Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Four Parts

Took a walk with a long-time teaching colleague, Laura Burges, now published author of a best-selling book of Buddhist tales for children. Such a pleasure to talk and talk and talk, as it has been the 35 + years I’ve known her. With our shared foundation of Zen practice, teaching children and her singing The St. Louis Blues with me on piano, we never run out of things to talk about. Besides sharing our personal news, latest books and TV series we’re enjoying and gossiping about the folks we know in common, we also share quotes and insights into the human condition. Like this one she learned in Mexico:


Each person has four parts.

• The part that everyone knows.

• The part that only that person knows.

• The part that everyone but that person knows.

• The part that nobody knows.


Now that’s worth a ponder. Regarding the third, she confessed she thought that referred to all our blind spots, our defects in character, that is obvious to others but hard for us to see. But then turned it around to consider that beautiful parts of ourselves that others can see but we often can’t. That’s worth thinking about. 


But I would consider either adding one or replacing the last one, which I’m hard put to find examples of. By contrast, the idea of the parts of ourselves, our hidden potentials and promises that we can’t yet see but others can? Yes to that but no to “everyone knows.” Only those with a special sight, those mentors who know what they’re looking for, have that ability and if a human being gets one or two in a lifetime that sees your promise where you don’t and eventually leads you to reveal it and develop it and claim it— well, consider yourself blessed. 


Still thinking about the “parts that nobody knows.” Any suggestions? 

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