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Frosty Grail Quests

    Two paths diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Ever felt like you’re just wandering aimlessly through life? Ever wish someone would just show you the way? Tell you what you should do next?

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that, the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

Having a bugger of a time figuring it out yourself, doesn’t it just make sense to find a model–someone you know and respect? Someone whose life you can, with good conscious (hell maybe even with conviction), emulate? What’s the harm in that?

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

Interestingly, Joseph Campbell has something to say about just this type of conundrum. From, Reflections on the Art of Living, A Joseph Campbell Companion:

In the story of Sir Galahad, the knights agree to go on a quest, but thinking it would be a disgrace to go forth in a group, each “entered into the forest, at one point or another, there where they saw it to be thickest, all in those places where they found no way or path.”

Where there is a way or a path, it’s someones else’s way. Each knight enters the forest at the most mysterious point and follows his own intuition. What each brings forth is what never before was on land or sea: the fulfillment of his unique potentialities, which are different from anybody else’s. All you get on your life way are little clues.

In that wonderful story, when any knight sees the trail of another, thinks he’s getting there, and starts to follow the other’s track, he goes astray entirely.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
    I took the one less traveled by,
    and that has made all the difference.

Of course, thanks to Robert Frost, you knew how this post would end almost even before it began–didn’t you?

But it still begs the question: Do you buy it?

Does this ring true for you? Can you relate? Were there ever times in your life where you had the courage to enter the forest at its darkest and most mysterious, trusting in only your wits, luck and gut.

What happened? Did you then bring forth what has never before been seen on land or sea? Or did you go crying back to mommy and daddy with your knees all scraped up?

Word Play

Alert and loyal reader, Jake Wisse, noticed that I’ve been “phoning it in lately with non-Chris content,” and was good enough to continue enabling my personal mediocrity by sending along the following interesting content (thanks Jake!):

Here is the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational, which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you
realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright
ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign
of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person
who doesn’t get it.

9 Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really
bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a
serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15 Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve
accidentally walked through a spide r web.

16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your
bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the
fruit you’re eating.

Education: Jung on our young

“We have, consequently, the comparatively complex problem in educating our young of training them not simply to assume uncritically the patterns of the past, but to recognize and cultivate their own creative possibilities; not to remain on some proven level of earlier biology and sociology, but to represent a movement of the species forward.” The Portable Jung

If I could be so presumtuous as to (gulp) add to Jung, I would ask, why stop at “educating our young” to “cultivate their own creative possibilities”? What about the rest of us?

When was the last time you were curious?

Can’t remember?

Don’t feel bad.

Seth Godin says:

“It’s easy to underestimate how difficult it is for someone to become curious. For 7, 10,15 years of school, you are required to not be curious. Over and over and over again, the curious are punished.”

Got a minute (or five)? Check out the rest of what he has to say in this video. Then let me know what you think. Out of everything he said, what jumped out at you the most?

Be honest–I’m curious.