How do we come away with something of value from experiences that are difficult, from people that rub us the wrong way, from communication that is imperfect?
Imagine you have six different soils, and six different kinds of seeds. In this scenario, both the properties of the soil, and the variety of the seeds are unknown.
You plant one of each kind of seed in each different soil, water them, and let Nature do the rest.
As you might expect, some seeds sprout in some soils but not others.
The analogy is about inspiration; within it, the soil is a new experience, the seed is a person’s past.
In other words, some people’s past makes the new experience accessible to them, as a source of insight, learning, growth, but for others it does not. But is what is relevant and meaningful to each person fixed, or as we age, does our potential to find inspiration change as we do?
This book draws upon turning points in my life that I learned to recognize, which, over time, improved the flexibility and fertility of my perspective, and so, how I meet each new experience.
The Endless Mirror is like a foreign soil in which most seeds might not expect to find an opportunity. And yet it is precisely its unfamiliarity that creates the potential for new “growth”.
I’ve read many books and seen many shows that revealed new layers, new insights when I returned to them for a second, a third, time.
This is because what we make of each experience depends on the experiences that came before.
The Endless Mirror is an imperfect attempt to translate a novel cultural reality, and so its implications are not instantly accessible. It is like a temple, the final form of which is not visible from the first brick, like the reflective quality of glass not visible in the sand from which it is made.
How quickly do you capitulate to your expectations? How often do you withhold your seed when the whole world is the soil?
In every moment all possibilities converge, like steps leading back to the self.
What can we find in the past but the past?
What new experience of the world awaits us with each step into the unknown?