No doubt, when we are psychologically healthy, we swing between states of goal orientation and confusion.
Going after a goal is super-cool. We ‘go’ like the proverbial train, getting things done, feeling powerful.
Sadly, though we run over everything before us like the tanker in the video that did the rounds of Twitter this morning. It clipped a Renault Clio and continued to race down the motorway at 80mph, with the Clio trapped to its hood, seemingly oblivious to its use of a mini-car as a bull-catcher.
While we may be more gentle with those around us when we are less goal oriented, confusion is deeply uncomfortable. The neat parcelling of one day a week as a day of rest, and some prayer time each morning and each night, is probably a good budget for giving us time to slow down and think. But life is rarely that tidy.
We have moments when we are not ‘going like a train’. We are lost and disoriented and can barely remember where we are going, let alone how to get there.
It’s a simple problem. It’s easy to make a plan when we know the goal. But when we don’t know the goal, we feel confused.
Goethe puts it so well.
“how does one, in the limitations of one’s individuality, come to know what is most excellent?”
- …I have found no confession of faith to which I could ally myself without reservation. Now in my old age, however, I have learned of a sect, the Hypsistarians, who, hemmed in between heathens, Jews and Christians, declared that they would treasure, admire, and honour the best, the most perfect that might come to their knowledge, and inasmuch as it must have a close connection to the Godhead, pay it reverence. A joyous light thus beamed at me suddenly out of a dark age, for I had the feeling that all my life I had been aspiring to qualify as a Hypsistarian. That, however, is no small task, for how does one, in the limitations of one’s individuality, come to know what is most excellent?
How do you know “what is excellent”?