The Myth of the Special

The ordinary, so overlooked and unvalued, is in fact our greatest asset; it alone can form the level unbiased base for free inquiry and perception. The ordinary provides treasures for those who wish to see. The commonplace provides a distinction that those who strive for the special can never know.

We habitually seek fulfillment in the personal, our individuality battling against everyone else’s in a struggle that we can never ultimately win. On the contrary it’s the impersonal that has real lasting strength, a strange invulnerability, not through defending but through a permeability of spirit that passes through and away without friction, leaving nothing to be guarded. The more we defend the more we are overwhelmed.

The self constantly urges us to seek the special, the unique possession or memory we can hold as defense against the boredom of the everyday. The contradiction is this search by its nature debases our value as independent creative beings and so distances us from any worthwhile achievement.

Striving for achievement is in reality counter-productive; in seeking some lauded outcome as a consequence of our actions our thinking too becomes time-based and mechanical. The very search for distinction is a species of mediocrity.

A telling symptom is the wish for something for ourselves that we don’t for everyone else, not just material objects but more abstract possessions like “enlightenment”. An everyday and quite mundane lifestyle provides plenitudes but we throw it away every time we fall into the trap of the special.

Understanding as art and science