David Whyte on the conversational nature of reality at the frontier of that which we call “me” and that which we call “not me”, where “self” and “the world” are entwined, in constant enfoldment and emergence with each other…
David Whyte speaks at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED
“The youthful perspective on the future, the present perspective on the future and the future, mature perspective on the future — I’d like to try and bring all those three tenses together in one identity tonight.
And you could say that the poet, in many ways, looks at what I call “the conversational nature of reality.”
And you ask yourself: What is the conversational nature of reality?
The conversational nature of reality is the fact that whatever you desire of the world — whatever you desire of your partner in a marriage or a love relationship, whatever you desire of your children, whatever you desire of the people who work for you or with you, or your world — will not happen exactly as you would like it to happen.
But equally, whatever the world desires of us — whatever our partner, our child, our colleague, our industry, our future demands of us, will also not happen.
And what actually happens is this frontier between what you think is you and what you think is not you.
And this frontier of actual meeting between what we call a self and what we call the world is the only place, actually, where things are real.
But it’s quite astonishing, how little time we spend at this conversational frontier, and not abstracted away from it in one strategy or another.
But all of us live at this conversational frontier with the future.”
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