What I Already Know

“It’s what we know already that often prevents us from learning.”                                                              – Claude Bernard

One of my email newsletters brought me this quote Wednesday.  Most of my feeds get read, acknowledged and deleted.  But at this one I paused.  What is it about this quote that strikes me as important?

I checked out Claude Bernard.  He was a man of science in the 1800’s.  His field was physiology and medicine.  This line was pulled from “An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine.”  He believed in scientific observation, and counseled an open mind when experiments were undertaken.

Four days gone, and I’m still asking the question.  What do I already know that is preventing me from learning?  If I wait and am willing to hear – have the courage to hear – it will be revealed.


The First Step on the Path

Vernazza, Italy - stones
Vernazza, Italy – stones

Do you remember your first step on the path?  The path: toward enlightenment, to recovery, to fulfillment, emotional, spiritual, physical health?  The path: as many as there are people.  I remember my first step.  How entangled it was with adversity and pain. Pain and fear – the great motivators!

I was scared, and excited; insecure, yet hopeful; on edge for a big change.  My life just went topsy-turvy and I felt like all the fruit in my bowl lay strewn across the floor.  The fruit was still good, maybe a tad bruised, but still good.  Pick it up, examine it – put it back in the bowl, toss some of it.

I choose to start with a search within, with meditation.  I was fascinated by New Age philosophy.  It was the 80’s after all.  Meditation, stone and crystal healing, past life regression, astrology, Jane Roberts “Seth Speaks,” “A Course in Miracles.”  I was all-in.  And to be practical, I was matriculating in Psychology.

… there I was; 600 miles from my Midwest home town and family, newly divorced, no solid support network, (he got “custody” of our friends) – in my late 20’s, kinda hot, and ready to rock-and-roll.  Not a soul to tell me what to do, when to do it, what to believe, where to go … so what does a repressed, shy, wild-child, wanna-be hippie do?  Whatever I wanted!  Oh the freedom, oh the trouble, oh the lessons!

How curious that it took a whole lot of pain to be willing to leap into the unknown.  And what a winding road it still is.  My early quest sprouted from the ashes of divorce – and a lot of insecurity and fear.  I’m grateful for the myriad of lessons; the long, slow, painful but sure growth in confidence and bravery.

“One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour.  Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.  No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is Doomsday.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson