Catch-22

December.4. 2014

You may have experienced this before.

You’re going through life perfectly happy, content with the way things are going, and then one day, something happens, and you experience a seismic shift in perception, and something you have never seen before suddenly becomes very clear to you.

Perhaps it has to do with a particular problem in life.

Or a deep philosophical issue.

(Or a guitar technique that’s been troubling you.)

When that moment occurs, it’s almost as if you’ve broken through a barrier.

One minute you’re on one side, the next, you’re on the other.

Now the amazing thing is, before the shift occurs, you have absolutely no idea what lies on the other side or that the barrier even exists.

But once it occurs, it’s as if it’s the most natural thing to have happened.

This is the greatest irony of life, the ultimate catch-22.

In order to get to the other side of the barrier, you’ll have to know it exists, but to know it exists, you’ll have to get to the other side first.

The only way, I’ve found, to break the cycle is to experience that life changing moment, that seismic event that alters your perceptions dramatically.

It happened to St Paul on his way to Damascus. (Yes, I know this is a mythical event but it does illustrate the point).

And it happened to me a few years back when I was involved in a minor mishap on the road.

And I’ve seen it happen to my students a few times.

I believe a particular group of religious adherents might call this moment ‘being born again,’ and that’s perhaps a good way to describe the experience. (This, however, does not imply in any way that I agree or disagree with the appropriateness of those terms to describe that particular experience.)

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