The Necessary Journey —

We don’t receive wisdom;

we must discover it for ourselves after a journey

that no one can take for us, or spare us.

 Marcel Proust

(No guides. No itinerary. No reservations. And where the path will lead, we cannot know beforehand; nor are there any guarantees about reaching the destination.)

((In the course of seeking experiential wisdom, I messed up with this post, accidentally putting it on sister blog A View From the Woods. So the comments got lost in cyberspace, but before they vanished I got this copy —they may look a little odd, but here they are:

. Christine says:
So very true! An excellent sentiment…

Touch2Touch says:

As expected from Proust —whose own “journey” was more or less confined to the four walls of his cork-lined room–but nonetheless brought him through to a lot of hard-earned wisdom.Journeys are made in many ways —for instance, taking masses of photographs. Eh? Onward, Christine! (And thanks for the comment.)

Julia says: Beautiful picture. I do hope I can follow that path without knowing where it is going.

Touch2Touch says:

Ah, that’s the essence of it, Julia—
And the adventure!

Pauline says:

Another gem about wisdom: If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek, five things observe with care: Of whom you speak, to whom you speak, and how and when and where. ~~ Unattributed

Touch2Touch says:

Not any more. It’s now attributed to you, Pauline — the communicator of wisdom. So far as I’m concerned, it’s your accustomed role.

Any further comments should appear where they belong, below this!!!!  ))

This entry was posted in Etcetera, Japan, Mindfulness, Photography, Quotes, Wisdom, Zen and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Necessary Journey —

  1. Rebekah says:

    «And where the path will lead, we cannot know beforehand; nor are there any guarantees about reaching the destination» ….isn’t that just the beauty of it all! We just don’t know what will happen, and that makes this life so adventurous.


  2. Stef says:

    Some days I wish someone could learn the lessons for me… or at least I could learn them the first time they were offered. Alas, I appear to be a slow student… Ugh. Sigh.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Some people don’t even know they’re in “school” —
      You’re WAY ahead of the game, Stef!!!!
      Soon you’ll have to decide if you’re going to go to grad school 🙂


      • Stef says:

        I *LOVE* your POV. 🙂 I think I’m getting a taste of grad school this weekend… and so far, I’m still attending, but am realizing how much more ‘advanced’ it is than undergrad. But, I know I can make it; I just may struggle to keep up for a while. But a positive struggle is also what makes it worthwhile…that’s where the growth is. (And we’re either getting more expansive or else we’re contracting; there is no ‘static state’ in life…)


        • Touch2Touch says:

          That’s a problem, no stasis. It would be so nice, wouldn’t it? to be able to rest.
          At the still point of the turning world — that’s about as good as it gets, though. Onward, Stef!!!


  3. tms says:

    When Plato’s dialogues come to an end, Socrates usually seems to admit that he and his friends do not know more than they did when they set out on their investigation – but that it would be worth while to go on seeking wisdom, being, as they are, ‘friends of wisdom’.
    I always liked that because it seems to mean that we can discover wisdom while the journey still lasts. Well, there may be a difference between a philosopher and someone who believes that one can actually get there. I can agree with both, but personally I am asking myself: What do you do once you actually get there? I thus love digging deeper into Proust’s “after a journey”.
    But this all may be of very little consequence.
    I also like the thought that we have to discover wisdom for ourselves; no one can do it for us, as Proust says. This seems to shed a lot of light on education: The best teachers, it seems, then teach us to teach – or help – ourselves (which is what one of my greatest teachers always claimed and encouraged).
    Just a couple of thoughts. I hope they enrich this fabulous post (which, again, is very thought provoking – thanks for that).


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Fabulous post? Maybe.
      Fabulous comment? Definitely!
      Too much to begin to respond — this is where it would be nice to retire to a kneipe with a Kolsch (now you know where my German contacts are) and spend time discussing! That to me is one of the most satisfying ways to discover wisdom, or at least make the attempt.
      Thank you so much for enriching this blog, and being a companion on the journey.
      (P.S. What do you do when you get there? An interesting question, of course. But mostly theoretical, no? I do like the term, friends of wisdom. We can be that before, during, and even after, if we should ever get to after.)


  4. tms says:

    Kölsch would be nice. The teacher I had in mind actually taught Medieval German Literature at university there. Pick any Kneipe you like. Cheers!


  5. David Elpern says:

    There’s an old Yiddish saying, “We get too soon old and too late smart.” Proust might have approved — who knows?


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Proust only made it to 51, so he got too soon dead.
      But he was a smart (if sickly) Jewish man all along. I think he would have encouraged us all to go as far and as fast as we could —
      But then again, as you say, who knows?


  6. CMSmith says:

    It’s not the mistakes that matter, but what we do about them. Good recovery.


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