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Intro to DEEP DIVE: Metaphors of the Deep

Hmmm, 5th century philosopher Socrates asserted that “The unexamined life is not worth living.”


Okay, I can see your eyes glazing over. Don’t worry. I’m not about to launch into a Socratic dissertation. I took one introductory philosophy course umpteen years ago. To be honest I found it boring.


I do, however, agree with Socrates’ basic premise. It’s all too easy to coast through life as if it’s nothing more than a long, bumpy skateboard ride. There are people out there who are more than happy to lead you by the hand down their garden path and loan you their ideology. But then, aren’t you living their life – not yours?


My experience is that the view from above – i.e. the unexamined life – is mostly blue-sky. Things look like they’re orderly and under control. But if you’re always looking at the surface of the water all you’re really seeing is a reflection of the moment. You have no concept of what undercurrents are swirling in the depths waiting to pull you down.


It’s my contention that if you want to be deep-down-inside happy and fulfilled – and who doesn’t? – you have to dive below the surface periodically. Life is chock full of mysteries, contradictions, dead end paths and “Whoa, I didn’t see that coming!” moments. Making sense of it all requires that you gain a wider perspective.


So how do you get perspective? Well, you could hit the self-help section at Indigo and shoehorn yourself into someone else’s name brand rules for living. Or watch Dr. Phil and stock up on his homespun wisdom. You might get by on that for awhile and fool a few people into thinking that you’ve got it all figured out.


But eventually you’re going to find that those rules or that neatly packaged wisdom don’t work all the time. An obstacle that’s unique to your life is going to rear its head and when that happens Dr. Phil will just get your wheels spinning in the mud.


The truth of the matter is that life is messy. It has sharp edges, weird angles and screws left over when you think all the parts are assembled. Most often you’re lucky if there are only two sides to the story.  Bottom line: there just isn’t a one-size-fits all solution.


You’re unique so the mysteries in your life will be unique to you. Cracking them open and understanding them requires that you take a deep dive into the lake of your dreams and desires to find the spring that feeds it. You have to do this alone. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.


Each of us can, however, gain inspiration and an ounce or two of insight from other people’s dives. One of the ways I do my deep dives is through the window of metaphor. It puts a frame of reference around the mysteries I encounter and helps me puzzle through them.


That’s what my postings in “Deep Dive: Philosophical Meditations” are all about. A search for clarity, for understanding and for answers. I invite you to look over my shoulder as I explore the metaphors of the deep.


Please share with me where your deep dives take you. It’s often when we dive the deepest that we discover how much we have in common. And that’s the pearl in the oyster in this world of ever deepening mystery and complexity in which we live.



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