why we need heretics

‘As the scholastics used to say: Homo non proprie humanus sed superhumanus est — which means that to be properly human, you must go beyond the merely human.’*

‘And while the poet must struggle to invent a new metaphor and the novelist a new story, the composer must discover the undiscovered pattern, for the originality is the source of the emotion. if the art feels difficult, it is only because our neurons are stretching to understand it. The pain flows from the growth.’**

We need the new, else we become complacent and narrow-minded. It seems we must stay open-minded to have any mind at all: wisdom only grows in a life of doing things, and in this experience of knowing things, we come to know we can do more things in the future.

We find different metaphors and images for our lives that important for triggering our getting up, exploring, seeking, and questioning — ways for exploring our calling.

‘Old age offers the opportunities to integrate and bring together the multiplicity of directions that you have travelled. It is a time when you can bring the circle of your life together to where your longing can be awakened and new possibilities come alive for you.’^

Old age just means you have more to invent new things from; defying definitions, you become more than you — more than the sum of your parts. As such, you are a heretic, shaking up the order of things you know to be a threat to life in all its fullness.

(*From Eugene Peterson’s Run with the Horses.)
(**From Jonah Lehrer’s Proust was a Neuroscientist.)
(^From John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara.)