When I lobby for the inner life as a sacred site, as a touchstone, as a place of repair, as our integrity, as our private dialogue with our developing self, as our conscience and moral compass, as the joy of discovery, as deep connection with the known and unknown worlds of both experience and imagination, as the part of us we feel will not die, because in some sense it is passed on - as wisdom, as goodness, as an inter-generational touch across time, as the best of us, not least because it resists too much exposure to light, although it is light. The inner life is shy of too many visitors, but it is where we go to commune with ourselves, where we meet with the part of us that is both stillness and vibrant. A clear sound on a cold night.
When I lobby for the inner life it is because it must be nurtured. Nurtured by nature and culture - the twin pillars of humanity here on earth; our connection with this planet, and with the civilisations we have created, their glories of art and architecture, of science and philosophy. We create worlds - inner worlds and outer worlds - and we need to live in both those worlds because we are born hybrids.
[…] We are contemplatives and doers. We imagine and we build. We get our hands dirty, yet we rise above it all, star-dreamers and shit-shovellers. Creatures of beauty, as well as ugliness and fear. Terrible failure. Impossible success.
∆ Jeanette Winterson, 12 Bytes: How We Got Here. Where We Might Go Next
Human beings do not grow in perfect symmetry; they oscillate, expand, contract, back track, arrest themselves, retrogress, mobilize, atrophy in part, proceed erratically, according to experience and traumas.
Some aspects of the personality mature, others do not. Some live in the past, some in the present. Some people are futuristic characters, some are cubistic, some are hard-edged, some geometric, some abstract, some impressionistic, some surrealistic! Some of their insights remain relative and we can no longer think of a character as good or bad, but a combination of characteristics which vary according to relationship and the point in time.
We know now that we are composites in reality, collages of our fathers and mothers, of what we read, of television influences and films, of friends and associates, and we know we often play roles quite removed from our genuine selves.
∆ Anaïs Nin, The Novel of the Future