To paraphrase the Beatles:

‘I read the news today, oh boy.

The news was rather sad.

A crowd of people turned away

But I just had to look.’

The news is more than sad, it is grotesque. It’s hard to look away from the grotesque.

I look at the news and I think of my Enneagram friends in Turkey, in Egypt, in Sweden and England, in Ohio and Texas, Israel and Palestine and Pakistan and Brazil and Hong Kong. South Africa. It’s these connections that make all these distant stories come alive for me.

Because of them I look even as I wish to look away.

I’m especially gifted at numbing. How many times in a row can I levitate a foot off the bed startled by our dog’s sudden bark as some coyote howls as it downs its prey at 3AM? (And I was in the middle of such a great dream!) I can numb myself even as I sleep.


Yes, we each respond in our own way. Or in one of 27 ways? What does it matter as long as we heed Gurdjieff’s counsel to seek the Fourth Way: Both remain involved and present in the physical world even as we stay one with ourselves and the eternal truths we stand in.

What did the Beatles do when they lost their close friend Tara Browne in a car accident?

They immediately and collaboratively wrote a song that many consider to be their best with a final chord that supposedly inspired the opening tone on Apple’s computers.

‘40,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire

Although the holes were rather small

They had to count them all.’

Was this ‘a musical bypass’ of their grief, obsessing about 40,000 small things in the face of this huge new hole in their world?

When a hole opens up for us, we can’t turn away, yet we know it’s also not helpful to constantly look……What is meaningful in the face of these repeated assaults on our beliefs in a generous universe?

Here’s what I’ve learned from the Enneagram:

Study and step back. Act and sit. Understand and feel. The order matters little.

So, I do my mantra: “Head, heart and gut”. Keep my HEART open even to those perpetrating bastards and those who empower them.  Look for the motivations behind their bone-chilling nihilism and hate. LEARN, learn, learn the lesson in every one of the ’40,000 holes’ they create. DO something every day that makes a difference, no matter how small, even if it’s creating one new note that I’ve never played before.

That’s all doable, right?

In gratitude.