I've spent some time in my last blog post exploring the realities of what passes for conversation in the twenty-first century, but I'm only one person ... with one set of eyes. I'm wondering,... what realities do you observe? Anything else you'd like to share? Please...
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I’m also excited to spend some time with you today, Nick!
Mr. B, thank you for sharing such this beauty! I also just read your post entitled "An Honest Conversation" and couldn't help but connect your thoughts to this friendship that de Montaigne describes. Perhaps those authentic conversations on purpose and intention that you write about in that post is what Michel de Montaigne and his friend had - such a rare, but beautiful type of connection that I wish was more accessible. And perhaps it is, but I feel like at some point my ego felt the need to foster an abundance of rather surface-level (or even sometimes superficial friendships) where I felt like I could not have these authentic soul-nourishing conversations that my heart genuinely wanted. Not to say that those friendships are bad friendships (because I am truly and genuinely grateful for those people), they just serve a different purpose. I have had a few very memorable, but short-lived conversations and experiences where I felt like I could broach such subjects without feeling strange. Perhaps this is where my soul was "yoked" and "confounded" with another. And I hope that becomes more accessible as I learn to challenge my ego and develop authenticity through listening to my own heart and the hearts of others. I am so excited to talk to you tomorrow! -Nick Sabri, a former student :)
During the course of my morning reading, I ran across this quote on what a true friendship looks like. I know that in the essay I recently posted, I explored the elements of an ideal conversation. Perhaps this is the ideal of relationship. It’s from an essay that was written by Michele de Montaigne, ”On Affectionate Relationships,” following the death of his one true friend:
”In the friendship which I am talking about, souls are mingled and confounded in so universal a blending that they efface the seam which joins them together so that it cannot be found. If you press me to say why I loved him, I feel that it cannot be expressed except by replying: ‘Because it was him; because it was me.’ Mediating this union there was, beyond all my reasoning, beyond all that I can say specifically about it, some inexplicable force of destiny.”
”This friendship has had no ideal to follow other than itself; no comparison but with itself. There is no one particular consideration — nor two nor three nor four nor a thousand of them — but rather some inexplicable quintessence of them all mixed up together which, having captured my will, brought it to plunge into his and lose itself and which, having captured his will, brought it to plunge and lose itself in mine with an equal hunger and emulation. I say ‘lose myself’ in very truth; we kept nothing back for ourselves: nothing was his or mine.”
”Our souls were yoked together in such unity, and contemplated each other with so ardent an affection, and with the same affection revealed each to each other right down to the very entrails, that not only did I know his mind as well as I knew my own but I would have entrusted myself to him with greater assurance than to myself.”
I don’t know, but this seems like a description of what I dryly referred to in my essay as “communion,” a component of great conversation. Pretty powerful stuff! I sure would have loved to observe these two engaged in conversation.... Probably, I would have learned a lot!!