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There are things in this world which are good and powerful beyond all contrivance. To those who seek and find such things, persist tirelessly in seeking, hold fast to your hard won victories, and sing them from the mountaintops.

I'm convinced in this moment that anyone's most important work in life can be encapsulated by that simply stated ethic. Of course, practicing such an ethic is far from simple and straightforward, especially where its essential element, seeking, is concerned. To effectively seek in this vein can require shedding heavy skins, like carapace, which have been fixed for long periods of time, and which restrict crucial movements. It can mean embracing honesty which injures oneself or even others before it has a chance to heal. It can mean giving up dreams like an addict gives up drugs, and then playing with more intoxicating, more dangerous dreams. It requires both engulfing personal engagement and perfect, clean detachment. It requires dancing with the devils and angels and other strange beasts of one's own nature, and those of others' natures still—experiencing all, considering all, rejecting all, careful analysis, and drawing intricate lines on the maps of mind while readying the furnace in anticipation of those maps' disheartening betrayals. Its success hinges upon getting lucky, and also upon creating such luck by knowing where to seek, and where to find.

Knowledge is the vehicle for this work, this seeking, as well as the reward to be reaped from it. Knowledge, the ultimate decider as well as the paramount goal: Value it, guard it, grow it, shape it mindfully so that you may do well to live by it. Because you will, regardless, as will everyone around you.

Consider politics in the light of the decisive power of knowledge. The most profound, powerful political action one can take is simply to educate themselves and others about all that is good and powerful, and how to find it. Politics is so much larger, and so much more fundamental to our existence, than elections and wedge issues. At its most basic politics is management of decisive knowledge on a large scale, among many people, and amid that pervasive decisive knowledge exists the preponderance of our individual livelihoods—our private lives, our close friendships, our intimate considerations, the pathways of our minds, and the foundations for the propagation of our selves and our imperatives for better or worse. Sound political action is not only a cornerstone of our government come election time; it is a cornerstone of our very existence as people.

So to those who seek and find what is good and powerful beyond all contrivance: Seek boldly; speak loudly, because we need you. We need your effort, and we especially your knowledge, because that precious knowledge is what will determine the course of all that is to come.


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December 2012

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