Painting With A Full Palette

Painting With A Full Palette

I am, like you, just another person on the path of daily living and making sense of life. I believe we are all on this planet to learn some lessons and to evolve spiritually. As writers we need to draw from the philosophies of many great thinkers, speakers and writers, and also from those with whom we may credit little profundity. A fortune cookie once informed me: “A wise man can learn more from a fool, than a fool from a wise man.” It was profound, I have thought about it many times, and included it in The Art of Writing Love Songs.

You have your own philosophy, based in part on your religious upbringing, or lack of it, and the opinions of your family, extended family, associates and friends. Your philosophy has grown and expanded as the wider world has intruded into that small comfortable circle. Every now and then you have acquired—and been inspired by a gem of an idea from something you might have read, written or seen. Nevertheless, your knowledge and opinion is colored mainly by your own background and experience. You simply don’t know what you don’t know. You haven’t heard what you’ve never listened to, and you haven’t become cognizant of what you’ve noticed but never really paid attention to. Thus, your full range of knowledge and opinion is limited by the very nature of limited time, experience, and awareness.

As we grow and live, we meet more people, read more writings on earthly and spiritual matters, and we become more thoughtful, more evolved humans. We are each on a personal quest for answers, and those answers are everywhere, all the time, we just have to know where to look.

Many wonderful books have been written about the quest for enlightenment. One is Siddartha, by author Herman Hesse, and another called The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, about a simple shepherd seeking the meaning of his life. You might enjoy reading these philosophies, though enlightenment is not about how many books you read, but how much you get out of what you do read. You also might enjoy listening more intently and seeing more clearly as you travel through life.

In the end, as a philosopher and writer you are like an artist with a limited palette. You cannot judge the validity of your own philosophies until you have looked at them in contrast to other perspectives. On the blank canvas that is one’s quest for meaning, many philosophies together paint an entire picture. A single philosophy paints in only one color.