You know that poem by Robert Browning called Paracelsus? It was really the last few lines of the poem I want to focus on.
… And to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.
All that you may need in life is already within you. And here is what is interesting about this idea. When you tell people that you want to charge a course based on your inner compass, they may either suggest you don’t have it in you, or that it will take tremendous courage.
And that is ironic. It takes no courage at all, once, and this is the critical piece, once you have made contact with that inner splendour. Not that you need to have intimate knowledge of every nook and cranny, nor need you be concerned with its source—though you’ll feel instinctively that the well cannot run dry. It can only be covered up.
Once you know this little, you will know that you need no longer be concerned with courage. You won’t be facing fears for the rest of your life. Instead you will rest in a knowing that cannot be corrupted. Once you see it, it will not let go of you, even though you may have periods in your life you may forget it.
Also published on Medium.