptable

In the Bible we read about a peace that passes all understanding. Keep in mind that I am not a religious person. In fact, I actively eschew religion in favour of a spiritual experience of eternity. Even so, it seems that this peace I feel is comparable to that referred to in Philippians 4:7, giving me a calmness of spirit, even though I feel no specialness because of it. 

There is still so much to learn; this isn't about being done or perfect in any way. This post is here because it seems to me that if I can manage it, this sort of peace must be accessible to anyone. What exactly one needs to do, other than live long enough, I cannot say. There is no recipe or religious experience that can do the job. 

A very good school friend's father had a plaque in the living room with a saying that always amused me. Now that I am older than his father was then, it is starting to make more sense. 
Ve git too soon ohlt und too late Schmart

Even Lucy knows how important serenity is ...


  1. A very thought-provoking post. I suspect you are correct when you imply one needs to have lived long enough, and to have made enough mistakes (and I would suggest have felt hurt enough), to get up and do something about it. It certainly isn't a journey for the faint of heart.

    It seems to me, and I agree that the examined life is not all about completion, that facing the truth of oneself is possibly, and even probably perhaps, what Meister Eckhart was referring to when he spoke of 'perfects' in his first sermon. There he is talking about 'the eternal birth which the Father bore and bears unceasingly in eternity, because the same birth is now born in time, in human nature.'

    Quote: "For what I say here is to be understood of the good and perfected man who has walked and is still walking in the ways of God (however you interpret that word - my bracketed comment); not of the natural, undisciplined man, for he is entirely remote from, and totally ignorant of this birth."

    Is it not this sense of splitting open the skull to let in the divine light that naturally leads to that ineffable state you try to describe? Completion isn't what it's all about: it is all part of a process of becoming.

    Thank you for this lovely post.

  2. Thank you Tom! This post feels more complete with your insights included.

  3. "Ve git too soon ohlt und too late Schmart"
    Ha, I like that sentence.
    Why would I leave my first com(pli)ment here?
    'cause the state of serene calmness and calm serenity is the one I consider the almost ideal one.