If you have ever seen an old Jewish text – like an old Bible or Talmud – it is laid out on the page thus: in the middle is the text; around the text are commentaries; around the commentaries is white space leading to the edges of the page.
This is both fact and metaphor. In the middle of our life is what we hold most dearly and give power to: family, service, money, power, security, knowledge – whatever.
Our relationship to what we hold most dearly is not unmediated. Family of origin, culture, mental health, tradition, ideology, history and tradition – all these and more are commentary and affect how we relate to and interact with what we place at the center.
The white space that fills the rest of the page is where we add our own wisdom, questions, prejudices. What we write in the white space becomes part of the commentary for those who follow us.
What we choose to place in the middle; the commentary we select to help understand what matters; and how we incorporate, alter, and pass along what we give our power to, matters.
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