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Confusion is a byproduct of moving forward in life. If you stay right where you are – turn off the television and pull the curtains – you can eliminate 99 percent of your confusion. But you also eliminate an equivalent amount of joy, love, excitement and emotion. If you take the “what ifs” from your existence, it gets boring very quickly. Most of us live in a continual state of flux, from our jobs and relationships to our government/society and our future. I sometimes feel like the ’70s rock band, King Crimson who wrote the song called “Epitaph.”

Between the iron gates of faith the seeds of time were sown

And watered by the deeds of those who know who are known

Knowledge is a deadly friend if no one sets the rules

The fate of man I see, is in the hands of fools…

Confusion may well be our epitaph.

Part of the reason we have all this confusion is that we have a prolificacy of “experts” in the world today – experts who can’t even agree among themselves. An expert is someone who tells you something in such a complicated, confused fashion as to make you think the confusion is your fault. Always remember, seek clarity – distill all you hear down to the essence, and the confusion will fall away.

Love, of course, is one of the great confounders – there seems to be so many edges to such a smooth, simple thing. The great writer Johan Wolfgang von Goethe once said “Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing. A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.”

We’re taught to be ashamed of confusion, but the truth is, confusion is the red-haired stepchild of inspiration. Again, there’s nothing wrong with being muddled in the beginning, if you find your way to brilliance.

Sometimes we actually enjoy being confused when it comes to art, so we can pretend to discern with knowledgeable nods and hums what the artist was trying to express (when most of the time they didn’t have a clue themselves). I love the expression by the author Susan Hubbard – “In practicing the art of confusion there is no better weapon than poetry.” I would have to add modern art to that quote.

In the end, in this complicated, confounding world, the best you can do is rely on the knowledge that someday, most of this will make sense. For now, laugh at your situation, smile through the confusion, exercise as much love as you can, and remind yourself that everything happens for a reason.


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