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On the Brink of Everything by Parker J. Palmer

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VI. Keep Reaching In

Staying Engaged with Your Soul

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Introduction

Some people don’t know what “reaching in” means, despite the fact that for millennia the world’s wisdom traditions have majored in mapping various pathways to the soul. The clueless ones are not to blame. From elementary through graduate school, we receive little guidance for the inner journey, even though Socrates—the patron saint of education—regarded self-examination as key to a life worth living.

When we’re young and wholly engaged with the external world, we may manage to feel “alive” for a while without an inner life. But when we experience diminishments and defeats—the kind ...

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