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May 14, 2006


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I have taken the opportunity to reread this post at my leisure. It is very enjoyable, and touching. And I wanted to go back and see where it resounds.

We all have available many points of view, faces, persona if you like, from which we can build our stories. Your business and study approach to this facet of your connections brings to life the tension of attachment/detachment in the web of karma. There is grace in that gift you found, both a sticking and freeing point, in you family.

Looking at this post again, I saw the line, "It wasn’t difficult for me to decide that there was no way I was going to Dartmouth." I took a step back and wondered if it was indeed a decision at all: I'm sure it had all the energy and drama of a decision, and there really is no need to complicate things with "predestination," but the web seems to have moved so efficiently, gracefully.

As a story reader, I am allowing myself the suspension of temporal laws. So as you become your own “ancestor”, Grampa Lewis enjoys the benefit of your profound spirit... right now. There is no disappointment, there is new spiritual direction. Did you know then? Does he know now?

Apparently you can ask Mother.

Good observations, Edward, as always. Yes, I also thought about the "wired" quality of my decision that didn't really feel like a decision.

But as you said, adding in the notion of karma or predestination complicates the picture without adding anything substantial. Since it felt like I was deciding something, I'll leave it at that.

That said, it's endlessly fascinating to me to contemplate how large life changes seem to hinge on inconsequential happenings that have a flavor of "had to happen."

For example, I graduated with a useless BA in psychology and was contemplating applying for an appropriately menial job. Then I overheard a conversation in the San Jose State cafeteria.

"Man, I can't do anything with a psych degree. And it takes at least three years to get a Ph.D." His friend replied, "You should get a M.S.W. It's just two years, and there are good jobs available after you graduate."

I had no idea what a M.S.W. was. I went to the library and looked it up. Everyone was talking about beautiful green Oregon, so I applied to the only school of social work in the state. Was admitted. Thirty-six years later, I'm still here.

A brief overheard conversation. My life heads off in a new direction. Go figure. I sure can't.

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