“To remember what it is to be me, that is always the point.”
These our the last words in the documentary (now on Netflix) on one of my literary icons Joan Didion. The center will not hold
Didion mostly writes about herself, or directs bigger, universal stories back to herself. But it never seems to really be about her, there is something so cold, so transparant at the heart of her experience that it would make you shiver. But the funny thing is it doesn’t. Instead it makes your heart beat faster and it makes you remember something about yourself.
It took me a while to find out how she does this. And now, after seeing her story in movie, it is so clear : there is no ego in the heart of her experience. That does not mean Joan Didion does not have an ego, it means she knows what is the time and place for ego.
She (among others) taught me one of the greatest tools in life and more important, shows me how it is used. I’m talking about knowing the difference between the voice of the ego and the voice of the soul. Knowing who it is we’re talking to when we involve in those endless conversations with ourself. Who does this voice belong to? And what is its deeper intention?
Ego is what drives us forward and soul is what knows the way. Ego is what makes decisions and soul is what weights the deeper worth of that decision. Ego is what makes us act and soul is what makes us stand still. Etc.
Being able to stop in any situation, in any argument or rigid thought pattern and aks yourself, who am I talking to here? And who is the person that should be at the steering wheel at this particular moment is one of the most powerful and clear things you can do for yourself and for others. It means you have the tools to live your life on another level, to bring awareness where it is needed most : into the heart of your experience.