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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

THE NEVERENDING STORY


This from one of my favorite books, The Neverending Story:

Human passions have mysterious ways, in children as well as grown-ups. Those affected by them can't explain them, and those who haven't known them have no understanding of them at all. Some people risk their lives to conquer a mountain peak. No one, not even they themselves, can really explain why. Others ruin themselves trying to win the heart of a certain person who wants nothing to do with them. Still others are destroyed by their devotion to the pleasures of the table. Some are so bent on winning a game of chance that they lose everything they own, and some sacrifice everything for a dream that can never come true. Some think their hope of happiness lies in being somewhere else, and spend their whole lives traveling from place to place. And some find no rest until they have become powerful. In short, there are as many different passions as there are people.

My question for you is, which type are you?

For a long while, I was the restless one. Wherever I was, I'd rather be someplace else. I'd read one book, but wish I had in my hand another. Love one person, and dream of somebody else. Live in one city, and imagine life in another. This job wasn't good enough, so I gave it up for another, trading in one set of drawbacks for another. Running fast and I wanted to rest. Resting, I felt like climbing a hill. This dynamic, going on within me, left little chance for lasting fulfillment, let me tell you.

So I turned within, and when I examined the identity of this restless one, I found he didn't exist. After years of wandering the earth and chasing my tail, I had come home.

Another great passage from the book describes what happens once the boy, Bastian, is given a powerful medallion, AURYN. It comes with these instructions: "AURYN will protect you and guide you, but whatever comes your way you must never interfere, because from this moment on your own opinion ceases to count. You must let what happens happen. Everything must be equal in your eyes, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, foolish and wise. You may only search and inquire, never judge."

And later:

"To be wise is to be above joy and sorrow, fear and pity, ambition and humiliation. It is to hate nothing and to love nothing, and above all to be utterly indifferent to the love and hate of others. A truly wise man attaches no importance to anything. Nothing can upset him and nothing can harm him."

Wisdom was Bastian's wish. Of course, this changed by the end of the story, becoming the desire to love. Not a bad wish either. Love.

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