Metanoia, changing your mind, going beyond your own perceived limitations. A word classically associated with repentance, and in the 20th C with psychic healing. Also, I just discovered, a rhetorical device: to retract a statement and express it in a different, better way. Metanoia is my hope, my wish for 2010.
Firstly, in order that our innumerable institutions shift course just slightly – a patchwork response to the perils of this decade – we will need to get better at expressing ourselves, and articulating what we believe may lie ahead. This is a duty, pure and simple, and will come in different guises; for myself, I know that I need to be ever more vocal about the state of play, more honest and challenging of false hopes, without falling into judgement or pessimism.
Secondly and more importantly is what follows, those manifold changes. I wish for myself the strength to do more of what is needed and less of what isn’t, and I wish the same to all of you. I’ll be documenting here what I do, which might be valuable to some of you, and hope this can be a space for you to spark ideas and spur me forward.
Third, and tied into all of this, is the absolute requirement to get our internal houses in order – otherwise we’re just going to chase our tails and replace one house of cards with another (albeit with nicer varnishing). I’ve believed this for a long time, never better articulated than through the practise of Soma and neatly summarised by E. F. Schumacher: “Only a perfectly clean instrument can obtain a perfectly clean picture.” I’m hoping to travel a spell further down that road, by a variety of means, and raise a glass to you if you would do the same, whether it be through application of therapy, religion, conscious breaking of habits and reformation of thought, or a series of good long chats with those that you love. Truly, it’s all good, and the year will be better for more of it.
Oh! The best description of metanoia I’ve found is the simplest, and the best descriptor of what I’m wishing: A turning around. Happy New Year.