Light of Experience

From Jeffrey Zeldman, A Little Death:

To avoid pain, we began to feel less. The price is a wall you build around yourself. At first the wall protects you; then it merely shuts you off from the light of experience and the warmth of love.

7 replies on “Light of Experience”

But what of the pain of feeling too much? I feel like this is a dichotomy that so many of us are struggling with. Feel less, and stay safe (if a bit numb), or feel too much and make oneself vulberable, a soul without walls?

Julie, it’s a strange paradox really: the less walls you have, the better your system defends yourself. You grow a thick skin, and are more likely to laugh at life’s pains and overcome them sooner if you take a shot now and then. Like an immunization shot analogy, or when you’re taking a martial art: You got knocked around in the beginning, and then you realise you become stronger in the end. 🙂

The funny thing is that I was thinking about my sister who used to take kung fu and use nunchuks. She bruised herself a lot at the beginning, even though she was using styrofoam nunchuks filled with chopsticks or something, lol. But soon, she upgraded to hard plastic nunchuks and yes, she still occasionally bruised herself, but soon it didn’t really hurt as much or at all. 😛 And she got really good at it.

Strange true story.

What a great analogy and story, thanks. I agree with your view of the paradox–by being more vulnerable at first, one becomes stronger…. Also, the less walls one has, the less one has to hide, and the more comfortable and confident one will be. (But easier said than done!)

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